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Chen Zhong-Shen



Chen Zhongsheng 陈仲牲 (1809-1871) studied with his uncle as his father died early. All his skill came from Chen Youben. He was famous for wielding an iron spear weighing 30 “jin” freely while practicing.

In the third year of the Emperor Xianfeng (1853) the Taiping army while heading north passed through Wen county where they stayed on the shores of Huang River at the Willow village (Liu Cun). There was an army officer with the nickname of “Da Tou Wang” (the great leader King, or Big Head King) and with the family name of Yang. While they were roaming around they came to Chen village and a skirmish came about. The two brothers Chen Zhongsheng and Jisheng led the villagers in the fight with the band of “Da Tou Wang” where they cut his head off and the rest of the band ran towards Zhaobao village. See: Taiping Rebellion

Among his students were his sons Chen Yao (1837-1916), Chen Yan (1847-1918) and Chen Xin (1849-1929). The sons of his brother Chen Jisheng were also very skilled, Chen Miao (1834-1868) and Chen Sen (1843-1926).

Bio from Book

<blockquote> 陳仲甡傳



Chen Zhongshen, called Yichi, as well as Shichang, was the second son of Chen Youheng, the twin brother of Jishen. Their appearance was identical and their neighbors could not tell them apart. He grew to be big and tall, with the back of ape and the neck of a tiger, different from ordinary boys. At the age of three he was made to begin martial training. When he was ten years old, he went with his grandmother to a temple fair in Zhaobao Village. Competing at water carrying, the buckets hanging from his shoulder pole splashed his clothes, and yet he did not get wet. He then hit the pole away to put the buckets down. The onlookers all saw something unique in him. When he reached adulthood, he and [Chen Ji-Shen|Jishen]] took the county-level military examinations together.

  In the third year of the reign of Emperor Xianfeng [1852], the armies of Hong Xiuquan and Yang Xiuqing [i.e. the Taiping Rebellion] were on the move. The forces of Lin Fengxiang, Li Kaifang, and Ji Wenyuan, ferried over the Yellow River from Gong County, pouring straight into Wen County, where they proceeded to slaughter everyone they came across. Zhongshen led his clan to resist them. The intrepid Taiping general Yang Fuqing, called the “Headstrong King”, launched surprise attacks. He had a reputation in every city for being invincible. He once carried a bronze cannon under his arm and fired at the parapets of Wuchang, thereby smashing through their defensive position. Within the army, his piercing eyes made him the bravest general, and he was always in the vanguard. Zhongshen made his stand against him by the village’s Laozi Hall, having his soldiers use iron spears to stab up at horses from below, and then having villagers take advantage of the moment by chopping off the heads of the riders once they had fallen. The Taiping army was surprised and collapsed. Then when Li Tangjie [the Qing minister of defense at the time] sent a force to help, the remaining Taiping soldiers fled away into the willow forest.

  Now that Lin Fengxiang and Li Kaifang knew of Zhongshen’s bravery, they wanted to capture him. One day during the fifth night watch [around 4am], foot soldiers suddenly entered Chen Village and surrounded Zhongshen’s house, intending to kill him, but they were all too afraid to go in. Zhongshen therefore put on a leisurely air and walked out slowly and majestically, as if there was no one around, and the troops withdrew. Lin and Li had not yet arrived, but were already struck by the power Zhongshen exuded in that no one had dared to attack him. Then once Lin and Li got there, Zhongshen had already floated away, escaping with ease through the layers of surrounding troops and out of danger, and they never knew how he did it. Lin Fengxiang then moved his forces [north] to instead surround Tanhuai, which he spent fifty days trying to capture and then stealthily retreated behind the Taihang Mountains. Henceforth in the village, there were prospective students filling Zhongshen’s doorway.

  In the sixth year of Xianfeng’s reign [1855], Zhongshen was enlisted by local militia to battle at Bozhou. In the seventh year [1856], he fought in the Battle of the Vegetable Gardens. In the eighth year [1857], he battled against Zhang Lexing when he attacked at the Si River. In the ninth year [1858], he was in the battle to retake Mengcheng County. In the eleventh year [1860], when Li Zhanbiao attacked with his long-spear army, he battled against him at Muluan Village in Wuzhi County. In the sixth year of the reign of Emperor Tongzhi [1867], the minor tyrant Zhang Zongyu attacked Huaiqing and Zhongshen again performed distinguished service in battle. In the tenth year [1871], he died of illness while north of the Yellow River at the classical learning academy run by the scholar Liu Yunan. Zhongshen’s family gave him the posthumous name of Yingyi [“heroic and righteous”].


taiji/chen_zhong-shen.txt · Last modified: 2018/06/26 05:39 by serena