The Three Kingdoms Wiki
Zhang Xiu
Character information
Force(s): Han Dynasty
Dong Zhuo's Forces
Liu Biao's Forces
Zhang Xiu's Forces
Cao Cao's Forces
Significant Battle(s):
Battle of Wan Castle
Siege of Wan Castle
Historical information
Real name: Zhang Xiu
Chinese name: 张绣
Born: ?
Died: 207

Zhang Xiu was a general of Liu Biao who later fought against Cao Cao. After Wan Castle, he joined his forces.


Zhang Xiu, who hailed from Zuli in Wuwei, was a junior relative to Zhang Ji, General of the Agile Calvary. When Bian Zhang and Han Sui revolted in Liang Province, one Qu Sheng of Jincheng attacked Liu Jin, prefect of Zuli, and killed him. Zhang Xiu was a minor officer in the prefecture office at that time, and he tracked Qu Sheng down and killed him. All within the commandery praised him for that. Thus Zhang Xiu gathered many young people to himself and became a formidable force in the neighbourhood.

After Dong Zhuo’s defeat, Zhang Ji and Li Jue among others attacked Lu Bu to avenge Dong Zhuo – this has been recorded in Dong Zhuo’s biography. Zhang Xiu followed Zhang Ji’s banner, and for his military merits he was eventually promoted to General who Establishes Loyalty, and made Marquis of Xuanwei. Zhang Ji returned to garrisonat Hongnong. Because his soldiers were famished, he led a raid on Rang in the south. However, he was hit by a stray arrow and died. Zhang Xiu took over his troops, stationed himself at Wan, and allied with Liu Biao.

Cao Cao marched south and as he arrived at the Yu River, Zhang Xiu and some others led their men to surrender. Cao Cao took Zhang Ji’s widow, and Zhang Xiu loathed him for that. Hearing that Zhang Xiu was displeased, Cao Cao devised a plan in secret to murder him. However, the plan was discovered, and Zhang Xiu surprise-attacked Cao Cao. Cao Cao lost the battle and two of his sons died. Zhang Xiu returned to defend Rang, and despite many years of fighting, Cao Cao was unable to conquer the city.

When Cao Cao was holding off Yuan Shao’s men at Guandu, Zhang Xiu adopted Jia Xu’s suggestion and brought his men again to surrender to Cao Cao – this is discussed in Jia Xu’s biography. When Zhang Xiu arrived, Cao Cao held his hand and feasted together with him. He also proposed a marriage between his son Cao Jun and Zhang Xiu's daughter, and made Zhang Xiu General who Manifests Firmness. Because of his martial accomplishments at the Guandu battle, Zhang Xiu was promoted to General who Defeats the Qiang. He then followed [Cao Cao] to conquer Yuan Tan at Nanpi, and for that his fief was increased to 2,000 households. At that time, the number of households in the land had decreased sharply, and only one-tenth remained [from before the wars]. All the other generals had fiefs fewer than a thousand households, but Zhang Xiu alone was granted an especially large number.

He followed [Cao Cao] to fight the Wuhuan at Liucheng, but before he reached there, he died (2). He was given the posthumous title of Marquis of Stability. His son, Zhang Chuan, inherited his title, but he was executed later on the account of treasonous plotting together with Wei Feng. The fief was taken from his family.