The Battle of Ningyuan
The second year after Shenyang was made the capital of the Late Jin, Nurhachi began to attack Ningyuan (today's Xingcheng, Liaoning Province), which was a town of strategic importance. If the Late Jin were to advance southward into north China, he had to capture Ningyuan, which was guarded by 20,000 soldiers under the command of noted Ming General Yuan Chonghuan. But, several attacks failed. Some claim that Nurhachi was wounded by the western cannons used by Yuan Chonghuan, and the Late Jin army had to retreat. This was the famous battle of Ningyuan.
Not long after the Ningyuan battle, Nurhachi died. Some say that he died from rage, because he had never before been defeated. Regardless, the ambition to eliminate the Ming Dynasty was not realized in his lifetime. The old city of Xingcheng (formerly Ningyuan) was situated in the western part of today's Xingcheng, now the best-preserved Ming city. It was built in 1430, the fifth year of the reign of Emperor Mingde of the Ming Dynasty. It is rectangular in shape, 825 m long south to north, and 803 m wide east to west. The city wall is 10 m high, on a base about seven m wide, and the top 4.5 m wide. There is a city gate on each side of the city, and a watchtower over each city gate. Xingcheng is noted for the battle of Ningyuan.
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