Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Sun Ssŭ-k'o

SUN Ssŭ-k'o 孫思克 (T. 藎臣, H. 復齋), Apr. 23, 1628–1700, Apr. 5, general, was the second son of Sun Tê-kung 孫得功 who as a Ming officer under Wang Hua-chên [q. v.] surrendered to Nurhaci [q. v.] in 1622 after the fall of Kuangning. Later the family belonged to the Plain White Banner. Sun Ssŭ-k'o began his career as a bodyguard to Dorgon [q. v.]. In 1651 he became captain of a company and was concurrently made a secretary in the Board of Punishments. In 1656 he served as colonel in the Manchu operations against the Ming forces in Kweichow and Yunnan, and in 1663 was appointed brigade-general in Kansu province. Three years later he and Chang Yung [q. v.] were ordered to strengthen the defenses along the border and repair the Great Wall as a precaution against possible invasion by the Eleuth nomads. During the year 1675–76 he helped Tuhai [q. v.] to bring about the surrender of the city of P'ing-liang (Kansu), then held by rebel forces of Wang Fu-ch'ên [q. v.]. For this he was made commander-in-chief of the forces of Kansu, and in 1677 was given the hereditary rank of baron of the third class. When ordered to march against the rebels in Han-chung, Shensi, in 1679, he petitioned the Emperor for a postponement of the attack. Reprimanded for this temerity, he was again ordered to advance and won several battles. Nevertheless, at the conclusion of the San-fan Rebellion in 1683 (see under Wu San-kuei), he was deprived of his hereditary title and reduced to the rank of brigade-general because of a delay in carrying out military orders four years previously. His post of commander-in-chief in Kansu was restored to him in 1684 and seven years later he was given the title Chên-wu chiang-chün 振武將軍.

In 1695 Sun Ssŭ-k'o was ordered to lead an army into Mongolia against Galdan [q. v.], the Khan of the Eleuths. This army was composed of Bannermen from Sian and of Chinese soldiers from Shensi and Kansu. About May 11, a little distance north of Ongin, his forces joined those of the commander-in-chief, Fiyanggû [q. v.]. It was then decided to send back a considerable number of Sun's men in order to economize on provisions. The combined army of select troops then hastened northward, reaching Jao Modo on June 12, where it intercepted the Eleuths under Galdan. The battle began that very afternoon—the troops under Sun taking the central position, the Manchus and Mongols occupying the flanks. When evening came the Eleuths were defeated and dispersed.

While he was leading his victorious army home from Mongolia, Sun Ssŭ-k'o was summoned to Peking where he was showered with gifts and favors. He returned to Kansu late in 1696 and served there until his death in 1700, mourned by the inhabitants of that region for his kindness and ability. He was given posthumously the name Hsiang-wu 襄武 and the hereditary rank of baron of the first class. In 1732 his name was placed in the Temple of Eminent Statesmen and in 1767 his hereditary rank was made perpetual. His son, Sun Ch'êng-yün 孫承運 (d. 1719), on whom the rank first devolved, married the fourteenth daughter of Emperor Shêng-tsu, Princess Ch'üeh-ching 慤靖 (1690–1736). One of Sun Ssŭ-k'o's great-grandsons, Sun Ch'ing-ch'êng 孫慶成 (d. 1812), was a general in the Chia-ch'ing period. He is usually referred to, according to the Manchu practice, by his personal name, Ch'ing-ch'êng.

At the battle of Jao Modo several generals under Sun's command distinguished themselves. One was Yin Hua-hsing 殷化行 (original name 王化行 T. 熙如, military chin-shih of 1670, d. 1710), who then held the office of brigade-general of the Ninghsia garrison. By occupying a strategic hillock on the battleground before the enemy could do so, and by suggesting to Fiyanggû to send detachments to attack the enemy from the rear, Yin contributed a great deal to the victory. He also left an account of the battle, entitled 西征紀略 Hsi-chêng chi-lüeh. Another general who fought bravely in this battle, P'an Yü-lung 潘育龍 (T. 天飛, d. 1719, posthumous name 襄勇), was wounded in the cheek by gunshot. Pan succeeded Sun as commander-in-chief of Kansu in 1701 and held that post for eighteen years.


[1/261/8a; 3/277/11a; Kansu t'ung-chih (1735) 30/70b; 2/79/1a, concerning Sun Tê-kung; Haenisch, E., T'oung Pao, 1913, p. 98; 3/279/4a; 3/281/5a; Yü I-mo 俞益謨 Sun Ssŭ-k'o hsing-shu (行述) in Shih-liao ts'ung-k'an (see under Abahai); see bibliography under Fiyanggû.]

Fang Chao-ying