Cao Chun

Cao Chun (died 210) was a cavalry general serving under the warlord Cao Cao during the late han dynasty period of Chinese history. He commanded the elite mounted force – the Tiger and Leopard Cavalry (虎豹骑) – in several campaigns against Yuan Tan, Tadun and Liu Be


Cao Chun was a younger brother of Cao Ren. When Cao Chun was thirteen, their father died and the brothers took over the family estates and several hundred servants in their employ, whom Cao Chun managed well. Being well-learned himself, Cao Chun also befriended scholars, who flocked to him.

At seventeen, Cao Chun entered the Han imperial court in Luoyang as the Attendant at the Yellow Gates (黄门侍郎, a spokesman for the emperor). In 189, Cao Chun joined his elder cousin Cao Cao's army and followed him to war against Dong Zhuo, the tyrannical warlord who held the emperor hostage.

During the siege of Nanpi against Yuan Tan in early 205, Cao Chun commanded the elite mounted force – the Tiger and Leopard Cavalry. In the initial stage of the confrontation, Cao Cao's troops suffered significant losses to skirmishes by the enemy but eventually prevailed. Cao Chun's men took the head of Yuan Tan.

In the subsequent northern expedition against the Wuhuan tribe, Cao Chun's force again excelled in battle. The riders captured Tadun, chief of the Wuhuan, in the Battle of White Wolf Mountain. For his credits, Cao Chun was enfeoffed as Tinghou of Gaoling (高陵亭侯) with stipends from 300 households.

In 208, Cao Chun accompanied Cao Cao south on the campaign to take the Jingzhou. At Xiangyang, Cao Chun and his men was sent ahead to pursue the retreating force of Liu Bei. They caught Liu Bei at Changban and in the ensuing encounter, captured Liu Bei's two daughters and supplies, as well as some enemy troops.

Cao Chun pressed on south to secure the strategic city of Jiangling, which had a cache of armaments and a sizeable river fleet. He then returned to his hometown, where he died in 210. According to the Book of Wei, Cao Cao favored Cao Chun so much that he refused to appoint anyone to succeed the commandership of the Tiger and Leopard Cavalry.

In 220, Cao Cao's successor Cao Pi conferred Cao Chun the posthumous title of Marquis Wei (威侯), literally meaning the awe-inspiring marquis. Cao Chun's son Cao Yan (曹演) also served in the military and was eventually promoted to Lingjun General (领军将军) and Marquis of Pingle (平乐乡侯).

Personal information


Cao Bao (曹褒), served as Administrator of Yingchuan


Cao Chi (曹熾), served as Palace Attendant and Colonel of Changshui, posthumously granted title of Marquis of Chenmu.


Cao Ren, older brother, served Cao Cao


Cao Yan (曹演), appointed General Who Leads the Army, granted title of Marquis of Pingle in 255


Cao Liang (曹亮), son of Cao Yan

Last update 06-06-2012

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