Zhang He was a bold and
skillful warrior. In the closing years of the Eastern Han Dynasty, as
a volunteer, Zhang He joined Han Fu's army to suppress the Yellow Scarves
Rebellion. Then he took the post of a Commander under Han Fu. When Han
Fu surrendered his region Jizhou to Yuan Shao, Zhang He offered his
service to Yuan Shao. Under Yuan Shao, he became one of his top generals.
He was very active in the campaign against Gongsun Zan. Yuan Shao won
many battles thanks to his outstanding performance against Gongsun Zan,
and he took the post of Imperial Corps Commander.
In the Battle at Guandu, Zhang He was
active as one of Yuan Shao's commander. At the first battle, he dueled
Zhang Liao with no advantage to either side. Then after they failed
to raid Cao Cao's camp, Zhang He together with Gao Lan, were forced
to turn over to Cao Cao by Guo Tu, who feared that they would return
and testify about his mistake. Under Cao Cao, Zhang He led the way and
made the first attack on Yuan Shao's camp and was victorious. He accompanied
Cao Cao in the further pacification of the North. He participated in
almost every major battles, was victorious in many battles and also
he was active in the Battle at Chibi. He helped Cao Cao escaped by protecting
the rear after the lost at Chibi.
Zhang He helped Cao Cao at the campaign
against Ma Chao and Zhang Lu. After Ma Chao and Zhang Lu were destroyed,
Zhang He was sent to defend Hanzhong. After Cao Pi succeeded to the
throne, Zhang He was again promoted to the rank of General of the Left
and Lord of the Fief. He was skillful in meeting emergencies. Though
a warrior, Zhang He respected and cherished scholars. By and by, he
learned to be a good strategist. Although he lost eventually, he fought
very hard while protecting Han Zhong from Shu's invasion. He was regarded
by Zhuge Liang as a fine strategist and a worthy opponent.
Zhang He was very active later as one
of Wei's top generals. History has it that Zhang He successfully defended
Wei against Zhuge Liang's northern campaigns. At 231 when Zhuge Liang
retreated to Qishan, Zhang He was shot by arrows and died in the battle
against the army of Shu. Cao Rui wept at the death of his brave leader
and had his body searched and honorably buried.