Great Wall Garrisons in Ming Dynasty

Jianan Fortress, Yulin Great Wall
Jian'an Bu Garrison in Yulin, Shaanxi
To support its frontier defenses, the Ming authorities (1368 - 1644) established eleven Great Wall garrisons, within nine border districts. The garrisons came under the control of three Govenors-generals: General Jiliao, General Xuanda and General Shaanxi Sanbian. Their names derived from the garrisons under their respective commands.

Garrisons under Control of General Jiliao

 1. Liaodong Garrison: The chief commanding officer was stationed in today's Liaoyang, Liaoning Province. Region from Yalu River in the east to Shanhaiguan Pass in the west was within the jurisdiction of this garrison. The total length in this region measured about more than 975 kilometers (606 miles).

 2. Jizhen Garrison: Stationed in today's Jixian County, Hebei Province, the part of the Great Wall under its control started from Shanhaiguan Pass in the east to Juyongguan Pass in the west. General Qi Jiguang spent more than 10 years directing the renovation of Great Wall in this area. The total length was more than 600 kilometers (373 miles).

 3. Changzhen Garrison: It was in today's Changping in the northwest of Beijing. Due to its unique position, it was regarded as the guard of the capital and the imperial tombs. It took charge of the section running from Mutianyu in the east to Zijingguan Pass in the west. The whole part measured about 230 kilometers (143 miles) long.

 4. Zhenbao Garrison: it extended continuously for 390 kilometer (242 miles), starting from Yanhekou (now in Mentougou District, Beijng) to Lululingkou, Shanxi Province.

Garrisons under Control of General Xuanda

Luocheng Castle in the east of Shanhaiguan Pass, Hebei
Luocheng Castle in the east of 
Shanhaiguan Pass, Hebei
 5.  Xuanfu Garrison: It was located in today's Xuanhua, Hebei Province. It was in charge of the part from Juyong Guan Pass in the east to Xihun River (today in the north-east of Datong), measuring about 512 kilometers (318 miles) long. This section was to the north-west of the capital of the Ming Dynasty, occupying important strategic position, so the walls were extremely solid.

 6. Datong Garrison: Stationed in Datong, Shanxi Province, it was responsible for the Great Wall beginning from Zhenkoutai (now in the north-east of Tianzhen, Shanxi) to Yajiao Mountain, measuring about 335 kilometers (208 miles) long.

 7. Taiyuan Garrison: Also called Shanxi Garrison, it stationed in Pianguan Pass. The total length measured about more than 800 kilometers (497 miles). The part of the Great Wall for which it was responsible started from the Yellow River bank of Hequ, Shanxi to Huangyuling (today's east of Heshun, Shanxi) via Pianguan Pass, Laoyingbao, Ningwu, Yanmenguan Pass, Pingxingguan Pass, Longquanguan Pass and Guguan Pass. The wall within this area is exceedingly heavy and strong.

Garrisons under Control of General Shaanxi Sanbian

Xiakou Ancient Castle, Zhangye, Gansu
Xiakou Ancient Castle, Zhangye, Gansu

 8. Yansui Garrison: Stationed in Yulinbao (today's Yulin), it bore responsibility for the section running from Qingshuiying (near Qingshui, Inner Mongolia) to Huamachi (today's Yanchi, Ningxia) in the west, totaling 885 kilometers (550 miles).

 9. Ningxia Garrison: Stationed in Yinchuan, Ningxia, it was in charge of the section from Dayanchi (today's Yanchi, Ningxia) in the east to Lanjing in Gansu Province in the west, measuring about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).

 10. Guyuan Garrison: It was stationed in Guyuan, Ningxia. The section of the Great Wall within its charge started from Jingbian, Shaanxi in the east to Gaolan, Gansu in the west, measuring about more than 500 kilometers (311 miles) long.

 11. Gansu Garrison: Station in Zhangye, Gansu, the section of the Great Wall under its control began from Jincheng (today's Lanzhou), Gansu in the east to Jiayuguan Pass in the west. It measured more than 800 kilometers (497 miles) long.

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