Qin Liangyu (; 1574 - 1648) was born in Zhong County, sichuan during the late ming Dynasty to ethnic Miao parents. From youth, she learned from her father the skills of horse archery and martial combat, as well as proficiency in poetry. She married a local district commander of shizhu chiefdom, ma Qiancheng, and accompanied him during minor battles against local warlords in the southwestern border of the Ming Empire. At the death of her husband, Qin Liangyu took over his post, and those under her command were known as the White Cavalry (白杆兵).
When Nurhaci declared independence from the Ming, Qin Liangyu, accompanied by her brothers, rushed to the northeastern frontier in 1620 to help the Ming military effort in Shenyang. She even sold her personal belongings in order to recruit 3000 soldiers at her command, and was garrisoned at shanhai pass.
Qin retured to Sichuan to combat against local warlords and because of her success was promoted to the title Commander in Chief (都督佥事). In 1630, Qin Liangyu again sold her personal property to fund another expedition north to the Ming capital Beijing in order to aid the emperor against the rising manchus. The Ming Chongzhen Emperor showered her with praises in poetry.
In the following 11 years, Qin Liangyu fought various battles against the rising rebel leader Zhang Xianzhong around Sichuan. As the Ming Dynasty crumbled and the Manchus broke south into the Central Plains, Qin redirected her efforts to resist the advancing Qing front. As a result of her will and determination in combating the Manchus, Qin Liangyu was given the title Grand protector of the Crowned prince (太子太保) by the southern ming Emperor. Since very few distinguished characters ever attain the title Grand Protector of the Crowned Prince, she is considered one of the highest ranking female generals in Chinese history.
Unfortunately, Qin Liangyu died after falling off a horse while examining her troops, at the age of 75. Yet her legacy, along with her arms and armor, remain today in shizhu, Chongqing. A statue of her is in the Ganyu Hall of the shibaozhai in Zhong County (that was preserved during the Three Gorges project) along with statues of the famous Three Kingdoms generals Zhang Fei and Yan Yan.http://www.discoveryangtze.com/Yangtzediscovery/zhongxian_shibaozhai.htm
Qin Liangyu is one of the 32 historical figures who appear as special characters in the video game Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI by Koei.
Dragon and phoenix satin gown belonged to Qin Liangyu, an ancient Hmong/Miao female general living in the Ming Dynasty.