The first purpose of establishing
Byeongyeong was to defend Japanese invaders.
In the course of time, it experienced historical events
such as Eulmyowaebyeon and Imjinwaeran.
Japanese invaders severely invaded during the 14~15th
century. Since the Honam area had many coasts and islands,
it was frequently made the target of Japanese invaders.
In addition, inland areas were also exposed and vulnerable
to Japanese invaders.
Eulmyowaebyeon, one of the largest invasions of Japanese
occurred on May 11, 1555(the 10th year of King Myeongjong).
70 Japanese ships invaded Dallyangpo and Ijinpo, Yeongam.
Eoranpo, Namdo, Geumgap, and Dupo were taken in turn.
This war that can be a skirmish of Imjinwaeran did great
damage to Gangjin, Haenam, Yeongam, and Jangheung.
In this war, the military commander, Won Jeok and the
Janghueng Governor, Han On were killed by Japanese invaders
and the Yeongam Governor, Lee Deok-gyeon was taken prisoner.
Byeongyeong Fortress was also taken and nearly fell
However, Byeongyeong was renovated
through full repairing and met with Imjinwaeran and
Imjinwaeran and Jeongyujaeran did not do direct damage,
compared to Eulmyowaebyeon because Byeongyeong provided
for itself a good defense against enemy attack. Above
all, a distinguished admiral, Lee Sun-shin showed great
military power driving back Japanese invaders.
Furthermore, several generals including Kim Eok-chu,
Hwang Dae-jung, Kim Deok-ran, and Yeom Byeol played
an active role. Numbers of common folks fell victims.
During Jeongyujaeran, Japanese army was greatly defeated
by Lee Sun-shin in Uldolmok and invaded Gaingjin, Haenam,
and Yeongam in revenge for its defeat. As a result,
Byeongseong had a fierce fight. Jeolla military commander,
Lee Bok-nam took his men to participate in the Namwon
Fortress Battle and died for his country.
During thewar, many problems appeared in Byeongyeong
Fortress, there was discussion of its transfer to other
area. However, because of the importance of early defense,
such argument was not accepted. Byeongyeong was once
moved to Jangheung immediately after Imjinwaeran, but
it was restored to Gangjin soon.
After this, Byeongyeong Fortress functioned for 300
years and was taken by the peasant army on Dec. 10,
1894, meeting its tragic end.
Since 1866, Jeolla Byeongyeong
had actively trained in the use of artillery. In 1894
when Donghak Peasantry Movement occurred, it spearheaded
in putting down the peasant army. Nevertheless, the
Donghak peasant army in Haenam and Jangheung captured
Jangheung Eupseong first, killed the Jangheung Governor,
and took Gangjin Eupseong and Byeongyeong Fortress.
In the course of the last heavy fighting against the
Donghak army, Jeolla Byeongyeong was reduced to ashes.
In the next year, 1895, Byeongyeong was removed according
to reorganization of the military system, influenced
by the Japanese Empire, and dropped a curtain of 500-year