Guō Huái appellation Bójì was a Tàiyuán Yángqǔ man. (1) During Jiàn’ān he was nominated as a Filial and Incorrupt candidate, cent out as Píngyuán office assistant. When Wén-dì [Cáo Pī] became Five Office General, he summoned Huái to establish Below the Gate Bandit Department, transferred to Chancellor’s Soldier Department commentator director scribe, accompanying the campaign in Hànzhōng. Tàizǔ [Cáo Cāo] returned, leaving General Campaigning West Xiàhóu Yuān to resist Liú Bèi, with Huái as [Xiàhóu] Yuān’s Major.
[Xiàhóu] Yuān with [Liú] Bèi battled, Huái at the time was ill and did not go out. [Xiàhóu] Yuān came to harm, the army inside was disturbed, Huái collected the scattered troops, and nominated General Washing away Bandits Zhāng Hé as the army’s leader, and the various camps were therefore settled. The next day, [Liú] Bèi wished to cross the Hàn river to come attack. The various officers commented that their army was few and could not match him, that [Liú] Bèi was following up on victory, and wished to rely on the river as the battle line to resist him. Huái said: “This is showing weakness and not enough to oppose the enemy, and is not to be considered. It is not as good as being far from the river to set battle line, to draw them out; if they are halfway crossed and then struck, [Liú] Bèi can be defeated.” Using this battle line, [Liú] Bèi was suspicious and did not cross, and Huái therefore firmly defending, showing he had no intention to return. The situation was reported, Tàizǔ praised him, giving [Zhāng] Hé Acting Staff, again with Huái as his Major.
When Wén-dì succeeded the King’s position, he was bestowed rank as Marquis Within the Passes, transferred to Defending West Chief Clerk. He was also Acting Protector of the Army Campaigning against the Qiāng, protecting General of the Left Zhāng Hé and Crowning Army General Yáng Qiū in suppressing mountain bandit Zhèng Gān and Lú Shuǐ rebelling Hú, defeating and pacifying them all. Guānzhōng was first settled, and the people were able to safely work.
- According to Guō clan Registers: Huái’s grandfather Quán was a Minister of Agriculture; his father Yūn was a Yànmén Administrator.
Huángchū Inaugural Year , he went to present congratulations to Wén-dì ascending the throne, but on the road he became ill, and therefore calculated distances to rest and remain. When the various ministers gathered, the Emperor sternly reproached him saying: “In the past Yǔ had meeting with the various lords at Túshān, Fángfēng later arrived, and so was killed. Now all Heaven is alike in celebration but you are most delayed and slow, what of it?”
Huái answered: “I your servant have heard the Five Emperors first taught and guided the people by virtue, Xià later had governance decline, and was first to use punishments. Now I your servant encounter the time of Táng [Yáo] and Yú [Shùn], and therefore myself know I will be spared from Fángfēng’s execution.”
[note: Cáo Pī’s ascension was modeled after the abdication of Yáo to Shùn, the last two of the Five Emperors. Yǔ, who executed Fángfēng, was the founder of Xià. Guō Huái is giving a very witty answer.]
The Emperor was pleased with this, and selected him for acting office as Yōng Province Inspector, with fief as Marquis of Shèyáng precinct, and in five years was full office [as Inspector]. Āndìng’s Qiāng chief commander Bìtí rebelled, and [Guō Huái] suppressed and defeated him and accepted his surrender. Every time Qiāng and Hú came to surrender, Huái then first sent envoy to ask after their close family matters, how many sons and daughters, how old they were; when they met, he knew all their situations, asked with thorough consideration, and all praised him as divinely enlightened.
Tàihé Second Year , Shǔ Chancellor Zhūgě Liàng set out against Qíshān, sending General Mǎ Sù to reach Jiētíng, Gāo Xiáng to garrison Lièliǔchéng. Zhāng Hé struck [Mǎ] Sù, Huái attacked [Gāo] Xiáng’s camp, and defeated them all. He also defeated Lǒngxī’s famed Qiāng Tángtí at Fūhǎn, and was added office as General Establishing Authority.
Fifth Year , Shǔ set out against Lǔchéng. At the time, Lǒng’s right [west] had no grain, and commentators wished to from Guānzhōng greatly transport, Huái using his authority and grace comforted and went about the Qiāng and Hú, and each family gave out grain, fairly donated and shared, and the army’s provisions were enough for use. He was transferred to General Raising Martial.
Qīnglóng Second Year , Zhūgě Liàng set out against Xiégǔ, and gathered farm fields at Lánkēng. At the time Sīmǎ [Yì] Xuān-wáng garrisoned the Wèi [river]’s south; Huái calculated that [Zhūgě] Liàng would certainly contest the northern plain, and they should first resist him, of the commentators many said this could not be. Huái said: “If [Zhūgě] Liàng crosses the Wèi and ascends the plains, he will connect troops with the Northern Mountain, and cut off Lǒng’s roads, and shake and sweep away the people and foreigners; this is not to the state’s advantage.” [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng agreed with this, and Huái therefore garrisoned the northern plain. The moats and ramparts were not yet completed, when Shǔ soldiers greatly arrived, and Huái opposed and struck them. After several days, [Zhūgě] Liàng greatly led troops to go west, and the various officers all said he wished to attack Xīwéi, Huái alone believed: “This is to appear to go west, wishing to have the government troops follow after them; they will certainly attack Yángsuì and that is all.” That night they indeed attacked Yángsuì, but they were prepared and they could not ascend.
Zhèngshǐ Inaugural Year , Shǔ Officer Jiāng Wéi set out against Lǒngxī. Huái therefore advanced the army, pursuing them to Qiángzhōng, [Jiāng] Wéi retreated, and [Guō Huái] therefore suppressed the Qiāng Mídāng and others, capturing and consoling Dī of over three thousand tribes, pulling them out and relocating them to populate Guānzhōng. He was promoted to General of the Left. Liáng Province’s Xiūtú Hú man Liáng Yuánbì and others led their tribes of over two thousand families to attach to Yōng Province. Huái presented memorial asking to have them reside at Āndìng’s Gāopíng, to be the people’s safeguard, and afterward therefore installed a Western Province Commandant. He was transferred to General of the Front, with governance over the Province as before.
Fifth Year , Xiàhóu Xuán campaigned against Shǔ, and Huái commanded the various armies at the front line. Huài judged the situation was unfavorable, and then withdrew the army out, and therefore was not greatly defeated. Returning Huái was given Acting Staff.
Eighth Year , Lǒngxī’s, Nán’ān’s, Jīnchéng’s, and Xīpíng’s various Qiāng leaders Èhé, Shāogē, Fátōng, Ézhēsāi and others joined together to rebel, attacking and besieging cities and towns, to the south welcoming Shǔ soldiers, and Liáng Province’s famed Hú man Zhìwúdài again rebelled to answer them. Protector of the Army Suppressing Shǔ Xiàhóu Bà commanded the various armies to garrison Wéichì. Huái’s army was first to arrive at Dídào, and commentators all said they should first first suppress and settle Fūhǎn, inside to pacify the evil Qiāng, outside to break off the bandit’s plans. Huái calculated [Jiāng] Wéi would certainly come to attack [Xiàhóu] Bà, and therefore entered Fēngzhōng, turning south to meet [Xiàhóu] Bà. [Jiāng] Wéi indeed attacked Wéichì, it happened that Huái’s army just arrived, and [Jiāng] Wéi withdrew and retreated. [Guō Huái] advanced to suppress the rebelling Qiāng, beheading Èhé and Shāogē, and the surrendered were over ten thousand tribes.
Ninth Year , [É]zhēsāi and others garrisoned Héguān and Báitǔ’s former cities, occupying the Hé to resist the army. Huái appeared to go upstream, but secretly went downstream to ferry troops and occupy Báitǔ city, struck, and greatly defeated them. Zhìwúdài besieged Wǔwēi, his family and dependents remained at Xīhǎi. Huái advanced army hurriedly to Xīhǎi, wishing to surprise and capture their heavy supplies, it happened that [Zhì]wúdài broke off and returned. [Guō Huái] with them battled at Lóngyí’s north, and defeated and drove them away. Língjū’s evil caitiffs were at Shítóu mountain’s west, blocking the main road, cutting off the Ruler’s envoys. Huái returned and passing them suppressed them, greatly defeating them.
Jiāng Wéi set out against Shíyíng, following the Qiáng river, and then going west to meet Zhìwúdài, leaving Yīnpíng Administrator Liào Huà at Chéngzhòng mountain to build fortifications, and gather the defeated Qiāng to uphold their pledge. Huái wished to divide troops to take them. The various officers believed: “[Jiāng] Wéi’s army to the west connects with strong Hú, [Liào] Huà occupies rugged terrain, so if dividing the army into two, the troops strength will become weak, advancing it cannot resist [Jiāng] Wéi, retreating it cannot overcome [Liào] Huà; this is not a plan. It is not as good as uniting and all going west, so before the Hú and Shǔ are joined, we can cut off their inside and outside. This is the way to cut apart their alliance.”
Huái said: “Now going to take [Liào] Huà, is outside the bandit’s consideration, and [Jiāng] Wéi will certainly like a wolf look back [in fear]. By the time [Jiāng] Wéi can arrive, it is sufficient to settle [Liào] Huà, and moreover it will have [Jiāng] Wéi exhausted in rushing for his life. The troops do not need go far to the west, and the alliance with the Hú will itself be broken. This is a plan to in one move have two successes.” Therefore he separately sent Xiàhóu Bà and others to pursue [Jiāng] Wéi at Tàzhōng, while Huái personally led the various armies to meet and attack [Liào] Huà and the rest. [Jiāng] Wéi indeed hurried returned to rescue [Liào] Huà, all like Huái had planned. He was advanced in fief to a capital village Marquis.
Jiāpíng Inaugural Year , he was promoted to General Campaigning West, Regional Commander over Yōng’s and Liáng’s various military affairs. That year, he with Yōng Province Inspector Chén Tài joined plans, accepting the surrender of Shǔ Ivory Gate General Gōu Ān and others at Chìshàng.
Second Year , Imperial Order said: “In the past at the Hàn river campaign, there was almost utter collapse. Huái facing danger relieved the troubles, his achievements written in the Ruler’s Office. He was to the Passes’ Right [West] for over thirty years, outside campaigning against bandits and caitiffs, inside soothing the people and foreigners. In recent years onward, he defeated Liào Huà, captured Gōu Ān, his achievements and merits outstanding, and I deeply commend him. Now Huái is appointed General of Chariots and Cavalry, with Rites Equal to the Three Excellencies, Wielding Staff, as Regional Commander as before.” He was advanced in fief to Marquis of Yángqǔ, his fief altogether 2780 households, then divided 300 households to give fief to one son as a precinct Marquis. (1)
Zhèngyuán Second Year  he died, posthumously titled General-in-Chief, posthumous name Zhēn-hóu “Chaste Marquis.” His son [Guō] Tǒng succeeded. [Guō] Tǒng’s office reached Jīng Province Inspector, he died, and his son [Guō] Zhèng succeeded. During Xiānxī [264-265], they began establishing the Five Ranks, and for Huái’s achievements for the previous dynasty, the fief was changed to Viscount of Fényáng. (2)
- Shìyǔ states: Huái’s wife was Wáng Líng’s younger sister. [Wáng] Líng was executed, and his younger sister was about to be held in connection, and a Censor went to arrest her. The commanding officers and Qiāng and Hú great commanders of several thousand people bowed head to beg Huái to memorialize to keep his wife, but Huái would not listen. His wife went on the road, and none did not shed tears, person after person wrung their hands, wishing to forcefully stop her. Huái’s five sons bowed head until blood flowed to beg Huái, Huái could not bear to watch, and therefore ordered those around him to pursue his wife, and therefore pursuers of several thousand cavalry, after several days returned. Huái with letter explained to Sīmǎ [Yì] Xuān-wáng: “My five sons mourned for their mother, not begrudging their own bodies; if they were without their mother, then I would be without my five sons; if I were without my five sons, then you would be without [Guō] Huái. Now I have pursued and recovered her, and if by law this is not permitted, then I will accept punishment from the ruler, and in audience explain myself.” The letter arrived, and [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng also pardoned her.
- (2) Jìn Zhūgōng Zàn states: Huái’s younger brother [Guō] Pèi, appellation Zhòngnán, had heavy reputation, his rank reached Chéngyáng Administrator. Fěi Xiù and Jiǎ Chōng both were [Guō] Pèi’s daughter’s husbands. His son [Guō] Zhǎn, appellation Tàishū, had ability and judgement in employment, successively in office had achievements, and ended as Minister Charioteer. His next younger brother [Guō] Yù, appellation Tàiníng, was a Chancellor of State’s Advisor to the Army, had known reputation, and early died. His daughter was given to Wáng Yǎn. [Guō] Pèi’s younger brother [Guō] Zhèn, appellation Jìnán, was a Visitors Deputy-Director. [Guō] Zhèn’s son [Guō] Yì, appellation Tàiyè. Shān Tāo’s Qǐshì appraised [Guō] Yì as having high integrity and magnanimity, and he successively held rank as Yōng Province Inspector and Secretariat.