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figured as possible appointees. The sequel of the appoint-
ment, however, proved the sagacity of Washington, who had
profited by his association and experience with these various
officers during the course of the Revolution.

Wayne at the time of his appointment was about forty-
seven years of age. He came of old fighting stock and was
naturally bold, dashing and courageous. In build he was of
medium height, with an inclination to stoutness. His fore-
head was high and finely formed, his nose slightly aquiline,
his face well proportioned, his hair was dark, his eyes were
dark hazel, bright, keen and expressive, giving him, on the
whole, a fine and animated expression.

At the outbreak of the Revolution Wayne raised the Fourth
Pennsylvania regiment and was commissioned colonel. Dur-
ing the course of war he attained the rank of Brigadier-Gen-
eral, and at its close was brevetted I\Iajor-General. He
served his country well at Three Rivers, Brandywine, Ger-
mantown, Valley Forge, Green Springs, Monmouth and York-
town. His most popular service, however, was at Stony
Point, a rocky promontory on the Hudson, commanding an
important crossing place. On the night of July 15th, 1779,
he surprised this place and forced his way into the citadel
by a bold bayonet charge, for which he was afterward famil-
iarly called "Alad Anthony." This was one of the most bril-
liant exploits of the war and won for Waj'ne eminent and
lasting distinction as a soldier. His experience in fighting
Indians was confined to a successful campaign again;t the
Creeks in Georgia after the Revolution.

At about the time of Wayne's appointment Congress de-
cided to thoroughly reorganize the military establishment,
increasing the army enlistment to some five thousand men.
The organization, when completed, was to consist of one
squadron of cavalry, of four troops ; one battalion of e,rtillery,
organized on the same plan, and five regiments of infantry,
each of three battalions, as above, with one regiment com-
posed entirely of riflemen. In addition provision was made
for the employment of mounted militia and scouts.

Xo doubt President Washington had a lengthy conference
with Wayne before the latter left Philadelphia, in which the
peculiar methods of Indian warfare and the exigencies which
might arise in fighting in the western forests, were thorough-
Iv discussed.


rroceeding to Pitlsburg in June, 1792, Wayne promptly
began to organize his army with a number of the survivors
of St. Clair's unfortunate troops as a nucleus. Raw recruits
were rapidly enlisted from Pennsylvania, Mrginia, New Jer-
sey and Maryland, and in the winter, these forces were col-
lected near Fort Mcintosh (Beaver, Pa.), some twenty-seven
miles down the Ohio. Here the troops were thoroughly and
rigorously drilled, organized into a "legion" and prepared
for the hardships incident to savage warfare.

By spring the new commander had a well organized army
of some twenty-five hundred troops. Descending the Ohio
late in April, 1793, the infantry and artillery encamped be-
tween Fort Washington and Mill Creek, which place was
selected on account of the high stage of the water and was
appropriately called "Hobson's Choice." The cavalry, com-
posed of one company each of sorrels, grays, bays and chest-
nuts, found a more suitable camp for their purpose south of
the river, where they practiced throughout the summer for
the coming campaign.

From Fort Washington a military road was cut through
the dense wilderness to a tributary of the Stillwater branch
of the Great Aliami (site of Greenville, O.), some six miles
in advance of Fort Jefferson ; the intermediate posts, Hamil-
ton, St. Clair and Jefferson, were supplied with large c^uanti-
ties of provisions, and herds of horses and cattle were gath-
ered beyond the advanced post under protection of troops.

When Wayne received news of the failure of the negotia-
tions of the commissioners, about September 1st, 1793, he
repaired to Fort Washington with the balance of his troops.
The quiet condition of the frontier convinced him that the
Indians were at that time gahering ni force to oppose his
advance to the Alaumee. Accordingly he took time by the
forelock and decided to advance with the troops then avail-
able and fortify the strong position beyond Fort Jefferson,
hoping thereby to keep the Indians in check until he might
strike with greater assurance of success.

Breaking camp at Fort Washington Wayne marched north-
waid on the seventh of October with a force of twenty-six
hundred regulars, thirty-six guides and spies and three hun-
dred and sixty mounted militia. The army advanced in par-
allel lines with a strong front guard in addition to the usual
sentinels, and was arranged in such a manner that a fighting
line might be readily formed without confusion. This proved


to be an excellent arrangement, and was adopted by Gen.
\Vm. Harrison in his later expeditions against the north-
western tribes with much success.

The rate of advancement was about twice that of St. Clair's
undisciplined army and the camp was duly fortified each
evening to forestall a surprise. On the thirteenth of October
a beautiful high plain on the south bank of the southwest
branch of Stillwater (Greenville creek) was reached (Green-
ville, O.), the army now being some eighty miles in advance
of Fort Washington and about six miles beyond the advanced
post. Fort Jefiferson. This was the same spot where St. Clair
had camped two years previously while awaiting the arrival
of supplies. For a similar purpose Wayne decided to halt
and encamp on this opportune site where the council fires
of two important treaties were later to be kindled, and where
Teciimseh and his brother "The Prophet" were to inflame
the northwest tribes for a second attempt to drive the whites
beyond the Ohio. From this place he wrote the Secretary of
War complaining of the difificulty experienced in furnishing
a sufficient escort to guard the provision and supply trains
from sudden assaults, and, at the same time, keeping a suf-
ficiert force in camp to properly sustain his advanced position.
He then related the unfortunate experience of one of the
convoys, consisting of twenty wagons of grain and one of
supplies, which was attacked on the morning of October 17th,
at a place known as "The Forty Foot Leap," about seven
n iles in advance of Fort St. Clair ("Eaton, O.). The escort
was in charge of Lieutenant Lowery, of the Second sub-
legion, and Ensign Boyd, of the First, and consisted of some
nmety men. The attacking savages, far outnumbering the
escort, soon drove the latter from the field, with the excep-
tion of a small party who offered an obstinate resistance. As
the result of this engagement the commanding officers, to-
gether with thirteen non-commissioned officers and privates,
were killed and some seventy pack horses either killed or
carried ofif. The wagons and supplies were left standing in
the road and were later brought to camp with small loss.

This incident caused Wayne to increase and strengthen the
escort recently sent out under Col. Hamtramck and fore-
warned him, no doubt, of the constant danger which menaced
his further progress at that time.

The season being well advanced, and a large number of
men on the sick list, Wavne dismissed the Kentuckv militia

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u'.itil the following spring, and prepared to go into -.vinter
quarters at the place of his encampment. Accordingly a
large fortification was constructed overlooking the extensive
prairie to the southwest and the creek in front, and was
iiamed Greene Ville, in honor of Gen. Nathaniel Greene, a fel-
low officer of Wayne in the Revolution. This post covered
some fifty acres and was fortified to resist any attack that the
savages and their allies might make against it. The soldiers
were quartered in commodious log huts, each sheltering six
men, and extensive provisions were made for the convenience
and comfort of the entire army. Storehouses, artificers'
shops, mess rooms, officers' headquarters, and a magazine
were also erected at suitable places.

Late in December Wayne sent a strong detachment to the
site of St. Clair's defeat, twenty-three miles, on which they
built Fort Recovery. The detachment arrived on the 23d and
soon collected and interred some 600 skulls and skeletons of
St. Clair's unfortunate soldiers. Tradition says that all but
one of St. Clair's cannon, which were found hidden under
logs, were recovered and mounted in the new fort. The oth-
er cannon was found about 1830 and came into possession of
an artillery company in Cincinnati, O. This post was soon
completed, garrisoned and placed in charge of Captain Ale.x
Gibson. Early in 1794 painted scouts and spies were sent
among the savages and kept informed of their movements and
designs. Some twenty or thirty of these were attached to
the army and included such noted characters as Wm. \^^ells,
Wm. Miller, Robt. McClellan and a few southern Indians.
The road-cutters were also working in various directions.
leaving the Indians in doubt as to the route to be followed in
the advance march, because of which they called Wayne
"The Black Snake." Early in Tune it was reported by some
Indians captured on the Maumee that probably two thousand
warriors of the Chippewas, Wyandots, Shawanese, Tawas,
Delawares and Miamis were then collected on the Maumee,
and if joined by the Pottawatomies the numbers would be
augmented to over three thousand; also, that the British to
the number of 400, besides the Detroit militia, were at the
foot of the Maumee Rapids on their way against the Ameri-
cans. Gov. Simcoe of Canada, had recently built Fort ]\Iiami,
at the rapids, on American soil and from this base was aiding
and inciting the tribes. Later it was ascertained that the
warriors of seven nations were assembled at Grand Glaize


(Defiance) with the chiefs in council, and that war or peace
depended upon the conduct of the British assembled at the
rapids. These reports were soon credited, for on June 30tli
an escort of ninety riflemen and fifty dragoons, commanded
by the redoubtable Major McMahon, and encamped just
without the walls of Fort Recovery, was attacked by a very
numerous body of the above Indians. The escort was about
to return to Fort Greenville from which post it had brought
a brigade of laden pack horses on the day previous. On ac-
count of the superior number of the savages and their sudden
onslaught the men were soon driven into the Fort and the
horses captured. This successful attack was followed by a
general assault upon the post and garrison in every direc-
tion. The savages, however, were soon repulsed with great
slaughter, but renewed the attack and kept up a heavy and
constant fire, at a good distance, for the remainder of the
day. They again renewed the attack with vigor on the fol-
lowing day, but were finally compelled to retreat with dis-
grace from the same field where they had formerly gained
such a signal victory over unfortunate St. Clair. Wayne es-
timated the number of savages in this engagement at from
1,500 to 2,000. The Americans lost twenty-two men and had
thirty wounded, including Major ]\IcMahon, Capt. Hartshorn
and Lieut. Craig. The Indian loss was much heavier, and
was greatly deplored by the chiefs who mentioned it with re-
gret at the treaty of Greenville in the following year.

Major-General Scott, of Kentucky, arrived at Greenville
on July 26th with 1,600 mounted volunteers. William Lewis
and Meriwether Clark, who explored the far west in 1804,
were with Scott. The army commenced to advance on the
28th, marching some twelve miles per day. Wayne wished
to deceive the enerny and had previously made such demon-
strations as would induce the savages to expect his advance
by the route of the Miami villages to the left or toward the
rapids of the Maumee by the right. Instead he took a cir-
cuitous route in a central direction, while their attention was
directed to the above points.

On the thirtieth Beaver Swamp (near Coldwater, O.) was
reached and two days were spent for construction of a sev-
enty foot bridge of logs over this swale. On August 1st the
army arrived at the St. Mary's river, twenty-four miles be-
yond Recovery, where a small fort was erected, provisioned,
garrisoned and named Fort Adams (near Rockford, O.).


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Crossing that stream the march was directed toward the
northeast, and on the 7th the "Oglaize Town," on the Au-
glaize river, was reached. The army reached the junction
of that stream with the Alaumee on the Sth, some sevent} -
seven miles beyond Recovery.

Referring to this spot in his report to the Secretarj- of
War, Wayne says : "Thus, sir, we have gained possession
of the grand emporium of the west, without loss of blood.
The very extensive and highly cultivated fields and gardens
show the work of many hands, the margins of these beauti-
ful rivers, the Miamis of the lake, and Auglaize, appear like
one continued village for a number of miles, both above and
below this place ; nor have I ever before beheld such immense
fields of corn in any part of America, from Canada to Florida."

Here a strong garrison was established and called Fort
Defiance. A last o^•erture of peace was now made to the
assembled Indians, who thereupon sent word that they would
decide for peace or war if the Americans would wait ten days
at Grand Glaize (Defiance). Impatient of delay, Wayne
nio\'ed forward and on August 20th arrived in sight of Fort
[Miami, the British garrison at the rapids of the Alaumee. 150
miles from Greenville, having previously deposited all the
heavy baggage and prepared for light action. The enemy
nere encamped behind the thick, bushy wood and the British
fort. Advancing about five miles down the west bank of
the river, the front guard of mounted volunteers under Major
Price were suddenly fired upon by the enemy at about 11
o'clock and put to confusion, retreating through the front
guard of the regulars. A stand was soon made, however, and
the position held until joined by a battalion of riflemen about
fifteen minutes later. The Americans immediately formed in
two lines, principally in a close thick wood of fallen timber,
where the Indians had sought refuge, hoping to find shelter
for fighting after their usual manner. The savages were
formed in three lines within supporting distance of each other
and extending for nearly two miles at right angles with the
river. They made a strong attack on the front of the Ameri-
cans and were endeavoring to turn their left. Seeing their
purpose Wayne, realizing the insufficiency of a cavalry
charge or a standing fire, ordered a charge made by the front
line with trailed arms, to rouse the enemy from their coverts.
This was to be followed by a well directed fire on the backs
of the enemy when aroused, and a brisk charge so as not to


give them time to reload. The second line was ordered to
support the first; the mounted volunteers under Major-Gen-
eral Scott on the left flank were directed to turn the enemy's
right by a circuitous route; and the cavalry under Capt.
Campbell, were ordered to advance along the river to turn
the left. These orders were obeyed with spirit and prompt-
ness and with such impetuosity that the first line drove the
Indians and Canadians from their positions so quickly that
the second line could scarcely get up to participate in the
action, the enemy being driven in one hour more than two
miles through the high grass and thick woods by half their
numbers. The savages with their Canadian allies fled and
dispersed with terror and dismay, leaving the victorious
Americans in full and quiet possession of the field of battle.
In this engagement the official loss of the Americans was
thirty-three officers and privates killed and 104 wounded.
The enemy, who were estimated at from 1,500 to 2,000. prob-
ably lost twice the number. The American troops actually
engaged in this decisive battle were less tlian nine hundred.

On the night before the battle, it is said, the Indians held
a council to decide what action should be taken, and Blue
Jacket, the chief of the Shawanese, because of former suc-
cesses, spoke in favor of an engagement, liut Little Turtle
was inclined to peace. The latter is credited with spea'cing
thus : "We have beaten the enemy twice under separate
commanders ; we cannot expect the same good fortune al-
ways to attend us. The Americans are now led by a chief
who never sleeps; the night and day are alike t(T him. and
during all the time that he has been marching upon our vil-
lages, notwithstanding the watchfulness of our young men,
we have never been able to surprise him. Think well of it.
There is something whispers me, it would be prudent to listen
to his ofifers of peace."

Being reproached for cowardice, which was foreign to his
nature, he laid aside resentment and took part in the battle,
but left the leadership to his opponent. The result proved
his sagacity.

After the battle the armv encamped near Fort ]\liaini. a
post built by order of the British Governor of Canada in 1794
and commanded by Major ^^^ilIiam Campbell, who was or-
dered to withdraw and remove to the nearest military post
occupied by the British at the peace of 1783. This he refused


to do, and Wayne contented himself with burning everything
within reach of the fort.

The army returned to Fort Definance on the 27th after
laying waste the villages and cornfields on both sides of the
Maumee along the route.

Referring to this engagement Rufus King said : "The bat-
tle at the rapids of the Maumee opened the land for the Ordi-
nance of 1787. Measured by the forces engaged it was not
a great one, nor was that which had been fought on the heights
of Quebec. But estimated by the difficulties overcome and
the consequences which followed, both were momentous. To
the bold spirit of Pitt, Earl of Chatham, is due presumably
that the people of the Mississippi valley are not today Cana-
dian-French. Next in honor with the people of the north-
west, as among their founders, might well be placed the lion-
hearted Anthony Wayne, who opened the glorious gates of
the Ohio to the tide of civilization so long shut ofif from its
hills and valleys."

Roosevelt says of the Battle of Fallen Timbers: "It was
the most complete and important victory ever gained over
the northwestern Indians during the forty years' warfare
to which it put an end ; and it was the only considerable
pitched battle in which they lost more than their foes."

This expedition has been aptly compared with Caesar's
campaign against the Gauls on account of the gigantic tasks
accomplished, the rude condition of the country and the sav-
age ferocity of the foe. When it is recalled that the field of
action was some five hundred miles from Fort Pitt by the
route taken ; and that it was necessary to cut a road for near-
ly half that distance through howling wilderness, inhabited
by enraged savages, the stupendous task accomplished is
faintly realized.

After the return to Defiance this post was greatly strength-
ened and a road cut along the Maumee to the Indian villages
at the confluence of the St. Mary's and St. Joseph, forty-seven
miles distant. The army left Defiance on September 14th
and arrived at the Miami villages on the 17th, where it en-
camped until a suitable fort was erected, provisioned, gar-
risoned and called Fort Wayne. Several weeks were spent
here during which the troops destroyed the Indian towns,
cornfields and stores. The term of service of the mounted
Kentuckians having expired they were dismissed and soon
left for their homes.


On October 28th the march for Greenville was taken up,
by the regulars, and the army arrived at this post November
2d, saluted with twenty-four rounds from a six pounder.
Wayne re-established headquarters here and sent out detach-
ments to build forts at Upper Piqua, Loramie's Store and St.
Mary's guarding the portage betwen the Great Miami and
St. Mary's rivers and at the old Tawa towns, at the head of
navigation on the Auglaize. These posts were established
(some say in 1794) for the storage of supplies to facilitate
their transportation by water in proper seasons, and also
with the view of abandoning the old overland route and
adopting this one, "as the most economical, sure and certain
mode of supplying those important posts, at Grand Glaize
and Miami villages, and to facilitate an eiifective operation
toward the Detroit and the Sandusky, should that measure
eventually prove necessary ;" also to "afiford a much better
chain for the general protection of the frontiers," etc.


Lieut. Massie's Bastion.
Lieut Pope's Bastion.
Capt. Porter's Bastion.
Capt. Ford's Bastion.
Park of Artillery.
Second ti'oop of Dragoons.
First troop of Dragoons.
Fourth troop of Dragoons.

10. Third troop of Dragoons
11-12. Ciateways.
13-14. Third Sub Legion.
15-16. First Sub Legion.
17-18. Second Sub Legion.
lH-20. Fourth Sub Legion.
21 to 28. Picket Guards.

29. Advance.

30. Rear Guard.


(Courtesy C. & N. W. Railway)



After the battle of the Alaumee the Indians of the north-
west still hesitated to seek peace. The British agents, Sim-
coe, McKee and Brant, stimulated them to continued hos-
tilities. They strengthened Fort Miami, supplied the savages
from their magazines, called a council and urged them to
propose a truce or suspension of hostilities until spring, in
order to deceive the Americans, that the}- might neglect to
keep sufficient troops to retain their position. They a,dvised
the savages to convey their land to the king in trust, so as
to give the British a pretext for assisting them, and, in case
the Americans refused to abandon all their posts and posses-
sions on the west side of the Ohio, to make a general attack
and drive them across the river. Notwithstanding all this
advice the Indians began to understand their critical condi-
tion and to lose faith in the British. Some in despair crossed
the Mississippi, but the humane disposition of the Americans
finally won their confidence.

Late in December the chiefs of several tribes manifested
their desire for peace to the commandant at Fort Wayne.
Proceeding to Greenville representatives of the Chippewas,

Online LibraryThe Hobart publishing CompanyHistory of Darke County, Ohio, from its earliest settlement to the present time .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 9 of 57)