Ohio History Journal










In April, 1792, Anthony Wayne was appointed by President

Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the United

States. The position to which he was called, under the circum-

stances, required military and diplomatic skill of the highest

order. It seemed that the Government was about to become

involved in an interminable war with the Indians of the north-

west, while hostilities with Great Britain appeared inevitable,

because of the refusal to comply with certain articles of the

Treaty of 1783, and especially that which provided for the

evacuation of the forts in the territory northwest of the Ohio


The first step to be taken was the re-organization of the

army, since the troops under St. Clair had been almost annihi-

lated and completely demoralized. The army was to be known

as the "Legion of the United States," and was to consist of

one major-general, four brigadier generals and their respective

staffs, the "necessary number of commissioned officers," and

five thousand one hundred and twenty non-commissioned offi-

cers and privates. The Secretary of War at parting with General

Wayne, in May, 1792, "expressly enjoined upon him," "that

another defeat would be inexpressibly ruinous to the reputation

of the Government"; while the only request made by the Com-

mander-in-Chief was that the campaign should not begin until

the legion was filled up and properly disciplined.



General Wayne went to Pittsburg in June, 1792, for the

purpose of recruiting and organizing his army. During the


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summer and winter efforts were made to ascertain whether the

Indians were willing to negotiate, until at last it was determined

that the only to protect the frontiers, and make possible

the safety and security of the settler was to advance into the

Indian country and bring them into submission by the strong

arm of military power. Toward the close of the summer he

moved his camp to a position on the Ohio River about twenty-

seven miles below Pittsburg, and there remained during the

winter in striving to conciliate the Indians, but in the mean-

time giving strict attention to the recruiting and disciplining

of his army. At the close of March the force consisted of about

2,500 men; and he writes that "The progress that the troops have

made, both in maneuvering and as marksmen, astonished the

savages on St. Patrick's Day; and I am happy to inform you

that the sons of that saint were perfectly sober and orderly,

being out of the reach of whisky, which baneful poison is pro-

hibited from entering this camp except as the component part

of a ration, or a little for fatigue duty or on some extraordinary

occasion." In May, 1793, he moved his camp to Fort Wash-

ington, the present site of Cincinnati. In the preceding January

the general had been told by the Secretary of War that the

"sentiments of the citizens of the United States are adverse

in the extreme to an Indian war," and even a commission had

been named to treat with the Indians in the hope of securing

peace. The Secretary of War again assured him that it was

still more necessary than heretofore that no offensive opera-

tions be taken against the Indians. Still General Wayne spared

no effort in further securing the efficiency of his army, and he

even sent too Kentucky for mounted volunteers.



The dreadful loss of life in St. Clair's defeat of November

4, 1791, greater even than that in the defeat of Braddock, did

not by any means represent the disastrous results of that cam-

paign. It opened an unprotected frontier of one thousand miles

from the Allegheny Mountains to the Mississippi River to the

depredations of the victorious savages. The settlers along the

borders were abandoning their homes, or awaiting in helpless

216 Ohio Arch

216       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


despair the burnings and massacres and cruelties of an Indian

war. This feeling of insecurity extended even beyond the bor-

ders of Pennsylvania and Virginia and the people petitioned their

governors for protection. The settlers withdrew into their

strong places and kept watch as militia for the protection of their

homes. Such agricultural pursuits as were carried on required

men with guns at hand as well as axes and hoes. Winthrop

Sergeant, commanding the militia in the absence of Governor

St. Clair, felt called upon to issue an order or proclamation

as to assembling for public worship without arms. It is dated

Cincinnati, September 18, 1792, and declares that the practice

of assembling for public worship without arms may be attended

with most serious and melancholy consequences. It presents

the opportunity to an enemy of the smallest degree of enter-

prise to effect such fatal impression upon an infant settlement

as posterity might long in vain lament.

The laws of the territory then provided that every man

enrolled in the militia should, upon such occasions, arm and

equip himself as though he were marching to engage the enemy,

or in default should be fined in the sum of one hundred cents,

to be levied upon complaint made to any justice of the peace.

General Wilkinson, on the very day after the engagement at

Fort St. Clair, wrote to Governor St. Clair from Fort Wash-

ington, in which he alluded to the impending storm. It may

well be said that when General Wayne reached the Northwestern

Territory he was confronted with a condition and not a theory.



In the same year, October, 1792, a great council of all the

tribes of the northwest was held at Au Glaize-now Fort De-

fiance. It was the largest Indian council of the time. The chiefs

of all the tribes of the Northwestern Territory were there, as

well as the representatives of the Seven Nations of Canada.

Corn-planter was present-the same famous chief who, at the

table of General Wayne, at Legionville, in 1793, said: "My

mind is upon that river," pointing to the Ohio. "May that

water ever continue to run, and remain the lasting boundary

between the Americans and Indians on the opposite side."

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The question of peace or war was long and earnestly dis-

cussed. It was finally agreed that they would lay the bloody

tomahawk aside until they heard from the President of the

United States, when the message would be sent to all the dif-

ferent nations. It was further agreed that they would attend

the council at the Rapids of the Miami-Maumee-next spring

to hear all that would take place.

This armistice or cessation of hostilities which the Indians

then promised to respect until spring, as will be observed, was

not faithfully kept. It must be said to the credit of our Gov-

ernment that even the violation of the armistice, with other

hostilities, did not prevent the United States from taking meas-

ures to meet the hostile tribes "at the Rapids of the Miami, or

Maumee," when the leaves were fully out; and for this purpose

Benjamin Lincoln, Bevelry Randolph and Timothy Pickering

were appointed as commissioners to attend the proposed council,

which it was finally concluded should be held at Sandusky.



The declaration of Corn-planter, that the Ohio River should

be the boundary, rendered useless any further attempts at pacifi-

cation by treaty. Indeed, the hostile manner in which they were

received, as well as continued depredations, made war inevitable.

Colonel Harden and Major Trueman, who were the bearers of a

message of this character, were barbarously murdered by the

Indians to whom they were sent, while in the other the terms

of the Government were decidedly rejected, after negotiations

had been protracted until the enemy felt himself better pre-

pared for the conflict which must follow. The correspondence

of General Wayne in the conduct of the campaign from the very

beginning evinces great strength and soundness of judgment,

as well as a knowledge of the people of the frontiers whom

he was to defend and of the foes whom he was commissioned

to subdue.

In September, 1793, the Secretary of War writes to General

Wayne: "Every offer has been made to obtain peace by milder

terms than the sword; the efforts have failed under circum-

stances which leave nothing for us to expect but war. Let it

218 Ohio Arch

218       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


therefore be again, and for the last time, impressed deeply upon

your mind, that as little as possible is to be hazarded, that your

force is fully adequate to the object you propose to effect, and

that a defeat at the present time, and under the present circum-

stances would be pernicious in the highest degree to the interests

of the whole country."

General Wayne, in reply to the Secretary of War, wrote

on the 15th of October, 1793, from his camp, "Hobson's Choice,"

near Cincinnati: "I will advance to-morrow with the force I

have, in order to take up a position in front of Fort Washington,

so as to keep the enemy in check by exciting a jealousy and

apprehension for the safety of their women and children, until

some favorable circumstance or opportunity may present to strike

with effect. I pray you not to permit present appearances to

cause too much anxiety either in the mind of the President or

yourself on account of this army. Knowing the critical situa-

tion of our infant nation, and feeling for the honor and repu-

tation of the Government (which I will support with my last

breath), you may rest assured that I will not commit the legion

unnecessarily. Unless more powerfully supported than I have

reason to expect, I will content myself with taking a strong

position in advance of Fort Jefferson, and by exerting every

power to endeavor to protect the frontier and secure the posts

and the army during the winter, or until I am favored with your

further orders."


The army of General Wayne, some twenty-five hundred

strong, began its forward movement in the wilderness on the

7th day of October, 1793. The army marched to Fort Ham-

ilton and finally encamped at a post six miles in advance of Fort

Jefferson and eighty miles distant from Cincinnati, which was

named Greenville, in honor of General Nathaniel Greene, with

whom he served in the War of the Revolution. General St.

Clair crossed the Big Miami at Fort Hamilton, while General

Wayne crossed the river some distance above the Four Mile

Creek. Lieutenant Lowry, in command of a detachment to

secure a convoy of supplies, was attacked October 17, 1793,

by Little Turtle, at Ludlow Spring, about seven miles from

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Fort St. Clair. Lieutenant Lowry was killed, with some thir-

teen non-commissioned officers and privates, while not less than

seventy horses were taken off by the Indians.



The report of this engagement by General Wayne is most

significant. It will be remembered that the disaster to the

army on November 4, 1791, had filled the whole country with

sorrow, and much criticism was provoked by the result of the

campaign. The public mind was sensitive and the commanding

general realized that hostile criticism might magnify the attack

and its results. The Secretary of War, too, was not without

some apprehension as to the result of the campaign. General

Wayne, accordingly hastened to report the action to General

Knox, Secretary of War, in a letter dated "Camp, southwest

branch of the Miami, six miles advance of Fort Jefferson,

October 23, 1793." He was then at Fort Greenville and the

southwest branch of the Miami is Greenville Creek. The report

says: "The greatest difficulty which at present presents, is

that of furnishing a sufficient escort to secure our convoy of

provisions and other supplies from insult and disaster, and at

the same time retain a sufficient force in camp to sustain and

repel the attacks of the enemy, who appear desperate and de-

termined. We have recently experienced a little check to our

convoys, which may probably be exaggerated into something

serious by the tongue of fame, before this reaches you. The

following, however, is the fact, viz.: Lieutenant Lowry, of

the Second Sub-Legion, and Ensign Boyd, of the First, with

a command consisting of ninety commissioned officers and pri-

vates, having in charge twenty wagons belonging to the quar-

termaster general's department, loaded with grain, and one of

the contractor's wagons, loaded with stores, were attacked early

in the morning on the 17th instant, about seven miles advance

of Fort St. Clair, by a party of Indians. These gallant young

gentlemen, who promised at a future day to be ornaments to

their profession, together with thirteen non-commissioned offi-

cers and privates, bravely fell, after an obstinate resistance

against superior numbers, being abandoned by the greater part

220 Ohio Arch

220      Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


of the escort upon the first discharge. The savages killed or

carried off about seventy horses, leaving the wagons and stores

standing in the road, which have all been brought into the

camp without any other loss or damage, except some trifling


Those who fell in that engagement were buried in Fort St.

Clair, when, after resting for more than forty years, were taken

up and re-interred with the honors of war on the 4th day of

July, 1846. The remains of this gallant officer and his men

were afterwards removed to the mound in the cemetery at

Eaton, where, as the inscription tells, a monument "marks their

resting place, and will be a monument of their glory for ages

to come."



General Wayne passed the winter of 1793-4 at Fort Green-

ville, and without any communication with the Government at

Philadelphia for months. He was left to his own resources.

Convoys of provisions for the camp were frequently intercepted

as under Major Lowry, and their escort murdered by the sav-

ages. In December, 1793, General Wayne sent forward a de-

tachment to the spot of St. Clair's defeat. The command ar-

rived on the ground on Christmas Day and pitched their tents

on the battlefield. After the melancholy duty of burying the

bones remaining above the ground, a fortification was built

and named Fort Recovery, in commemoration of the recovery

of the ground from the Indians, who had held possession since

1791. One company of artillery and one of riflemen were left

for the defense of the fort, while the rest of the command re-

turned to Fort Greenville. In January, 1792, General James

Wilkinson, who then commanded at Fort Washington, made

a call for volunteers to accompany an expedition to the scene

of St. Clair's defeat for the purpose of burying the dead. En-

sign William Henry Harrison was attached to one of the com-

panies of the regular troops. It is said that the body of Gen-

eral Richard Butler, the friend and comrade of General Wayne

in the War of the Revolution, was recognized where the car-

nage had been the thickest and among a group of the slain.

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The bodies were gathered together, and in the solitude of the

forest, and amidst the gloom of winter, were given a last resting



While the army of General Wayne was encamped at Fort

Greenville there was a severe and bloody engagement under

the very walls of Fort Recovery. This occurred on the 30th

of June, 1794, between a detachment of American troops, con-

sisting of ninety riflemen and fifty dragoons commanded by

Major McMahon, and a numerous body of Indians and British.

The assaulting party was repulsed with a heavy loss, but again

renewed the attack and kept up a heavy and constant firing

during the whole day. The enemy renewed the attack the

next morning, after the detachment of Major McMahon had

entered the fort, and continued with desperation during the day,

but was finally compelled to retreat from the very field where

such a decisive victory had been achieved by the Indians on

November 4, 1791. From the official report of Major Mills,

adjutant general of the army, it appears that twenty-two offi-

cers and non-commissioned officers were killed, and among the

number was Major McMahon. The loss of the enemy was

very heavy, but was not fully known until disclosed at the

Treaty of Greenville. Burnet, in his Notes on the Northwestern

Territory, says that there could not have been less than fifteen

hundred warriors engaged, while it was satisfactorily ascer-

tained that a considerable number of British soldiers and De-

troit militia acted with the savages in that engagement. Jona-

than Alden gives in his MSS. autobiography an account of the

attack on the fort and says that Simon Girty was in the action.



General Wayne, having been re-inforced by sixteen hun-

dred mounted men from Kentucky, on July 26, under the com-

mand of Major-General Scott, with whom he had served at

the Battle of Monmouth, left the encampment at Fort Greenville

on the 28th of July, 1794, and advanced seventy miles north-

ward into the heart of the Indian country. He built a fort

at Grand Glaize, the junction of the Auglaize and the Maumee

222 Ohio Arch

222       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


(Le Glaize and the Miami of the Lakes) rivers and proceeded

to build Fort Defiance. General Wayne sent a message from

Fort Defiance to the Indians along the Maumee on August 13,

1794. He offered them peace and invited them to send repre-

sentatives to meet him in council and negotiate upon such

terms as would protect their families and themselves. Little

Turtle, who had always been first in battle, counseled peace,

and advised the tribes, but his counsels were rejected: "We

have beaten the enemy every time under separate commanders,"

said Little Turtle, in a speech, "but we cannot expect the same

good fortune always to attend us. The Americans are now

led by a chief who never sleeps. The night and the day are

alike to him, and during all the time he has been marching on

the villages, nothwithstanding the watchfulness of our young

men, we have never been able to surprise him. Think well of

it. There is something whispers to me it would be prudent to

listen to the offers of peace."



The army moved forward on the 15th of August and on

the 18th took a position at the head of the Rapids and there

established a magazine of supplies and baggage, which was

called Fort Deposit. In the meantime, August 16, the com-

missioner sent by General Wayne returned with the message

that if General Wayne would remain at Grand Glaize they

would decide for war or peace. Wayne was well advised of the

movements of the enemy. Unlike St. Clair, he knew full well

that Little Turtle with two thousand dusky warriors was only

waiting for an opportunity to attack, while his line of commu-

nication with the Ohio River was secure by means of the com-

plete chain of forts-Fort Defiance, Fort Adams, Fort Recov-

ery, Fort Greenville, Fort Jefferson, Fort St. Clair, Fort Ham-

ilton and Fort Washington.

The day before the battle of "Fallen Timber" a council of

war was called and a plan of march and battle submitted by

Lieutenant William Henry Harrison was adopted. This offi-

cer was then but twenty-one years of age, and the military

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Centennial Oration.              223

judgment of the subaltern manifested itself as general-in-chief

nineteen years afterwards in the same Maumee Valley.

Two thousand Indians and Canadian volunteers, on the

twentieth of August, 1794, attacked the advance of the army

of General Wayne from behind trees prostrated by a tornado.

The troops pressed forward with great energy and drove the

enemy toward the guns of Fort Miami and the water of the

Maumee Bay. The victory was complete. General Wayne re-

mained below the Rapids with his victorious army for three

days, while he destroyed every product of the field and garden

above and below the British Fort, and even committed to the

flames the extensive store-houses and dwelling of Colonel Al-

exander McKee, the British agent, who had done so much to

incite the Indians to hostility. The loss of the Americans in

the engagement was thirty-three killed and one hundred

wounded, including five officers among the killed, and nine-

teen wounded. General Wayne, after the engagement of "Fallen

Timbers," was known among the Potawatomies as "The Wind,"

because, as they said, at the battle on the twentieth of August,

he was exactly like the hurricane which drives and tears every-

thing before it. He was known as "The Blacksnake" among

other tribes.



The official report of the engagement by General Wayne was

dated Grand Glaize, August 28, 1794. It contains a detailed

account of the movements and is interesting in that it contains

exact historical information. After speaking of the march of

the army from Fort Defiance on the 15th of August, and the

arrival at Roche de Boeuf on the 18th instant, and the work of

the 19th in making a temporary post for the reception of stores

and baggage and in reconnoitering the position of the enemy,

the report proceeds: "At eight o'clock on the morning of the

20th the army again advanced in columns agreeably to the stand-

ing order of march; the legion on the right flank covered by

the Miamis, one brigade of mounted volunteers on the left under

Brigadier General Todd, and the other in the rear under Briga-

dier General Barbee; a select battalion of mounted volunteers

224 Ohio Arch

224       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


moved in front of the legion, commanded by Major Price, who

was directed to keep sufficiently advanced so as to give timely

notice to form in case of action-it being yet undetermined

whether the Indians would decide for peace or for war.

"After advancing about five miles Major Price's corps re-

ceived so severe a fire from the enemy, who were secreted in

the woods and in the high grass, as to compel him to retreat.

The legion was immediately formed in two lines, principally in

a close, thick wood, which extended for miles on our left and

for a very considerable distance in front, the ground being cov-

ered with old, fallen timber, probably occasioned by a tornado,

which rendered it impracticable for cavalry to act with effect,

and afforded the enemy the most favorable covert for their

savage mode of warfare. They were formed in three lines

within supporting distance of each other and extending nearly

two miles at right-angles with the river. I soon discovered,

from the weight of their fire and the extent of their lines, that

the enemy were in full force in front, in possession of their

favorite ground, and endeavoring to turn our left flank. I

therefore gave orders for the second line to advance and sup-

port the first, and directed Major General Scott to gain and

turn the right flank of the savages, with the whole of the

mounted volunteers, by a circuitous route; at the same time

ordered the front line to advance and charge with trailed arms

and rouse the Indians from their coverts at the point of the

bayonet, and when up, to deliver a close and well-directed fire

on their backs, followed by a brisk charge, so as not to give

them time to load again.

"I also ordered Captain Campbell, who commanded the

Legionary Cavalry, to turn the left flank of the enemy next

the river, and which afforded a favorable field for that corps

to act in. All these were obeyed with spirit and promptitude;

but such was the impetuosity of the charge by the first line of

infantry, that the Indians and Canadian militia and volunteers

were driven from all their coverts in so short a time that, al-

though every possible exertion was used by the officers of the

second line of the legion, and by Generals Scott, Todd and Bar-

bee, of the Mounted Volunteers, to gain their proper positions,

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Centennial Oration.               225

but part of each could get up in season to participate in the

action; the enemy being driven in the course of an hour, more

than two miles, through the thick woods already mentioned,

by less than one-half their number. From every account the

enemy amounted to two thousand combatants.

"The troops actually engaged against them were short of

nine hundred. This horde of savages, with their allies, aband-

oned themselves to flight, and dispersed with terror and dis-

may, leaving our victorious army in full and quiet possession

of the field of battle, which terminated under the influence of

the guns of the British garrison, as you will observe from the

inclosed correspondence between Major Campbell, the command-

ant, and myself upon the occasion."

"..........: The loss of the enemy was more than that

of the Federal Army. The woods were strewn for a consid-

erable distance with the dead bodies of Indians and their white

auxiliaries, the latter armed with British muskets and bayonets.

We remained three days and nights on the banks of the Mau-

mee, in front of the field of battle, during which time all the

houses and cornfields were consumed and destroyed for a con-

siderable distance, both above and below Fort Miami, as well

as within pistol shot of the garrison, who were compelled to

remain tacit spectators to this general devastation and confla-

gration, among which were the houses, stores and property of

Colonel McKee, the British Indian agent, and the principal

stimulator of the war between the United States and the sav-





The report of General Wayne states "that from every ac-

count the enemy amounted to two thousand combatants." It

has always been impossible to ascertain with any degree of

accuracy the force of the Indians in any battle. It is thought

by some that the force under Little Turtle at St. Clair's defeat

greatly outnumbered the Americans, while others held to the

contrary opinion. In the Western Annals will be found a state-

ment by a Canadian taken prisoner in the battle of the "Fallen

226 Ohio Arch

226       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


Timbers," who gives the following estimate of the strength of

the Indians: "That the Delawares have about five hundred

men, including those who live on both rivers, the White River

and Bean Creek; that the Shawnees have about three hundred

warriors, part of them live on the St. Joseph's, eight leagues

from this place; that the men were all in the action, but the

women are yet at that place, or Piquets village; that a road

leads from this place directly to it; that the number of warriors

belonging to that place, when altogether, amounts to about

forty; that the Shawnees have about three hundred warriors;

that the Tawas, on this river, are two hundred and fifty; that

the Wyandots are about three hundred; that those Indians were

generally in the action on the 20th, except some hunting par-

ties; that a re-inforcement of regular troops, and two hundred

militia, arrived at Fort Miami a few days before the army ap-

peared; that the regular troops in the fort amounted to two

hundred and fifty, exclusive of the militia; that about seventy of

the militia, including Captain Caldwell's corps, were in the ac-

tion; that Colonel McKee, Captain Elliott and Simon Girty were

on the field, but at a respectable distance, and near the river; that

the Indians have wished for peace for some time, but that

Colonel McKee always dissuaded them from it, and stimulated

them to continue the war."



There is a tradition that Turkey Foot, an Ottawa chief,

fell at the foot of Presque Isle Hill while endeavoring to rally

the retreating warriors. He was pierced by a musket ball while

standing on a large rock and encouraging his men. His tribe

entertained so much affection for him that it is recorded that

long years afterward when any of the tribe passed along the

Maumee trail they would stop at the rock and linger for a time

with great manifestations of sorrow. The stone is still there

within a few steps of the gently flowing Maumee, with many

rude figures of a turkey foot carved on it as a memorial of the

English name of the lamented Me-sa-sa, or Turkey Foot.

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Centennial Oration.               227



The guns of Fort Miami kept silent, although the men under

Wayne's command followed the retreating Indians under the

very embrasures.

The correspondence between General Wayne and the

British officer is not without interest, in view of the relations

existing between the United States and Great Britain at that

time, and especially taken in connection with the fact that Gen-

eral Wayne was told by Secretary Knox that if in the course

of his operations against the Indian enemy it should become

necessary to dislodge the party (the English garrison at the

Rapids of the Miami), he was authorized in the name of the

President of the United States to do it. These Indians of the

northwest were the Shawnees and the Delawares-generally

called the Miamis-who had taken refuge in Ohio after the

capture of Fort De Quesne by Bouquet in 1763. With the

Wyandots, the Miamis, the Chippewas and the Pottawatomies

they formed a powerful confederacy in the northwest portion

of Ohio, near the River Maumee, then called Miami of the

Lake, and Lake Erie. There was constant communication with

the Indians further west and the Canadians, as well as with

the English garrison at Detroit and at certain smaller posts along

the borders of the lake. Not only did the English Government

establish garrisons in the very midst of these hostile Indians,

but the letters from Colonel McKee to Colonel England, the

British commandant at Detroit, during the campaign of Wayne,

and published in the National Intelligencer in 1814, show the

feeling of Great Britain toward the American arms. In a

letter dated at the Rapids, July 5, 1794, Colonel McKee alludes to

the attack on Fort Recovery on the 30th of June preceding,

and says that "everything had been settled prior to their leaving

the 'Fallen Timbers,' and it had been agreed upon to confine

themselves to taking convoys and attacking at a distance from

the forts, if they should have the address to entice the enemy


In a subsequent letter written from the Rapids and dated

August 13, 1794, Colonel McKee advises Colonel England that

"Scouts are sent up to view the situation of the army (Wayne's),

228 Ohio Arch

228      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


and we now muster 1,000 Indians. All the Lake Indians from

Saginaw downwards should not lose one moment in joining

their brethren, as every accession of strength is an addition

to their spirits."

The celebrated speech of Tecumseh to Proctor after Perry's

victory shows, too, that the Indians had regarded the British

as real allies and had relied upon their assurances of friendship.




Fort Miami was built in the spring of 1794 by Governor

Simcoe, of Canada. One of the grievances against the British

Government was the retention of the posts held by English

garrisons within our territory in violation of the Treaty of

Peace of 1783. When the battle of "Fallen Timbers" took

place the negotiations which ended in Jay's Treaty were in pro-

gress, but when the news of the victory over the Indians reached

the British ministry an agreement was soon reached by which

their posts were to be evacuated-the principal of which were

at Detroit, Oswego, Niagara, Macinac and Fort Miami. Major

Campbell, the next day after the battle, addressed this note to

General Wayne: "An army of the United States of America,

said to be under your command, having taken post on the

banks of the Miami (Maumee), for upwards of the last twenty-

four hours, almost within reach of the guns of this fort, being

a post belonging to his majesty, the King of Great Britain,

occupied by his majesty's troops, and which I have the honor

to command, it becomes my duty to inform myself, as speedily

as possible, in what light I am to view your making such near

approaches to this garrison. I have no hesitation, on my part,

to say that I know of no war existing between Great Britain

and America."

General Wayne replied at once to this demand: "Without

questioning the authority or the propriety, sir, of your interro-

gation, I think I may without breach of decorum, observe to

you, that were you entitled to an answer, the most full and

satisfactory one was announced to you from the muzzles of

my small arms yesterday morning, in the action against the

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Centennial Oration.               229

horde of savages in the vicinity of your post, which terminated

gloriously to the American arms; but, had it continued until

the Indians, etc., were driven under the influence of the post

and guns you mention, they would not have much impeded

the progress of the victorious army under my command, as no

such post was established at the commencement of the present

war between the Indians and the United States."

Major Campbell prefaced his reply the next day with the

statement that he had foreborne for the past two days to resent

the insults which had been offered to the British flag flying

at the fort. "But," continues Major Campbell, "should you,

after this, continue to approach my post in the threatening

manner you are at this moment doing, my indispensable duty

to my king and country, and the honor of my profession, will

oblige me to have recourse to those measures which thousands

of either nation may hereafter have cause to regret, and which

I solemnly appeal to God I have used my utmost endeavor to




When this communication was received, General Wayne,

in company with General Wilkinson, Lieutenant William Henry

Harrison and other officers, reconnoitered Fort Miami in every

direction. It was found to be a strong work, the front covered

by the Miami of the Lake (Maumee), and protected by four

guns. The rear had two regular bastions, furnished with eight

pieces of artillery, the whole surrounded by a wide, deep ditch,

about twenty-five feet deep from the top of the parapet. It

is said to have been garrisoned by four hundred and fifty sol-


General Wayne then sent a note to Major Campbell, stat-

ing that the only cause he had to entertain the opinion that there

was a war existing between Great Britain and America was

the hostile act of taking post far within the well-known and

acknowledged limits of the United States, and erecting a forti-

fication in the heart of the settlements of Indian tribes now at

war with the United States. "I do hereby desire and demand,

in the name of the President of the United States, that you

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230       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


immediately desist from any further acts of hostility or aggres-

sion by forbearing to fortify and by withdrawing the troops,

artillery and stores under your order and direction, forthwith,

and removing to the nearest post occupied by his Brittanic

majesty's troops at the peace of 1783, and which you will be

permitted to do unmolested by the troops under my command."

Major Campbell instantly replied in effect that he was

placed there in command of a British post and acting in a

military capacity only, and that the right or propriety of his

present position should be left to the ambassadors of the dif-

ferent nations. He was much deceived if his majesty, the

King of Great Britain, had not a post on this river at and prior

to the Treaty of 1783. "Having said thus much," continued

Major Campbell, "permit me to inform you that I certainly will

not abandon this post at the summons of any power whatever,

until I receive orders for that purpose from those I have the

honor to serve, or the fortunes of war should oblige me. I

must still adhere, sir, to the purport of my letter this morning,

to desire that your army or individuals belonging to it, will

not approach within reach of my cannon, without expecting

the consequences attending it."

Within less than twenty years from the very day that the

correspondence passed between these two officers there was a

formal declaration of war between the United States and Great

Britain, and within less than twenty years the same William

Henry Harrison, then commanding the armies of the United

States, heard the thunder of Perry's guns as they proclaimed

that the American arms had undisputed possession of the lake.




The army returned to Fort Defiance on August 27, laying

waste the villages and cornfields of the enemy for many miles.

The Indians, defeated and utterly disheartened, retired to the

borders of the Maumee Bay.

General Wayne moved from Fort Defiance on September

14 in the direction of the Miami Village, and reached the conflu-

ence of the St. Joseph's and St. Mary's rivers on the 17th of

Centennial Oration

Centennial Oration.               231


the month. The site of a fort was selected by General Wayne

himself on the 18th, and on the 22d of October a strong fortifi-

cation was completed, which was garrisoned by a detachment

under Major Hamtramck, who, after firing a salute of fifteen

guns, gave it the name of Fort Wayne, the site of the present

prosperous city of that name.



The object of the campaign having been fully accomplished,

the legion moved from Fort Wayne on the 28th of October

and reached Fort Greenville on the evening of November 2,

1794, when it was saluted with thirty-five guns from a six-

pounder. The army had marched from Fort Greenville for

the campaign of the northwest on the 28th day of July, 1794,

and now returned to winter quarters after an arduous and fatigu-

ing expedition of ninety-seven days, during which time it had

marched and countermarched upwards of three hundred miles

through the heart of the enemy's country, cutting a wagon-

road the entire distance, besides constructing three fortifica-

tions-Fort Adams, at the St. Mary's; Fort Defiance, at Au

Glaize, and Fort Wayne, at the Miami villages.

The Indians of the northwest had been completely sub-

dued and a lasting peace had been accomplished. The arms,

too, of the United States had been vindicated from the shame

of defeat and disaster. It was the beginning of an era of pros-

perity and the tide of immigration at once set in for new homes

and new settlements. The future now lay in the direction of

the cultivation of all the arts of peace. The pioneers began

to find their way to the valleys of the Miamis, the Scioto and the

Muskingum, so that the population of the northwest, before the

close of the year 1796 was estimated at five thousand souls.



The Treaty of Greenville, negotiated by General Wayne

on the part of the United States, was concluded on the 3rd day

of August, 1795. There were eleven hundred and thirty Sach-

ems and warriors present or parties to this celebrated treaty.

By the treaty the Indians ceded to the United States about

232 Ohio Arch

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25,000 square miles of territory, besides sixteen separate tracts,

including lands and forts. The Indians received in considera-

tion of these cessions goods of the value of $20,000 as presents,

and were promised an annual allowance of $9,500, to be equally

divided among the parties to the treaty.

It has been almost a century since that eventful day in

August, 1795, when the Treaty of Greenville was officially pro-

claimed. Every soul who participated in the council has passed

away, and yet the influence of that instrument lives in the pro-

gress and advancement of the great northwest. It saved de-

fenceless settlements from the tomahawk and scalping-knife of

the Indian, and supplanted the harsher tones of strife and blood-

shed with the softer enactments of charity and love. Anthony

Wayne will be remembered not less for the Treaty of Green-

ville than for the battle of the "Fallen Timbers."



The last public service performed by General Wayne was

to receive the surrender of the northern posts by the British

Government in 1796, at the fort of the Maumee Rapids, together

with the town of Detroit and the military works both there and

on the Island of Mackinac (       ), in pursuance of the pro-

visions of the treaty negotiated by Chief Justice Jay in 1783.

General Wayne was appointed by the Government to conduct

this delicate and yet most important commission. He was in-

vested with the powers of a civil commissioner, as well as those

of a military commander. In every instance he carried out the

formalities of the transfer to the American Government with

rare judgment, but with official courtesy. He visited Detroit

in September and remained at that post for two months. The

Indians, who had gathered there in numbers, welcomed him

with noisy demonstrations, and it is said that he was a powerful

means in encouraging and perpetuating a lasting influence be-

tween them and their former enemies.

It must have been a great satisfaction to have received the

transfer of Fort Miami, under whose guns he bade defiance to

its commandant, and the surrender of which, with the other

posts, was hastened by his brilliant campaign.

Centennial Oration

Centennial Oration.               233

The last post he was ordered to visit was Fort Erie, and

on the 17th of November, 1796, he sailed from Detroit to exe-

cute this commission. On the way he was seized with an

attack of the gout, and was removed from the vessel in a dying

condition. It is related that at the beginning of the battle of

"Fallen Timbers," about ten o'clock in the morning, he was suf-

fering the most intense pain from the gout, so that not only

were his limbs swathed in flannels, but it became necessary to

lift him on his horse. In the excitement of the battle, however,

he became as active as any of his officers. General St. Clair

was almost incapacitated for duty by a similar attack on the

field of his defeat, while Little Turtle, chief of the Miamis, and

who commanded on that day of Federal disaster, died thirty

years after the Treaty of Greenville of the gout at Fort Wayne,

and was accorded a soldier's burial, with muffled drums and

a funeral salute.



General Wayne died December 15, 1796, in his fitfy-second

year, and was buried, according to his last request, at the foot

of the flag-staff at Fort Erie on the borders of the lake. Per-

haps the dying hero saw in its turbulent waves at times some-

thing of his own unconquerable will and, at others, in its peace-

ful waters that quiet which would come at last to his own rest-

less soul.

On July 4, 1809, his remains were re-interred in the ceme-

tery of the Church of St. David's in Radnor, Delaware county,

Pennsylvania, under the military escort of the Philadelphia

City Troop. The funeral oration was delivered by Reverend

David Jones, his chaplain, and who had been with him in camp

and council and battlefield. The shaft erected to his memory

bears this inscription on the north front: "Major General An-

thony Wayne was born at Waynesborough, in Chester county,

State of Pennsylvania, A. D. 1745. After a life of honor and

usefulness he died in December, 1796, at a military post on the

shores of Lake Erie, Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of

the United States. His military achievements are commemo-

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234       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


rated in the history of his country and in the hearts of his

countrymen. His remains are here deposited."

On the south front it reads: "In honor of the distinguished

military services of Major-General Anthony Wayne, and as an

affectionate tribute of respect to his memory, this stone was

erected by his companions-in-arms, The Pennsylvania State So-

ciety of the Cincinnati, July 4, 1809, thirty-fourth anniversary

of the independence of the United States of America, an event

which constitutes the most appropriate eulogium of an American

soldier and patriot."



One hundred years have passed since that day in August

when this beautiful Maumee Valley echoed with musketry and

resounded with the cry of the savage. The harvests are now

being peacefully gathered to their garners, and the songs of

home are uninvaded by the cries and terrors of battle.

It is not, then, too soon to say that history must declare

it a decisive battle. It is true that it must pale before the

mighty achievements of the late Civil War, when vast armies

were picked up on the banks of the Potomac and dropped on

the banks of the Cumberland and Tennessee, and when the

shouts of more than a million of men, mingled with the roar

of the oceans as they passed on in the serried ranks of war.

The results are scarcely less lasting, for it ended in the com-

plete subjugation of the tribes of the northwest, and enforced

for the first time the provisions of the Treaty of Peace of 1783,

by which British power was forever destroyed in the territory

northwest of the Ohio River. It opened the solemn and mys-

terious forest, which extended in melancholy wastes from the

Alleghenies toward the distant Mississippi, to millions of free-

men, and the soil, which had been gathering fertility from the

repose of centuries, began to bud and blossom of the rose under

an intelligent husbandry. It gave birth to a new era in Ameri-

can civilization, and five great commonwealths bear witness

that education and morality are the foundations of a good gov-

ernment. As we stand on this consecrated ground, where the

Ordinance of 1787 was enforced by the guns of Anthony Wayne,

Centennial Oration

Centennial Oration.               235


we hail the states of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin,

children of the Great Ordinance and shining stars in the crowded

galaxy of our flag. Ohio looks with them to the Federal

Constitution as the covenant of a perpetual union, and cher-

ishes their history as a common heritage and their prosperity

as a common blessing. In the spirit of a broader patriotism

Ohio feels an abiding affection for every part of our common

country, and pledges to that government which here fought

the battle for all the full measure of devotion to every call of




The services which General Wayne rendered during the

War of the Revolution are a part of the history of the country.

He had that strong will which often governs with absolute

sway and bends men and circumstances to one's purpose. It

was, perhaps, this characteristic that marked him in council of

war and gave him the appellation among the soldiers of "Mad

Anthony," not a term of derision, but one indicating strength

of will and purpose. It is related that when summoned to

councils of war he usually sat apart and read "Tom Jones,"

or some interesting novel, while the officers discussed the pro-

posed measures. When they had severally given their opinion

the Commander-in-Chief would inquire of Wayne, "Well, gen-

eral, what do you propose to do?" "Fight, sir," is said to

have been the invariable response.

It was always his concern that the interests of the country

should not suffer in his hands, and whether as a young briga-

dier stationed at the ford at Brandywine to oppose Knyphausen,

or selected to lead the attack at Germantown, or at the head of

a column at Monmouth to stay the British advance after the

retreat had been ordered by Lee, or in the defense of Stony

Point, the most important fortified point on the Hudson, which

was committed to him after Arnold's treason had struck the

army and the country with consternation, or whether entrusted

with an independent command to drive out of Georgia a large

British force, aided by several tribes of hostile Indians, or

whether the Army of the United States was entrusted to his

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236       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


command, after two disastrous defeats west of the Ohio, he

courageously and fearlessly discharged his whole duty.




If the love of glory was the master passion of General

Wayne, as stated by one of his eulogists, then his sensitive

nature must have been overwhelmed by plaudits and thanks

both public and private. He was thanked by the Congress of

the United States and awarded a gold medal for his successful

assault on Stony Point, and among the many congratulatory

letters from his brother officers were those of General Arthur

St. Clair and General Lee, with whom he was not on friendly

terms. The President of the United States conveyed to him

expressions of the warmest approbation and the highest respect

for his victory against the Indians of the Northwest, while the

Congress, then in session, unanimously adopted resolutions

highly complimentary to General Wayne and the whole army.

His visit to Philadelphia in February, 1796, after the Treaty

of Greenville, and an absence of more than three years, was a

triumphal procession. He was met by three troop of the Phila-

delphia Light Horse four miles from the city and received a

salute of artillery on crossing the Schuylkill. He was then con-

ducted through the streets amidst the sound of martial music,

the ringing of bells, the roaring of cannon and the acclama-

tions of a grateful people. There was the highest evidence of

the universal sense entertained of the important services he had



The grateful citizens of Edinboro have erected on Calton

Hill, overlooking the Scottish Capital, a memorial of surpass-

ing proportions, to commemorate Lord Nelson and the great

victory of Trafalgar. The inscription recites that it is placed

there, not so much to express their unavailing sorrow for his

death, nor to celebrate the matchless glories of his life, but by

his noble example to teach their sons to emulate what they

admire, and when duty requires, like him, to die for their


Centennial Oration

Centennial Oration.               237


In like spirit a stately shaft will rise at no distant day

from this consecrated place, not only erected by a grateful and

patriotic people to the memory of Anthony Wayne and the

brave men who fought the battle of "Fallen Timbers," but to

perpetuate as an example for the coming generations the story

of their unselfish patriotism.