Fort Recovery

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In December 1793, General Anthony Wayne ordered one United States artillery unit and eight infantry companies to the site of St. Clair's Defeat. The soldiers were to construct a fort on the former battlefield. Wayne intended to use this fort as a staging area for his assault against Ohio natives in the spring of 1794. He named the stockade Fort Recovery. Wayne spent the remainder of the winter increasing the number of soldiers at the fort. The Shawnee Indians, the Miami Indians, and the Delaware Indians all feared the presence of the Americans and sent representatives to Fort Recovery to ask for peace. Wayne demanded that all native chiefs in the surrounding area attend a peace conference and that the Indians return any white captives that they currently held. The natives refused and prepared to isolate Fort Recovery from other American outposts by attacking the garrison's supply lines. They would starve the Americans, forcing them to abandon the fort.

On June 30, 1794, 1,500 Shawnee Indians, Delaware Indians, Ottawa Indians, Miami Indians, and Ojibwa Indians attacked a pack train returning from Fort Recovery to Fort Greene Ville. Little Turtle, Blue Jacket, and Simon Girty led the assault. The attack was made less than one thousand feet from Fort Recovery. Of the 140 American soldiers escorting the wagons, the natives killed or wounded fifteen. They also seized three hundred horses. Indian casualties amounted to three dead warriors. Soon after this attack, the Indians, emboldened by their earlier success, launched a night attack against Fort Recovery. The 250 American soldiers succeeded in defending the fort but lost twenty-two men. The natives suffered forty dead and twenty wounded.

Wayne continued to use Fort Recovery in his operations against the Ohio natives. Following the Battle of Fallen Timbers in August 1794, most Indians realized they had little chance in stopping white settlement of their lands. In August 1795, many Native Americans agreed to sign the Treaty of Greeneville. They gave up all claims to land south and east of a line that extended south from Lake Erie, along the Cuyahoga River, to the Tuscarawas River, and then to Fort Laurens. From Fort Laurens, the line ran west to Fort Loramie, then northwest to Fort Recovery, and then straight south to the Ohio River. Anthony Wayne had secured from the natives the majority of modern-day Ohio with the exception of the northwestern corner of the state.

The city of Fort Recovery, Ohio, stands today on the site of the frontier fort.

See Also


  1. Hurt, R. Douglas. The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996.