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St. Clair moved against the Indians in September 1791. His men left Fort Washington, near Cincinnati, on September 17. The men marched twenty miles in two days and then built Fort Hamilton. St. Clair's army then advanced forty-five miles northward, where his men built Fort Jefferson. Leading primarily untrained militiamen, St. Clair faced problems with desertion from the beginning of his campaign. Although it was still early fall, his men faced cold temperatures, rain and snowfall. St. Clair also had a difficult time keeping his soldiers well supplied with food. His men became demoralized. Despite these problems, St. Clair continued to advance against the Miami Indians. By November 3, his men had arrived on the banks of the Wabash River, near some of the Miami villages.
Little Turtle led his warriors against the Americans on the morning of November 4. Many of the militiamen under St. Clair immediately fled. St. Clair led the regular soldiers in a bayonet charge. St. Clair had two horses shot out from under him. Several bullets passed through his clothing, and one took off a lock of his hair. The Indians surrounded the American camp. After three hours of
fighting�the remaining American soldiers fought through the Indians and began a lengthy retreat. The survivors reached Fort Jefferson late that afternoon and evening. With limited quantities of food and supplies at Fort Jefferson, St. Clair ordered his forces to Fort Washington. Of the 1,400 men who served under St. Clair, 623 soldiers were killed and another 258 wounded. One of the survivors stated, "The ground was literally covered with the dead." The Indians had soundly defeated St. Clair's army.
President George Washington demanded that St. Clair resign from the army. St. Clair did so on April 7, 1792, but remained governor of the Northwest Territory. He still faced problems with the natives. In 1794, Washington dispatched General Anthony Wayne to succeed where Harmar and St. Clair had failed. Wayne defeated the Indians at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in August 1794. In 1795, most natives in modern-day Ohio signed the Treaty of Greeneville, relinquishing all of their land holdings in Ohio except what is now the northwestern corner of the state,
St. Clair then retired to his home in western Pennsylvania. He established a foundry and began to make stoves and castings. He was very liberal with his money, loaning money to his friends and family. The United States Congress failed to reimburse him for expenditures he had made while serving as governor of the Northwest Territory. Due to his financial problems, St. Clair lost most of his fortune and most of his vast land holdings. He eventually moved to a small log cabin where he died on August 31, 1818.
[[Category:Exploration To Statehood]]