Wayne's Indian Campaign of 1794

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General Anthony Wayne

In 1792, President George Washington appointed Anthony Wayne as the commander of the United States Army of the Northwest. The major purpose of this army was to defend American settlers from Indian attack. Generals Josiah Harmar and Arthur St. Clair had both suffered defeats at the hands of the Native Americans in the previous few years, and Washington hoped that Wayne would prove more successful.

To help defend the frontier, Wayne ordered the construction of several forts, including Fort Recovery, Fort Defiance, and Fort Greene Ville. As the build-up of American forces in the Northwest Territory continued, the British constructed Fort Miamis on the Maumee River. The fort was built to both protect the way to Detroit and provide security to the Britain's Native American allies.

In 1794, Wayne moved against the Native Americans. Chief Blue Jacket of the Shawnee led the natives. On August 20, 1794, the two forces met at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, so named because the natives used trees blown down by a tornado for cover. Wayne's men quickly drove the Native Americans from the battlefield. The Americans had thirty-three men killed and roughly one hundred wounded, while the Native Americans lost approximately twice that number. Blue Jacket's followers retreated to Fort Miamis, hoping that the British would provide them with protection and assistance against Wayne's army. The British refused. Wayne followed the natives to the fort. Upon his arrival, Wayne ordered the British to evacuate the Northwest Territory. The British commander refused, and Wayne decided to withdraw to Fort Greene Ville.

For the next year, Wayne stayed at Fort Greene Ville, negotiating a treaty with the Native Americans. The natives realized that they were at a serious disadvantage with the Americans, especially because of Great Britain's refusal to support the Native Americans. On August 3, 1795, the Treaty of Greeneville was signed. Representatives from the Miami natives, the Wyandot natives, the Shawnee natives, the Delaware natives, and several other tribes agreed to move to the northwestern corner of what is present-day Ohio. Not all Native Americans agreed with the treaty, and bloodshed continued to dominate the region for the next twenty years as Americans and Native American struggled for control.

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