Fallen Timbers 1794: The US Army's first victory (Campaign)
John F. Winkler
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After the formidable Ohio Indians destroyed the US Army at Wabash in 1791, the Washington administration created a new US Army to defeat them. The famous Revolutionary War commander Major-General “Mad” Anthony Wayne organized and trained the new army, and then led it into the Ohio wilderness in 1794. To defeat the Indians, he had to overcome not just the logistical and intelligence problems that had doomed his predecessor's 1791 campaign, but also a conspiracy of officers and contractors led by his principal subordinate, and threatened opposition by British and Spanish forces. On August 20, 1794, Wayne defeated the Indians at Fallen Timbers. His decisive victory led to the 1795 Treaty of Greeneville, which ended 20 years of conflict between the Americans and the Ohio Indians, and opened to American settlement the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.
attacking Indians. Others had become lost trying to find their places in the battle line. Still others, after reaching their positions, had come under fire from an almost invisible enemy. Beneath the apparent chaos, however, the order anticipated in Wayne’s battle plan had emerged. The Indians’ attempt to surround the Americans had left them at last fixed in a line. Ahead of them, a parallel American line extended beyond both their flanks. Far to their right, a quarter of Wayne’s army was moving
left for Kentucky on October 14. A week later, a courier brought welcome news from Philadelphia. The British, Jay had reported from London, would honor the western boundaries established in the Treaty of Paris. They would surrender to the Americans Forts Miamis and Detroit, and also Forts Niagara and Mackinac. On October 27, the American commander left Hamtramck and a garrison of about 300 at Fort Wayne. His army then 87 © Osprey Publishing • www.ospreypublishing.com This 1791 portrait by Jean
Wayne’s army would pose no threat in the coming hostilities. Wilkinson was prepared to undertake such a mission. When he had arrived in Kentucky, he had found in Clark a formidable obstacle to achieving his goal of ruling an empire west of the Appalachians. The mutiny that had ended Clark’s 1786 campaign had been his work, achieved by a covert campaign of manipulating disloyal officers, spreading false rumors, and denying supplies needed by Clark’s army. When Wayne arrived at Fort Washington to
Harrison. The prodigious logistical efforts of O’Hara, a Pittsburgh trader, enabled Wayne’s © Osprey Publishing • www.ospreypublishing.com army to reach Fallen Timbers. O’Hara’s principal subordinate, Deputy Quartermaster General Maj. John Belli, led Wayne’s intelligence network of buyers and suppliers. De Butts had survived the battle of the Wabash. Harrison would defeat the Indians at the battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, prevail over the British at the battle of the Thames in 1813, and be