Sunday, April 13, 2003

Ohio Moments

'Mad Anthony' Wayne led territorial troops

On April 13, 1792, Gen. Anthony Wayne was summoned from his Pennsylvania farm by President George Washington to lead an army against the Indians of the Northwest Territory.

The Indian wars followed the American Revolution, but they essentially were a continuation of it. Britain refused to surrender its forts in the Northwest. And Americans thought the British were encouraging Indians to conduct raids against settlers.

Wayne - known as "Mad Anthony" among his troops because of his fiery disposition and daring in battle - was sent to end hostilities. He began drilling his soldiers in May 1793 at Fort Washington in Cincinnati. They launched raids on nearby Indian villages, but Wayne also tried to negotiate a peace with the Indians.

Little Turtle, one of the most respected chiefs, advised his fellow Indians to accept Wayne's offer.

"The Americans are now led by a chief who never sleeps," Little Turtle said of Wayne. "...There is something that whispers to me, it would be prudent to listen to his offers of peace."

But the Indians failed to heed Little Turtle's warning. And in 1794, Wayne's army launched a major campaign to drive the Indians from Ohio and the rest of the Northwest Territory.

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