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Anthony Wayne

Revolutionary War Brigadier-General

Anthony Wayne, born near Paoli, Pennsylvania on January 1, 1745. He was privately educated in Philadelphia.

In 1776, after the outbreak of the American Revolution, he entered military service as a commander of a Pennsylvania regiment assigned to cover the retreat of American forces from Quebec. In 1777, after being promoted to brigadier general, he participated in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown and in 1778 distinguished himself in the Battle of Monmouth. His greatest achievement was a brilliant victory at Stony Point in 1779. In 1781 he contributed to the British defeat at Yorktown.

Wayne retired to civilian life in 1783, but he returned to active duty in 1792 as a major general and commander in chief of the western army. After spending more than two years training his troops, held led an American army north from the Ohio River, and, on August 10, 1794 he won a decisive victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers on the Maumee River, near the site of present day Toledo, Ohio. The following year he negotiated the Treaty of Greenville, opening the Northwest Territory to American settlers. After the British had agreed in Jay’s Treaty to vacate their posts in the Old Northwest, Wayne led the American force that took possession of the forts in 1796.

Anthony Wayne won major recognition in the American Revolution and in Indian warfare. A dashing soldier noted for his bravery and quick temper, Wayne was popularly known as Mad Anthony.

Letter Signed, “Ant Wayne” to “The Lieutenant of the County of Washington,” from Headquarters, Legionville, PA., April 29, 1793. Wayne, acting under instructions from President Washington to learn the strength of U.S. forces on the upper Ohio and determine how many “scouts or spies” should be engaged for the area between Fort Franklin and the Falls of the Ohio on the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers, writes to a Lieutenant who is being assigned the task of enlisting twelve scouts to patrol Washington County and give advance warning of any threats to their safety. Wayne as assigned to command the small and faltering U.S. Army in1792, with the purpose of defeating hostile Indians who were preventing settlement of the Northwest Territory. He began recruiting additional troops and training the army at Legionville the winter before this letter was written. There was a great deal to be done and it took several years to accomplish, but Wayne’s revamped Army eliminated the Indian threat in the Northwest Territory by the summer of 1795. This letter must represent the realization by both Washington and Wayne that areas bordering on the Northwest Territory would need to be defended while the Army was prepared, especially because Wayne was planning to move his headquarters to Ohio. It also demonstrates the organizational skills which allowed Wayne to carry out his task so successfully.


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