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Miami Campaign

Miami, January 1790 - August 1795. In the late 1780's a confederacy of hostile Indians, chiefly Miamis, in the northern part of present-day Ohio and Indiana restricted settlement largely to the Ohio Valley. Three separate expeditions were required to remove this obstacle to expansion.

Late in 1790 a force of 320 Regulars and 1,000 Kentucky and Pennsylvania militiamen under Brig. Gen. Josiah Harmar moved north from Fort Washington (Cincinnati) and was badly defeated in two separate engagements on 18 and 22 October 1790 in the vicinity of present-day Fort Wayne, Indiana. Congress then commissioned Governor Arthur St. Clair of the Northwest Territory as a major general, and he collected a force of about 2,000 men consisting of two regiments of Regulars (300 men each), 800 levies, and 600 militiamen. This force advanced slowly north from Fort Washington in September 1791, building a road and forts as it progressed. On the night of 3 - 4 November 1791 some 1,000 Indiana surrounded 1,400 of St. Clair's men (one Regular regiment was in the rear) near the headwaters of the Wabash. The force was routed, and St. Clair, having lost 637 killed and 263 wounded, returned to Fort Washington.

Congress reacted to these disasters by doubling the authorized strength of the Regular Army in 1792 and appointing Anthony Wayne to succeed St. Clair. Maj. Gen. Wayne joined his troops near Pittsburgh in June 1792 and reorganized his Regulars to form a "Legion" composed of four sub-legions, each a "combat team" consisting of two battalions of infantry, a battalion of rifles, a troop of dragoons, and a company of artillery. After intensive training the Legion moved to Fort Washington in the spring of 1793 where it joined a force of mounted riflemen, Kentucky levies.

Early in October 1793, after peace negotiations had failed, Wayne's troops advanced slowly along St. Clair's route toward Fort Miami, a new British post on the present site of Toledo. They built fortifications along the way and wintered at Greenville. In the spring of 1794 a detachment of 150 men under Capt. Alexander Gibson was seat to the site of St. Clair's defeat where they built Fort Recovery. At the end of June, more than 1,000 warriors assaulted this fort for ten days, but the Indiana were effectively beaten and forced to retreat. Wayne moved forward in July with a force of some 3,000 men, including 1,400 levies from Kentucky, paused to build Fort Defiance at the junction of the Glaize and Maumee, and resumed pursuit of the Indians on 15 August. At Fallen Timbers, an area near Fort Miami where a tornado had uprooted trees, the Indians made a stand. On 20 August 1794 the Indians were thoroughly defeated in a two-hour fight that was characterized by Wayne's excellent tactics and the able performance of his well-trained troops. Wayne's men destroyed the Indian villages, including some within sight of the British guns of Fort Miami.

Jay's Treaty (1794) resulted in the evacuation of frontier posts by the British. By the Treaty of Greenville, 3 August 1795, the western tribes of the region ceded their lands in southern and eastern Ohio, and the way was opened for rapid settlement of the Northwest Territory.



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