General 'Mad' Anthony Wayne
Commanding the Legion of the United States at the Battle of Fallen Timbers
Jan. 1, 1745 - Dec. 15, 1796
Anthony Wayne was born near Philadelphia at Waynesborough, Chester County, Pennsylvania, Jan. 1, 1745. Wayne was named for his grandfather, who had fought with the British army before emigrating to America. After studies in Philadelphia, Wayne surveyed the coast of Nova Scotia and later returned to the family farm in Pennsylvania.
With the outbreak of war with England in 1776, Wayne was commissioned a colonel and assisted General Benedict Arnold in his retreat from Quebec. He held various positions with the Continental Army and shared with General George Washington the long winter of 1777-78 at Valley Forge. In 1779, Wayne and his troops captured the English garrison at Stony Point, N.Y. Sent south in 1781, Wayne and his command were hemmed in by British General Charles Cornwallis' superior forces at Green Springs, Va., but managed to escape with his men. He then served under General Nathaniel Greene, helping to force the British out of Georgia and South Carolina in 1782.
Wayne was recalled as a major general by Washington in 1792 to lead the Legion of the United States against the native American forces in Ohio and Indiana. The United States under Generals Harmar and St. Clair had suffered successive defeats to a confederation of tribes, Wayne's troops defeated the native Americans at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, Ohio. The victory led to the Wayne's Treaty of Greenville in 1795, which opened the Northwest Territory to white settlement.
After accepting the surrender of Detroit in 1796, he was seized with a severe attack of gout and died at Fort Presque Isle, Penn., Dec. 15, 1796. In 1809, his son retrieved the skeleton of the general, reinterring the flesh there and returning the bones to be buried in the family cemetery in Radnor, Penn.
Sources: Commanding Generals and Chiefs of Staff by William G. Bell, 1992; and The Beginning of the U.S. Army by James R. Jacobs, 1947.
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