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The Indian Wars And Wayne’s Victory
by [?]

The Indians who had been so well generaled and had fought so ably, failed as usual to follow up their victory by moving on the American settlements in force. They kept on harassing the pioneers in small war parties, but gave the country time to send an army, thoroughly equipped and thoroughly disciplined, against them. They made a second attack on the Americans on the old battle ground where General Wayne had built his Fort Recovery, but they were beaten off with severe loss, though in their attack they had the aid of many white Canadians and even of some British officers, or at least of men wearing the uniform of British officers.

By the treaty of 1783 Great Britain agreed to give us the whole West below a certain line, but when the time came for the surrender, she refused to yield the forts south of this line. With the bad faith of wanton power she kept her posts at Oswego, Niagara, Detroit, and Mackinaw, because we were weak and she was strong; and from these points her agents abetted the savages in their war upon the American frontiers. Just before the battle of Fallen Timbers, where Wayne won his victory, the Lieutenant Governor of Canada marched a force of Canadian militia and British regulars into the Ohio country, and built a fort on the Maumee, near the battle ground, which he held until 1796, when Great Britain at last gave up all the places she had unrightfully kept. The Indians expected this fort to open its gates to them, when they fled before Wayne’s men, and were astonished and indignant at the behavior of then-British friends in denying them refuge. This was not from want of ill will toward the Americans, who taunted them as they passed, and whom the garrison wished to fire upon for approaching the post in force. Sharp letters passed between the American general and the British commandant, but it ended in nothing worse, and our jealous army, which remained in the neighborhood laying waste the Indian fields and villages, could not perceive that the British gave any aid or comfort to the savages.

The battle of Fallen Timbers was fought on the 20th of August, 1794, on the banks of the Maumee, near a rising ground called Presque Isle, about two miles south of the present Maumee City, and four miles from the British Fort Miami. The place was called Fallen Timbers because it was covered with trees blown down long before in a tornado. These formed a natural stronghold for the savages, but Wayne had every other advantage, especially in numbers; he had almost twice as many men, well drilled, armed, and clothed, while the miserable and disorderly army of St. Clair had fallen a prey to a far greater force of Indians.

On the morning of the battle, Wayne sent a flag of truce to the united tribes, offering peace, but he did not wait for its return. He met his envoy coming back with an evasive answer, and he pushed on to Fallen Timbers without stopping. As soon as he reached the battlefield, he ordered his infantry to beat up the covert of the enemy, who were hidden among the logs, brush, and grass, with the bayonet, and as they rose to deliver their fire. His order was carried out so thoroughly and promptly that this charge of nine hundred men began and ended the fight. Two thousand; Indians, Canadian militia and volunteers fled before them, and the rout was complete.

The affair was so quickly over that there was no time for the incidents of heroism and suffering which heightened the tragedy of St. Clair’s defeat. At the beginning of the action, General William Henry Harrison, afterwards President of the United States, but then one of Wayne’s aids, said to him, “General Wayne, I’m afraid you will get into the battle yourself, and forget to give us the necessary field orders.” “Perhaps I may,” said Wayne, “and if I do, recollect the standing order for the day is, Charge the rascals with the bayonets!” Wayne had got his nickname of Mad Anthony in the Revolution from his habit of swearing furiously in battle, and now he called the Indians something more than simply rascals. We have seen how his men carried out the spirit of his instructions, and it is told of one of them who got astray from the rest that he met an Indian alone and gave him the bayonet. At the same time the Indian gave the American the tomahawk, and they were found dead together, one with the blade in his breast, the other with the hatchet in his skull.