[Up] [Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: St. Clair -Knox-Wayne-Wedderburn

Interestingly enough both Mad Anthony Wayne and Alexander Wedderburn
 fought in the Battle of the Boyne.

"Issue the orders Sir, and I will storm the Gates of Hell." Mad Anthony
Wayne is reported to have said to George Washington.

The new United States government tried to open it's Northwest Territory and
bring the Red Indians under control first by treaties, and later by military
expeditions. Chief Little Turtle, a Miami Chieftain, soundly overwhelmed the
first expedition under Colonel Josiah Harmar. The second expedition in 1791
was disastrous. President Washington, underestimated the fighting
capabilities of the Native Americans, sent the army west in November of
1791. On 3 November 1791, General Arthur St. Clair and his army encamped on
the Wabash River in Ohio. In a surrounding manoeuvre, Little Turtle
encircled the army at night. Little Turtle daring daylight attack on the
American force resulted in over 690 men and women killed including a Major
general and 39 other high-ranking officers. Little Turtle took about 1200
warriors into battle.  Inside of four hours half of St. Clair's army was
dead on the field. The survivors ran for their lives leaving behind the dead
and wounded. They left eight cannons, 1200 muskets, wagons, horses, and
other paraphernalia.  Little Turtle's army lost 21 braves and about 40
wounded. President Washington was so angry with Arthur St. Clair that he
shouted to his secretary: "...to suffer that army to be cut to pieces,
hacked, butchered, tomahawked by a surprise -- the very thing I guarded him
against! ...How can he answer to his country? The blood of the slain is upon
him -- the curse of widows and orphans...!"

This brilliant victory was the single worst defeat of American arms by Red
Indians.  News of St. Clair's Defeat enraged.  Washington. It was the
biggest crisis of his administration. Secretary-of-war, Henry Knox, who was
descended from John Knox, whose mother was a Sinclair, told Washington that
the reason behind the defeat was that the Americans did not have a
professional standing army. Washington agreed and on 5 March 1792, the
United States Militia Act was passed. This Act is the foundation for the
modern United States Army. The new army was known as the Legion of the
United States. Washington picked the old reliable war-horse, General Mad
Anthony Wayne as Commander-in-Chief.

 It was there that this new army trained ceaselessly and brutally. Courts
martial and lashings were routine. From November 1792 to April 1793, this
army trained.  Six months later the army had according one historian, ".the
fightenest army the United States has ever had.." In April, the army began
the campaign pushing west. It was an entirely new United States Army that
headed into the Ohio country. Wayne stated that the new Legion could beat
anybody on the field of battle

On 20 August 1794, General Wayne and his Legion of the United States
defeated the Miami Confederacy in the crucial Battle of Fallen Timbers. It
faced a Red Indian Army four times the size of the on that had defeated St
Clair. Wayne and The United States avenged St Clair.  A year later the
victory brought peace in the Treaty of Greene Ville. In 1796, the Legion of
the United States accepted formal surrender of the British posts along the
Great Lakes. This was the true conclusion of the American Revolution.

General Anthony Wayne in December of 1796 died in the Erie Blockhouse and
was buried beneath the flagpole.

 In 1809 when his son, Isaac, came to Erie to take his father's remains to
Philadelphia. Wayne was exhumed. Wayne body was completely preserved. Isaac
Wayne had a doctor deal with the problem. The doctor boiled the flesh off
the bones and re-interred the flesh at the blockhouse. He then gave the
bones to Isaac to take back to St. David's Church in Radnor, Pennsylvania. A
public ceremony was held at the grave on 4 July 1809, with many famous
people in attendance. Lafayette himself sent a French sword to be buried
with Wayne. The note said, "Mon Ami, the boy". Mad Anthony Wayne is the only
American general buried in two places.


[ This is the Sinclair family discussion list, sinclair@quarterman.org
[ To get off or on the list, see http://sinclair.quarterman.org/list.html