Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings
Significance. Gen. "Mad Anthony" Wayne's victory over the Indians at this site in August 1794 and the ensuing Treaty of Greenville, or Greene Ville, the following year opened the Ohio country to settlement and brought temporary peace in the old Northwest. This victory, coupled with Jay's Treaty (November 1794), in which the British agreed to evacuate their posts in the region by 1796, won for the new Nation a secure foothold there. The refusal of the British to give sanctuary to the Indians defeated in the Battle of Fallen Timbers convinced the Indians that they could expect no decisive help in their resistance to U.S. expansion.
After the Ordinance of 1787 opened the Northwest Territory to settlement, white settlers flowed into the lands of the Shawnees, Miamis, and other tribes in the Ohio country. Conflict inevitably resulted, but the first efforts of the Federal Government to enforce earlier land cessions by the Indians ended in disaster. In 1790 the Indians defeated Gen. Josiah Harmar's expedition at the site of Fort Wayne, and the following year crushed Gov. Arthur St. Clair's force at the site of Fort Recovery. Determined to subdue the Indians and open the region north of the Ohio to settlement, in 1792 President Washington appointed Gen. "Mad Anthony" Wayne to command in the West.
Wayne, a popular hero of the War for Independence, prepared his campaign carefully. After recruiting men at Pittsburgh, in the summer of 1792 he moved to Cincinnati, where he trained them. In the fall of 1793 he moved northward about 70 miles and erected Fort Greenville as his headquarters, where he spent the winter. During that time he erected Fort Recovery, a few miles farther north, on the site of St. Clair's defeat. After an unsuccessful Indian attack on Fort Recovery in the summer of 1794, Wayne led 3,500 men northward into Indian country toward Fort Miami, at present. Maumee, built by the British to protect their major base at Detroit from attack by Wayne. On August 20, 1794, after Wayne's advance guard stumbled into an Indian ambush, Wayne ordered a charge against several hundred warriors and a party of Canadian militiamen, who had taken cover in a swath of tangled woods felled by a tornado years earlier. Wayne's adversaries broke from cover and fled to Fort Miami. The British commander at the fort shut out the disillusioned warriors, who dispersed to their villagesvillages doomed for destruction by Wayne's men.
Wayne's next step was to build Fort Wayne, in present Indiana, after which, in November 1794, he returned to Fort Greenville. The following June he summoned the demoralized leaders of the defeated tribes to the fort. Cowed by their defeat at the hands of Wayne and rejected by the British, in the Treaty of Greenville they ceded to the United States lands consisting mainly of about three-quarters of the present State of Ohio and the southeastern corner of Indiana.
In the 1960s, Fallen Timbers State Memorial was a 9-acre tract of high ground overlooking the valley of the Maumee River. Within the memorial area, situated on a portion of the battleground, is a monument to Wayne and his victorious army. The surrounding land is farmland. The memorial was a project of the Anthony Wayne Parkway Board, created by the State of Ohio to develop parkways and mark historic sites along the routes of Wayne, Harmar, and St. Clair.
NHL Designation: 10/09/60
In 1794 the British built Fort Miami (Miamis) to block Gen. Anthony Wayne's advance on Detroit and to encourage the Ohio Indians in their resistance to U.S. penetration north and west of the Ohio River. The fort was a log stockade, which had four bastions, each capable of mounting four cannon, a river battery, barracks, officers' quarters, supply buildings, and various shops. A defensive ditch, 20 to 25 feet deep, ran along the land side of the fort.
Late in 1794 General Wayne and his troops marched northward toward Fort Miami from Fort Greenville. Just south of the fort, ambushed by the Indians and a small party of Canadian militia, he ordered a charge and dispersed his adversaries, in the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The Indians fled to Fort Miami, but the commander of the fort shut them out. Beaten and disillusioned, the Indians dispersed and 1 year later their chiefs gathered at Fort Greenville to negotiate with Wayne. The Treaty of Greenville opened most of the present State of Ohio and part of present Indiana to white settlement. In 1796, under the terms of Jay's Treaty (1794), the British abandoned Fort Miami. Wayne occupied and garrisoned it, but about 1799 U.S. troops abandoned it. During the War of 1812 Tecumseh, the Shawnee chief, and British officials maintained headquarters at the fort, from where they moved against Gen. William Henry Harrison at Fort Meigs.
In 1942 several Ohio civic and patriotic organizations acquired a part of the site of the old fort. Nothing remained of the original structure except parts of the earthworks. In 1953 the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society conducted preliminary excavations, and in 1957 the Historical Society of Northwestern Ohio placed a marker at the site, which remains undeveloped.
On December 9, 1999, Public Law 106-164, entitled the "Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site Act of 1999," was enacted in order to establish this site as an affiliated area of the national park system.
Purposes of the National Historic Site are 1) to recognize and preserve the 185-acre Fallen Timbers Battlefield site, 2) to recognize and preserve the Fort Miamis site, 3) to formalize the linkage of the Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Monument to Fort Miamis, and 4) to preserve and interpret United States military history and Native American culture during the period from 1794-1813.
Last Updated: 29-Aug-2005