The Battle of Fallen Timbers

On August 20, 1794, Maj. Gen. Anthony Wayne led troops of the Legion of the United States from their fort at Roche de Bout. The left wing and flanking militia from Kentucky crossed level but poorly drained land containing dense forest and underbrush. After a 5-mile march, the mounted volunteers came upon a line of 1,100 Indian warriors from a confederation of Ohio and Great Lakes Indian tribes. The militia volunteers retreated around the legion's front guard. The front guard returned fire while retreating but eventually fled. The warriors closely pursued the soldiers of the front guard until a light infantry skirmish line forced the Indians to seek shelter amid timbers that had been felled a few years before by a tornado.

The legion's right wing was under heavy fire from the concealed warriors, who broke down an effort to flank them from the river. The left flank of soldiers charged, inflicting heavy casualties on the Indians and driving them from the field. Wayne's scouts tracked the Indians to the mouth of Swan Creek, but they were not engaged. After regrouping his troops, Wayne held his position into the afternoon. With no Indian counter-attack, Wayne set up camp on high ground overlooking the foot of the rapids, within sight of Fort Miamis.

In the following days Wayne's men returned to the battlefield to collect the wounded and equipment. Two officers and 15 to 17 soldiers were buried, but hard soil conditions deterred soldiers from burying more men.

The entire legion marched back through the battlefield on August 23 as they returned to Roche de Bout.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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