From Ohio History Central
In 1792, President George Washington appointed Anthony Wayne as the commander of the United States Army of the Northwest, currently serving in the Northwest Territory. The major purpose of this army was to defend American settlers from Indian attack. Josiah Harmar and Arthur St. Clair had both suffered defeat at the hands of the natives in the previous few years, and Washington hoped that Wayne would prove more successful. In the fall of 1793, Wayne moved against the natives. As they neared the Indians' territory in December 1793, Wayne had his men build Fort Recovery on the site of St. Clair's Defeat in 1791.
Fort Recovery had four blockhouses and was surrounded by a fifteen-foot high stockade wall. The fort had at least three cannon to assist its defenders. Wayne left only a small force at Fort Recovery, while the remainder of his army stayed at Fort Greene Ville.
Tensions escalated between the Americans and the Indians during the summer of 1794. The Indians believed the fort was too strong for a direct assault, so they determined to attack supply trains and relief columns coming to the stockade. In essence, they would starve the American soldiers from the fort. On June 30, 1794, 1,500 Shawnee Indians, Delaware Indians, Ottawa Indians, Miami Indians, and Ojibwa Indians attacked a pack train returning from Fort Recovery to Fort Greene Ville. Little Turtle, Blue Jacket, and Simon Girty led the assault. The attack was made less than one thousand feet from Fort Recovery. Of the 140 American soldiers escorting the wagons, the natives killed or wounded fifteen. They also seized three hundred horses. Indian casualties amounted to three dead warriors. Soon after this attack, the Indians, emboldened by their earlier success, launched a night attack against Fort Recovery. The 250 American soldiers succeeded in defending the fort but lost twenty-two men. The natives suffered forty dead and twenty wounded.
This defeat weakened the Native American alliance. Little Turtle believed that the natives had no chance against the Americans and called for peace. Many Indians agreed and returned to their homes. Others remained to fight, and the leadership of the natives fell to Blue Jacket. Wayne defeated them at the Battle of Fallen Timbers on August 20, 1794.
- Hurt, R. Douglas. The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996.