From Ohio History Central
St. Clair's Defeat was a major confrontation between the armed forces of the United States and the Native Americans of the Northwest Territory. It was the worst defeat of the United States Army at the hands of Native Americans.
To protect settlers and to force the Indians to abide by the Treaty of Fort Harmar, Arthur St. Clair, the governor of the Northwest Territory, ordered the construction of forts in what is now western Ohio. St. Clair moved against the Indians living near present-day Ft. Wayne Indiana, in September 1791. His men left Fort Washington, near Cincinnati, on September 17. The men marched twenty miles in two days and then built Fort Hamilton. St. Clair's army then advanced forty-five miles northward, where his men built Fort Jefferson. Leading primarily untrained militiamen, St. Clair faced problems with desertion from the beginning of his campaign. Although it was still early fall, his men faced cold temperatures, rain and snowfall. St. Clair also had a difficult time keeping his soldiers supplied with food. His men became demoralized. Despite these problems, St. Clair continued to advance against the Miami Indians. By November 3, his men had arrived on the banks of the Wabash River, near some of the Miami villages.
President George Washington demanded that St. Clair resign from the army. St. Clair did so on April 7, 1792, but remained governor of the Northwest Territory. He still faced problems with the natives. In 1794, Washington dispatched General Anthony Wayne to succeed where St. Clair had failed. Wayne defeated the Indians at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in August 1794. In 1795, most natives in modern-day Ohio signed the Treaty of Greeneville, relinquishing all of their land holdings in Ohio except what is now the northwestern corner of the state.
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