Report of Battle at Fallen Timbers, and Subsequent Destruction of Indian Property

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionClements Library: Anthony Wayne Letterbooks view image
MicrofilmHistorical Society Of Pennsylvania: Anthony Wayne Papers (no image)
PublicationKnopf, Richard C., ed. Anthony Wayne, A Name In Arms: The Wayne-Knox-Pickering-McHenry Correspondence. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1960. (no image)
Publication'Wayne's Western Campaign, The Wayne-Knox Correspondence.' Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 78(1954):298-341, 424-455. (no image)
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Document Information
Date August 28, 1794
Author Name Anthony Wayne (primary) Location: Grand Glaize
Recipient Name Henry Knox (primary)
Summary Reports victory in battle with Indians and British (Canadian) militia on Aug. 20 [Battle of Fallen Timbers]. Describes battle in detail, including tactics, officers and units recommended for bravery, killed, etc. Notes that Legion remained in area for three days, destroying Indian houses and fields, while the British garrison remained complacent within the fort at Roche de Bout. Reports large laying waste of Indian lands, but notes that destruction is not complete; Legion has returned to Grand Glaize area. Notes in postscript that Indians had sent an evasive message back with his peace envoy in order to gain time for additional reinforcements to arrive, which did so on the 18th.
Document Format Author's Letterbook Copy
Document Notes Cited in Wayne to Knox, 09/20/1794, and Stagg to Knox, 10/04/1794. Spans Images 90-98 of this collection.
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Henry Knox; Anthony Wayne; Native Americans; Indians; British; militia; ;
Related Places Grand Glaize; Ohio; Fort Defiance; ;
Keywords houses; fields; Ohio; Battle of Fallen Timbers; ;
Key Phrases [not available]
Transcription

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No. 83.- To Major Genl Knox
Sec:y of war


Head Quarters
Grand Hoize 28aug[undecipherable]. 1794
Sir,

It's with infinite pleasure that I now announce to you the brilliant success of the Federal army under my command in a general action with the combined force of the hostile Indians & a considerable number of

the
[undecipherable] [editor’s note: this undecipherable double characters appear to be a number, possibly 83. It is not clear if they are part of the original text.]

the voluntiers & militia of Detroit on the 20th instant on the banks of the Miamis, in the the vicinity of the British Port & Garrison at the foot of the rapids.-

The army advanced from this place on the 15 instant, and arrived at Roche de bout on the 18th; the 19th we were employed in making a temporary port for the reception of our stores & baggage & in reconnoitring the position of the enemy, who were encamped behind a think brushy - wood and the British Fort.

At 8 o'clock on the morning of the 20. the army again advanced in columns agreeably to the standing order of march: the Legion on the right Flank covered by the Miamis, one Brigade of mounted volun-ters on the left under Brigadier General Todd, and the other in the rear under Brigad General Barbee: a select battalion of mounted voluntiers moved in front of the Legion, com-manded by major Price, who was directed to keep sufficiently advanced - so as to give timely notice for the troops in case of action.;-

It being yet undetermined whether the Indians would decide for peace of war.

after
84 [editor’s note: it is not clear if this number was added subsequent to the writing of this letter.]
After advancing about five miles, Major Price's corps received so severe a fire from the enemy, who were secreted in the woods & high grass, as to compel them to retreat.-

The Legion was immediately formed in two lines, principally in a close think wood which extended for miles on our left; and for every considerable distance in front, the ground being covered with old fallen timber probably occasioned by a tornado, which rendered it impracticable for the Cavalry to act with effect; & afforded the enemy the most favorable covert for their savage mode of warfare: they were formed in three lines within supporting distance of each other, & extending near two miles at right angles with the river.-

I soon discovered from the weight of the fire, & extent of their lines, that the - enemy were in full force in front in possession of their favorite ground & endeavoring to turn our left flank - I therefore gave the orders, for the second line to advance to support the first, & directed Major General Scott to gain & turn the right flank of the savages, with the whole of the mounted voluntiers

by
by a circuitous route: a the same time I ordered the front line to advance & charge with trailed arms, and rouse the Indians from their coverts at the point of they bayonet, & when up, to deliver a close & well directed fire from on their backs followed by a brisk charge - so as not to give time to load again:- Galro ordered Captn Mis Campbell who commanded the Legion= ary Cavalry to turn the left flank of the enemy next the river, and which afforded a favorable field for that corps to act in.-
all those orders were obeyed with spirit & promptitude - but such was the im=:petuority of the charge by the first line of Infantry, that the Indians & Canadian militia & volunteers were drove from all their coverts in so short a time, that although every exertion was used by the officers of the second line of the Legion, & by Generals Scott, Todd & Barbee of the mounted vo=:luntiers to gain their proper positions, but part of each could get up in season to par=:ticipate in the action; the enemy being drove in the course of one hour more than two miles thro' the thick woods already mention:ed, by less than one half their numbers.-

From
86 [editor’s note: It is not clear if this number is part of the original writing.]
From every account the enemy amounted to two thousand combatants; the troops actually engaged against them were short of nine hundred.- this horde of savages with their allies abandoned themselves to flight, and dispersed with terror & dismay, leaving our victorious army in full & quiet possession of the field of battle, which terminated under the influence of the guns of the British Garrison as you will observe by the enclosed correcpon::dence between Major Campbell the Commandant & myself upon the occasion.-
The bravery and conduct of every officer belonging to the army from the Gener::als down to the Ensigns merit [undecipherable] [editor’s note: this appears to be a crossed out letter.] my highest approbation.- there were however some, whose rank & situation placed their conduct in a very conspicuous point of view, and which I observed with pleasure & the most lively gratitude: among whom I must beg leave to mention Brigr Genl Wilkinson and Colo Hamtramck, the commandants of the right & left wings of the Legion, whose brave example inspired the troops; to these, I must add the names of my faithful & gallant Aids de Camp, Captains De Butts & F. Lewis & Lieut. Harrison who, with the Adjt General Major Mills rendered

the
the most essential service by communicating my ardors in every direction, and by their conduct & bravery, exciting the troops to press for victory.- Lieut: Lovington upon whom the command of the Cavalry now devolved, cut down two savages with his own hand & Lieut. Webb one, in turning the enemy's left flank.-
The wounds received by Capts Slough & Prior & Lieut Campbell Emith an extra aid de camps to Genl Wilkinson of the Legionary Infantry, & Capt. Ian. Rans=: fellaer of the Dragoons, & Capt. Rawlins, Lieut McKenney & Ensign Duncan of the mounted volunteers bear honorable testimony of their bravery & conduct.-
Captains H. Lewis & Brock with their companies of light Infantry had to sustain an unequal [undecipherable] [editor’s note: This word seems to be fight, and it appears Wayne added it after he had finished writing the sentence.] for some time, which they supported with fortitude.- In fact every officer & soldier who had an opportunity to come into Action displayed that true bravery which will always insure success.-
And here permit me to declare, that I never discover more true spirit

and
88 [editor’s note: It is not clear if this number is part of the original writing.]
anxiety for action that appeared to pervade the whole of the mounted voluntiers; & I am well persuaded that had the enemy mantain:ed their favorite ground but for half hour longer, they would have most severely felt the prowess of that corps.-
but, whilst I say this just tribute to the living, I must not forge the gallant dead: among whom we have to lament the early death of those worthy & brave Officers Capt Mis Campbell of the Dragoons and Lieut. Towles of the light Infantry of the Legion who fell in the first charge.-
Enclosed is a particular return of the killed & wounded - the loss of the Enemy was more than double that of the Federal Army - the woods were strewed for a consi=:derable distance with the dead bodies of the Indians & their white auxiliaries, the latter armed with British muskets and bayonets.-
We remained three days & nights on the banks of the Miamis in front of the field of battle, during which time all the houses & corn fields were consumed & destroyed for a considerable distance both above and below Fort Miamis, as well as within pistol shot of that Garrison, who were compelled

to
to remain tacit speculators of this general deves-tation & conflagration.- among which were the houses, stores & property of Col. McKee the Britich Indian Agent & principal stimulator of the war now existing between the United States and the savages.-
The Army returned to this place on the 27. by easy marches, laying waste the villages & corn fields for about fifty miles on each side of the Miamis: there remains yet a number of villages & a great quantity of corn to be consumed or destroyed upon Au=Glaize & the Maimis above this place, which will be effected in the course of a few days.- in the interim we shall improve Fort Defiance, & as soon as the escort returns with the necessary supplies from Greenville [undecipherable] Fort Recovery - the Army will proceed to the Maimi Villages in order to accomplish the object of the Campaign.-
It is however not improbable that the enemy may make one more desperate effort against the Army; as it is said that a reeforcement was hourly expected at Fort Maimis from Niagara, as well as numerous tribes of Indians living on the margins

of
90 [editor’s note: It is not clear if the number is part of the original text.]
& Islands of the Lakes: this is [undecipherable] rather to be wished for than dreaded, whilst the Army remains in force - their numbers will only tend to confuse the Savages, and the victory will be the more complete and decisive, - and which may eventually en:sure a permanent & happy peace.
under there impressions, I have the honor to be
your most obedt
& very huml. Serv:t
Anthony Wayne
the Honble
Maj: Gen. Knox
Sec.y of war.
B. I had forgot to mention that I met my Flag on the 16., who was returning with an evasive answer in order to gain time for the arrival of the rienforcement men::tioned by the Shawanae Indians, which actually did arrive two days before the action.
No. 84. To Major Genl. Knox
Secretary of War