Anthony Wayne (January 1, 1745 – December 15, 1796) was an American soldier, officer and statesman of English descent. He adopted a military career at the outset of the American Revolutionary War, where his military exploits and fiery personality quickly earned him promotion to brigadier general and the nickname "Mad Anthony". He later served as the Senior Officer of the Army on the Ohio Country frontier and led the Legion of the United States.
Wayne was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and worked as a tanner and surveyor after attending the College of Philadelphia. He was elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly and helped raise a Pennsylvania militia unit in 1775. During the Revolutionary War, he served in the Invasion of Quebec, the Philadelphia campaign, and the Yorktown campaign. His reputation suffered due to his defeat in the Battle of Paoli, but he won wide praise for his leadership in the 1779 Battle of Stony Point. He was promoted to Major General in 1783 but retired from the Continental Army soon after. Anthony Wayne was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati of the State of Georgia. In 1780, he was elected to the American Philosophical Society.
After the war, Wayne settled in Georgia on land that had been granted to him for his military service. He briefly represented Georgia in the House of Representatives, then returned to the Army to accept command of U.S. forces in the Northwest Indian War. His forces defeated the Western Confederacy, an alliance of several Indian tribes supplied by British, at the 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers, and he masterminded the Treaty of Greenville which ended the war.
Wayne died in 1796 in Erie, Pennsylvania, while on active duty.
Wayne was one of four children born to Isaac Wayne, who had immigrated to Easttown Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, from Ireland, and Elizabeth Iddings Wayne. He was part of a Protestant Anglo-Irish family; his grandfather was a veteran of the Battle of the Boyne where he fought for the Williamite side. Wayne was born on January 1, 1745, on his family's Waynesborough estate. He was educated as a surveyor at his uncle's private academy in Philadelphia as well as at the College of Philadelphia, although he did not earn a degree. In 1765, Benjamin Franklin sent him and some associates to work for a year surveying land granted in Nova Scotia, and he assisted with starting a settlement the following year at The Township of Monckton. Wayne was an avid reader and later quoted Caesar and Shakespeare at length while serving in the military. In 1767, he returned to work in his father's tannery while continuing work as a surveyor. He became a prominent figure in Chester County and served in the Pennsylvania legislature from 1774 to 1780. His sister Hannah married his neighbor and fellow United States Army Officer Samuel Van Leer whose family was noted in the anti-slavery cause.
He married Mary Penrose in 1766 and they had two children. Their daughter Margretta was born in 1770 and their son Isaac Wayne was born in 1772 and later became a U. S. representative from Pennsylvania. Wayne had romantic relationships with other women, including Mary Vining, a wealthy woman in Delaware, and he and his wife Mary eventually became estranged.
Wayne raised a militia unit in 1775 and became colonel of the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment in 1776. He and his regiment were part of the Continental Army's unsuccessful invasion of Canada where he was sent to aid Benedict Arnold. Wayne commanded a successful rear-guard action at the Battle of Trois-Rivières and then led the distressed forces on Lake Champlain at Fort Ticonderoga and Mount Independence. His service led to his promotion to brigadier general on February 21, 1777. According to historians, Wayne earned the name "Mad Anthony" due to his angry temperament, specifically during an incident when he severely punished a skilled informant for being drunk.
On September 11, 1777, Wayne commanded the Pennsylvania Line at the Battle of Brandywine, where they held off General Wilhelm von Knyphausen in order to protect the American right flank. The two forces fought for three hours until the American line withdrew and Wayne was ordered to retreat. He was then ordered to harass the British rear in order to slow General William Howe's advance towards Pennsylvania. Wayne's camp was attacked on the night of September 20–21 in the Battle of Paoli. General Charles Grey had ordered his men to remove their flints and attack with bayonets in order to keep their assault secret. The battle earned Grey the sobriquet of "General Flint", but Wayne's own reputation was tarnished by the significant American losses, and he demanded a formal inquiry in order to clear his name.
On October 4, 1777, Wayne again led his forces against the British in the Battle of Germantown. His soldiers pushed ahead of other units, and the British "pushed on with their Bayonets—and took Ample Vengeance" as they retreated, according to Wayne's report. Generals Wayne and Sullivan advanced too quickly, however, and became entrapped when they were two miles (3.2 km) ahead of other American units. They retreated as Howe arrived to re-form the British line. Wayne was again ordered to hold off the British and cover the rear of the retreating body.
After winter quarters at Valley Forge, Wayne led the attack at the 1778 Battle of Monmouth, where his forces were abandoned by General Charles Lee and were pinned down by a numerically superior British force. Wayne held out until relieved by reinforcements sent by Washington. He then re-formed his troops and continued to fight. The body of Lt. Colonel Henry Monckton was discovered by the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment, and a legend grew that he had died fighting Wayne.
In July 1779, Washington named Wayne to command the Corps of Light Infantry, a temporary unit of four regiments of light infantry companies drawn from all the regiments in the Main Army. His successful attack on British positions in the Battle of Stony Point was the highlight of his Revolutionary War service. On July 16, 1779, he replicated the bold attack used against him at Paoli and personally led a nighttime bayonet attack lasting 30 minutes. His three columns of about 1,500 light infantry stormed and captured British fortifications at Stony Point, a cliff-side redoubt commanding the southern Hudson River. The battle ended with around 550 prisoners taken, with fewer than 100 casualties for Wayne's forces. Wayne was wounded during the attack when an enemy musket ball gashed his scalp. The success of this operation provided a small boost to the morale of the army, which had suffered a series of military defeats, and the Continental Congress awarded him a medal for the victory.
On July 21, 1780, Washington sent Wayne with two Pennsylvania brigades and four cannons to destroy a blockhouse at Bulls Ferry opposite New York City in the Battle of Bull's Ferry. Wayne's troops were unable to capture the position, suffering 64 casualties while inflicting 21 on the Loyalist defenders.
On January 1, 1781, Wayne served as commanding officer of the Pennsylvania Line of the Continental Army when pay and condition concerns led to the Pennsylvania Line Mutiny, one of the most serious of the war. He successfully resolved the mutiny by dismissing about half the line. He returned the Pennsylvania Line to full strength by May 1781. This delayed his departure to Virginia, however, where he had been sent to assist the Marquis de Lafayette against British forces operating there, and the Line's departure was delayed once more when the men complained about being paid in the nearly worthless Continental currency.
On July 4, General Charles Cornwallis departed Williamsburg for Jamestown, planning to cross the James River en route to Portsmouth. Lafayette believed he could stage an attack on Cornwallis's rear guard during the crossing. Cornwallis anticipated Lafayette's idea, and laid an elaborate trap. Wayne led a small scouting force of 500 at the 1781 Battle of Green Spring to determine the location of Cornwallis, and they fell into the trap; only a bold bayonet charge against the numerically overwhelming British enabled his forces to retreat. The action reinforced the perception among contemporaries that justified the moniker "Mad" to describe Wayne. The battlefield has been partially preserved, and reenactments are sometimes staged. During the Yorktown campaign, Wayne was also shot in the leg; the lead musket ball was never removed from his leg.
After the British under Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Wayne went farther south and disbanded the British alliance with Indian tribes in Georgia. He then negotiated peace treaties with both the Creeks and the Cherokees, for which Georgia rewarded him with a large rice plantation. While there he suffered a bout of malaria. He was promoted to major general on October 10, 1783.
After the war, Wayne returned to Pennsylvania and served in the state legislature for a year in 1784. He then moved to Georgia and had a short lived career in private business running two rice plantations with an area of 1,134 acres (459 hectares) that had been given to him for his military service. Wayne's wife and family maintained their lives in Pennsylvania while Wayne became a Georgia citizen in November 1788. The plantations, Richmond and Kew, were situated on the Savannah River and had been confiscated from British loyalist Alexander Wright, son of the governor of the Province of Georgia, James Wright. The plantations required extensive upkeep, extensive repairs, tools, livestock, workers, and seed.
Wayne quickly fell into debt running the plantations. His wife abandoned him after rumors of a relationship between Wayne and General Greene's wife Catherine spread. Wayne's businesses were ultimately unsuccessful because he made poor business decisions and acquired a large debt to Samuel Potts and others, later begging various acquaintances to assist him with making payments. Wayne eventually sold the plantations with their livestock, equipment, and slaves to Potts and Penman. Historians later cited his being too relaxed with his workers; his frequent trips away also contributed to the short-lived endeavor. Wayne always referred to slaves as workers and provided refuge from punishment in Georgia. Wayne was also horrified when he saw harsh punishment in route to other camps during the Revolution. Wayne spent more time socializing in Savannah or in politics instead of working his private business. As a civilian, Wayne found himself bankrupt, abandoned by his wife, and removed from office.
Initially a supporter of Republicanism, Wayne ultimately believed that the United States should have a strong centrally-controlled government, stronger banks, manufacturing, and an army and navy. Like most federalists, he favored centralization, federalism, modernization, and protectionism and joined the Federalist Party, aligning himself with the supporters of Washington. Wayne was a delegate to the state convention that ratified the United States Constitution in 1788. In 1791, he served a year in the Second United States Congress as a representative of Georgia's 1st congressional district. A House committee determined that electoral fraud had been committed in the 1790 election, but they implicated local magistrates rather than Wayne himself. Wayne still lost his seat due to residency qualifications. A special election was held on July 9, 1792, sending John Milledge to fill Wayne's vacant seat, and Wayne declined to run for re-election in 1792.
Later military careerEdit
At a time of his life when Wayne experienced a shameful political and personal status, President George Washington recalled Wayne from civilian life to lead an expedition in the British-led Northwest Indian War. The war had been a disaster for the United States up to that point. The British refused to leave the ceded land and continued their involvement in Native American politics. Lieutenant Colonel James Wilkinson's idea of raids had triggered tribes to unite during St. Clair's Defeat, "the most decisive defeat in the history of the American military" and its largest defeat ever by Native Americans. Many American Indians in the Northwest Territory had sided with the British in the Revolutionary War, but the British had ceded any sovereignty over the land to the United States in the Treaty of Paris of 1783. The British were known for persuading Indians to fight for them and continued to do so. The United States formally organized the region in the Land Ordinance of 1785 and negotiated treaties allowing settlement, but the Western Confederacy refused to acknowledge them. After the treaties, American settlers started to flood the region. The Indians living in the region quickly became embroiled in conflicts while defending their land from American settlers. The Western Confederacy achieved major victories in 1790 and 1791 under the leadership of Blue Jacket of the Shawnees and Little Turtle of the Miami tribe. They were encouraged to refuse peace treaties and supplied by the British, who had refused to evacuate their own fortifications in the region as stipulated in the Treaty of Paris, saying that the American refusal to pay the debt agreements in the treaty meant that the treaty was not yet in effect.
Washington was also under congressional investigation and needed to raise a larger army to protect the borders against the British and their allied tribes. He felt his best choice was to recruit Wayne to take on this daunting task despite Wayne being the opposite of Washington in many ways, in that Wayne made quick decisions, had a fiery personality, and drank to excess. However he was also known for being loyal to Washington and his country. Injured, with swollen legs and recurring malaria, Wayne grabbed his best brandy and Madeira and a writing table and headed west to take command of the new Legion of the United States late in 1792.
Legion of the United StatesEdit
Washington placed Wayne in command of a newly formed military force called the "Legion of the United States", and Wayne established a basic training facility at Legionville to prepare professional soldiers for his force. This was the first attempt to provide basic training for regular Army recruits, and Legionville was the first facility established expressly for this purpose. Wayne setup a well-organized structure of sub-legions led by brigadier generals, seen as forerunners of today's brigade combat teams. Wayne required his soldiers to adhere to a sharp dress code, with each sub-legion having a distinctive cap and regimental standards with their unit colors. Each day troops received half a gill of whiskey with their rations and an extra one for the best shooters. Barrels of rum, whiskey, wine, flour, and rations were stockpiled at various forts and travelled with Wayne's legion. Eventually Wayne dispatched a force to Ohio to establish Fort Recovery at the location of St. Clair's Defeat as a base of operations, and the fort became a magnet for military skirmishes in the summer of 1794.
In response, the British built Fort Miami to block Wayne's advance and to protect Fort Lernoult in Detroit. Wayne's army continued north, building strategically defensive forts ahead of the main force. British officer Alexander McKee provided strategic battle advice to the western confederacy beforehand.
On August 3, 1794, a tree fell on Wayne's tent at Fort Adams in northern Mercer County. He was knocked unconscious, but he recovered sufficiently to resume the march the next day to the newly built Fort Defiance. After observing Wayne's activities for two years, Little Turtle declared that Wayne was "the Chief that does not sleep" and advised fellow Indians to answer calls for peace. On August 20, 1794, Wayne mounted an assault on the Indian confederacy at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in Maumee, Ohio, which was a decisive victory for the U.S. forces, effectively ending the war. It was later discovered that a British company under Lieutenant Colonel William Caldwell had dressed as Native Americans and participated in the battle. Following the battle, Wayne used Fort Deposit as a base of operations due to its proximity to Fort Miami. Wayne's army encamped for three days in sight of Fort Miami. Wayne attempted to provoke the fort's British commander, Major William Campbell, The Legion destroyed McKee's post, Native American crops and villages within sight of Fort Miami before withdrawing. When Campbell asked the meaning of the encampment, Wayne replied that the answer had already been given by the sound of their muskets. The next day, Wayne rode alone to Fort Miamis and slowly conducted an inspection of the fort's exterior walls. The British garrison debated whether or not to engage Wayne, but in the absence of orders and with Britain already being at war with France, Campbell declined to fire the first shot at the United States. Neither Campbell nor Wayne was willing to be the one to start a second war and the legion finally departed for Fort Recovery. Wayne planned for another large battle with Native Americans and the British while the Legion was at full strength. Wayne's Legion finally arrived at Kekionga on September 17, 1794, and Wayne personally selected the site for a new U.S. fort. Wayne wanted a strong fort built, capable of withstanding a possible attack by the British from Fort Detroit. The fort was finished by October 17 and was capable of withstanding 24-pound cannons. Although the Native Americans did not reform into a large army, small bands continued to harass the Legion's perimeter, scouts, and supply trains.
Wayne then negotiated the Treaty of Greenville between the tribal confederacy — which had experienced a difficult winter – and the United States, which was signed on August 3, 1795. The treaty gave most of Ohio to the United States and cleared the way for the state to enter the Union in 1803. At the meetings, Wayne promised the land of "Indiana", the remaining land to the west, to remain Indian forever. In the subsequent decades, settlers would continue pushing natives further westward, with the Miami people later saying that fewer than one-hundred adults survived twenty years after the treaty. These orders from Washington and the US have been criticized due to their actions against Native Americans as Indian removal.[clarification needed]
Betrayal by WilkinsonEdit
Throughout the campaign, Wayne's second in command, General James Wilkinson, secretly tried to undermine him. Wilkinson wrote anonymous negative letters to local newspapers about Wayne and spent years writing negative letters to politicians in Washington, D. C. Wayne was unaware as Wilkinson was recorded as being extremely polite to Wayne in person. Wilkinson was also a Spanish spy at the time and even served as an officer.In December 1794, Wilkson secretly instructed suppliers to delay rations and send just enough to keep the army alive in hopes of preventing progress. Henry Knox eventually alerted Wayne about Wilkinson and Wayne began an investigation. Eventually, Spanish couriers carrying payments for Wilkinson were intercepted. Wayne's suspicions were confirmed and he attempted to court martial Wilkinson for his treachery. However, Wayne developed a stomach ulcer and died on December 15, 1796; there was no court-martial. Instead Wilkinson began his first tenure as Senior Officer of the Army, which lasted for about a year and a half. He continued to pass on intelligence to the Spanish in return for large sums in gold.
Wayne died during a return trip to Pennsylvania from a military post in Detroit. It has been speculated, but never proven, that Wilkinson had him assassinated. Wilkinson benefited from his death and was made commander. Wayne was buried at Fort Presque Isle where the modern Wayne Blockhouse stands. His son, Isaac Wayne, disinterred the body in 1809 and had the corpse boiled to remove the surviving flesh from the bones. He then placed the bones into two saddlebags and relocated them to the family plot in the graveyard of St. David's Episcopal Church in Wayne, Pennsylvania. The other remains were reburied but were rediscovered in 1878, giving Wayne two known grave sites. There is a legend that claims that many of his bones were lost along the roadway which encompasses much of U.S. Route 322, and that his ghost wanders the highway on January 1 (Wayne's birthday) searching for his lost bones.
Historians and publications credit him as a hero who could claim victory against innumerable odds. He was known for his military exploits and fearlessness in the field of battle while fighting against the British. Sometimes considered overly aggressive as a military leader and an advocate of Julius Caesar's tactics. Wayne would later be praised by President Theodore Roosevelt as America's best fighting general.
The door in Senate room 128 features a 19th-century fresco painting by Constantino Brumidi named “Storming at Stonypoint, General Wayne wounded in the head carried to the fort." On September 14, 1929, the U.S. Post Office issued a stamp honoring General Wayne which commemorated the 135th anniversary of the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The post office issued a series of stamps often referred to as the "Two Cent Reds" by collectors, most of them issued to commemorate the 150th anniversaries of the many events that occurred during the American Revolution. The stamp shows Bruce Saville's Battle of Fallen Timbers Monument.
Wayne is also the namesake in which Batman's secret identity, Bruce Wayne, with Batman co-creator Bill Finger citing both Robert the Bruce and "Mad" Anthony Wayne as the two sources of the fictional character's name.
Descendants and other relativesEdit
Wayne's notable relatives and descendants include:
- Isaac Wayne (1772–1852), Wayne's son, was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.
- Captain William Evans Wayne (1828-1901), fought in the Civil War for the Union.
- Isaac Wayne Van Leer (1846-1861), enlisted for the Union during the Civil War at age 15 and was documented in several publications for his patriotism.
- Blake Wayne Van Leer (1926-1997), was a prominent commander and captain in the U.S. Navy and led SeaBee program, the nuclear research and power unit at McMurdo Station during Operation Deep Freeze.
His grave at St. David's Episcopal Church (Radnor, Pennsylvania)
Anthony Wayne Bridge (Toledo, Ohio)
Wayne County Building (Detroit, Michigan) pediment
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- Anthony Wayne and the Battle of Fallen Timbers from The Army Historical Foundation
- General Anthony Wayne
- Anthony Wayne family papers. William L. Clements Library.
- National Park Service Museum Collection: American Revolutionary War Exhibit, Wayne portrait & bio
- Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor
- Anthony Wayne – The Man Buried in Two Places