|Wayne, an Indian and a militiaman overlook the battlefield|
With history it's important to gain perspective of specific events or they don't really make much sense. Like many battles this didn't just spontaneously erupt one day. So with that in mind, the first half of this post is to give some background on what led up to this important but overlooked conflict. I did my best to be brief so it is certainly not all encompassing and just covers what I feel are the major points. The second half concerns the actions just before the battle, the battle and its result which was ultimately the State of Ohio.
In the late 18th century, the newly formed United States was trying hard to eject the Shawnee, Miami, Delaware and other Indians from the Ohio country and open it for further settlement per the terms of the Treaty of Paris which ended the Revolutionary War. It seems the British gave away this territory to the Americans with nary a mention of the Indian claims to that land. The idea was that the British surrendered and since the Indians were allies of the British they were just included by proxy. The Brits back then had a problem with this concept it seems. As a result, the Americans felt they had legal claim to this territory and began settling the area in droves. This did not sit well with the Indians currently living there and they fought back with somewhat covert British assistance. Yep, the same Brits who betrayed them at the Treaty of Paris! Ya see, the Indians didn't have much choice but to trust the British again. It was either that or go at it alone but that would be disastrous since the British could provide much needed supplies and intelligence from nearby Canada. The British would also benefit from this somewhat strained relationship by allowing them to keep a foothold in the territory they lost without really sacrificing any troops of their own. In a sense the British really funded a long guerrilla war against the Americans after the end of the Revolutionary War. Sore losers.
|Fallen Timbers Monument|
|the Great Spirit over the battlefield after a downpour|
|my historical assistant Kelsey|
In 1793 Wayne set out from Cincinnati's Fort Washington, building new forts, posts and camps along the way and training his 4,600 men well in the ways of frontier battle. He also utilized some Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians serving as scouts that provided crucial information.
Wayne also knew the Indians well and played upon the fact that per tradition that the 1,500 Indian warriors would fast before the upcoming battle so he intentionally delayed the expected battle that was to be August 19th by one day which weakened his enemy.
|just a sign at nearby British Ft Miamis|
It's important to note that one young Shawnee warrior named Tecumseh who was at the Battle of Fallen Timbers did not sign the treaty and would lead a resistance movement to reclaim this land 10 years later culminating in the War of 1812 on the side of the British with his own confederation inspired by Little Turtles confederation and Pontiac's before that. Tecumseh's confederation gets more attention in the history books but Little Turtles confederation actually enjoyed a longer, larger and more successful run.
|Turkey Foot Rock|
For many years the exact site of this important battle was lost to time and was thought to have been to the Southeast between where the The Battle of Fallen Timbers Monument sits and the Maumee River but archaeology evidence in the 1990's was able to help determine the location is actually to the Northeast of the monument about a quarter mile away.
Fallen Timbers Battlefield was designated a National Historic Landmark on October 9, 1960. The main monument and statue placed in 1962 at the site of the battle in Maumee OH is unique because it honors both sides of this battle and depicts Wayne, a militiaman and an Indian fighter. Nearby is a plaque honoring and listing the soldiers slain here. Another marker placed in 1994 by the American Indian Intertribal Association commemorates the 200th anniversary of the battle and honors their ancestors and the site of Ottawa Chief Turkey Foot's battlefield's death as well.
|Fallen Timbers Battle Monument|