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Wayne, Anthony

Anthony Wayne, 1745–96, American Revolutionary general, b. Chester co., Pa. Impetuous and hot-headed, Wayne was sometimes known as "mad Anthony," but he was an able general.

Early Career

Not inclined toward academic studies, Wayne became a surveyor in 1763. In 1765 he was engaged to survey the land for, and promote the settlement of, a proposed colony in Nova Scotia, a venture from which he withdrew in 1766. He returned to the business of farming and tanning at Waynesborough, on the farm that his grandfather had established and that he inherited. He represented Chester co. in the Pennsylvania assembly (1774–75), was an agitator against British policies, and was active in preparations to defend the cause of the colonists.

During the American Revolution

When the Continental army was formed, Wayne organized and commanded a regiment from Chester co., and in Jan., 1776, he was commissioned a colonel and given command of the 4th Pennsylvania Battalion. As agent for the Pennsylvania committee of safety, he built defenses for the Delaware River. In the spring of 1776 he covered the retreat of the Americans after their failure in the Quebec campaign. The next winter he spent in command at Fort Ticonderoga.

In 1777 he was commissioned brigadier general and joined George Washington's army at Morristown, N.J. In the battle of Brandywine, Wayne commanded a division at Chadds Ford. Later he was defeated by General Howe's forces at Paoli, Pa.; to silence rumors that the defeat had been caused by his negligence, Wayne requested a court-martial and was acquitted with honor. He fought at Germantown, made successful raids on British supplies for the troops encamped at Valley Forge, and served in the battle of Monmouth. His most famous achievement, however, was his capture of the British outpost at Stony Point, N.Y., by a night attack in July, 1779. He aided General Lafayette in Virginia and participated in the Yorktown campaign. Later he fought successfully against Native Americans in Georgia, and, after Nathanael Greene's army had forced the British evacuation of Charleston, S.C., Wayne occupied the city.

Politics and the Indian Wars

In 1783 he returned to Pennsylvania, and in 1784 he was again elected to represent Chester co. in the general assembly. The following year he returned to Georgia and tried unsuccessfully to work the land which the Georgia assembly had given him in gratitude for his services. In 1791 he was elected to Congress as a representative from Georgia but was unseated because of irregularities in the election and in his residence qualification.

In 1792 he succeeded Arthur St. Clair as commander of the American army in the Northwest Territory. After the failure of peace negotiations with the Native Americans there—which Wayne opposed, feeling that war was inevitable—he decisively defeated (Aug., 1794) them at Fallen Timbers near present Toledo, Ohio. He secured (1795) the Treaty of Greenville with the chiefs of the defeated tribes, who ceded lands in the Northwest Territory. This was the first treaty in which Native American title to lands within the boundaries of the new United States was overtly recognized.

Bibliography

Wayne's activities in the Old Northwest are recorded in The Wayne-Knox-Pickering-McHenry Correspondence (ed. by R. C. Knopf, 1960). See also H. B. Dawson, The Assault on Stony Point (1863); J. W. De Peyster, Major General Anthony Wayne (1886); C. J. Stillé, Major General Anthony Wayne and the Pennsylvania Line in the Continental Army (1893, repr. 1968); biographies by T. Boyd (1929), J. H. Preston (1930), H. E. Wildes (1941), and G. Tucker (1973).

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Anthony Wayne

Anthony Wayne

The American soldier Anthony Wayne (1745-1796) became a hero during the American Revolution and in his later campaigns against the Indians.

Anthony Wayne was born in Easttown, Pa., on Jan. 1, 1745. He attended local schools and the Philadelphia academy. In 1763 he began a career in surveying, principally in Nova Scotia. In 1766 he and his wife settled down at Waynesborough, Pa., the family property, where Wayne helped his father in the profitable business of farming and of operating a tannery.

When the Revolution began in 1775, Wayne organized a regiment of infantry and was appointed colonel. His military career was varied and honorable. First assigned to the Army unit covering the retreat of American forces from Canada, he fought in the Battle of Three Rivers, where he was wounded. Next he joined George Washington and the main body of the Army at Morristown, N.J., in February 1777, receiving promotion to brigadier general. He distinguished himself in several battles, but his greatest exploit was the capture of Stony Point, a British stronghold on the Hudson River, in July 1779. In command of a picked corps of 1, 300 men, Wayne attacked at midnight. In a brilliant tactical maneuver, he took the garrison by surprise, killing or wounding 123 and capturing 575 men. A grateful Congress voted him a gold medal. The whole country acclaimed him, and Washington praised his "judgment and bravery."

For the remainder of the war, Wayne served with the Marquis de Lafayette in Virginia until the British surrendered at Yorktown. When peace came in 1783, he retired as brevet major general. In 1792 President Washington recalled him to serve as commander in chief of the Army. His assignment was to destroy the Indian power north of the Ohio River. For a year Wayne gathered and trained an army; in the spring of 1793 they set out for the west. At Fallen Timbers (near present-day Toledo) he defeated the Indians in August 1794. He negotiated the Treaty of Greenville with the chiefs (1795), by which the several tribes acknowledged American supremacy in the region. This ended a generation of warfare on the frontier.

While on a tour of inspection of frontier posts, Wayne died on Dec. 15, 1796, at Presque Isle (Erie) in Pennsylvania. Often impetuous and occasionally rash, he was called "mad, " but none disputed his courage and competence.

Further Reading

Wayne's activities in the Old Northwest are recorded in The Wayne-Knox-Pickering-McHenry Correspondence, edited by R. C. Knopf (1960). The best study of Wayne is Charles J. Stillé, Major-General Anthony Wayne and the Pennsylvania Line in the Continental Army (1893); complete and judicious, it contains many of Wayne's letters. Harry Emerson Wildes, Anthony Wayne: Trouble Shooter of the American Revolution (1941), does not add much new. An interesting and colorful biography, but not as scholarly as Stillé's, is Thomas Boyd, Mad Anthony Wayne (1929).

Additional Sources

Fox, Joseph L., Anthony Wayne, Washington's reliable general, Chicago, Ill.: Adams Press, 1988.

Isaac, Norm, Wayne—Ohio's wilderness warrior, Richmond, Ind.: N. Isaac, 1982.

Nelson, Paul David, Anthony Wayne, soldier of the early republic, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985. □

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Wayne, Anthony

Wayne, Anthony (1745–1796), Revolutionary War general; commander of the Legion of the United States.An imposing Pennsylvanian, Wayne was a commissioned colonel in the Continental army in 1776 and took part in the unsuccessful American invasion of Canada. Promoted brigadier general in 1777, he served with George Washington in Pennsylvania, suffering defeat at Paoli on 20 September. He fought gallantly at the Battle of Monmouth, 28 June 1778; on 15 July 1779, he seized an important British fortified position on the Hudson River, Stony Point, in a brilliantly executed light infantry assault. He suppressed two mutinies among his soldiers in early 1781 before joining the marquis de Lafayette's army in Virginia and following Gen. Charles Cornwallis's withdrawal to Yorktown. After the British surrender there (19 October), he commanded troops in Georgia and South Carolina before resigning from the army in 1782.

Frustrated in civilian pursuits, Wayne gladly accepted Washington's offer in 1792 to command the Legion of the United States, with the rank of major general. His mission was to end the formidable Indian resistance in the Northwest Territory. Over the next two years, he created a tough, disciplined army, and—despite secret attempts by his subordinate James Wilkinson to ruin him—decisively defeated a Delaware, Shawnee, and Canadian force at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, 20 August 1794. After establishing a number of military posts, Wayne concluded the Treaty of Greenville in 1795, pacifying the region. He died on duty at Presque Isle late the following year, at the height of his fame. Known for his vanity, fearlessness, and violent temper, he was popularly called “Mad Anthony” Wayne—a nickname that his troops bestowed in admiration of his audacity in battle.
[See also Native American Wars: Wars Between Native Americans and Europeans and Euro‐Americans; Revolutionary War: Military and Diplomatic Course.]

Bibliography

Paul David Nelson , Anthony Wayne: Soldier of the Early Republic, 1985.

Paul David Nelson

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Wayne, Anthony

Wayne, Anthony (1745–96) US general. He served under Washington in the Revolutionary War campaigns around New York and Pennsylvania, and in 1779 he led the successful night attack on Stony Point, N.Y. In 1781–83 he fought in the South. After the war he defeated the Ohio Indians in the Battle of Fallen Timbers (1794) and signed the Treaty of Greenville, the first to recognize Native American title to US lands.

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