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"The Battle of the Wabash: The Forgotten Disaster of the..." Topic


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©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP20 May 2017 2:40 p.m. PST

…Indian Wars.

"When Americans read or hear about the Indian Wars, they are exposed to the familiar names like Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and George Armstrong Custer and his demise at the battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876. Little is known of the worst disaster experienced by the U.S. Army at the hands of Native Americans, which occurred eighty-five years prior to Custer's last stand. It was a defeat that greatly overshadowed Little Big Horn not only in terms of casualties and brutality, but also in the consequences that resulted from the debacle. The Battle of the Wabash, also known as St. Clair's Defeat, named after the expedition's leader, Major General Arthur St. Clair, occurred on 4 November 1791, and was one of the first tests of the fledgling U.S. Army of the Early Republic.

Only two years after the ratification of the Constitution, the United States faced a challenge to its authority by the tribes of the Old Northwest Territory, an area which included present-day Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and parts of Minnesota. Indian tribes were attacking American settlers at the encouragement of British agents from Canada and British troops still occupying various installations a direct violation of the peace treaty that ended the Revolutionary War.

Prior to the Battle of Wabash, President George Washington had dispatched another expedition led by Brigadier General Josiah Harmar to quell the Miami raids, which were led by the Miami chief, Little Turtle. Faced with supply shortages and poor military planning, Harmar was soundly defeated by the Miamis and forced to withdraw…"
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Haitiansoldier23 May 2017 4:43 p.m. PST

That's one of my favourite battles of the 18th century. It really is a shame so little has been written on it. I have the superb Osprey book, but hopefully the definitive history of Wabash can be written soon. I visited the battlefield three years ago and unlike Little Bighorn it is largely in the middle of downtown Fort Recovery. The museum there is good and worth seeing.

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