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The bill was passed and became a law. St. Clair resigned his military command, and General ANTHONY WAYNE was appointed commander-in-chief. This was in the spring of 1793.
Among the several considerations which' now operated on the mind of General Washington at this trying period of our national history, which we are compelled to consider for a moment, was the poverty of the nation, loaded with debt, without much commerce, and the general poverty of the people. The people of the east, looked upon this western war, as a burden, which the western people ought to bear. Hence the duty on distilleries, owned mostly in the west, which grew out of the expenses of this Indian war. This táx, led directly to the whisky insurrection, in Western Pennsylvania. And, it need not be disguised, that the opposition to the present constitution, laid hold of every thing within their reach, to render General Washington unpopular. They pretended to fear, so large a standing army, of five thousand four hundred men! they saw too, with alarm, Mrs. Washington's levees, and the pomp of Colorrel Pickering, General Knox, and other heads of Departments, with salaries of three thousand dollars a year!' though the compensation was so small, that they, and their families could not live decently on it. The French revolution too, was raging, and Genet was busily engaged, in his endeavors to draw us, into the vortex of European politics. General Washington was beset on all sides; French agents and partisans, on the Atlantic border, were fomenting discontent; the British and their Indians, were desolating our western frontier, with fire and the tomahawk, and the war whoop waked the sleep of the cradle.
It was early in this year, we believe, that General Washington after appointing General Wayne and other officers to command the western army, and doing all that he had the power to do, made a tour to the Indians of Western New
York, in company with Colonel Pickering. Colonel Pickering, tarried one night at the writer's father's, while General Washington put up at a near neighbor's, a Mr. Bloom. This was in Western New York. General Washington and Colonel Pickering visited all the New York Indians, held councils with them, and delivered talks and speeches to them; some of which, we saw, among these Indians in 1828, while we were on a visit to our old friends still living in the Indian villages.
This visit was made by General Washington, to conciliate those savages, and to prevent their joining in the war, with the British Indians, as they had done all along before this period. Many New York Indians were present at St. Clair's defeat, and some of them, still went off, and fought against General Wayne, in 1794, when they were defeated, and mostly killed, on the Maumee river. In the summer of 1793, Wayne tried to treat with the Indians. Fort Massac was built, under him, to prevent an expedition against New Orleans, which GENET was planning. General Wayne sent out, in succession, Colonel Hardin, aud Major Trueman with a flag of truce, medals, talks and presents to the Indians in order to make a peace with them.
These messengers of peace were killed in succession, as soon as they arrived among the savages. Their medals, and speeches, sent by them, and all they had with them, were taken by the Indians who slew the bearers of them. We saw these medals and speeches in the possession of the elder Caray Maunee, principal chief of the Winnebagoes at Prairie du Chien, in July 1829..
The medal was a large one, of copper, six inches in diameter, and purported, no doubt truly, to have been made, at the expense of a gentleman of Philadelphia, and by him, sent as à token of General Washington's friendship, to the Indians. Every other effort was made by General Wayne, that summer, to bring about a peace with the savages, but all in vain, and worse than in vain. But notwithstanding all the efforts to make a peace, yet, nothing was omitted that could be done, to
prepare for a vigorous war against them. Although General Wayne promptly accepted his appointment, and entered on its arduous duties, yet, it was found no easy matter to fill up the minor appointments, even the very next in grade to the Commander-in-chief, of this army. Several were appointed to these offices who refused to accept them. It was found difficult too, to enlist soldiers for this hazardous service. Every thing moved along slowly, and the season was spent in doing very little, to any good effect. The British commander of the fort at Detroit, had erected a fort at the head of the Maumee Bay, for the purpose, it would seem, of protecting the Indians, in alliance with them. Here the Indians resorted for protection; here they sold their furs, peltries and skins, received their annuities, and, we doubt not, that they received here, also, the price paid for the scalps of our murdered countrymen. .
General Wayne was not idle, but urged forward all his measures, vigorously, prudently, and in the end, effectually.
On the 5th of November 1793, congress met at Philadelphia, to whom the President said in his speech at the commencement of that sessioa, " That the reiterated attempts which had been made to effect a pacification with the Indians, had issued only in new and outrageous proofs of persevering hostility, on the part of the tribes, with whom we were at war." He alluded to the destruction of Hardin and Trueman, while on peaceful missions, under the sanction of flags of truce; and their families were recommended to the attention of congress. Notwithstanding all these efforts of GENERAL WASHINGTON, in favor of this bleeding frontier, congress and the nation, were too much engaged with other objects to bestow much attention on this distant war.
The French revolution had turned the heads of many members of congress towards that dazzling object. They were of the opinion that mankind were all to be regenerated by it; that by some secret magic it would make mankind new beings; and that the whole world would soon become something more than its Author ever designed it to be.
The spring and summer of 1793, having been employed, by
General Wayne, in endeavoring to make peace, and in preparing for war, so that it was September, before he was ready to move forward into the heart of the Indian country. General Wayne collected his army and marched six miles north of Fort Jefferson, where he established a camp, and fortified it, and called it GREENVILLE. The town of Greenville is not far from where this camp was. General Wayne, having made this encampment and wintered in it, early the next spring he marched forward to the ground where St. Clair had been defeated, on the 4th of November 1791, where he erected a fortification, and called it FORT RECOVERY.
Leaving this post he moved forward to the ground where Harmar had been defeated in 1790, and erected a work of defence and called it FORT WAYNE, which name the town now there, bears. It is situated at the head of the Maumee river, at the confluence of the St. Joseph's and the St. Mary's riv. ers. . .
On the 8th of August 1794, General Anthony Wayne with his army reached the mouth of the Auglaize, a tributary of the Maumee, forty five miles, or more below Fort Wayne, and the same distance, by his computation, above the British post, on the Maumee. Here, in the forks of these rivers, General Wayne erected a strong military work, and called it by a very appropriate name, (as he did all his posts) FORT DEFIANCE. The General fully informed himself of the strength of the enemy, and that the British and Indians, numbered only about two thousand, whereas his own regulars, were about as numerous as the enemy, besides eleven hundred mounted men, whom he had with him, from Kentucky, under the command of General Scott. This gave General Wayne a decided advantage over the enemy, as he thought, and as it proved to be. But notwithstanding his superiority, in numbers; notwithstanding the high discipline of his troops, and their patriotic ardor, for a battle; yet he offered terms of peace to the enemy and waited for the answer. The enemy wanted war, not peace; so on the 15th day of August, 1794, General Wayne left FORT DEFIANCE, and marched down the Maumee,
his right being covered by the river. On the 18th he arrived at the head of the rapids. Here he lay on the 19th erecting some temporary works to protect his baggage, and to reconoitre the enemy. He found the Indians advantageously posted in front of the British fort. On the 20th, at 8 o'clock in the morning of that day, the army advanced in columns; the legion along the bank of the Maumee. General Todd's brigade of mounted volunteers formed the left flank. General Barbee's mounted brigade of volunteers, marched in the rear of the army. Major Price's select band moved in front of the whole army, so as to give timely notice of an attack. Thus marching forward, five miles where Major Price received a heavy fire from the Indians,
The enemy had formed in three lines, within supporting distance of each other, in a windfall, extending from the west bank of the Maumee, westwardly about two miles, in front, resting on the Maumee and protected by the British garrison. This prostrated forest extended five miles west of the river, in which fallen forest the Indians lay in three lines, two miles in length resting on the Maumee. They could not have been better protected from such a mounted force as Wayne's, than they were by their extended position, of fallen timber. The first effort of the enemy, thus extended two miles, in length, was to turn the left flank of our army. At the very first discharge of a rifle, the legion was formed in two lines, and the front was ordered to advance with trailed arms, and rouse the enemy from his thicket at the point of the bayonet; then, but not till then, deliver the first fire, and press the enemy so closely as not to give him time to reload his guns. Seeing the strength of the enemy, and that he was endeavoring to turn our left flank, General Wayne ordered the second line, to support the first, already engaged with the enemy.' The legionary cavalry was ordered to press forward upon the enemy who lay on the river's bank, and where there was no timber in their way. General Scott was ordered to make a circuit, so far, as to outflank and turn their right flank. All these orders were promptly obeyed, but such was the fury of our first