Thursday, August 6, 2015

Revolutionary War Afterlife

It is sometimes remarkable to consider how much certain Revolutionary War generals compressed into relatively brief lives.  One such example is General "Mad Anthony" Wayne. Wayne lived just under 52 years, born January 1, 1745 and died December 15, 1796.  At thirty-one, he was a colonel in the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment of the Continental Army, participating in the ill-fated invasion of Canada in 1776.   Just turning thirty-two, he became a brigadier-general in the Continental Army. Among his successes was the taking of the British fort at Stony Point, New York, employing a comparable night attack such as that used by British General Charles Grey against Wayne at Paoli, Pennsylvania.  In the last year of the war (1783) he became a major general.

After the war, Wayne spent eight years in politics as an officeholder, and was recalled to service by President George Washington to take charge of the American war effort in the northwest territories where Native American tribes, aided and abetted by the British, continued to resist American annexation of territory ceded by the British.  With the Treaty of Greenville, signed August 3, 1795, the fifty-year old Wayne then spent the next year back at the frontier stabilizing the territory.  On July 11, 1796 the British finally surrendered the region and a month later, Wayne County (then including not only Michigan, but other states) was established and named in his honor.  A plaque in Detroit today marks the event. 

Wayne died a few months later of gout.  

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