Who Was Anthony Wayne?
Anthony Wayne (January 1, 1745 – December 15, 1796) was a United States Army officer and statesman. He adopted a military career at the outset of the American Revolutionary War, where his military exploits and fiery personality quickly earned him promotion to brigadier general and the nickname “Mad Anthony”. (A second nickname was “The General Patton of the American Revolution.”) He later served as the Senior Officer of the Army on the Ohio Country frontier and led the Legion of the United States to victory in the Battle of Fallen Timbers.
During the Revolutionary War, he served in the Invasion of Quebec, the Philadelphia Campaign, and the Yorktown Campaign. His reputation suffered due to his defeat in the Battle of Paoli, but he won wide praise for his leadership in the 1779 Battle of Stony Point. (Wayne was awarded a gold medal from the Continental Congress for Stony Point.) He was promoted to Major General in 1783 but retired from the Continental Army soon after.
After the war, Wayne settled in Georgia on land that had been granted to him for his military service. He briefly represented Georgia in the House of Representatives, then returned to the Army to accept command of U.S. forces in the Northwest Indian War. His forces defeated the Western Confederacy, an alliance of several Indian tribes, at the 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers, and he masterminded the Treaty of Greenville which ended the war and soon led to statehood for Ohio in 1803.
Wayne died of complications from gout on December 15, 1796, during a return trip to Pennsylvania from a military post in Detroit. He was buried at Fort Presque Isle where the modern Wayne Blockhouse stands. His son Issac Wayne disinterred the body in 1809 and had the corpse boiled to remove the surviving flesh from the bones. He then placed the bones into two saddlebags and relocated them to the family plot in the graveyard of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Wayne, Pennsylvania. The other remains were reburied and discovered in 1878, giving General Wayne two known grave sites. There is a legend which claims that many bones were lost along the roadway between Fort Presque Isle and Wayne Pa. which encompasses much of U.S. Route 322, and that his ghost wanders the highway on January 1 (Wayne’s birthday) searching for his lost bones.