Battlefield Site History

The Battle of Fallen Timbers

The Battle of Fallen Timbers was fought on August 20, 1794 between  the Legion of the United States under Major General Anthony Wayne and the Western Confederacy of Native Americans under Blue Jacket, Little Turtle  and other Tribal War Leaders from the area.

The battle was the culmination of a long engagement between the United States and those allied Native American Nations for control over lands northwest of the Ohio River.

In the summer of 1793, Wayne began marching approximately 1,500 men north from Fort Washington (Cincinnati) to where the Western Confederacy and British Fort Miamis were positioned. In August the following year, Wayne and his Legion encountered approximately 1,000 warriors from the Western Confederacy. The battle that ensued lasted less than two hours, but the  Legion's victory was decisive in its outcome.

Following the battle, the Western Confederacy lost strength. In the summer of 1795, representatives from each tribe in the alliance met with representatives of the United States to negotiate and sign the Treaty of Greenville, which ultimately led to the United States’ settlement of the Northwest Territories.

Wayne vs. Little Turtle

The Battle of Fallen Timbers was a decisive victory by the Legion of the United States led by General "Mad" Anthony Wayne over a confederacy of native Americans led by Miami Chief Little Turtle. Wayne's victory opened the Northwest Territory for white settlement, later leading to Ohio's statehood in 1803.

General  Wayne was the commander of the legion of the United States at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. He was born in Pennsylvania on January 1, 1745. After growing up in Waynesborough, Pennsylvania, Anthony Wayne was commissioned a colonel and assisted General Benedict Arnold in his retreat from Quebec. He held various positions with the Continental Army and even shared the long winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge with General George Washington.

Wayne was recalled as a major general by Washington in 1792 to lead the Legion of the United States against the Native American forces in Ohio and Indiana. Wayne's troops defeated the Native Americans at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, which led to the Wayne's Treaty of Greenville in 1795. This opened the Northwest Territory to white settlement. A year later, Wayne died on December 15, 1796.

Michikinikwa or Little Turtle was born in 1752 near Fort Wayne in Little Turtle Village. As a young warrior, he participated in defense of his village in 1780. He later led a small confederation of Native American tribes in defeating federal army forces in 1790 and 1791. Michikinikwa urged people to seek peace prior to the 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers, where his forces were defeated by Anthony Wayne. He later died in Fort Wayne on July 14, 1812. Other partners of Michikinikwa during the Battle of Fallen Timbers were Tecumseh, Chief Blue Jacket and Chief Bukongahelas.

Tecumseh was one of the most famous leaders during the resistance, but refused to sign the Treaty of Greenville in 1795.

The Battlefield Today

The Fallen Timbers Battlefield is both historical and new. It was the site of a famous and important event in American history. Yet the exact location where the 1794 battle between General Anthony Wayne's army and a confederacy of American Indian tribes took place was discovered more than 200 years later.

The Battle of Fallen Timbers was one of four major engagements during the Indian Wars period of 1790-1795 and is regarded as one of the most significant US military actions in the period between the Revolution and the War of 1812.

Preserving the Fallen Timbers Battlefield is important to commemorate and learn about military and social events that took place in the Maumee Valley that led directly to Ohio becoming a state.

For more than 70 years, a monument to the battle has stood on a bluff overlooking the Maumee River. Many speculated that the battle took place on the high spot and the floodplain below. But G. Michael Pratt, an anthropologist and faculty member at Heidelberg College, theorized that the battle occurred about a quarter-mile away.

In 1995, Pratt conducted the first archaeological survey in a farm field at the northwest corner of the intersection of US 24 and US 23/I-475 in Maumee, Ohio. A significant number of artifacts dating to the late 1700s supported his theory, and subsequent surveys revealed additional evidence that intense fighting took place on the site.

At the same time, a group of citizens called the Fallen Timbers Battlefield Preservation Commission organized to advocate for the battlefield's protection.

In 2000, Metroparks of the Toledo area reached an agreement to buy a 187-acre site considered to be a key portion of the battlefield site.

The same year, Congress established the Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site and designated it as an Affiliated Unit of the National Park Service.

The purposes of Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site, according to the legislation, is to recognize, preserve and interpret U.S. military history and Native American culture between 1794 and 1813, and to create links between three separate historic places:

The 185-acre Fallen Timbers Battlefield site, the battleground where General Wayne and the native confederacy led by Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, Little Turtle and Blue Jacket, fought the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. The battle secured Ohio and the Northwest Territory for U.S. settlement.

Fort Miamis, which was occupied by General Anthony Wayne's legion from 1796 to 1798 and later was the site of a battle in the War of 1812.

And the Fallen Timbers Monument, which memorializes the battle and the combatants: General Wayne, the American Indians and the Kentucky Militia.

Metroparks completed buying the property with local, state and federal funds in the fall of 2001. Immediately, The Fallen Timbers Advisory Commission was formed to plan the future of the historic site. The commission has submitted a draft General Management Plan to the National Park Service.

Fallen Timbers Battlefield Advisory Commission:
American Indian Intertribal Association
City of Maumee
Fallen Timbers Battlefield Preservation Commission
Heidelberg College
Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor
Lucas County Maumee Valley Historical Society
Ohio History Connection
National Park Service
Metroparks Toledo