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General Arthur St. Clair

When Major General Arthur St. Clair (pictured at right), the territorial governor, was sent to finally put an end to the Indian uprising, Little Turtle (Miami) and Blue Jacket (Shawnee) confronted St. Clair’s force of 1,200 men camped on the Wabash River in the area of current day Fort Recovery, Ohio. Although his experienced men had built other forts on their march, and knew that Indians were in the area, they were very weary from their trek and did not construct fortifications before pitching tents for the night. (Although practiced at building forts, his army was poorly trained).

It was November 3, 1791, and many of the soldiers were just awakening when 1,000 warriors swept into the camp from three sides; eventually encircling the encampment. With the Americans in disarray, 900 soldiers were killed and wounded. Colonel Darke led an almost futile charge into the enemy that cut a path through the Indian lines, allowing St. Clair, the balance of his men and a number of civilians to escape to nearby Fort Jefferson. The fort had been constructed earlier that year by the men who now sought its refuge. ‘St. Clair’s Shame,’ as the battle became known, is the greatest loss ever inflicted on American soldiers.

 

'Indian' segment written in December, 1997 by David Lodge

 

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General Arthur St. Clair

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