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First Name: Anthony

Last Name: Wayne

Birthplace: Easttown Township, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Continental Army (1775 - 1784)

Date of Birth: 01 January 1745

Date of Death: 15 December 1796

Rank: Major General

Years Served:
Anthony Wayne
'Mad Anthony'

•  Indian Wars (1775 - 1924) intermittent
•  Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783)


Anthony "Mad Anthony" Wayne
Major General, Continental Army

Anthony Wayne was born on 1 January 1745 in Easttown Township, PA, one of five children born to Isaac Wayne and Elizabeth Eddings Wayne on the family farm in Easttown Township, near present-day Paoli, Chester County, PA. He was educated as a surveyor at his uncle's private academy in Philadelphia, as well as at the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania), where he was in the class of 1765, although he did not earn a degree. In 1766, he was sent by Benjamin Franklin and some associates to work for a year surveying land they owned in Nova Scotia and assisting with starting settlements there. In 1767, he returned to work in his father's tannery, while continuing work as a surveyor. He became a prominent figure in Chester County and served in the Pennsylvania legislature from 1774-80.

American Revolution

At the onset of the war in 1775, Wayne raised a militia unit and, in 1776, became Colonel of the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment. He and his Regiment were part of the Continental Army's unsuccessful invasion of Canada where he was sent to aid Benedict Arnold, during which he commanded a successful rear-guard action at the Battle of Trois-Rivières, and then led the distressed forces at Fort Ticonderoga. His service resulted in a promotion to Brigadier General on 21 February 1777.

Later, he commanded the Pennsylvania Line at Brandywine, Paoli, and Germantown. After winter quarters at Valley Forge, he led the American attack at the Battle of Monmouth. During this last battle, Wayne's forces were pinned down by a numerically superior British force. However, Wayne held out until relieved by reinforcements sent by Washington. This scenario would play out again years later, in the Southern campaign.

The highlight of Wayne's Revolutionary War service was probably his victory at Stony Point. In July 1779, Washington named Wayne to command the Corps of Light Infantry, a temporary unit of four regiments of light infantry companies from all the regiments in the Main Army. On 16 July 1779, in a bayonets-only night attack lasting thirty minutes, three columns of light infantry, the main attack personally led by Wayne, stormed British fortifications at Stony Point, a cliffside redoubt commanding the southern Hudson River. The success of this operation provided a boost to the morale of an army which had at that time suffered a series of military defeats. Congress awarded him a medal for the victory.

On 1 January 1781, Wayne, then the commanding officer of the Pennsylvania Line of the Continental Army, was faced with a mutiny over pay and conditions that was one of the most serious of the war. The mutiny was successfully resolved by dismissing about one half of the line, which Wayne then had to rebuild. This work was largely completed by May 1781, but it delayed his departure to Virginia, where he had been sent to assist the Marquis de Lafayette against British forces operating there. The line's departure was delayed once more when the men again complained about being paid in the nearly-worthless Continental currency.

In Virginia, Wayne led Lafayette's advance forces in an action at Green Spring, where he led a bayonet charge against the numerically superior British forces after stepping into a trap set by Charles Cornwallis. This increased his popular reputation as a bold commander. After the British surrendered at Yorktown, he went further south and severed the British alliance with Native American tribes in Georgia. He then negotiated peace treaties with both the Creek and the Cherokee, for which Georgia rewarded him with the gift of a large rice plantation. He was promoted to Major General on 10 October 1783.

Political Career

After the war, Wayne returned to Pennsylvania and served in the state legislature for a year in 1784. He then moved to Georgia and settled upon the tract of land granted him by that state for his military service. He was a delegate to the state convention which ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1788.

In 1791, he served a year in the Second U.S. Congress as a U.S. Representative of Georgia but lost his seat during a debate over his residency qualifications and declined to run for re-election in 1792.

President George Washington recalled Wayne from civilian life in order to lead an expedition in the Northwest Indian War, which up to that point had been a disaster for the U.S. Many American Indians in the Northwest Territory had sided with the British in the Revolutionary War. In the Treaty of Paris that had ended the conflict, the British had ceded this land to the U.S. The Indians, however, had not been consulted and resisted annexation of the area by the U.S. The Western Indian Confederacy achieved major victories over U.S. forces in 1790-91 under the leadership of Blue Jacket of the Shawnees and Little Turtle of the Miamis. They were encouraged and supplied by the British, who had refused to evacuate British fortifications in the region as called for in the Treaty of Paris.

Washington placed Wayne in command of a newly-formed military force called the "Legion of the U.S." Wayne established a basic training facility at Legionville to prepare professional soldiers for his force. Wayne's was the first attempt to provide basic training for regular U.S. Army recruits and Legionville was the first facility established expressly for this purpose.

He then dispatched a force to Ohio to establish Fort Recovery as a base of operations. On 3 August, a tree fell on Wayne's tent. He survived, but was rendered unconscious. By the next day, he had recovered sufficiently to resume the march. On 20 August 1794, Wayne mounted an assault on the Indian confederacy at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, in modern Maumee, OH (just south of present-day Toledo), which was a decisive victory for the U.S. forces, ending the war. Wayne then negotiated the Treaty of Greenville between the tribal confederacy and the U.S., which was signed on 3 August 1795. The treaty gave most of what is now Ohio to the U.S., and cleared the way for that state to enter the Union in 1803.

Wayne died of complications from gout on 15 December 1796 during a return trip to Pennsylvania from a military post in Detroit, and was buried at Fort Presque Isle (now Erie, PA) where the modern Wayne Blockhouse stands. His body was disinterred in 1809 and, after boiling the body to remove the remaining flesh, as many of the bones as would fit in two saddlebags were relocated to the family plot in St. David's Episcopal Church Cemetery in Radnor, PA. A legend says that many bones were lost along the roadway that encompasses much of modern U.S. Route 322, and that every 1 January (Wayne's birthday), his ghost wanders the highway searching for his lost bones.


He married Mary Penrose in 1766 and they had two children. Their daughter, Margretta, was born in 1770 and their son, Isaac Wayne, future U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania, was born in 1772.


On 14 September 1929, the U.S. Post office issued a stamp honoring General Wayne and which commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The post office issued a series of stamps often referred to as the 'Two Cent Reds' by collectors, issued to commemorate the 150th Anniversaries of the many events that occurred during the American Revolution and to honor people such as General Wayne and those others who were there during these times of struggle.

Municipalities and Institutions

There are many political jurisdictions and institutions named after Wayne, especially in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana, the region where he fought many of his battles.

Honoree ID: 3205   Created by: MHOH




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