Selected Papers From The 1989 And 1990 George Rogers Clark Trans-Appalachian Frontier History Conferences
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Who Defeated St. Clair?
Leroy V. Eid
University of Dayton

Custermania guarantees that a personal library could and often is filled with published material on Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer's defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. For sheer magnitude of disaster, however, Custer can't hold a candle to Arthur St. Clair. St. Clair lost almost three times the number of soldiers who died in 1876. Edward Braddock lost less personnel in his famous defeat on the Monongahela. Major General St. Clair's debacle November 4, 1791, in western Ohio, remains, in St. Clair's undeniably true words, "as unfortunate an action as almost any that has been fought." About half the army had been killed and a large number had been wounded. His army's losses in that three-hour period "exceeded the total killed in the battles of Long Island and Camden, the two most sanguinary contests of the Revolution." [1]

Nevertheless, all this interesting military trivia has not popularized St. Clair's battle. [2] Surely, it's not because the United States lost - Custer also lost. Moreover, a number of survivors have given us harrowing accounts of the event. The battle lacks interest even for most military historians because the leadership drama is nonexistent. While there are other relevant reasons for St. Clair's slide into oblivion, this leadership reason can offer some insight into a major confusion about Indian military sophistication. On one side, there was a commander whose only stroke of brilliance was a cleverly executed bayonet charge to exit the battlefield. On the other side, there was uncertainty over the identity of the commander; uncertainty even whether someone really commanded overall.

Normally, the battle in which St. Clair's army almost was annihilated simply is named for him. That's patently unfair since there is plenty of ineptitude, cowardice and venality to go around. The tone of St. Clair's expedition was set at the beginning of the army's march. When Lieutenant Colonel Josiah Harmar (himself a pitied soldier twice defeated in battle with the Indians) counseled his friend Lieutenant Ebenezer Denny: "You must go on the campaign; some will escape, and you may be among the number." [3] What an unlucky officer, but prescient prophet! The expedition's supplies were insufficient and shoddy. Officers bickered publicly, sulked in their tents and an officer (apparently piqued at St. Clair's of him) refused to pass on essential information. Early intelligence on the strength of the Indian forces never really Was attempted, much less gathered. The army, in Denny's words, was "perfectly ignorant" of the enemy's forces. That Captain Richard Sparks and a party of 20 friendly Chickasaw Indians could leave camp on October 29, 1791, to gather information and still could miss the enemy altogether is almost incredible. [4] St. Clair, in fact, received so little intelligence that historians have failed to follow the common practice of naming the battle after the location since St. Clair did not know upon which river he was beaten.

The soldiers were allowed to go to sleep before fortifying their camp. In combat, the cannons were aimed too high to do any damage. The militia fled at the start of the battle, caused confusion among the regular soldiers, spent most of the time milling about the camp or rifling officers' possessions, took the lead in running back to Fort Jefferson at the time of retreat and, in some cases, later boasted about impossibly high numbers of Indians they personally had shot. Indeed, the remnants of the army were noteworthy in being able to cover a marathon distance to that fort by nightfall. [5] Finally, it should be noted that a special place of Federalist dishonor was saved for the apparently absurd denouement when Congress later found that "the failure of the last expedition can in no respect be imputed to his [St. Clair's] conduct." The defeated general continued for the next 10 years to serve as governor of the Northwest Territory. An author of a description of the battle has, then, an embarrassing amount of material to use for describing the errors, cowardice and incompetence of St. Clair's army before, during and after its disgraceful performance.

Instead of dwelling on these commonplace facts of the battle, pretend for a moment that St. Clair had won. Many battles, remember, have been won despite the incompetence of the officers and the greed of the supply corps. In the case of a St. Clair victory, the historian would have explained the outcome by emphasizing certain undeniably true aspects of that historical battle. The president, it would have been noted, explicitly had warned St. Clair of his greatest danger: " three words, beware of surprise;...again and again, General, beware of surprise." [6] St. Clair's movement into Indian territory precluded his rushing into the type of ambushes so effectively sprung on Harmar's forces. St. Clair left the Indians no choice, but to gamble with the initiative or to lose the territory. In addition, President George Washington carefully had pinpointed that St. Clair only had to attend to the well-known ways in which Indians fought. "You know," said Washington, "how the Indians fight us."

Secondly, the Indians had been thrown off guard by a series of preliminary military excursions into Indian territory. Charles Scott and James Wilkinson had led 750 Kentuckians against certain Miami towns in Indiana. Then, Wilkinson led another 500 Kentuckians into that same region. [7] These attacks, combined with Harmar's [8] 1790 destruction of the extensive corn fields of the numerous Miami towns led to such famine conditions that a warrior of the peace party received no answer to his charge that "you almost eat your own dung this summer [I792] for reason of war." [9]

Thirdly, only courageous and proven Revolutionary War officers had been chosen. Any number of observers noted Major General St. Clair's battlefield coolness and self-possesion. Having served at Ticonderoga, Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine and Yorktown, was there any reason to be surprised that he again proved himself "conspicuously courageous?" [10] Trained by encounters with Britain's famous Red Lines, evolutionary soldiers like Richard Butler (noted for his valor commanding a portion of the famous Pennsylvania Line), Jonathan Snowden, Thomas Patterson, William Piatt, (all formerly commissioned officers of the New Jersey Continental Line), and Zebulon Pike of the Continental Army, obviously would have seen to it that Indian valor and foolhardiness would be destroyed by the disciplined valor of the bayonet charge.

St. Clair, of course, hardly needed to be reminded by Secretary of War Henry Knox of this particular battlefield technique. Army officers were steeped in the lessons learned from Colonel Henry Bouquet's extraordinarily effective destruction of the Indians at Bushy Run in 1763. In a marching formation reminiscent of the theory expounded in William Smith's popularization of Bouquet's St. Clair had eliminated surprise which traditionally was the Indian's most effective weapon. At the campsite, a large number of sentries were placed well in front of the bivouacking army to prevent a surprise attack. In addition, St. Clair on the eve of the battle - and following Bouquet's example - secured control of the high ground. As Denny, St. Clair's aide-de-camp, later wrote: "I was much pleased with [the high, dry ground]." A year later on February 1, 1792, Winthrop Sargent (a revolutionary soldier who had been St. Clair's adjutant general in 1791) looked again at the "very handsome piece of rising ground" and again was struck by the idea that it was "so defensible against regular troops that I believe any military man...would have unhesitatingly pitched upon it." [t2]

Since the area was limited, St. Clair improvised a solution which included a thoughtful way of handling the problem of undisciplined militia. The sharpshooting but undisciplined frontiersmen were placed in such a way that the regulars could operate even if the frontiersmen fled or ran pell-mell around the field following their "treeing" technique. [13] To avoid such flight or unexpected maneuvering, St. Clair had advanced them in an easily defended position where "for about 400 yards to their front the woods were more or less open, offering little cover for hostile approach." [14] Additionally, army units on both sides strengthened the frontiersmen's resolve. Benjamin Van Cleve's Journal [15] makes it clear that soldiers, such as himself, had high morale and were quite confident that they easily would defeat the assembled Indians. Another Bouquet truism formed the basis of St. Clair's battlefield performance - drive the Indians ahead with the bayonet. As an unexpected bonus, the gout-stricken commander moved around the field metamorphosed by the battle into a younger, healthier officer seemingly blessed by Mars, the Roman god of war, with personal battlefield immortality. Finally, Congress, in investigating the less successful aspects of the battle, candidly blamed itself (not the officers or the soldiers) for failures. In short, if the Indians had not won, the historian would have pictured brave men under the guidance of veteran leaders, both working for honest politicians.

All the above statements are historically true, but St. Clair's army, nevertheless, was utterly destroyed. Why? Competence and courage alone do not guarantee victory. National resolve, insightful generalship and the enemy's soldierly qualities also must be considered. In terms of the latter point, Indian soldiers, their officers and the political units they served would have had to accomplish a larger number of correct moves. St. Clair realized this. He told his congressional investigators that the absence during the battle of Major John Francis Hamtramck and his elite First Regimental Army unit (who had been sent to round up deserters) could not serve as an explanation for his defeat. If that group had been present on the battlefield, St. Clair unexpectedly stated, the outcome would have been the same, except there would have been more casualties!

Three questions briefly must be explored. Perhaps of most interest to historians - although apparently never to St. Clair nor to his officers - is the question of how the attack on St. Clair evolved. How did the plan of attack become finalized and accepted? Who, in short, commanded the Indians?

Secondly, military historians would insist on the actual battlefield details that defeated St. Clair's forces. No matter how good the general's plan, the army must be able to carry out the details of the plan.

Thirdly, what gave backbone and staying power to the Indian soldiers during the long period before the battle as well as during the battle itself? What generally distinguished this victorious Indian large-scale battle was the political atmosphere of cooperation between disparate forces. What must be considered, then, is how Indian military expertise was channeled into a coherent plan by a general staff whose mandate flowed from the political will of the people they represented.

The least important of these three questions seeks to know who was the George Washington who crushed Charles Cornwallis or perhaps the James Wolfe who died annihilating the Marquis Louis Joseph de Montcalm? [16] Based on a battlefield figure in a British uniform, some writers have theorized that the commander in chief was British. This visual image is too flimsy a piece of evidence for such a view. An author, for example, needs to look for a British leader (or white Indian such as Simon Girty) only when subscribing to one or more of the following errors. "The Indian had no feeling for grand strategy, was a sketchy tactician, and was nothing more than a primitive warrior." [17] Other writers - more by indirection or neglect than by clear choice - imply that the evidence does not show that there was, in reality, a supreme commander among St. Clair's Indian foes. These authors portray several leaders whose level of staff integration amounts to no more than Indians agreeing upon which part of the battlefield their unit would fight. [18] Although revealing a surprising ignorance of the details of the battle itself, this rather inane working assumption rests, though, on an understandable incomprehension of Indian military leadership rules. Even though many authors consider the title unrealistic, perhaps for reasons just given, they have identified a number of Indian candidates for the title of generalissimo.

What were known as "the Western tribes" possessed two famous war chiefs who certainly played key roles in St. Clair's defeat. In this area of the country, many assume for several good reasons that Little Turtle was in overall command. [19] The Miami Indians were unusual in that they did have a hierarchical tradition of a supreme leader and Little Turtle indeed had an enviable military record. He fought on his home ground. He did not seem to have been in real charge at Fallen Timbers where Indian leadership appeared so pathetic. His authoritarian Miami ways, however, would have been terribly annoying to most Indians who were used to an entirely different style of leadership. Chief Blue Jacket also received the nod from some authorities. [20] If he had been white it would not have been held against him, but that he was Shawnee would have been a problem in 1791. Hendrick Aupaumut's 1792 account [21] of the meeting of the tribes of the Ohio and Great Lakes areas makes it abundantly clear that the Shawnee were considered dangerously hot-tempered and over-anxious for war. Canadian authors urge, on the other hand, the candidacy of Chief Joseph Brant who certainly was not anxious for a devastating conflict. Aupaumut's account reflects Algonquian displeasure of Iroquoian treaties with Americans and, more importantly, with the Indian experience of the entire historic period. This account shows why that choice of Brant is doubtful. Whatever claptrap the Five Nations articulated to Europeans and colonials, Algonquian Indians always considered these Iroquoian Indians as potential enemies.

Finally, some minor authors, who collected oral tales, [22] suggested one of the "Seven Nations of Canada," a "Messasago chief," as the architect of victory. Unfortunately for this choice, the rather large amount of published Ojibwa tradition does not mention such a general. The Missisauga were part of the large Ojibwa/Chippewa Nation which in turn was allied with the Potawatomi and Ottawa in the Three Fires Confederation. Thus, this choice of a "Messasago chief" would have been politically astute. The Chippewa also carried the immense prestige of having defeated the Five Nations Iroquois and of having driven them out of Ontario. Simultaneously they were doing the same to the Dakotas in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Therefore, the choice of a "Messasago chief" would have made military sense. Significantly the Chippewa later refused to come and fight in the 1794 campaign against Major General Anthony Wayne. [23] This constitutes as good a reason as any to explain the confused battlefield tactics of the Indians at Fallen Timbers when compared to those tactics used at the defeat of St. Clair.

It hardly can be decided in a single paragraph who exactly was the supreme Indian authority. Instead, it should be argued that this question is misdirected. Concern should not be given unduly to seeking one name because a supreme Indian leadership would have had to have operated in a consensual context quite different from the usual Western military one. A more interesting and utterly important reason for arguing the case for the Missisauga would be that a chief from one of the "back nations" instinctively would have known about the subtleties of consensual decision making. Many past attempts to justify a name for overall commander were misdirected, first of all, in a rather obvious sort of way. Even in the West it is a familiar fact that the Pattons of the army often are commanded by army politicians like Eisenhower. Some of the bitterest interchanges in Aupaumut's account were concerned with the question of the relationship between the war chiefs and the village sachems in the various tribes. The Shawnee and Miami both were accused of letting the war chiefs decide the important national questions. The Iroquoian and the Canadian Algonquian war chiefs agreed that this violated the ancient ways of operating. [24]

The name of the overall leader would be a great deal less known than names of popular battlefield heroes because overall Indian leadership was based on an entirely different set of principles than those of Europe. This would be pointed out to Canadian Governor Louis de Buade, Count of Palluau and Frontenac. In 1695, Chingouabe, chief of the Ojibwa, analyzed for Frontenac the Indian view of civic obedience: [25]

Father! it is not the same with us, as with you. When you command, all the French obey you and go to war. But I shall not be heeded and obeyed by my nation in like manner.

From statements such as this, many historians have assumed that the Indians, in fact, possessed little sense of obedience and would be quite undependable in military operations. On the other hand - and this must be emphasized - at the time Chingouabe spoke the above words, the Ojibwa were in the process of throwing the Five Nation Iroquois out of Canada after a well-executed, large-scale and extended military campaign. This apparent dichotomy between an Indian rhetoric of total civic freedom and documented military success is one fact that should be kept in mind when looking at the defeat suffered by St. Clair's forces. Leadership, at least in military matters, did happen somehow. The anthropologist, Frederick O. Gearing, described this non-Indian type of leadership for the contemporary Fox Indians at the meetings of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. [26]

The men would gather, most within a half hour of the appointed time, stand about, gradually sit down in twos and threes chatting or joking. Some time later Bill would, in a voice almost inaudible, make a casual allusion to the subject matter that had made the meeting necessary....The matter might be taken up, if not, then after some while an allusion would fall a second time from Bill's lips. Once the matter was taken up, Bill would say no more unless some question of fact were asked of him. Ultimately a group sentiment would be felt to have crystallized (the cue was when those who had objections ceased to express them) at which point Bill would say: "It's decided, then...." And if there were minor loopholes in the judgment, he would mention them, systematically gathering up loose ends so as to make the decided course feasible.

This course of action embodies, Gearing said, the techniques for achieving consensus in a "society where, in almost all contexts, any move to direct another, to boss, was considered an aggressive affront." [27]

In other words, in 1791, at least two important things happened when the principal war chiefs met under the silent Indian (whoever he was) who acted as the "Great Chief" before the battle with St. Clair's forces. Gradually a number of Indians disagreed with the way plans were being formulated. They exercised, then, the position always open to Indians - they left. The departure of dissenters was the only way Indians could get that total consensus they needed. Since factionalism continued to be such an important element in Indian difficulties in adjusting to European and American encroachments, [28] then 1791 is noteworthy in that so many Indians accepted the same political goals and battlefield plan. At some point the "Great Chief" rose and, with no voices dissenting, outlined the plan that had evolved. This evolution occurred as a result of the give-and-take of vigorous interchanges between the head warriors of the quite diverse tribes who constituted the forces who had to oppose St. Clair. An unusual third event may have happened. The great warrior in charge may have left the battlefield performance to minor leaders. The Chippewa certainly operated quite regularly in this fashion. [29] This allows every subcommander to feel (and say) that his unit's exploits made the most important contribution to the victory. On this level, the old Gilbert and Sullivan refrain is true - "You're right and I'm right." This entire process may look to modern man as similar to the proverbial committee getting a camel while designing the horse. The process may seem to unite the jerry-built.

Nevertheless, and for at least two reasons, the final plan would be followed faithfully the next day. For one thing, the plan was sure to include general elements upon which all Indians agreed. Against St. Clair, for example, were seen the following generally accepted techniqes: the charge; the targeting of officers; the crescent-shaped battlefield movement; the avoidance of bayonet attacks; the surrounding of would-be bayoneters; and the "treeing" advance.

While the battlefield elements were well-known, the November 1791, configuration was unique. The battle, for example, started with the Indians' totally effective wild rush against the militia, an action which eliminated the latter for the rest of the battle. All-in-all, Indian experience proved that less deaths happened in rushing militia than in trying to outshoot them. Against St. Clair's militia, however, the grand rush was preceded by five minutes or so of full-throated Indian cries. Thus, there absolutely was neither any ambushing nor surprising. The Indians announced their presence and then suddenly charged which served as a carefully orchestrated "shock" maneuver.

Stage two, and again a common technique, was to mingle with those fleeing so as to get inside the camp. The technique would be used, for example, again by the Chippewa in 1794 at Fort Recovery. In both cases it failed, but with St. Clair's forces the Indians moved into phase three - the encirclement of the camp within a couple of minutes. Considering the need to wipe out nearly 200 sentries in six outposts, the difficulty of running through the underbrush and the distance to be traveled, the time for encirclement was markedly rapid. Clearly, all the Indians knew the game plan.

At that point, though, the battle - like all battles - was put into the hands of the soldiers and their immediate officers. The concentration of Indian fire from the two tips of the dominant half-moon formations was aimed at the soldiers manning the cannons. This strategy showed that the Indian soldiers had been instructed on this point. Generally the smaller units followed traditional techniques: use the treeing method of advance; shoot especially at leaders and run before the bayonet charge, but just enough to be able to turn and destroy the bayoneters or instead to run behind them and break through to the camp. The white Indian, Stephen Riddle, who fought against Harmar, St. Clair and Anthony Wayne, made it clear that Indian warriors performed all these maneuvers under the eyes of superiors. "Amongst the Indians they have Defferent grades of chiefs," explained Riddle and "some is captain of 50 some of 100, etc." [30] Avoidance of units in St. Clair's army, who were "advantageously posted and acquainted with this kind of war," [31] may have been simply rank and file Indian appreciation for their adversaries. It also may have resulted from a basic half-moon attack on the other side with the Indians committing just enough of their personnel to keep these soldiers (perhaps whom they previously had singled out as dangerous) in place and thus out of the main fire fight. Moreover, Bouquet at Bushy Run had taught the Indians that they must keep their eyes on all units for otherwise they unexpectedly might appear in the rear.

These techniques worked, ultimately, because the individual Indian soldier performed exceedingly well on a battlefield. The important frontiersman, John Cleves Symmes, correctly analyzed both the weakness of many of the soldiers in St. Clair's command and the high quality of many of their adversaries: [32]

Such men [rabble recruits] may do very well in armies and garrisons where their duty is merely mechanical, but it requires another sort of men to contend against Indians with success. It must be considered that every Indian is in fact a general in his way, and must be opposed by a combatant equally skilled in all their cunning and artifice. Sure I am that one hundred Marlboroughs could not fight fifty Indians in the woods with success.

Another reason, one not sufficiently stressed in most studies of American Indian war, for assuming that the plan would be attempted faithfully rests in the complex kinship structure which undergirded all Indian political reality. Aupaumut's account of his trip among the Western Indians, during which he carried a message from Washington, has been ridiculed as being as ineffective as his mission. Nevertheless, his rambling account of meetings piled upon meetings, all of which start with great emphasis on the putative familiar relationship of one tribe to another, freeze for further generations the world in which the Ohio Indians lived. Before the various tribal war "heros" met, the numerous tribes conferred in three councils - the heros, the sachems and combined meetings of heroes and sachems. Then the various confederations of Indians met to work out their differences. Indian movement to war in the 1790s was a complex process in which consensus had to be achieved among tribes, traditional confederation members, sometimes enemies and even among traditional enemies. Nothing would be more nonsensical than to suppose that such an intricate political process would eventuate in a military foray where every tribal division (if not every individual) would do as they personally thought best. No greater fact could be shown than those relationships of "brother, younger/older brothers, uncles, grandchildren, grandfather." Unfortunately there were few Aupaumuts. Indeed, as the years of the 18th century rolled on, Europeans and colonial societies came to understand less of central Indian politics. The following diagram [33] of a successful African tribe's workable political world probably reflects a similar mind-set for the Indians who opposed St. Clair. It must be emphasized that societies around the world have operated in a militarily effective way in such a context where reciprocal kin relations replace the hierarchical approach of the Western military apparatus. In the interlocking kin relationships, Indians found the rationale and rules for participating in the most important aspects of the most deadly known activity - waging war.

When Iroquois from the Five Nations, the Algonquians' Seven Nations from Canada and the Western Nations of the Ohio Valley joined together on the morning of November 4, 1791, they were united politically and militarily. Not surprisingly, they won.


1. Emory Upton, The Military Policy of the United States (Washington, 1917), p. 80.

2. Some studies of the U.S. military establishment ignore all Indian engagements. For example, The Military in America (editor. Peter Karsten, N.Y., 1980) does not devote even one of its 42 articles exclusively to Indian war. Major General Anthony Wayne's victory at Fallen Timbers in 1794 receives a one-line mention.

3. Military Journal of Major Ebenezer Denny (New York, 1971 reprint), p. 153.

4. "Winthrop Sargent's Diary While with General Arthur St. Clair's Expedition against the Indians," Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society XXXIII (1924), p. 250.

5. Usually the Indians are heavily criticized as unprofessional for not pursuing the army back to the fort. However, Wayne's victorious legion at Fallen Timbers pursued the Indians considerably less. See, From Greenville to Fallen Timbers, Dwight L. Smith, ed., (Indianapolis, 1952), p. 295.

6. St. Clair Papers, William H. Smith, ed. (Cincinnati, 1882), II, p. 283.

7. R. David Edmunds, "Wea Participation in the Northwest Indian Wars, 1790-1795," pp. 247-49. Ultimately this shotgun approach worked. Constant diplomatic and military initiatives effectively divided the Indians. See, Wiley Sword, President Washington's Indian War: The Struggle for the Old Northwest. 1790-1795 (Norman, 1985).

8. For a recent review of Josiah Harmar see, Alan S. Brown, "The Role of the Army in Western Settlement: Josiah Harmar's Command, 1785-1790. "The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography XCIII (1969).

9. "Narrative of Hendrick Aupaumut" in Memoirs of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, II (Philadelphia, 1827), p. 115.

10. Warren W. Hassler, With Shield and Sword (Ames, Iowa, 1982), p. 55. All generals, it seems, have caustic critics on their staffs. If Anthony Wayne had lost at Fallen Timbers, then historians would have emphasized the author of the unknown journalist of the pro-Wilkinson faction who claimed before the battle that "we continue perfectly ignorant of the C. in Cs plan for the Campaign and are at a loss for the principles on which he acts - the protection of providence may save him - nothing else can." From Greenville to Fallen Timbers, (editor. Dwight L. Smith) (Indianapolis, 1952), pp. 284-85.

11. William Smith, An Historical Account of the Expedition Against the Ohio Indians, in the Year 1764 (Ann Arbor, 1966 reprint), between pages 6 and 7. See, for example, the detailed "Order of March" (1787), "Order of March", "Order of Encampment", and "Order of Battle" (1790) in the Military Journal of Major Ebenezer Denny, (N.Y., 1971 reprint).

12. Winthrop Sargent's Journal, pp. 252, 271.

13. The fact that the Kentucky militia fought well in Harmar's campaign has been defended recently in "General Josiah Harmar's Campaign Reconsidered: How the Americans Lost the Battle of Kekionga," Indiana Magazine of History 83 (1987), p. 54. As for the term, treeing, at its simplets, it meant (in the words of Benjamin Van Cleve), "I generally put one knee to the ground & with a rest from behind a tree waited the appearance of an indian's head from behind a tree or when one ran to change his position." This simple technique worked quite well for entrenched Virginians at the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. However, if one only hid behind a tree, a more determined enemy could seize the initiative. Successful large-scale Indian fighting often required movement, so that (as Van Cleve stated of the second encounter of Indians against Colonel Josiah Harmar's forces in 1790) the combatants might spread over several miles as they ran from tree to tree in an effort to outflank the opponent. Cf. Benjanim Van Cleve, "Memoirs," Quarterly Publications of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio, XVII, (1922), pp. 18, 25.

14. From Winthrop Sargent's Journal, and quoted (among others) by James R. Jacobs, The Beginning of the U.S. Army 1783-1812 (Princeton, 1947), p. 104.

15. Benjamin Van Cleve, "Memoirs," Quarterly Publications of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio, XVII, (1922), p. 25.

16. See particularly, Patrick J. Furlong, "St. Clair's Expedition Re-examined: The Indian View," a richly footnoted paper presented to the Ohio Academy of History, Columbus, Ohio, on April 25, 1981.

17. Jon M. White, Everyday Life of the North American Indian (N.Y., 1979), p. 115. For the older view that Indians were "virtually without discipline" and "did not have the social organization needed to plan and execute operations of a more complicated nature, such as group maneuvers or frontal assault" see, John K. Mahan, "Anglo-American Methods of Indian Warfare, 1676-1794," Mississippi Valley Historical Review 45 (1958-59), pp. 257, 259. H. H. Turney-High, Primitive War: Its Practice and Concepts. (Columbia, S.C., 1949), also insisted that inchoate levels of social organization prevented American Indians from either comprehending or using organizational principles.

18. E.g., Paul Woehrmann, At the Headwaters of the Maumee (Indianapolis, 1971), p. 37; Samuel F. Hunt, "The Defeat of the Major General St. Clair," Orations and Historical Addresses (Cincinnati, 1908), pp. 271-72.

19. For example, this view was based on the statements of Little Turtle's son-in-law in C. F. Volney, A View of the Soil and Climate of the United States of America, (New York, 1968 reprint), II, pp. 356-7. For a recent national writer see Wiley Sword, President Washington's Indian War, p. 175.

20. For example, Chief Blue Jacket was given consideration by George Ash, a white Indian among the Shawnee. He had taken part in the battle. John Frost, Thrilling Adventures Among the Indians, (Philadelphia, 1854), p. 433.

21. "Narrative of Hendrick Aupaumut."

22. For example, James B. Finley, Life Among the Indians, (Cincinnati, n.d.), p. 62. This missionary claimed 70 years' experience among the Indians and his account of certain Indian traditions has an authentic (Algonquian) ring. Finley, however, argued that the British taught the Missisauga the arts of war.

23. From Greenville to Fallen Timbers, p. 296.

24. Of course, a lot more political and personal maneuvering might have been taking place in the guise of a debate on traditional practices. See, e.g., P. Richard Metcalf, "Who Should Rule at Home? Native American Politics and Indian-White Relations "The Journal of American History, LXI (1974), pp. 651-665.

25. Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York (edited, E.B. O'Callaghan), (Albany, 1855), Vol. 9, p. 612.

26. Frederick O. Gearing, The Face of the Fox, (Chicago, 1971), pp. 56-7. Gearing built on the insights of Walter Miller who had studied how the Fox Indians had been able for 75 years to run so effectively a large annual four-day public powwow.

27. Seventy years after St. Clair's defeat, a perceptive visitor among the Lake Superior Ojibwa observed of the "great chiefs" that "the right men concealed themselves, and are worse clothed, than the others." J.G. Kohl, Kitchi-Gami (London, 1860), p. 66.

28. See, for example, Robert F. Berkhofer, Jr., "The Political Context of a New Indian History," Pacific Historical Review XL (1971), pp. 374-80.

29. George Copway, The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibway Nation, (London, 1850), pp. 75, 83; Jonathan Carver, Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America in the Years 1766, 1767 and 1768, (Minneapolis, Minn.) pp. 297-98.

30. Westward into Kentucky: The Narrative of Daniel Trabue, (editor, C. R. Young), (Lexington, 1891), p. 141.

31. See the documentation in Leroy V. Eid, "The Cardinal Principle of Northeast Woodland Indian War," in Papers of the Thirteenth Algonouian Conference, (editor, William Cowan), (Ottawa, 1982), pp. 243-250. Aspects of Indian war are best revealed in such primary sources as: James Smith, Scoouwa: James Smith's Indian Captivity Narrative, (Columbus, 1978 reprint); James Smith, A Treatise on the Mode and Manner of Indian War, (Chicago, 1948 reprint); John Norton, The Journal of Major John Norton, (Toronto, 1970); Robert Rogers, Journals of Robert Rogers, (Ann Arbor, 1966 reprint); George Copway, The Traditional History; Joseph Lafitau, Customs of the American Indians, (Toronto, 1977 reprint); Pierre de Charlevoix, Journal of a Voyage to North America, (Ann Arbor, 1966 reprint).

32. Quarterly Publications of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio, V, (1910), p. 96.

33. M. Fortes and E.E. Evans-Pritchard, African Political Systems, (London, 1940), p. 277. For an extended discussion of this question of governmental structures paralleling those of kin when large numbers of soldiers were required by a major publicly sanctioned war see, Leroy V. Eid, "'National' War Among Indians of Northeastern North America," The Canadian Review of American Studies 16, (1985), pp. 125-154.

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