The Battle of Fallen Timbers, fought near present Toledo, Ohio, on August 20, 1794, ended the frontier era for Western Virginia and a long period of Indian warfare.
The Ohio Valley region had been a contested battleground, or ‘‘middle ground,’’ from the 1750s through the American Revolution, and Indians continued raids into Western Virginia throughout the 1780s. In the late 1780s, relative peace encouraged the settlement of approximately 18,000 people in the six Virginia counties established in or west of the Appalachians in what would become West Virginia. The movement of settlers into the disputed territory west of the Ohio River and the failure of negotiations between the United States and the Native Americans, led to confrontation and war. Two disastrous defeats of the national army by the natives in 1790 and 1791 made Virginia settlers fear renewed raids.
In 1792, the United States raised a small army, appointed Gen. ‘‘Mad Anthony’’ Wayne as its commander, and continued its effort to negotiate a peace treaty. When these efforts failed, Wayne and his army advanced into the Maumee Valley of Ohio during the summer of 1794. They destroyed Indian villages and gardens, and decisively defeated a tribal coalition led by Little Turtle, Blue Jacket, and others at Fallen Timbers. The natives—defeated in action, starving, and realizing that the British would not assist them—finally conceded to the Americans in the 1795 Treaty of Greenville, which granted most of Ohio to the United States.
This Article was written by Van Beck Hall
Last Revised on November 25, 2010