Anthony Wayne (January 1, 1745 - December 15, 1796), was a United States Army general and statesman. Wayne adopted a military career at the outset of the American Revolutionary War, where his military exploits and fiery personality quickly earned him a promotion to the rank of Brigadier General and the sobriquet of Mad Anthony Wayne.
He was born in Easttown Township, Pennsylvania in Chester County, near present-day Paoli, Pennsylvania and educated as a surveyor at his uncle's private academy in Philadelphia. He was sent by Benjamin Franklin and some associates to work for year surveying land they owned in Nova Scotia, after which he returned to work in his father's tannery, while continuing his surveying. He became a leader in Chester County and served in the Pensylvania legislature in 1774-1775.
At the onset of the American Revolutionary War in 1775, Wayne raised a militia and in 1776 became colonel of the Fourth Regiment of Pennsylvania troops. He and his regiment were part of the Continental Army's unsuccessful Invasion of Canada, during which he commanded the distressed forces at Fort Ticonderoga. His service resulted in the promotion to brigadier-general in February 21, 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.
The highlight of Wayne's Revolutionary War service was probably his victory at Stony Point. On July 16, 1779, in a nighttime, bayonets-only assault lasting thirty minutes, light infantry commanded by Wayne overcame British fortifications at Stony Point, New York, 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.
Subsequent victories at West Point and Green Spring, Virginia, 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 became major general on October 10, 1783.
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 Constitution in 1788
In 1791, he served a year in the Second United States Congress as a U.S Representative of Georgia but lost his seat during a debate over his residency qualifications and declined running for reelection in 1792. President George Washington then placed him in command of a newly-formed military force called the "Legion of the United States," whose mission was to consolidate control of the Northwest Territory. British forces had been reluctant to abandon their fortifications at this area, and with their Native American allies, had stalled U.S. efforts to settle the region.
Chief among these allies was a confederation of the Miami, Shawnee, Leni Lenape and Wyandot tribes which had previously achieved major victories over U.S. forces in 1790 and 1791 under the leadership of Michikinikwa of the Miamis. On August 20, 1794, Wayne mounted an assault on this confederacy, now led by Weyapiersenwah of the Shawnee, at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, just south of present-day Toledo, Ohio. The battle was a victory for U.S. forces, and led to the signing of the Treaty of Greenville between the tribal confederacy and the United States on August 3, 1795. British forces withdrew from the region soon after.
Wayne died of complications from gout during a return trip to Pennsylvania from a military post in Detroit, and was buried at Presque Isle (now Erie), Pennsylvania. His bones were disinterred in 1809 and relocated to the family plot in St. Davidís Episcopal Church Cemetery in Radnor, Pennsylvania.