Fort Defiance (5)
In 1794 General "Mad" Anthony Wayne marched his troops toward the heart of the hostile Indian indian country near the present day city of Maumee, Ohio. Along the way, he carefully constructed a line of forts from Fort Washington to Fort Deposit as supply points and to secure communications and supply lines. The forts were about a day's march from each other. General Wayne was the third American general to attempt to control what had become a confederation of hostile Indian tribes with British support, he did not want to repeat the mistakes of his predecessors who both failed with horrific results.
General Wayne ordered the construction of Fort Defiance soon after his arrival at the site and Maj. Henry Burbeck was placed in charge of construction. The fort was built in defiance of the British and Indian dominance of the area and took its name from that act.
The post was located on a point at the confluence of the Maumee and Auglaize Rivers. The plan was initially a square consisting of 60 foot long curtain walls with a 22 foot square blockhouse at each corner. Each blockhouse had three sides outside the walls with embrasures for howitzers in each.
After the Battle of Fallen Timbers, General Wayne ordered the fort upgraded, adding a deep dry ditch around three sides and an outer wall around the entire post. The interior of the fort contained barracks, officer's quarters and storehouses. Two drawbridges provided access from the confluence point and the land side of the fort.
The Treaty of Greene Ville ended the Northwest Territory Indian War and the eliminated the need for Wayne's line of forts and they were abandoned.
The fort was rebuilt in 1813 by General William Henry Harrison and garrisoned for the War of 1812. Fort Winchester was built nearby and the two forts served as a base of operations against the British and their Indian allies during the war. Both posts were abandoned in 1815 when the war ended.
Part of Old Fort Defiance City Park. Two period cannons mounted at the confluence of the Maumee and Auglaize Rivers.
Location: Defiance County, Ohio.
Maps & Images
Lat: 41.28753 Long: -84.356976
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 638-639
Visited: 10 Sep 2010
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