George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 30 September 1794

From Edmund Randolph

Philadelphia Sepr 30. 1794. ½ past one o’clock.


The importance, and air of probability, which the inclosed narrative of General Wayne’s affair of the 20th of August bears, appearing to deserve an express;1 I have the honor of transmitting it to you; and of being, Sir, with the highest respect and attachment yr mo. ob. serv.

Edm: Randolph

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, GW’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State; LB, DNA: RG 59, Domestic Letters. This note was addressed to GW "at Norris-Town or the Trap."

1Randolph evidently was transmitting the account of the Battle of Fallen Timbers, datelined "LEXINGTON, Sept. 8, 1794," that was published in the Gazette of the United States [Philadelphia] on this date. According to the Gazette of 1 Oct., that account preceded Wayne’s express carrying his official report of the battle, which arrived at Philadelphia "after 2 o’clock P.M." on 30 September. The account reads: "ON the 20th ult. about 146 miles advanced of Greenville, the advance guard, consisting of two companies, were attacked by about 1100 Indians and Canadian militia; the attack being sudden and unexpected, the advance guard fell back on the main army and threw them into confusion, which occasioned a retreat of about one hundred paces before they formed again; after forming, not more than two heavy fires were exchanged before they were ordered to charge the enemy, which was instantly done; upon which the enemy immediately gave ground, and our men rushing forward with such impetuosity, the enemy were dislodged from their coverts, and the cavalry taking advantage of that event, pursued them about two miles, when they dispersed. The action continued about an hour and a quarter; we had about 30 men killed, and 80 wounded; among the former are captain [Robert Mis] Campbell of the cavalry, and lieutenant [Harry Beverly] Towles of the infantry. Among the latter are captain [Jacob] Slough, captain [Solomon] Van Ransellaer, captain [Abner] Prior & lieutenant Campbell Smith, of the federal army;—Seven of the volunteers were killed, and fourteen wounded. 127 scalps were taken, and a number killed in the river that were not scalped. The army remained three days on the ground, and returned to Fort-Defiance, at the mouth of the Auglaize, where they were on the 24th ult.

"The action happened within sight of a strong British fort regularly built, and garrisoned with three hundred men, between forty and fifty miles below Fort-Defiance, on the Maumee of the Lakes. The Commander in chief sent a flag to major [William] Campbell, commander of the British garrison, to march his men out to the nearest British post, and give up the fort, both of which he positively refused. The Indians had 5000 acres of land in corn, all in excellent order on the bottoms of the Maumee river, a considerable quantity of which the army have destroyed."

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