War Along the Wabash

The Ohio Indian Confederacy's Destruction of the US Army, 1791

Steven P Locke

On the banks of the Wabash River, Ohio, a small, lightly armed band of Native American warriors defend their homeland and defeat an American army, forcing a fundamental shift in how the fledgling United States wages war.
Date Published :
April 2023
Publisher :
Illustration :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781636242682
Pages : 320
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


On November 4, 1791, a coalition of warriors determined to set the Ohio River as a permanent boundary between tribal lands and white settlements faced an army led by Arthur St. Clair—the resulting horrific struggle ended in the greatest defeat of an American army at the hands of Native Americans.

The road to the battle of the Wabash began when Arthur St. Clair was appointed to lead an army into the heart of the Ohio Indian Confederacy while building a string of fortifications along the way. He would face difficulties in recruiting, training, feeding, and arming volunteer soldiers. From the moment St. Clair’s shattered force began its retreat from the Wabash the men blamed the officers, and the officers in turn blamed their men. For over two centuries most historians have blamed either the officer corps, enlisted soldiers, an entangled logistical supply line, poor communications, or equipment. The destruction of the army resulted in a stunned Congress authorizing a regular army in 1792.

This book, the result of 30 years’ research, puts the battle into the context of the last quarter of the 18th century, exploring how the central importance of land ownership to Europeans arriving in North America resulted in unrelenting demographic pressure on indigenous tribes, as well as the enormous obstacles standing in the way of the fledgling American Republic in paying off its enormous war debts.

This is the story of how a small band of determined indigenous peoples defended their homeland, destroyed an invading American army, and forced a fundamental shift in the way in which the United States waged war.

About The Author

Steven P. Locke is a retired curator of history for the Ohio Historical Society. He served in the US Army National Guard, then taught history in the Granville, Ohio, Exempted School District. He studied at both undergraduate and graduate level at the Ohio State University.


1 The American World in 1791
2 The Post-War War
3 Land
4 Woodland Indians
5 Arthur St. Clair
6 Futile Attempts at Control
7 Indian Warfare
8 The Indian Confederacy
9 The Annihilation of Native Culture: Alcohol, Demographics and Disease
10 Little Turtle of the Miami; Blue Jacket of the Shawnee
11 Assembling an Army. A chronological Narration of the St. Clair Campaign Between March 1791 to November 1791

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