The Victory With No Name

The Victory With No Name

The Native American Defeat of the First American Army

Book - 2014
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"In 1791, General Arthur St. Clair led the United States Army in a campaign to destroy a complex of Indian villages at the Miami River in northwestern Ohio. Almost within reach of their objective, St. Clair's 1,400 men were attacked by about one thousand Indians. The U.S. force was decimated, suffering nearly one thousand casualties in killed and wounded, while Indian casualties numbered only a few dozen. But despite the lopsided result, it wouldn't appear to carry much significance; it involved only a few thousand people, lasted less than three hours, and the outcome, which was never in doubt, was permanently reversed a mere three years later. Neither an epic struggle nor a clash that changed the course of history, the battle doesn't even have a name. Yet, as renowned Native American historian Colin Calloway demonstrates here, St. Clair's Defeat--as it came to be known--was hugely important for its time. It was both the biggest victory the Native Americans ever won, and, proportionately, the biggest military disaster the United States had suffered. With the British in Canada waiting in the wings for the American experiment in republicanism to fail, and some regions of the West gravitating toward alliance with Spain, the defeat threatened the very existence of the infant United States. Generating a deluge of reports, correspondence, opinions, and debates in the press, it produced the first congressional investigation in American history, while ultimately changing not only the manner in which Americans viewed, raised, organized, and paid for their armies, but the very ways in which they fought their wars. Emphasizing the extent to which the battle has been overlooked in history, Calloway illustrates how this moment of great victory by American Indians became an aberration in the national story and a blank spot in the national memory. Calloway shows that St. Clair's army proved no match for the highly motivated and well-led Native American force that shattered not only the American Army but the ill-founded assumption that Indians stood no chance against European methods and models of warfare. An engaging and enlightening read for American history enthusiasts and scholars alike, The Victory with No Name brings this significant moment in American history back to light"-- Provided by publisher.
Topical Term: St. Clair's Campaign, 1791
Indians of North America
Indians of North America
Publisher: Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2014
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780199387991
Branch Call Number: E83.79 .C35 2014
Characteristics: ix, 214 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm


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IndyPL_JordanH May 02, 2019

Everyone knows Bighorn, but not many know St. Clair's Defeat, where there were nearly twice as many US soldiers killed in action. Not only does Calloway give the reader a sense of the power of the confederated Indians, lead by Miami, Shawnee, and Deleware, but also a look at politics in the early republic; while a young nation made gross political errors and miscalculations with their military, the Indians of the old northwest pulled off a feat of diplomacy in bringing together warriors from many different tribes to fight the Long Knives.


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