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MAD ANTHONY WAYNE

U.S. ARMY GENERAL IN THE CONTINENTAL ARMY

by Jody Bresch


When I was a student at Evans Junior High School In Ottumwa, Iowa, we had a Home Economics teacher who required us to do a family geneology unit as one of our six week units of research at the time. Of course, I wanted a decent grade, but my Grandmother, Pansy Ann Minerav Stivers, and my Great Aunt Ethel opened my eyes to a rich family history I never even dreamed of and never fully appreciated until recent years. Aunt Ethel became so passionate about it that she sent letters out to numerous family members and traced family history back to English Aristocracy and German immigrants. Thank goodness I save her handwritten letters and her notebook about it all.

Hunter is absolutely enthralled with these stories and so last night I mentioned to him that he had a great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather who was a United States Army General in the Continental Army, and his immediate response was, 'we should research that'. So we did. Anthony Wayne is connected to my father's side of the family tree.

Anthony Wayne was a United States Army General and Statesman. It was said he had a fiery personality, and his wild abandon and passionate military exploits were the fuel that fired legends. He was born January 1, 1745 and died December 15, 1796. He was 51.

Living in Pennsylvania in 1776 when the Continental Army was formed. Wayne was able to raise a militia unit and became colonel of that regiment. He aided Benedict Arnold in an unsuccessful invasion of Canada. He was responsible for leading the distressed troops at Fort Ticonderoga. George Washington appointed him to lead an attack on Stony Point, a lookout at the top of the Hudson River. Congress awarded him a medal over this momentous success. In 1791 he was elected a U.S. Representative from Georgia, but there was some discussion over his residency requirement and he declined to run for the office again. Wayne was the first miitary leader to establish basic training for military troops.

Fort Wayne Indina was named for him, and numerous locales, businesses and events commemorate his memory in Ohio and Indiana.

Wayne had gout and died at the age of 51 from complications related to that disease. His bones were saved to be returned to Pennsylvania for internement there. Legend says bones were lost in route, and now every January 1st (his birthday), his ghost wanders the highway looking for his lost bones.

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