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How Did St. Clair’s Defeat Happen?

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[[File: ST_Clairs_Defeat_1791.jpg|300px|thumbnail|left|Historical Marker at the Location of St. Clair’s Defeat in Ohio]]__NOTOC__
On November 4, 1791, on the banks of the Wabash River in what is now western Ohio, the United States Army suffered its worst defeat of the entire U.S.-Indian Wars. The battle itself remains little known among most Americans and has been researched and written about very little in academia. Although three times more Americans lost their lives in this battle than at Little Bighorn, it is usually referred to as “St. Clair’s Defeat” instead of being named for the nearest town or geographical marker. Some academics attribute the lack of interest in the battle to the American commander, General Arthur St. Clair, who as governor of the Northwest Territory was more of a politician than a general. Others point to the apparent anonymity of the Indian leaders – modern scholars believe they know what chiefs led the warriors in battle, but are not sure about their roles. Whatever the reasons for the lack of interest in the battle, all scholars agree that it played a pivotal role in the Northwest Indian War (1785-1795), setting the stage for future American-Indian conflicts.

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