Ohio frontier battles in the Northwest Indian War

By Mike Ryan, OCJ field reporter

The Northwest Indian War (~1785-1795), also known as Little Turtle’s War, was fought to establish European dominance and control of the Northwest Territory north of the Ohio River in what is now the state of Ohio. The Northwest Indian War played a significant role in the white settlement of the United States frontier and the displacement of the area’s indigenous tribal peoples. The lands of Ohio hosted the largest and most consequential battles of this often small-scale and tit-for-tat series of armed skirmishes that pitted confederated Native American tribes against white settlers and the United States military.

After the Revolutionary War, the British-ceded land of the Northwest Territories had yet to be fully settled and governed. Following a series of tribal attacks against pioneer settlements such as the Big Bottom Massacre in 1791 that left around 11 settlers dead and the attempted Shawnee/Wyandotte siege on Dunlap’s Station in that same year, it became clear from the European perspective that settlement north of the Ohio River would only occur with a significant defeat and vanquishing of the native population. … Continue reading