In 1779, the Continental Army was teetering on the brink of disaster in the Revolutionary War against Britain.
The British had captured Boston and New York, and were threatening to take Philadelphia, the capital of the American colonies, as well.
But General George Washington turned to a young West Pointer by the name of Anthony Wayne who was serving in an obscure position as quartermaster general of his army…and tasked him with turning around this desperate situation before it was too late.
But how did this man come to be one of the most colorful and unconventional generals in U.S. military history? Let’s find out!
Born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania on January 1, 1745, Anthony Wayne was raised a Quaker. He enrolled in the College of Philadelphia (now University of Pennsylvania) at 16 and studied law.
The Revolutionary War broke out when he was 21 and he enlisted as a private in an artillery unit. Rising quickly through the ranks because of his leadership skills, he became one of George Washington’s most trusted generals.
In 1754, France and England were involved in a war. The French and Indian War was a conflict between two European powers and their colonies that spanned much of North America.
The first battle was fought at Fort Duquesne on May 28, 1754, where Major General Edward Braddock’s British troops ambushed a small force led by George Washington.
General Anthony Wayne is remembered as one of the most successful generals in America’s fight for independence from Great Britain.
His military career is highlighted by his decisive victory at Stony Point, which led to British General Cornwallis’s surrender at Yorktown and effectively ended the American Revolution.
After the war, the general retired to his farm in Pennsylvania, where he died on December 15th 1796. He was buried with full military honors in Christ Church cemetery.