Wayne’s namesake, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne, formed the nation’s first professionally trained fighting force, writes Jeffrey Snedden for The Beaver County Times.
His military career began when he walked into a Chester County tavern in 1775 to raise a militia. He soon joined the new Continental Army, receiving the rank of colonel in the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment. He participated in numerous battles against the British and was promoted to brigadier general in 1777.
He retired from the army in 1788. However, President George Washington brought him back four years later to help fight the confederation of Native American tribes in the Northwest Territory.
General Wayne was then charged with creating the first professional army unit at Legionville, a camp 22 miles from Pittsburgh. The camp in Beaver County has 17 unmarked graves of America’s earliest veterans.
The army at Legionville continued to grow and train until it could defeat the Western Confederacy of Native Americans. The victory opened up Ohio to settlement, and while considered controversial today, it was once viewed as the U.S. military’s first great victory.
Wayne died in 1796 and is buried at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Radnor.
Read more about General “Mad” Anthony Wayne in The Beaver County Times here.