Colin G. Calloway has authored, The Victory with No Name (Oxford University Press), a book subtitled "The Native American Defeat of the First American Army. It explores the details and importance of the defeat of US Army forces under the command of General Arthur St. Clair on November 4, 1791 at a site near Fort Recovery, Ohio, at the headwaters of the Wabash River.
It is, to this day, the largest defeat in the history of the US Army.
Colin G. Calloway is The John Kimball, Jr. 1943 Professor of Historyand Professor of Native American Studies at Dartmouth College. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Leeds in England.
Dr. Calloway's book was reviewed in today's edition of the Wall Street Journal by Fergus M. Bordewich. His review is titled, "The Revenge of the Natives". Mr. Bordewich is the author of numerous books including, America's Great Debate: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Compromise that Preserved the Union.
Mr. Bordewich writes:
In “The Victory With No Name,” Colin Calloway recounts the largely forgotten campaign that ensued in crisp, sometimes gripping prose. His account of the intertribal diplomacy and generalship that led the Indians to victory is revelatory. As he writes:“Indians fielding a multinational army, executing a carefully coordinated battle plan worked out by their chiefs, and winning a pitched battle—all things Indians were not supposed to be capable of doing—routed the largest force the United States had fielded on the frontier.”
St. Clair’s campaign, by contrast, was a virtual encyclopedia of incompetence.
[ . . . ]
Americans called the battle “St. Clair’s defeat”; the Indians never gave it a name. Mr. Calloway tells us that it generated the nation’s first congressional investigation and led to the creation of a standing army, which would become, he says, “the federal government’s most visible agent of empire.”
[ . . . ] Neither the dead nor the survivors of St. Clair’s defeat would be recalled as heroes.
The Indians’ triumph was short-lived. In May 1792, Congress gave the president the power to raise troops and send them into combat without a formal declaration of war. The next year, a new and better-trained army under Gen. “Mad Anthony” Wayne delivered a decisive defeat to the weakened Native American confederacy. On the ruins of Kekionga, they built a military base that would eventually become the city of Fort Wayne, Ind.