[ST. CLAIR, ARTHUR. C.1734-1818.]
Manuscript Battle Plan, 1 p, in brown ink and watercolor, broadsheet, 14 1/2 by 12 inches, [Fort Washington, 1791], entitled, "General St. Clairs Line of March, Order of Battle, & plan of Encampment, for the Expedition now departing," light offsetting, a couple of small ink-burn holes, tipped to mat, near fine.
St. Clair's plan for what came to be known as "St. Clairs Defeat," or the Battle of the Wabash, the greatest defeat of the American army by Native Americans in history, depicting battalion and artillery placement for the march, the battle, and the encampment. St. Clairs European tactics were tragically inappropriate to the guerrilla-style warfare and superior scouting of his enemies, Miami chief Little Turtle and Shawnee chief Blue Jacket. More than 600 American soldiers were killed and George Washington forced St. Clairs resignation.
Adjutant-General Winthrop Sargent described the order of encampment depicted in the present plan: "two lines facing to the front and rear, the militia in the rear of the whole and the horse upon the flanks, covered by Faulkner's company of riflemen. The artillery disposed in the first and second line, in the intervals between the battalion, the whole occupying ... a length of more than one thousand yards" (Military Journal of Major Ebenezer Denny, cited by Guthman in March to Massacre, p. 224). St. Clair explained that the encampment was always to be in the order of battle, with "guards from each battalion ... posted from fifty to one hundred yards advanced in front and rear and on each flank, and a chain of sentries from them quite around the encampment. Without them one hundred yards more advanced, were outlying piquets, and another chain of sentries from them; and as soon as the tents were pitched, small parties were sent out in all directions to scour the country round" (quoted by Guthman, p. 242). Guthman, William, March to Massacre. A History of the First Seven Years of the United States Army.