Friday, October 2, 2009
Anthony Wayne: A flawed hero
The field report was not easy, I have to admit. I had to do extensive research in order to find the right materials for my project. I had to find the right type of citations, which took work, but I found citations in which were accurate to the character's personality, his family life, ambitions, tactics, mistakes, and heroics. When I present on Monday with my partner, Phillip Hoffman, I will include the Fort Ticonderoga situation and the Mount Defiance problem. I did find that Brigadier General Anthony Wayne was motivated by the belief that his men should be treated fairly, but be well prepared. One of his biggest flaws was his pride and occasional anger. He verbally sparred with authority such as the Continental Congress for positions he viewed as fair and just. He often ordered a court-martial for war tactics such as St. Clair's in which he viewed as incompetent at strategy and planning, or his failure at Fort Ticonderoga. Along with those views, he personally felt that he was right, including situations such as his loss at Fort Ticonderoga on July 5, 1777. He and General Arnold failed to think that Mount Defiance could be equipped with cannons and did not claim it. The British in return, under General Burgoyne, devised a plan to move cannons across the mountain. For his overlook of details, it resulted in a loss. He was also known to be a disciplinarian, for good and for bad. Because he was a disciplinarian, he sometimes chastised men he viewed as incompetent or uneducated. Some of his troops even rebelled against him. He intensely did not like the chaotic situation at Fort Ticonderoga and was glad to be relinquished of command in that area. In spite of these flaws, he was an excellent tactician, leader, and had a brilliant mind for the right strategies. He got along well with George Washington and was so trusted by him that he became his Commander in Chief of the American Army. He was known to be fair to his men and did his best to provide with them the best training, discipline and fairness they deserve. He died from the gout in 1796, while returning to his home in Philadelphia from a Detroit military post. A famous, strange, and disturbing legend surrounds his burial.