: Original description reads: "Monument commemorating site of historic Fort Jefferson on side tour off US-36, Darke Co., Ohio."
Inscription on plaque reads: "Fort Jefferson. Built by the army of General Arthur St. Clair in October 1791 and used as a military post during the campaigns against the north-western Indian tribes. MCMVII."
The monument is made of faced granite field boulders, six feet square and twenty-feet tall. The area is maintained as a roadside park with a picnic shelter and grills. No part of the fort remains. Fort Jefferson Park and Monument marks the site of an advance outpost of General Arthur St. Clair. It was named in honor of Thomas Jefferson, then Secretary of State. One of a chain of defensive forts built to protect army supplies from Indians, it served as a supply base throughout the campaigns of General St. Clair and General Anthony Wayne. It was abandoned in 1796.
In October 1791, General Arthur St. Clair ordered the construction of a fort roughly six miles south of modern-day Greenville, Ohio. He intended to use the site as a supply depot for his campaign against the Miami Indians. The fort was a rough square with the walls approximately one hundred feet in length. St. Clair's men also built blockhouses on each corner of the fort. Originally called Fort Deposit, General St. Clair preferred to call the stockade Fort Jefferson.
After the fort's completion, St. Clair's army moved against the Miami Indians. On the morning of November 4, 1791, natives under Little Turtle and Blue Jacket attacked. They easily drove the Americans from the field. The American survivors fled to Fort Jefferson for safety, but they found no food or medical supplies and quickly departed for Fort Washington. This battle became known as St. Clair's Defeat. His force suffered 647 killed soldiers and 271 wounded men out of 1400 participants in the battle. It was one of the worst defeats of the American military at the hands of Native Americans.
For the next three years, American soldiers manned Fort Jefferson. Conditions were difficult as Native Americans sought to drive the men from the area. The natives did all they could to prevent supplies from reaching the embattled soldiers. The United States government hoped to use Fort Jefferson for attacks on the hostile natives as well as protection for white settlements in the area. It was an important supply depot for Anthony Wayne and his army in 1794 as they sought to punish the natives for St. Clair's Defeat. View on Ohio Memory.
: SA1039AV_B09F10_005_1 Subjects
: Monuments--Ohio; Fortification--Ohio; Historic sites--Ohio; Fort Jefferson (Ohio) Places
: Fort Jefferson (Ohio); Darke County (Ohio)