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As Americans moved out west for land, tensions between the natives and Americans reached an all time high in the region of the Old Northwest, part of which, was to become the state of Ohio. In 1790, President Washington, responding to outbreaks of violence between settlers and natives, ordered General Harmar to lead an expedition against the Indians. With an army of 1400, Harmar reached the native villages of Kekionga near present day Fort Wayne Indiana. The natives quickly and soundly routed his expedition. Washington, embarrassed by the poor showing of the U.S. army, appointed a new general the following year, the Governor of the territory, Arthur St. Clair. Charged with subduing the Indian menace, St. Clair's plan was to establish a series of forts, starting at Fort Washington, and ending in northern Ohio.
It was on a cold morning on November 4, 1791, when the U.S. Army met its' greatest defeat. With the trained professional soldiers hunting down supplies and deserters, poor, desperate, inadequately equipped, untrained, tired, and hungry men, stood against the resolved native alliance. At dawn, the Indians surprised and routed the Kentucky Militia encamped just 300-yards in front of the army, the militia fled, and the natives surrounded St. Clair's main force with ease.
Led by Little Turtle of the Miami, Blue Jacket of the Shawnee, and Buckongahelas of the Delaware the native alliance utterly destroyed St. Clair's army in three quick hours. 600 soldiers were killed, while 250 were left wounded. Compounding this were the deaths of an additional 250 camp followers. The natives suffered extremely low casualties -- fewer than 60 slain or wounded. The Battle of the Wabash, known to many as St. Clair's Defeat, stands as one of the worst defeats of the U.S. Army in actions against the natives (65% of the entire United States Army destroyed).
Now, three years later, efforts are underway to build a new fort on the site of St. Clair's Defeat. Much to the surprise to everyone, this is easier said than done. Numerous problems plague the construction, and rumors of the British spurring the Native Tribes in actions against the United States are spreading. With no one to spare, President Washington is looking for answers.
What no one knows is that the Dead of Fort Recovery want their vengeance. Betrayed by the military, the soldiers were led to their death at the hands of a Indian uprising. In death, and unable to pass on, they now haunt the battlefield where they met their doom.
Set in the Northwestern Territories, The Defeated Dead is a new adventure designed for Colonial Gothic. Included are details of the Ohio Territories, as well as some of the most important forts located there.
So the question remains: can you bring peace to the dead?
Written by Bryce Whitacre