GREENVILLE – In October 1791, one fort stood by itself for two years, deep in Indian Territory, along the western Ohio frontier. This fort was built to support and supply the Army of Arthur St. Clair on its mission to meet or deal with hostile Indians that had defeated General Harmar two years earlier at Kekionga (later site of Fort Wayne). On Sunday, Oct. 23, 1791, this small fort, 114-feet on each side, was finished enough to be named Fort Jefferson in honor of the Secretary of State who would later become President of the United States.
Little did anyone know when General St. Clair moved his army north from this post on 24 Oct., 11 days later remnants of that army would begin to straggle in, riddled to pieces. For eight days, men, some wounded, would work their way through the virgin climax forest back to Fort Jefferson. The fort was too small to accommodate that many men so most of the defeated army was sent on to Fort Washington in Cincinnati.
St. Clair estimated that of roughly 1,400 men who faced the enemy that fateful day on the Wabash (later Ft. Recovery), 600 were killed and another 300 were wounded.
Not knowing whether an attack as immanent, Ft. Jefferson held fast for the next two years until another army led by Anthony Wayne was able to afford it some relief by building Greene Ville five miles to north in the fall of 1793.