"Mad" Anthony Wayne (January 1, 1745 - December 15, 1796), was a United States Army general and statesman. Wayne adopted a military career at the outset of the American Revolutionary War, where his military exploits and fiery personality quickly earned him a promotion to the rank of brigadier general and the sobriquet of "Mad Anthony."A dashing, brave soldier, known as "Mad Anthony,"
Wayne served in Canada in 1776 and at Brandywine and Germantown
in 1777; he encamped at Valley Forge
during the winter of 1777-78. At the end of 1778 he was given
command of a corps of light infantry. His most successful action
was a surprise attack on the British at Stony Point on the Hudson
River in July 1779; he continued to see action throughout the
In 1776, after the outbreak of the American Revolution,
he entered military service as a commander of a Pennsylvania
regiment assigned to cover the retreat of American forces from
Québec. In 1777, after being promoted to Brigadier General,
he was posted to Morristown, New Jersey. The Pennsylvania regiments
participated in the maneuvering near New Brunswick during June.
After a brief stay at Ramapo in July, Wayne''s men marched to
defend Philadelphia. At the Battle
of Brandywine, Wayne''s division was at Chadd''s Ford. For
three hours Wayne fought to repulse Hessian advances over the
river as the American left wing deteriorated. In the retreat
to Chester, Wayne inspired his men by his bravery.
As the British converged on Philadelphia, Wayne''s
1,500 troops attempted to harass the enemy. Assuming that the
American presence was undetected, Wayne camped close to the British
lines. What became famous as the "Paoli Massacre" ensued.
On September 20-21, in a skillful night attack led by Major General
Sir Charles Grey, the British bayonted patriot soldiers. With
300 casualties, Wayne was inevitably subject to criticism. An
offical inquiry by five ranking officers held that Wayne was
not guilty of misconduct but that he had erred in tactics. Enraged,
the tempestuous Wayne demanded a full court-martial. On November
1, a board of 13 ranking officers declared that Wayne had acted
with honor. Yet Paoli remained a stigma on his record for the
rest of his career.