Legionville was the first
States military basic
training facility, established by Major General Anthony Wayne, in 1792, near present-day
Baden, Pennsylvania to train the soldiers of the Legion of the United
Monument at Legionville
disastrous defeat of Arthur St.
Clair on November 4, 1791, (St. Clair's Defeat, near present
Ohio) the U.S.
Army was totally re-built. This
new army was to be called the Legion of the United States
was based on the writings of Colonel Henry
and Maurice Saxe
. Henry Knox
, Secretary of War and President
liked the idea
of a Legion. In 1792 they brought Anthony
out of retirement and gave him the rank of Major General
and Commander-in-Chief of the Legion. The Legion was
recruited and re-formed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Elements of the old 1st and 2nd Regiments
became the 1st and 2nd Sub-Legion. From June of 1792 to November
1792, the army was cantoned at Fort LaFayette in Pittsburgh.
In October 1792, General Wayne scoured the Ohio River for a
suitable place to winter and train the army and get them away from
the distractions of the city. Twenty-Two miles from Pittsburgh on the
western bank of the Ohio and near the modern town of Baden,
Pennsylvania, Wayne found a site that was perfect.
was either near or on a former Indian Village called Logstown (circa
On November 28, 1792, Wayne disembarked with
fanfare and good wishes from the citizens of Pittsburgh and in four
hours disembarked at the new cantonment that he dubbed Legion Ville
An advance detachment had arrived on November 9 and had begun
preparing for the arrival of the main army.
By December 1792, the fortification had grown to over 500 buildings
and had a population five times larger than the small City of
Pittsburgh. The camp was laid out on an east-west axis with ravines
on the north, east and west. Four redoubts ringed the cantonment
numbered 1-4. A ditch surrounding the entire housing area was over
a mile long. Thirty-six men were garrisoned in each redoubt and an
additional 120 men were stationed around the perimeter. Total
guards were 260 men, seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day.
Single story huts were built for the enlisted men of the dragoons,
infantry, artillery and rifle-corps. Officers of the dragoons and
artillery had two-story barracks. Major General Wayne's house and
the hospital were two-story log cabins with chimneys on both sides.
The total area of the cantonment was about 35 acres. Estimates of
the personnel at Legion Ville vary, but 2,500 is the popular
After the men were properly housed, training started in earnest.
The troops fired at targets every day as Wayne wanted marksmen.
Bayonet drills, hand-to-hand combat, mock battles and overnight
encampments outside the installation were common. The dragoons
(cavalry) under the able leadership of Captain Robert MisCampbell
built an obstacle course south of Legion Ville. The artillery
lieutenants and captains built an artillery range. An auxiliary
rifle range was built a half-mile west of the site. The troops were
marched continually and battle formations and tactics taught to the
new officers. Minor infractions were dealt with severely (lashing
with a Cat-o-Nine Tails) and courts martial were common. Captain
William Eaton who would lead the U.S. Marines ashore at Tripoli in
1806 was often the presiding judge. Some significant events that
occurred at Legion Ville were the visit of Big Tree and Guyasuta
with Wayne in March 1793 and the duel of
Lieutenant Daniel Jenifer and Ensign William Pitt Gassaway.
Gassaway was killed and buried in the unmarked military cemetery.
Colonel Thomas Proctor visited the camp and stayed for months
helping the artillery become proficient. On February 26, 1793, Dr.
Joseph Strong of Connecticut climbed the western bank of the hill
and drew a picture of the site in a letter to a friend, Dr.Mason
Cogswell. This is the only known depiction of the site and located
at Yale University. During the winter 16 additional soldiers died
and were buried in an unmarked cemetery, the exact location of
which is being determined by historians and archaeologists.
Additional names of the dead buried at Legion Ville are: Private
Henry Dundalo 
, Private William Perry, Private James
White, Private Randolph Hutchins, William Williamson, Private John
Patterson, Private John Fry and Private Jarrett Rogers (Source
As spring broke and the Native Americans were not interested in
peace, George Washington gave the go-ahead for the campaign. On
April 30, 1793, the largest flotilla of military barges ever
assembled on the Ohio River departed Legion Ville for Fort Washington, Cincinnati,
. On August 20, 1794, the Legion of the United
States defeated the Indian Confederacy at the Battle of Fallen Timbers and on
August 3, 1795, the Treaty of Greenville was signed opening the Northwest Territory to
The discipline and intense training at Legion
Ville was a critical factor in one of the most brilliant campaigns
in United States history.
Research is still being done on Legion Ville. Although it isn't
known for sure that all these men served there, they were in the
Legion of the United States: William Henry Harrison
, Meriwether Lewis
, William Clark
, William Eaton
, Zebulon Pike, Sr.,
, Jr., Henry Burbeck
, Solomon Van Rensselaer
and Leonard Covington
The stone marker at or near the former
site of Legionville (1792-1793).
General Wayne left Legion Ville intact. In 1824 the Harmony Society
purchased the property. The
property was later bought by the A.M. Byers Company who in turn
sold it to National Tire and Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio. In
1973, the Anthony Wayne Historical Society was formed to preserve
the site. Repeated attempts to purchase the site from National Tire
failed. Senator John Heinz
Senate Papers/keyword legionville) introduced a bill to make the
site a national park, but President Jimmy Carter pocket-vetoed the
bill due to a clerical error. National Tire and Rubber sold the
site to Bogus Mouradian. Bogus Mouradian sold the property to Leroy
Friend of Bridgewater who in turn sold it to Mitchell Unis of
Aliquippa, Pennsylvania and Alex Barlamas of Ambridge,
Pennsylvania, the current owners. Currently a developer from New
York is interested in purchasing the site for commercial
development. There are ongoing efforts to preserve this site.
- Anthony Wayne and the Founding of the US Army, by Richard C.
Knopf. University of Pittsburgh Press, 1960
- Anthony Wayne a Name in Arms, by Richard C. Knopf. University
of Pittsburgh Press, 1960
- Legion Ville Rediscovered: A Forgotten Chapter in American
History by Patrick R. Riley, 1993, Masters Thesis, University of
- The West Point Orderly Books, 1792-1797, Transcribed by Richard
- The Beginnings of the US Army, 1783-1812 by James Ripley
- Historical Register and Dictionary of the US Army, from its
Organization, September 29, 1789 to March 2, 1903, Volume I and II,
Washington, DC, GPO, 1903.
- Senator John Heinz State Papers, Carnegie Mellon University,