What was the significance of the Native American successes in the Little Turtle's War of 1791?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Little Turtle's War," now known as the Northwest Indian War, was named for the Native American chief of the Miami people, Mishikinaakwa, a name which translates to "Little Turtle." A great warrior, Little Turtle led his people against General St. Clair's forces in 1791, and over 600 American men were lost in a battle to maintain land west of the Ohio River. Having become one of the most successful leaders against the forces of United States, Little Turtle and his warriors joined with Blue Jacket of the Shawnees and with Buckongahelas of the Delawares against this army the United States, a regiment that had been debilitated and decimated after the Revolutionary War.

Such a crushing defeat of the U.S. Cavalry led to another battle in 1794 against General Anthony Wayne, who had a highly skilled and trained troop of greater numbers than the 1,000 warriors.  Realizing that they were outnumbered and claiming that General Wayne "never slept," Little Turtle advised the confederacy of Native Americans to negotiate rather than fight. Consequently, at the Battle of Fallen Timbers the warriors were defeated. Little Turtle retired from border battles after this fight, and he died in 1812. After this, land west of the Ohio River was sold to the government of the United States.