The Northwest Indian War (1785–1795), also known as Little Turtle's War and by other names, was a war between the United States and a confederation of numerous Native tribes, with minor support from the British, for control of the Northwest Territory. It followed centuries of conflict over this territory, first among Native American tribes, and then with the added shifting alliances among the tribes and the European powers: France, Great Britain, and their colonials.
Under the Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended the American Revolutionary War, Great Britain ceded to the U.S. "control" of the Northwest Territory, which was occupied by numerous Native American tribes. Despite the treaty, the British kept forts and policies there that supported the Natives in the Northwest Territories. President George Washington directed the United States Army to halt the hostilities between the Natives and settlers and enforce U.S. sovereignty over the territory. The U.S. Army, consisting of mostly untrained recruits supported by equally untrained militiamen, suffered a series of major defeats, including the Harmar Campaign (1790) and St. Clair's Defeat (1791), which were resounding Native victories. About 1,000 soldiers and militiamen were killed and the United States forces suffered many more casualties than their opponents.
After St. Clair's disaster, Washington ordered Revolutionary War hero General "Mad" Anthony Wayne to organize and train a proper fighting force. Wayne took command of the new Legion of the United States late in 1793. He led his men to a decisive victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. The defeated Native tribes were forced to cede extensive territory, including much of present-day Ohio, in the Treaty of Greenville in 1795.