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Wabash Trail

Wabash Trail. The site for Fort Hamilton was chosen because of a ford on the Great Miami River at the approximate site of the High-Main Street Bridge in Hamilton. That shallow crossing was believed to have been on an ancient Indian trail known as the Wabash Trail, according to Frank N. Wilcox in Ohio Indian Trails, Wilcox, 1933). The ford was used by the U. S. Army as it began its campaign from Fort Hamilton Oct. 4, 1791 according to Wilcox.

"Little Turtle (a Miami chief) controlled the Wabash, and since that river rises" in western Ohio, "it was natural that a trail should lead out from Kentucky via the Licking River, and to the headwaters of the northern and western rivers," Wilcox noted. "This trail led up the narrow valley of the Millcreek," he wrote, "and led northwest to Hamilton, crossing the Miami at that place." It continued north through the future sites of Seven Mile, Eaton, Greenville and Fort Recovery to the source of the Wabash River before it entered Indiana. Gen. Arthur St. Clair's campaign in the fall of 1791 followed or closely paralleled the Wabash Trail, said Wilcox. His military objective was Kekionga, a Miami village at present Fort Wayne, Indiana. His plan was to build a chain of forts in the 150-mile area between Fort Washington at Cincinnati and Kekionga. Fort Hamilton, the first link, was completed Sept. 30, 1791. (See Fort Washington, Kekionga, Fort Hamilton, Fort Recovery)

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