General Anthony Wayne’s soldier, George Royer.

In these parts, General Mad Anthony Wayne’s a pretty big deal.  After all, it’s not called Fort Wayne for nothing!

And as most of you know, the History Junkie loves a good soldier’s story.  Imagine my excitement when I came across an obscure firsthand account of one of General Wayne’s men, George Royer.

At Fort Recovery, Ohio, American forces under the command of General St. Clair were routed at the hands of Little Turtle’s warriors.  Leadership then passed to General Anthony Wayne, who in 1794, got payback at the Battle of Fallen Timbers near Toledo.  Upon this victory, Wayne traveled down the Maumee River to construct a new garrison at present day Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The tale comes to us from the Genealogical Records of the Royer Family in America by Reverend J.G. Francis, published in 1928.  In it, John Adam Royer, grandson of George Royer, relates stories told directly to him by his grandfather concerning his service under General Wayne.

George Royer was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but later moved to the western part of the state where he likely fell in with Wayne’s Legion.

George Royer served under General Wayne.

The account reads, “The grandfather told that he had served under General Anthony Wayne in his Indian expedition to Fort Wayne, Indiana.  He told how he was sixteen years of age, had just began to shave, had no razor along, and after the two years service was over came back well bearded.

“He said he was a wagon master for Wayne, that the first wagon was whiskey; the second, ammunition; the third, whiskey; the fourth, provisions; the fifth, whiskey.

“He told also that  Wayne had a little brass cannon, about three feet long, which he called his pocket piece.  A large apple tree, perhaps the largest in Indiana, stood about half a mile out from Fort Wayne.  One day Wayne, from the Fort noticed an Indian climb up into the apple tree.  He said to George Royer: ‘Go bring my little pocket piece and I will drop that red d—- out of that apple tree.’ The pocket piece was brought, Wayne aimed, and the Indian was seen to drop out.

“George was a powerful, well built youth.  The soldiers had to cut a road through the forests for Wayne’s wagons.  There was one ax much larger than the rest, which the soldiers pushed back till all the rest had been selected.  This big ax fell to George Royer, and he could sink it into a tree up to the eye.

“He also told of being in the War of 1812.  That he was a soldier is also evidenced by his drawing a pension.”

George Royer passed away in Whitley County, Indiana on June 19, 1876, just two months shy of his 100th birthday.

2 Responses to “General Anthony Wayne’s soldier, George Royer”

  1. George was born in 1786 and died in 1876 so he died a couple months shy of his 90th birthday, not his 100th.

    Nice story. Thanks for sharing. I’m writing a book about Fort Amanda in 1812 and using the Wayne campaign as a lead in.

  2. Census records and a pic of his gravestone (Find-A-Grave) show he was born in 1786 and died in 1876.meaning George Royer could not have served in Anthony Wayne’s army in 1792 as he would have would only been 6 years old at the time. More than likely what he meant to say was he served in Harrison’s army in 1812 when he was 26, not 16..

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