The Battle of Kekionga in October 1790 was the fist battle fought by the United States Army after the War for Independence. The campaign had been ordered by President Washington against the Miami settlement of Kekionga, the center of Indian resistance to U.S. migration across the Ohio River.
On October 17, the U.S. commander, General Josiah Harmar, reached Kekionga with 1,453 regular and militia soldiers and found that the Miami had burned and abandoned their town. General Harmar sent several companies north of Kekionga to search for the Miami warriors, but the U.S. forces suffered a stinging defeat on October 19 in an ambush led by the Miami war chief Little Turtle near his Eel River settlement. General Harmar retreated from Kekionga to a camp located nine miles to the south.
Learning that the Miami had returned to Kekionga, General Harmar sent an attacking force back to the Indian town on the morning of October 22. Two companies of U.S. forces took position along the west bank of the St. Joseph River while three companies advanced across the ford of the Maumee River at this spot, hoping to entrap the Indians. The Miami warriors challenged the crossing, killing several men as they waded the ankle-deep Maumee River. In the corn fields and flood plain outside Kekionga, the main United States forces were destroyed and Major Wyllys and Major Fontaine were killed by Little Turtle's warriors who held the ground to the north. By the end of the battle, 183 United States soldiers had been killed, about the same number of Indians had been slain. The Miami held their town, and General Harmar's main force retreated to Fort Washington (Cincinnati).