The siege of Fort Wayne took place from September 5 to 12, 1812, during the war of 1812. The confrontation occurred in the modern city of Fort Wayne, Indiana, between the United States garrison in Fort Wayne and a combined force of Potawatomi and Miami, supported by British troops. Built in 1842, Fort Wayne is perhaps best known for its role in major military conflicts. The fort served as a training ground for Michigan's volunteer infantry and artillery troops during the Civil War, and as a garrison for 500 African-American soldiers segregated in World War I. Fort Shelby, however, fell into disrepair after the War of 1812 and now Fort Wayne was to be a replacement in response to increased tensions on the Canadian border.
The fort was completed in 1851, but did not receive its weapons sites. The United States had signed a treaty with Great Britain that created a diplomatic solution to all territorial disputes in the area. Now that the threat had disappeared and tensions had eased, there was no reason to raise arms in the fort. At that time, it became a garrison of troops, but it wouldn't have much use until the Civil War broke out.
Fort Wayne was home to African-American soldiers during World War I (the Armed Forces were segregated at the time) and played a key role during the “Arsenal of Democracy” era of World War II, when the site served as a logistics hub. Because of the new relationship with Great Britain, and later with Canada, Fort Wayne never saw a fit of anger. Today, Fort Wayne represents one of the best-preserved Civil War fortifications of its kind in the state. The history of the future site of Fort Wayne goes back much further than the simple mapping and topography of the area.
Many of today's veterans vividly remember Fort Wayne as an initiation center for the Korean War and the Vietnam conflict; Fort Wayne served as a training center for the Department of Labor. That fort was given to the British in 1760 during the French and Indian War and, several years later, the British built a new fort with the name of Fort Lernoult. The sites around Fort Wayne were known to be burial mounds before the site was inspected for construction in 1840. Fort Wayne, named after Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, was Detroit's third fort, but the first one built by Americans.
In 1876, Henry Gillman and the Detroit Scientific Association excavated the Fort Wayne mound. In the Fort Wayne Ordinance Report, 2,000 civilian employees prepared vehicles and parts for shipment overseas. Although Fort Wayne was not at the forefront of any war in which the United States participated after the war of 1812, it was used in the following years. This second fort was built further inland, centered on what is now the intersection of Fort Street and Shelby Street.
Fort Wayne itself was authorized by Congress in 1841 as part of a chain of defensive fortifications along the country's northern border. Now and over the years to come, Fort Wayne returns to fame with exciting plans underway. Among other functions throughout its 125 years, Fort Wayne served as an infantry training station, the temporary headquarters of the Chaplin School, the main place for the purchase of vehicles and weapons manufactured in Detroit during the two world wars and, also during the Second World War, it housed Italian prisoners of war.