Waynesville, Missouri is named in honor of American Revolutionary War hero Anthony Wayne.
1. Wayne once requested his own court martial proceedings- to clear his name. After due consideration, the court unanimously decided that Wayne “did every duty that could be expected from an active, brave and vigilant officer, under the orders which he then had. The Court do acquit him with the highest honor.” Washington heartily approved the verdict.
2. Brigadier General “Mad” Anthony Wayne commanded his troops in a daring nighttime assault at Stony Point, New York. The British were soundly defeated, and the American victory boosted the Continental Army’s morale.
3. Wayne is remembered for stating “Issue the orders Sir, and I will storm hell.”
4. In 1882 the monument at Wayne’s second burial spot at Radnor, Pennsylvania was defaced by relic hunters- a “decided nuisance.”
5. Wayne was first buried near the place of his death at Erie, Pennsylvania. In 1809 his son decided to have him reburied closer to the old homestead in Eastern Pennsylvania and directed a physician to complete the task. On opening the grave, the body was found in “a good state of preservation.” Concerned about decay during the return trip, the doctor, who was expecting to find only a pile of bones in the coffin, boiled the body parts until only the skeletal remains remained. The physician then reburied the knives, the iron kettle, and the fleshy remains in the original burial spot. He then returned to Radnor, PA to rebury the bones at the new grave. A newspaper article relaying the story reported “So General Anthony Wayne is honored with a twofold burial, his flesh in Erie and his bones in Eastern Pennsylvania.” Oral history also tells that not all the hero’s bones made it to their final resting place in Radnor- some bouncing out along the way. Legend recounts that the ghost of Mad Anthony Wayne travels the old road between the two points looking for his lost bones.
St. Joseph Weekly Herald (St. Joseph, Missouri) 13 July 1882
The Weston Democrat (Weston, West Virginia) 23 October 1880
History & Heroes: Five Fast Facts is an occasional series of interesting facts regarding namesakes and historical figures in Pulaski County, Missouri.