Military Wiki
Battle of Chillicothe
DateMay 1779
LocationChillicothe, Ohio Country;
now in Xenia Township, Greene County, Ohio
Result Destruction of native town
Kentucky militia Shawnees
Commanders and leaders
John Bowman,
Benjamin Logan,
Levi Todd
Chief Blackfish

The Battle of Chillicothe was part of the western theater of the American Revolutionary War.[1]

In May 1779, Colonel John Bowman of the Kentucky County militia, accompanied by Benjamin Logan and Levi Todd, led between 160[2][3] and 300 militiamen[4][5] against the Shawnee town of Chillicothe. Dividing their forces, Bowman and Logan attacked the town from two sides but were eventually repulsed.

Unable to draw the Shawnee from their single blockhouse, Bowman burned much of the town and left with between 30 to 300 horses valued at $32,000. Although initially blamed for a defeat, as well as the eight or ten casualties suffered, Bowman and Logan were eventually credited by some with a major victory for the Kentuckians. With the destruction of a major Shawnee settlement and the death of Chief Blackfish,[6] additional war parties were discouraged from moving against Kentucky colonists. According to Theodore Roosevelt in The Winning of the West, "the expedition undoubtedly accomplished more than Clark's attack on Piqua next year."[2]


  1. "Bowman's Expedition Against Chillicothe: May-June, 1779". Ohio Archaeological and Historical Publications 19 (1910): 446–59.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Faust, Albert Bernhardt. The German Element in the United States, Vol. I. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1909. (pg. 372)
  3. Esarey, Logan. A History of Indiana: From its Exploration to 1850, Vol. I. Indianapolis: B.F. Bowen & Co., 1918. (pg. 88)
  4. James, Alton James. George Rogers Clark Papers, 1771-1781. Virginia Series, Vol. III. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois State Historical Library, 1912.
  5. Pieper, Thomas I and James B. Gidney. Fort Laurens, 1778-79: The Revolutionary War in Ohio. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1980. (pg. 74) ISBN 0-87338-240-4
  6. Zeisberger, David; Hermann Wellenreuther and Carola Wessel, ed. The Moravian Mission Diaries of David Zeisberger. University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2005. (pg. 506) ISBN 0-271-02522-0

Coordinates: 39°43′50″N 83°56′16″W / 39.73056°N 83.93778°W / 39.73056; -83.93778

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