After a number of years of bloody conflict between settlers and Native Americans currently living in the Ohio Territory, it was decided a military campaign was required to settle these conflicts. General Anthony Wayne was asked by President Washington to come out of retirement and lead this campaign. It was his goal to build a string of forts along what is now the western edge of Ohio.
After a particularly long march General Wayne reached the confluence of the Maumee and Auglaize Rivers on August 9, 1794. On these high banks the Maumee, Wayne built a fort. He said "I defy the English, the Indians and all the devils in Hell to take it." He called the new Fort Defiance. Major Henry Burbeck who had earlier built Fort Recovery, supervised the construction of the fort that took 8 days to complete.
For this location, General Wayne marched further north against the Indian forces that were gathered at the foot of the Maumee Rapids and defeated them in the Battle of Fallen Timbers which then led to the signing of the Treaty of Greene Ville the following year.
Overall, Fort Defiance became an important link in the chain of military outposts in the Indian lands.
When the United States declared war against Great Britain in 1812, Fort Defiance was repaired and manned by General Harrison and used as a staging point and fall back position during the construction of 4 other forts further north and east of the Fort Defiance location including Fort Meigs.