Brigadier General Anthony Wayne

Charles Willson Peale painted this portrait of Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, the commander of the Pennsylvania troops that the British assaulted at Paoli. Surprised and overwhelmed, Wayne led his troops on a desperate retreat from their camp, taking heavy casualties. Some officers criticized Wayne’s leadership at the battle, saying that he knew an attack was coming but did not prepare his soldiers. Wayne defended himself in the face of a court martial. The court found him not guilty and declared Wayne to be an “active, brave and vigilant officer.”

Anthony Wayne
Painted by Charles Willson Peale
Oil on Canvas 
Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gift of the McNeil Americana Collection, 2018