Mad Anthony's Ghost
Created | Updated May 28, 2017
Nicknamed 'Mad Anthony' by his troops for his fearlessness and quick temper, General Anthony Wayne of Radnor, Chester County, was one of the best tactical commanders of the American armed forces during the American Revolution.
He survived the war and died in Erie, Pennsylvania, on December 15 1796 while en route home from fighting Indians in Michigan. In accordance with his last wishes, he was buried beneath the blockhouse on Presque Isle. Thirteen years later, his son Isaac went to Erie to dig up the body and take it home for reburial in the family plot in Radnor also in Pennsylvania.
The people in Erie didn't want to have the body taken away so they compromised. They called in Dr James Wallace, who separated the bones from the flesh in a large iron kettle (the kettle is now housed at the Erie Historical Museum). The general's flesh and clothing were reburied beneath the blockhouse and Isaac put the bones on a wagon and began the long journey home.
Legend has it that the road was bumpy, and that some of the bones fell out of the wagon, somewhere along the 385 mile trail that is today US Route 322. The rest of the general's remains were buried in a grave at St David's Churchyard in Chester County, but every New Year's morning, which is the General's birthday, his ghost rises from the grave and gallops from St David's and back in search of his bones.