Skip to comments.Meigs native recounts controversy over battle [WV]
Posted on 01/21/2011 5:55:54 AM PST by Pharmboy
PARKERSBURG - A Meigs County native has written a book about the Battle of Point Pleasant and whether it was the first fought in the Revolutionary War.
Charles S. Badgley of the Badgley Publishing Co., Canal Winchester, Ohio, says he often heard while growing up along the river in Meigs County that the battle was the first in the war, the basis of his most recent novel, "A Point of Controversy." Conventional wisdom was the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775 were the first in the war of independence.
"The controversy has been around a long time, it actually began right after the battle in 1774," he said. "It came to a head in the early 1900s when through the efforts of Livia Poffenbarger, the battlefield was secured and Congress was convinced to fund a memorial on the site, present day Tu-Endie-Wei Park."
Poffenbarger wrote a book on the battle, saying it was a battle of the revolution, a covert attempt by the British to get time to increase its forces in the colonies. Afterward, a member of the committee, Virgil Anson Lewis, an historian and archivist of the state of West Virginia, changed his opinion and wrote a book refuting Poffenbarger's claim.
The controversy continues today, Badgley said.
"Right now there is an interesting debate going on at The History Channel's Revolutionary War discussion board," Badgley said.
Tu-Endie-Wei is a state park is at the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers where the monument is located to commemorate those who died in the battle with the Shawnee Chief Cornstalk on October 10,1774. "Tu-Endie-Wei" is a Wyandotte word meaning "point between two waters." The website is www.tu-endie-weistatepark.com/.
Under the command of Col. Andrew Lewis, 1,100 militiamen defeated about as many Indians led by Cornstalk. The war broke the indian hold on the Ohio Valley and prevented an alliance between the British and Indians, according to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
The British government had ordered Lord Dunmore of Virginia to discourage settlement of the land west of the river to pacify the Indians and maintain the profitable fur trade with the tribes. Settlers, eager to move west, in early 1774 killed the family of Chief Logan, a Mingo.
Logan retaliated in a raid, scalped 30 settlers and took prisoners. Skirmishes occurred more often with atrocities committed by both sides. Peace treaties had been signed with the Delaware and Iroquois in Pittsburgh, then Dunmore's army started south toward Point Pleasant.
The Shawnee under Cornstalk joined with Logan. Lewis marched from Lewisburg to the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio and waited for Dunmore. Before Dunmore arrived, Cornstalk attacked Lewis and the fight, some of it hand-to-hand, lasted all day.
However, the firepower of the militia bested the Indians. Cornstalk lost 230 men and Lewis lost more than 50, including his brother, Col. Charles Lewis.
Those who discount the theory that Dunmore or the British attempted to start an indian war to divert the militias of Pennsylvania and Virginia so England can reinforce its troops say nothing exists to back it up, Badgley said. Supporters believe such records would have been destroyed to protect the integrity of the crown and Dunmore, he said.
The book was published by the Badgley Publishing Co., owned by Badgley, which has also published other histories.
Oh yea. They have a Revolutionary War ceremony in Point Pleasant every year. It is a wonderful little town.
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You know anything about this controversy?
Interesting- “first battle of the Revolution”
My (western) PA ancestors on the western frontier of the Alleghenies were affected and suffered mightily because of “Dunmore’s war”
The Westmoreland County PA frontier town of my ancestors, Hannastown PA, was burned by Indians, half breeds, and Tories on 13 July 1782, and has been called by some the last battle of the American Revolution. Some of the dead fell and were buried in the field of my ancestor Dewalt Mechling. Some of the so-called Tories were said to have first attacked Hannastown during Dunmore’s war and came back to try to finish the job
The Hannastown courthouse burned that day was also the last seat of English law built in America
That entire area is full of history. Chief Cornstalk’s remains is there and it is believed that he cursed the entire area before he died in battle.
Were President Obama’s PAYNE ancestors at this battle, or is this too far south for them - apparently some CRABTREE family members fought at Point Pleasant - but I can’t find the genealogical tree which I once saw posted online.
Very cool! We are moving to Gallipolis, OH, just minutes across the river from Point Pleasant. Actually, my dh is already working there and I am still in Arkansas with the kids for the next few months. And here I thought all Point Pleasant had going for it was the Mothman! LOL
I believe the DAR and the SAR will accept you for membership if you can prove that one of your ancestors fought on the Virginia side during the Battle of Point Pleasant (and/or during “Dunmore’s War”).
Therefore, no matter what others may judge, at least the DAR and the SAR count this battle and the associated “Dunmore’s War” as part of the American Revolution.
About where in S.E. Ohio are you? See my post #9. I got to visit the area over Christmas to do a little househunting. My kids are going to love driving up and down all the hills, LOL.
some people blame the collapse of the silver bridge on “the curse of cornstalk”
Okay...I only really got to see Gallia and Jackson Counties while I was there. I’ll be heading that way for good by then end of May/start of June.
Isn’t Athens where Ohio University is located? I grew up in Indiana, but don’t know a lot about Ohio other than Dayton and Cincinnati.
Yep. That is here. My wife is from Middleport. We have spent a lot of time down in Gallipolis. It is a nice town. She has family there.
maybe we can meet someday.. in the future..
At some point the Brits put an end to the scattered Spanish settlements hither and yon in that region ~ and might even have put an end to the Spanish themselves.
I don't think the "event" has any particular name, but this region was involved in quite an early war against the Brits and the Mingo may well have had knowledge of it!
Beware of Mothman:
LOL! That’s what it looks like! I never got to go see it, although I wanted to. I was only there a few days and spent a couple of them house hunting. The kids will love it.
It is a nice little town. It reminds me a lot of the little town in Indiana we lived in before we moved to Arkansas (Madison, IN—right on the OH River across from KY). My husband says the Catholic church there is very nice and the parishoners are friendly. It will be a big switch from the amenities of Fort Smith, but I’m looking forward to being a lot closer to the family in Indiana. It will be 5 hours to see my parents versus the 12+ we’re driving now...a big difference with 4 kids, LOL.
If the sun angle is just right, the eyes really glow.
Yes, I live practically on the battle ground. I’m a re-enactor and take part in the Battle Days event every Oct. Great town, great people. Most beautiful murals in the country depicting the town’s history on the flood walls. Come on over and see our many museums and murals and riverfront park.
OH BOY! Finally, I will have a Freeper friend close by. Let me know when you are moving over. I’ll bring a pie.
Good grief Charlie Brown, we’re not in the boonies. Huge shopping center in Huntington WV, great hospital in Gallipolis. An hour from Chillicathie (sp)which has one of the largest shopping areas in Ohio, Gallipolis is less than two hours from Columbus, and an hour from Charleston WV. And there is a Wal-Mart. LOL. Good schools and conservative people. My son lives in the Gallipolis area and owns the photography shop in Pt Pleasant (remember that when you want pictures of the kids. He’s the best around). Gee, I’m so excited. If you need any info, just freep mail.
The article pretty much covers in a nutshell the controversy. It will most likely never be settled. We believe that Dunmore was part of the scheme to keep the Virginia militia out of the way of the British. He was a British sympothizer. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it. There are lots of accounts out there. The battle is also known as Lord Dunmore’s War.
A lot of bad stuff happened in those years in that area, including the purposeful massacre of a Moravian Christian Delaware Indian settlement (96 (old) men, women and children) in the Gnadenhutten massacre, in 1782 near Gnadenhutten Ohio.
Pennsylvania militia did the deed (after taking control of the village, and thinking about it overnight) and were never brought to justice for the (outright) murders of these non-combatant civilians.
A shameful incident however you cut it.
Very interesting point. Thank you.
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