Andrew Lewis, Sr.
|Also Known As:||"Indian Fighter"|
|Birthplace:||Ulster, Donegal, Ireland|
|Death:||Died in Bedford, , West Virginia, USA|
|Place of Burial:||East Hill Cemetery, Salem City, Virginia|
Son of Col. John Lewis and Margaret Lewis
|Occupation:||Lawmaker, Brigadier General American Army|
|Managed by:||Private User|
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About Gen. Andrew Lewis (Continental Army)
A Patriot of the American Revolution for VIRGINIA with the rank of BRIGADIER GENERAL. DAR Ancestor #: A069714
Andrew Lewis (October 9, 1720 – September 26, 1781) was an American pioneer, surveyor, and soldier from Virginia. He served as a colonel of militia during the French and Indian War, and as a brigadier general in the American Revolutionary War. He is most famous for his 1774 victory in the Battle of Point Pleasant in Dunmore's War.
Lewis was born in County Donegal, Ireland to John Lewis and Margaret Lynn. In 1732 John Lewis fled to America after having killed his landlord during an altercation. He brought his family to Virginia, including his sons Andrew and Thomas. They became some of the first settlers in western Augusta County. Andrew gained a basic education, and learned the skills of a surveyor.
Early in the 1740s Lewis married Elizabeth Givens, daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Cathey) Givens formerly of County Antrim, Ireland. Lewis and his wife established their own home. They called it Richfield, and it was located in what today is Roanoke County near Salem. Over the coming years they would have seven children: Samuel (c.1748-1763), John (1750-1788), Thomas (1752-1800), Andrew Jr. (1759-1844), Ann (1760), William (1764-1812), and Charles (c.1768-1781).
Lewis spent fifteen years developing his farm and working as a surveyor in southwestern Virginia. He surveyed much of the Greenbrier District of Augusta County, later Greenbrier County, West Virginia. He became the commander, as county lieutenant and later captain of the Augusta County militia, after some years involvement in protecting against American Indian raids.
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War brought serious conflict to the Virginia frontier. The frontier militia was more formally organized, and Lewis became a captain in Colonel George Washington's regiment. He was at Fort Necessity when Washington was forced to surrender it in 1754.
When Washington's proposal for a series of frontier fortifications was approved, Lewis was promoted to major to oversee the section along the Greenbrier River. On February 18, 1756, The Big Sandy Expedition, commanded by Major Andrew Lewis departed from Fort Frederick with his White and Virginia Cherokee troops to raid Shawnee towns along the Big Sandy and Ohio rivers in retaliation for Shawnee attacks on frontier forts. He took part in a number of expeditions against both Indian settlements and French outposts. While a part of the Forbes Expedition, he took part in Major James Grant's attack on Fort Duquesne, and was captured in September 1758. He was taken to Quebec and held as a prisoner until late in 1759.
When relative peace came to the frontier, Lewis concentrated on his growing family and his plantation at Richfield. He became part of the local political leadership. When Botetourt County was erected in 1769 his neighbors sent him to the House of Burgesses, starting in 1770. He would remain a member until 1780, but attended only occasionally, since his military duties took precedence.
Although the Proclamation of 1763 officially restricted Virginia's western expansion, Lewis remained active in hunting and exploration trips into what is now West Virginia. He also provided militia support to some of the western settlements. Then in 1774, Dunmore's War broke out. Governor Dunmore planned an attack, and led a force from Fort Pitt into the Ohio Country. Lewis, now a colonel, led a second force against the Shawnees by the southern route.
Colonel Lewis met resistance from Shawnee Chief Cornstalk at the Ohio River crossing at Point Pleasant. Lewis's victory in the Battle of Point Pleasant on October 10 was the most significant of that conflict, and firmly secured his military reputation.
When the American Revolution began, Governor Dunmore prorogued the Burgesses in 1774. The Whigs (as the American rebels were known) gathered a provisional congress to carry on. Andrew Lewis and his brother Thomas were both delegates to this congress and that of the following year. When the Continental Congress created a Continental Army in 1775, General Washington asked Lewis be made a brigadier general. But the congress had decided on one from each state, and the honor for Virginia went to Charles Lee.
In March of 1776, Lewis accepted his appointment as a Brigadier General in the Continental Army. He oversaw the defense of Virginia, and raising of troops for the main army. That year, Governor Dunmore was still making attacks along the coast. The Committee of Safety called on Lewis to resolve this problem. On July 9, 1776 he led the state's forces against Dunmore's last foothold, a fortified position built on Gwyn's Island in Chesapeake Bay. Lewis succeeded and forced Dunmore's departure for the Caribbean.
On April 15, 1777, Lewis resigned his commission due to his failing health. He remained active in the Burgesses and the building of a new government for Virginia. In 1780, Governor Thomas Jefferson appointed him to the Council for the state. Lewis became sriously ill while returning home from a council meeting, and died of a fever in Bedford County on September 26, 1781. He was taken home to Richfield, and buried in the family plot. In 1887 he was re-interred in the East Hill Cemetery at Salem, Virginia.
Lewisburg, West Virginia, is named after him. A statue of Lewis is among those honoring Virginia patriots (including Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, George Mason, Thomas Nelson, and John Marshall) on Richmond's Washington Monument in Capitol Square. An Andrew Lewis memorial is at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Virginia, featuring a statue of Lewis next to a cannon. The former Andrew Lewis High School, now Andrew Lewis Middle School, opened in 1931 and is named for him. Some residents petitioned without success for the new high school in Salem to bear the name Andrew Lewis, but the school opened in 1977 as Salem High School. On March 13, 2001, the General Assembly of Virginia designated the portion of Interstate 81 that traverses Rockbridge, Botetourt, and Roanoke Counties, and the city of Salem as the "Andrew Lewis Memorial Highway." The General Andrew Lewis Scout Reservation in Ona, West Virginia (near Huntington) is named for Andrew Lewis. It is operated by Tri-State Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Camp Arrowhead is located on the reservation.
* Johnson, Patricia G., General Andrew Lewis of Roanoke and Greenbrier. Walpa Publications,1980, ISBN 0-9614765-5-9.
Andrew Lewis served as a colonel in the French and Indian War and as Brigadier General in the Revolutionary War. He is best known for his victory in the battle of Point Pleasant. in the Revolutionary War. The city of Lewisburg, WV is named for him. See [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Lewis_(soldier) Wikipedia article about Andrew Lewis]
- Samuel Lewis (c.1748-1763)
- John Lewis (1750–1788)
- Thomas Lewis (1752–1800)
- Andrew Lewis, Jr. (1759–1844)
- Ann Lewis (1760)
- William Lewis (1764–1812)
- Charles Lewis (c.1768-1781)
-------------------- American Pioneer and Patriot. Surveyed the the lands of the Greenbrier and Cowpasture River Valleys and server in General George Washington's Virginia Regiment. He Fough in the French and Indian War and was imprisoned by the French for 13 months. As a Colonel in Dunsmore's War in 1774 he and his 600 men fought and defeated Chief Cornstalk and his Shawnee Warriors in the Battle of Point Pleasant, which has been reconized as the first battle of the American Revolution. After his military career served on the Governor Council under both Governor Thomas Jefferson and Governor Thomas Nelson. In 1781 he was return to his home near Salem Virginia when he was taken ill and died in present day Bedford County, Virginia.
Gen. Andrew Lewis (Continental Army)'s Timeline
Charlottesville, VA, USA
October 9, 1720
Franklin, Virginia, USA
Augusta, VA, USA
Fincastle, Botetourt County, VA