Capt. Ralph Stewart

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Capt. Ralph Stewart's Geni Profile

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Ralph Stewart

Also Known As: "Capt Ralph"
Birthplace: Cow Pasture River, Augusta County, Province of Virginia
Death: Died in Logan, Logan County, Virginia, United States
Place of Burial: Clear Fork, Wyoming County, West Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Captain James Stuart and Mary Ann Stewart (Lafferty)
Husband of Mary Ann Stewart (Elliot) and Mary Obedience Stewart
Father of John Stewart; Absolum Stewart; Charles Stewart; Mary Ann Stewart; James Elliot Stewart, Jr. and 19 others
Brother of Robert Stewart; Mary Catherine Elliott; John Stewart of Fourth Creek; William Stewart and William Riley Stewart

Managed by: Gene Daniell
Last Updated:

About Capt. Ralph Stewart

Revolutionary Pensioner in Wyoming Co., West Virginia. He was the second settler of present day Wyoming Co. He was commissioned captain in 1773 by Lord Dunmore, Governor of Virginia. He served as a ranger. He fought in the "Battle of Point Pleasent" and against the Indians led by Chief Cornstalk in 1774. In 1778 his commission was renewed by then Gov. Partick Henry. He fought at the battle of Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina. When Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown General Washington Made Ralph one of the guard that kept the English Commander prisoner.

The Story of Ralph Stewart (Ralph and James were both born in America) Stewart's Creek Augusta Virginia, when their parents came to America. Ralph was an Indian fighter at the age of 14. When Ralph was a teenage boy, during an Indian raid, his father James was captured and burned at the stake in the presence of his young son, James jr., who also was carried away, but later managed to escape (p. 511, Vol. 2) During a time when peace had been made with the Indians, Ralph and James (as teenage boys) went on a prolonged hunting and trapping trip. Ralph while alone in camp was set upon by Indians who hung around-for some time, amusing themselves by threatening an abusing him. When James returned, they captured him also. The Indians pillaged the camp supplies, then took away the furs and pelts. After the Indians left, Ralph and James managed to free themselves and the following night followed the trail of the Indians to their camp and slipped upon them and killed 5 Indians. This act was no doubt a lot of satisfaction for them, but was a violation of the law after the Declaration of Peace and made them liable for murder. Later Ralph told a friend who later became a rival for the affection of a young lady. The friend swore out a murder warrant for Ralph's arrest. The Stewart family let the community and moved to a place on new River where they remained for 18 months. At length the Governor of Virginia pardoned him. Ralph lived in Augusta Virginia until the Revolution. He and his brothers hated the Indians and in the Army or not they fought them at every opportunity. He with others became famous for attacking 96 Indians and rescuing 6 white prisoners, although greatly outnumbered. Ralph was commissioned Captain of the Indian Rangers by Lord Dunmore, Governor of Virginia prior to the Revolutionary war. During the war he fought under Gen. Andrew Lewis at the Battle of Point Pleasant on Oct. 10, 1774. His commission was renewed by Gov. Patrick Henry in 1778 and he was ordered with his company to South Carolina to join General Green. He participated in many engagements including Guilford Courthouse, Hot Water, Ground Squirrel, Charlottesville and Yorktown. He died in Logan County, 1835.

In 1757, James Stewart was captured by Indians and burned at the stake. This tragic incident inflamed Ralph Stewart into a lifetime of hatred of Indians. He was commissioned in 1773 as a Captain of Indian Rangers by Lord Dunsmore, the royal Governor of Virginia. This commission was renewed in 1778 by Virginia Governor Patrick Henry.

In 1774, Capt. Stewart was involved in the Battle of Point Pleasant, (W)Va., in which the Shawnee Indian forces of Chief Cornstalk were defeated, a battle which some historians now believe was the first battle of the American Revolution. He was involved in military engagements at Guilford Courthouse, at Charlottesville, at Yorktown, among others, during the Revolutionary War. Capt. Stewart, according to tradition, carried a saber scar which was inflicted by Lord Tarleton. He was at Yorktown when the English army under Lord Cornwallis surrendered and was part of the troop that was assigned to guard the defeated General.

Ralph Stewart first married Mary Elliot and lived in Augusta County, Va., before moving to Kentucky. According to some accounts, seven children were born to them: James; John; Richard; Absolom; Rebecca; Phoebe; Mary Ann. (There has been some question about this accounting, for Rebecca and Phoebe were traditional Clay family names.)

Mary Elliot Stewart died in Kentucky about 1787. Shortly thereafter, Capt. Ralph Stewart journeyed back to Montgomery County, Va., where, on June 25, 1788, he married Mary Clay, sixteen-year-old daughter of Mitchell and Phoebe Belcher Clay. Capt. Stewart and his new wife returned to Kentucky where they lived for about a dozen years before moving in 1800 to present Wyoming County. Capt. Stewart was 50 years old when he settled in Wyoming County.

Exactly what prompted Capt. Stewart to move from Kentucky to present Wyoming County has never been determined. There does not appear to be any record that Capt. Stewart ever owned land in Wyoming County. Instead, it appears that he settled on the Mandeville lands at Crany more or less as a squatter.

The thirteen children born to Capt. Ralph and Mary Clay Stewart were Catherine Stewart (1790); Mitchell (1791); Phoebe (1792); Robert (1793); Rebecca (1795); Sarah (1797); William R. (1800); Amy (1802); Margaret (1803); Henry C. (1805); Aura (1806); Charles (1808); George Peter (1810). It appears that perhaps six or seven of their children were born in present Wyoming County.

In 1834 Capt. Stewart filed application for a pension based on his Revolutionary War service. His claim was supported by Patience Clay Chapman, Mitchell Clay Jr., Charles L. Clay, Edward Burgess, Francis Hendrix, as well as Rev. Richard Brooks.

He died November 18, 1835, at age 85, and was buried at Crany in a small cemetery on a wooded hillside. His military marker reads: Ralph Stewart, VA. MIL., REV. WAR.

The date of Stewart’s birth, December 17, 1749, and the date of his death, November 18, 1835, were hand-chiseled at the bottom of the stone.

Mary Clay Stewart applied for a widow’s pension December 17, 1846, which was granted. Since Mary Clay Stewart was not listed in the 1850 census, she probably died between 1847-50. She was buried at Crany beside Capt. Stewart. Her grave is marked by a small stone with the hand-chiseled inscription: “Wife of Capt. Ralph Stewart.”

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Wyoming County citizens are descendants of Capt. Ralph and Mary Clay Stewart.

  • Residence: United States
  • Residence: Virginia, United States
  • Residence: Augusta, Virginia, USA - Between 1739 and 1935
  • Residence: Virginia, USA - Between 1769 and 1800
  • Residence: West Virginia, USA - Between 1772 and 1952
  • Military service: Revolutionary War - Oct 19 1781 - Battle of Yorktown
  • Residence: Virginia, USA - Between 1782 and 1785
  • Residence: Giles, Virginia, United States - 1810
  • Residence: Giles, Virginia, United States - 1820
  • Residence: Lawrence, Kentucky, United States - 1830
  • Residence: Virginia, United States - 1782–1785
  • Residence: Virginia;Virginia - 1834;1847
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Capt. Ralph Stewart's Timeline

December 17, 1752
Cow Pasture River, Augusta County, Province of Virginia
Age 17
Augusta County, Virginia, United States
Age 17
Cowpasture, Bath County, Province of Virginia
Age 18
Age 19
Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia, United States
Age 20
Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia, United States
Age 22
Cowpasture River, Augusta County, Province of Virginia, (Present USA)
Age 23
Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia, United States
Age 32