The Battle of Point Pleasant-A Point ...

The Battle of Point Pleasant-A Point of Controversy

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C Stephen Badgley

Grove City, OH

#1 Feb 8, 2013
You can ask anyone you meet if they know anything about Point Pleasant and the first thing that comes out of their mouth is "Mothman" I can't understand how this mythical creature can get so much publicity and attention while what may be one of the most important events in our nation's history occurred there. And that event seems to be put on the back burner. It's hardly ever mentioned anywhere except locally during the "Battle Days" celebration.
I would be willing to lay odds that most of the residents in Point Pleasant don't have a clue who Olivia Poffenbarger was and what she did for Point Pleasant, the State of West Virginia and the whole country.
I was born and raised across the river in Meigs County, Ohio a long time ago and I can remember some of the old-timers there talking about the battle and it being the first of the American Revolution. I spent a lot of time in Point Pleasant myself and I am also the author of "A Point of Controversy"
Virgil Lewis, famous author and Historian for the state of West Virginia was once a proponent of the theory of it being the first battle and a member of the monument committee. But later, after all was said and done, he changed his mind. Being a world renowned historian, most other historians simply fell in behind him...probably saying "If Virgil says it ain't so...it ain't so." But there were other historians who carried a different opinion. Why did Virgil change his mind? Could it be he didn't want to upset the folks in Massachusetts? Could it be he felt he was being upstaged by Poffenbarger who had the gall to refute his genealogy in her book? Why doesn't the city and the State of West Virginia push for national recognition of the historical event that took place there 6 months before Lexington/Concord.
If you would like to know more about this controversy, check out this video at:

&fe ature=youtu.be
Just copy and paste the the address into your browser.
BobTheBuilder

East Liverpool, OH

#2 Feb 8, 2013
it wasn't the first battle of the revolution. it was the last battle of the french and indian war.
WTF

Hansford, WV

#3 Feb 8, 2013
Read this

Manufactured History": Re-Fighting the Battle of Point Pleasant
1 post removed
C Stephen Badgley

Grove City, OH

#5 Feb 8, 2013
BobTheBuilder wrote:
it wasn't the first battle of the revolution. it was the last battle of the french and indian war.
Bob, The French and Indian War ended in 1763. The Battle of Point Pleasant was fought on October 10, 1774.
C Stephen Badgley

Grove City, OH

#6 Feb 8, 2013
WTF wrote:
Read this
Manufactured History": Re-Fighting the Battle of Point Pleasant
The term "maunfactured history" was coined by Virgil Lewis when he was trying to refute what earlier historians and Livia Poffenbarger had to say about Dunmore's War. I am not trying to cut down Virgil Lewis...I think he was a great historian and a darn good author, but he himself "manufactured history" when he claimed it was one of his direct ancestors that founded the town of Staunton, Virginia. Poffenbarger pointed out this error in her book which very well may have offended him as these events took place in the Victorian Age when women were considered to be intellectually inferior to men, and Poffenbarger was getting quite a bit of attention and glory for her efforts in securing the battlefield and the monument.
Charlie

Manakin Sabot, VA

#7 Feb 8, 2013
C Stephen Badgley wrote:
<quoted text>
The term "maunfactured history" was coined by Virgil Lewis when he was trying to refute what earlier historians and Livia Poffenbarger had to say about Dunmore's War. I am not trying to cut down Virgil Lewis...I think he was a great historian and a darn good author, but he himself "manufactured history" when he claimed it was one of his direct ancestors that founded the town of Staunton, Virginia. Poffenbarger pointed out this error in her book which very well may have offended him as these events took place in the Victorian Age when women were considered to be intellectually inferior to men, and Poffenbarger was getting quite a bit of attention and glory for her efforts in securing the battlefield and the monument.
The reason that Lewis changed his mind is due to the fact that the Draper Collection came out after he had made the claim that the Battle was the first of the Revolution. The Draper Collection of Wisconsin was full of full of first hand accounts of the battle. The Collection changed his mind and also provided him with the material to write a book on the Battle. You can get the Draper Papers online through google books.
BobTheBuilder

East Liverpool, OH

#8 Feb 9, 2013
C Stephen Badgley wrote:
<quoted text>
Bob, The French and Indian War ended in 1763. The Battle of Point Pleasant was fought on October 10, 1774.
true, but the indians dunmore's forces were fighting had originally been supported by the french. so, it may be a stretch to associate the battle with the french and indian war; however, it's less of a stretch than trying to associate it with the revolution. the militia was a colonial militia still under british leadership. granted dunmore fought against the revolutionary army later, but that has no impact on the battle of PP.
Ahah

Point Pleasant, WV

#9 Feb 11, 2013
Just goes to show the "curse" Chief Cornstalk put on Point Pleasant must have worked! We got screwed out of being recognized historically for what could have made a huge difference in this town's economy from tourism. Bridge fell. Jail blew up. Tons of unsolved murders, unemployment,& drugs to this day. Just goes to show...never pi$$ an Indian off. Lol

“Think About It First !!!”

Level 7

Since: Feb 11

Across The River From L-Ville

#10 Feb 11, 2013
I don't think the "curse" had anything to do with it, but "leading" people sure did! When you don't want a place to survive and/or flourish , and you have the money to keep it that way, well, the rest IS history.
moron

United States

#11 Feb 11, 2013
Ahah wrote:
Just goes to show the "curse" Chief Cornstalk put on Point Pleasant must have worked! We got screwed out of being recognized historically for what could have made a huge difference in this town's economy from tourism. Bridge fell. Jail blew up. Tons of unsolved murders, unemployment,& drugs to this day. Just goes to show...never pi$$ an Indian off. Lol
I often think about this i mean lets face it this is a screwed up little town like u said look at bridge the jail all the murders any other town with two Rivers meeting are big cities why not point
Smith

Point Pleasant, WV

#12 Feb 11, 2013
Because it's was a small battle
Lol

United States

#13 Feb 12, 2013
hardwareman wrote:
I don't think the "curse" had anything to do with it, but "leading" people sure did! When you don't want a place to survive and/or flourish , and you have the money to keep it that way, well, the rest IS history.
I don't really believe it was all caused by "the curse" silly. Lol And you wouldn't be referring to the high & mighty Jones clan now would you? Hard to believe one single man could be so instrumental in killing off an entire small town. Now the queen reigns in an empty court.
C Stephen Badgley

Grove City, OH

#14 Feb 12, 2013
The Draper Collection is a wonderful source of historical information amassed by Lyman C. Draper and obtained by the Wisconsin Historical Society after his death in 1891. That’s 8 years before Lewis changed his mind and published his book in 1909. To say that Lewis changed his mind because of the Draper Collection doesn’t make sense. In the Wisconsin Historical Society’s own words it was received as a mass of partially sorted papers. It would probably have taken Lewis that long to research the 492 volumes it was finally organized into... provided he could spend that much time in Wisconsin. Virgil Lewis was a school teacher and a lawyer until he was appointed first West Virginia Director of Archives and History in 1905. I don’t think he got that brand new department set up in Charleston overnight. So just how much time did Virgil Lewis devote to researching the Draper Collection and find the material that made him change his mind? He was a proponent of the theory until at least 1908. Poffenbarger published her book in 1909 and Virgil Lewis published his that same year.
The Draper Collection is made up in part of some of the manuscripts of early historians such as Alexander Scott Withers- 1792/1865, Joseph Doddridge-1769/1826, Samuel Kercheval 1767/1845 and Dr. John P. Hale-1824/1902. These historian’s manuscripts contain material obtained directly from the mouth of survivors of the battle, yet Virgil would say that their contributions are manufactured history! Why would he say that? Was it because Virgil didn’t talk to those survivors himself, therefore it was not properly documented and cannot be considered? Virgil Lewis never spoke to a survivor of Dunmore’s war. There were none left alive when Virgil was old enough to develop his love of history.
I am not saying Virgil Lewis was not a great historian, I am saying he was a human being and formed his opinion based on what he could personally perceive. Just because Virgil said “it ain’t so, doesn’t mean it ain’t so!" There are many statements from people who where there and actual documented events that took place that seem to point to a conspiracy by Britain, Dunmore and Connolly to incite the Indians of the frontier and to draw the militias of the two largest colonies,(Virginia and Pennsylvania) into a conflict that would buy them time to reinforce Gage’s 8500 troops in North America. They knew that if the colonies united and began hostilities before that could happen, England would lose a large part of her world empire. They also knew that there were not enough American Loyalists to join forces with Gage’s troops and be successful in holding off the combined Colonial Militias. They knew that if they were successful in tying up the two largest militias in border warfare with the Indians that the other colonies would hold back until Virginia and Pennsylvania could release their militias to join them.
It almost worked. Had Cornstalk annihilated Lewis’s army as planned, Dunmore would have retreated back to Williamsburg and demand a larger militia to attack the frontier along with the militia from Pennsylvania. If face of this failure, the next best thing Dunmore could do was to make sure Lewis and his survivors did not wipe out the Shawnee villages as planned, and to meet with the Indians and offer to save them if they would agree to continue their alliance with Britain in the event of Revolution.
C Stephen Badgley

Grove City, OH

#15 Feb 12, 2013
The Indians of the Ohio Country were not allied with the French in 1774. If anything they were pro British because the Crown had forbidden colonial settlement into the Indian’s territory. The Indians knew that if British were defeated by the Americans that they would lose their territory. They allied themselves with Britain, Britain lost and the tribes in the Ohio Country were forced out. The French played no part in any conflict after the French and Indian War except alliance with the Colonists during the American Revolution.
Hannah

Point Pleasant, WV

#16 Feb 12, 2013
Perhaps you should read your assignment again, because the only part of the article "Manufactured History" that involves Virgil Lewis is a speech found in his writings, that he may or may not have delivered in public, in which he puts forth his opinion that The Battle of Point Pleasant was a transitional point in US history. In his opinion, it was the culminating battle of the last colonial war, not the first battle of the Revolution. Colonists were not in battle with the British at the time of this battle and the British were not involved, other than colonial gentry. This was a battle between the Shawnee tribe and the colonial militia. The only argument that it was a part of the Revolution is the theory that Lord Dunmore was in coalition with the Shawnee and alerted them to Lewis and his position and # of militia. This seems to be inaccurate and/or there is no way to prove or disprove. Dunmore was celebrated as a war hero by all of Virginian colonials (including the veterans of the battle) after the victory at Point Pleasant, so it seems he was not viewed as a traitor at the time.
C Stephen Badgley

Grove City, OH

#17 Feb 13, 2013
In reply to Hannah (2 postings) Page 1 of 2

Hannah,
As I stated earlier, the term “manufactured history” was indeed coined by Virgil Lewis. Thank you for reinforcing that.
The statement that “Dunmore was celebrated as a war hero by all of Virginian colonials (including the veterans of the battle) after the victory at Point Pleasant, so it seems he was not viewed as a traitor at the time” is not entirely true. When Dunmore discovered (from his one of his scouts, Simon Girty) that Lewis had disobeyed his orders to hold his men at the point and was advancing towards Camp Charlotte,(where Dunmore was meeting with the Indians.) Dunmore himself, along with Cornstalk went south to intercept Lewis and stop him. Upon reaching Lewis, General Lewis had to have some of his officers physically restrained from attacking Dunmore and killing him. Lewis reluctantly agreed to retreat back to the point but said he would never again take orders from Dunmore.
From Poffenbarger’s book:“General Lewis was convinced, if not before, then immediately following, of the treachery of Lord Dunmore. Following the battle General Lewis refused to obey his orders, and thus became the first American officer to disobey a superior British officer. Thus it was he refrained from making an official report to Dunmore, Governor of the colony, as he would have otherwise done, and, too, Dunmore was yet in the field, and, as Lewis knew, was then in the camp of the enemy. Hence the report of the battle made by General Lewis became no part of the public records of Virginia or Virginia history.”
From the noted historian Dr. John P. Hale: "Lord Dunmore upon his return to Williamsburg, made report of the results of his campaign. Upon his own ex parte statement the Assembly passed a vote of thanks for his valuable services, which they very much regretted upon learning the facts, and they later changed the name of Dunmore County, upon petition of its citizens, to that of Shenandoah”.
C Stephen Badgley

Grove City, OH

#18 Feb 13, 2013
In reply to Hanna Page 2 of 2
The accolades sent to Lord Dunmore from the Assembly, the City Council of Williamsburg, William & Mary College, The Common Council of Norfolk, etc., that Virgil Lewis mentions in his book were based on the account of the expedition given by Lord Dunmore himself. Also in Lewis’s book, he mentions a document named “A Resolution by the Officers, Who Served Under Lord Dunmore, Adopted at Fort Gower, Mouth of Hockhocking River, November 5, 1774.” The officers who partook in this resolution were not present at the battle, they served under Dunmore with his branch of the expedition and this document was more than likely ordered to be created by Dunmore himself. Why would such a resolution have been necessary in the first place, unless Dunmore wanted a statement from his officers to present to the assembly at Williamsburg in case his real intent was discovered. Being in the wilderness and under the influence, what else could these officers say without putting their own careers and possibly their lives at risk? They did manage to say, in the second part of this resolution that Virgil did not mention, that although their loyalty was to the crown at that time, in the event of a revolution they would serve their countrymen and the cause of liberty. This shows that the knowledge of an impending war with Britain was definitely in their thoughts and that Dunmore was fully aware of the general consensus of the American Colonies.
Your statement that “The only argument that it was a part of the Revolution is the theory that Lord Dunmore was in coalition with the Shawnee and alerted them to Lewis and his position and # of militia” is true to the extent that it is only part of the overall controversy. The events leading up to Dunmore’s War, as stated by earlier historians and participants, point to a covert conspiracy perpetrated by the Crown, Dunmore, Dr. John Connolly and others to cause unrest and warfare on the frontier in an effort to delay the combined efforts of the American colonies to revolt against Britain and give her time to reinforce her troops and put down the impending revolution.
The following was Virgil’s opinion as stated in his contribution to Hardesty’s Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia published in 1883:
"It is a well known fact that the emissaries of Great Britain were then inciting the Indians to hostilities against the frontier for the purpose of distracting attention, and thus preventing the consummation of the Union which was then being formed to resist their armed oppressor. It is well known that Lord Dunmore was an enemy of the colonists, and hence his efforts to induce the Indians to cooperate with the English and thus reduce Virginia to subjection.
"To the student of history, no truth is more patent than this —that the battle of Point Pleasant was the first in the series of the Revolution, the flames of which were being kindled by the oppression of the Mother Country."
C Stephen Badgley

Grove City, OH

#19 Feb 13, 2013
Hannah wrote:
Perhaps you should read your assignment again, because the only part of the article "Manufactured History" that involves Virgil Lewis is a speech found in his writings, that he may or may not have delivered in public, in which he puts forth his opinion that The Battle of Point Pleasant was a transitional point in US history. In his opinion, it was the culminating battle of the last colonial war, not the first battle of the Revolution. Colonists were not in battle with the British at the time of this battle and the British were not involved, other than colonial gentry. This was a battle between the Shawnee tribe and the colonial militia. The only argument that it was a part of the Revolution is the theory that Lord Dunmore was in coalition with the Shawnee and alerted them to Lewis and his position and # of militia. This seems to be inaccurate and/or there is no way to prove or disprove. Dunmore was celebrated as a war hero by all of Virginian colonials (including the veterans of the battle) after the victory at Point Pleasant, so it seems he was not viewed as a traitor at the time.
Please see my reply below, I had to send two pages.
C Stephen Badgley

Grove City, OH

#20 Feb 13, 2013
C Stephen Badgley wrote:
In reply to Hanna Page 2 of 2
The accolades sent to Lord Dunmore from the Assembly, the City Council of Williamsburg, William & Mary College, The Common Council of Norfolk, etc., that Virgil Lewis mentions in his book were based on the account of the expedition given by Lord Dunmore himself. Also in Lewis’s book, he mentions a document named “A Resolution by the Officers, Who Served Under Lord Dunmore, Adopted at Fort Gower, Mouth of Hockhocking River, November 5, 1774.” The officers who partook in this resolution were not present at the battle, they served under Dunmore with his branch of the expedition and this document was more than likely ordered to be created by Dunmore himself. Why would such a resolution have been necessary in the first place, unless Dunmore wanted a statement from his officers to present to the assembly at Williamsburg in case his real intent was discovered. Being in the wilderness and under the influence of Dunmore, what else could these officers say without putting their own careers and possibly their lives at risk? They did manage to say, in the second part of this resolution that Virgil did not mention, that although their loyalty was to the crown at that time, in the event of a revolution they would serve their countrymen and the cause of liberty. This shows that the knowledge of an impending war with Britain was definitely in their thoughts and that Dunmore was fully aware of the general consensus of the American Colonies.
Your statement that “The only argument that it was a part of the Revolution is the theory that Lord Dunmore was in coalition with the Shawnee and alerted them to Lewis and his position and # of militia” is true to the extent that it is only part of the overall controversy. The events leading up to Dunmore’s War, as stated by earlier historians and participants, point to a covert conspiracy perpetrated by the Crown, Dunmore, Dr. John Connolly and others to cause unrest and warfare on the frontier in an effort to delay the combined efforts of the American colonies to revolt against Britain and give her time to reinforce her troops and put down the impending revolution.
The following was Virgil’s opinion as stated in his contribution to Hardesty’s Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia published in 1883:
"It is a well known fact that the emissaries of Great Britain were then inciting the Indians to hostilities against the frontier for the purpose of distracting attention, and thus preventing the consummation of the Union which was then being formed to resist their armed oppressor. It is well known that Lord Dunmore was an enemy of the colonists, and hence his efforts to induce the Indians to cooperate with the English and thus reduce Virginia to subjection.
"To the student of history, no truth is more patent than this —that the battle of Point Pleasant was the first in the series of the Revolution, the flames of which were being kindled by the oppression of the Mother Country."
I meant to say "under the influence of Dunmore" not "under the influence." CSB
Cornstalk Curse

Syracuse, OH

#21 Feb 14, 2013
I am a direct descendent of Chief Cornstalk.
Lets clear up the 'Cornstalk Curse'. Did you know that curse was never mentioned until it became part of a Play in the early 1900's???? It is said that he cursed the land. The land equals the Earth aka 'Mother Earth'. No honorable Chief of any Nation would have ever cursed the land, that would basically constitute cursing his own Mother. Did NOT happen. Hes blamed for the collapse of the Silver Bridge. There were several Cornstalk descendents that lost their lives on that bridge. Would he have killed his own people? NO! He is blamed for the Marshall plane crash. Again, there were several people on that plane of his blood.
While I'm here, I'll clear up a couple of other myths. When he was murdered, he was buried. He was not gutted nor beaten until he turned into the Mothman. It is also said that the Indians did not live in Point Pleasant because we felt it was an evil area. That too is incorrect. There were village sites all over Mason County dating back to the early 1600's. Our Village sites have always been close to the river. The point of two rivers would have been extremely sacred to us, NOT evil.
Fawn
Shawnee Nation
7th Generation Granddaughter of Chief Cornstalk

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