Father One Of Earliest Settlers in Valley-Lewis “Buried” During Revolution And Received Little Credit
From the 1938 centennial edition of The Times-Register
It is affirmed by all Virginia historians that Andrew Lewis was one of the greatest Indian fighters of Western Virginia, and local accounts acclaim him as the greatest military leader in the history of what is known as Roanoke County, which, after many years, became his home.
Andrew Lewis was born in Donegal, Province of Ulster, Ireland in 1720, the son of John and Margaret Lynn Lewis. John Lewis’ ancestors migrated to Ireland from France to escape persecutions following the assassination of Henry IV. His mother for whom the D.A.R. chapter is named was of Scotch parentage.
In 1732 the elder Lewis became involved in an affray with his Irish landlord, who tried to evict him from his holdings by force. The landlord shot into the house, killed Lewis’ brother and severely wounded his wife. John Lewis rushed out, killed the landlord and drove the retainers away. This conduct was fully justified by the authorities, but he thought it best to leave the country. He went first to Portugal, then to Philadelphia where his wife and three sons, Thomas, Andrew and William joined him. They then went to the Shenandoah Valley to make their future home.
First White Settler
John Lewis is designated by local historians as the first white settler in the valley. His descendants have figured conspicuously in the affairs and settlement of the valley and with other pioneer settlers have left an indelible impression upon the social, political and moral life of America.
It is stated in Pedleton’s History of Southwest Virginia and McCauley’s History of Roanoke County that John Lewis became acquainted with John Salling, a weaver, who six years before with John Marlin, a peddler, had explored the valley of Virginia. Salling had been taken captive into Tennessee by the Cherokee Indians in 1726. While on a hunting expedition with a party of Cherokees in Kentucky he was captured by a band of Illinois Indians and adopted by a squaw, who had lost a son in battle. Salling was then traded to Spaniards who sold him to the Governor of Canada. The latter sent Salling to New York, from which place he got back to Winchester six years from the time he started. In 1732 Lewis, Salling and John Mackey under guidance of Salling, who knew the region from thrilling experience, determined to make their homes in the valley. There was an abundance of fertile land with no one to claim ownership to any portion of it and Lewis and his companions were free to choose what they wished.
Young Andrew Lewis
Andrew Lewis was twelve years old when he came with his parents from Ireland to settle in this unopened territory. Great energy and dauntless courage were requisites in the life of a young man in this wilderness where dangers of attacks from the Indians and wild animals were constant and hardships, such as are known only to the pioneer, were indescribable. It was this life and training that prepared young Lewis for a soldier’s career, which won him the admiration of George Washington and the success in future engagements with Indians.
The Lewis family shared conspicuously with other pioneer settlers in the first settlement and development of the Shenandoah Valley and adjacent Appalachian regions. Thomas Lewis was surveyor for the Loyal Company having an 800,000 acre grant located north of the North Carolina line and west of the Alleghany mountains. Andrew Lewis organized the Greenbrier Company and obtained a grant of 100,000 acres west of the Alleghanies and south of the Ohio. Before this the elder Lewis was one of twenty-one citizens of the county to be issued “a commission of the Peace” by the governor.
Blonde, Six Feet Four
Andrew Lewis was six feet four inches tall, blonde with heavy dark eyebrows. Though stern and stalwart in appearance he was kindly and genial in manner. In 1749 at the age of 29, he married Miss Elizabeth Givens of Augusta County. They had five sons, John, Samuel, Thomas, Andrew, William and one daughter, Anne.
While these new settlers were making homes for themselves in this pathless wilderness, Indian outrages and attacks upon the white settlers were increasing, and jealousies and hatreds among explorers who were claiming the same lands for two crowns -France and England- were reaching such proportions that war was soon inevitable. On October 31, 1753 George Washington, the young surveyor, was sent with Christopher Gist, a famous scout and guide, with a protest from Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia to St. Pierre, Commander of the French forces in Canada, but was obliged to return in January 1754 with word that he was acting under instructions from the governor of the French and would obey orders to the letter. War was begun in the following summer and did not end until 1762.
Some years earlier the British organized the Ohio Company to take possession of disputed territory and thereby stop encroachments of France. This company of forty-one hunters and border men under command of Captain Trent went to junction of the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers where the French had built Fort Duquesne, named in honor of the Governor of Canada.
As soon as the ice gorges were broken up in the river, the French on April 17, 1754 swept down the river in a fleet of canoes and boats and forced Trent to surrender.
On April 20, Major George Washington, active commander, arrived at Wills Creek Camp, now the city of Cumberland, Maryland and learned of Captain Trent’s disaster. Ensign Ward was sent in a hurried race to erect a fort near Fort Duquesne, but failed at this because of overwhelming odds of forty-one men against two-hundred forty men, eighteen pieces of artillery and seven hundred Indians. Under Washington was Captain Adam Stephens, who joined forces with Captain Mackay’s South Carolina troops, and Colonel Joshua Fry- an Oxford graduate without proper experience as colonel of militia in command of so important an expedition- who was to join him at Wills Creek Camp. He became ill and died before reaching there. Andrew Lewis, the only known Roanoke County man present, perhaps joined either Washington’s company of one hundred men or Captain Trent’s company.
While hesitating on what course to pursue, Washington received a message from his old friend “Half-King” the celebrated Huron Indian chief, who was subject to the Iroquois and lived in Logstown, now Beaver, Pennsylvania. “Come to our assistance, “he said,” or we are lost and shall never meet again. I speak in grief of my heart”.
Washington sent a wampum belt in reply and assured his “friend and brothers” that he would come to his relief. With his entire force he pushed forward, but on advice from his faithful Indian ally, Half-King, that the French were advancing in rapid order with a force that would overwhelm his small party. Washington returned to Great Meadows about thirty miles south of Pittsburgh, where according to his own statement, “with nature’s assistance he made a good entrenchment and prepared a charming field for encounter”. Upon this hastily constructed and inadequate he bestowed the name of Fort Necessity.
Washington surprised the French, killing ten men including their commander De Jumonville, and captured twenty-one prisoners. As would be expected the savages became unmanageable and Washington moved his men to Christopher Gist’s plantation on the Yuoghiogheny where entrenchments were thrown up for protection, but this was abandoned and the men went back to Fort Necessity on July 1, 1754.
On July 3 the Indians surrounded the Fort and began attack at eleven o’clock in the morning. Both sides kept up desultory fire all day in torrents of rain without decisive results. De Villiers on account of shortage of ammunition offered terms of surrender, highly honorable, which were accepted by the colonials, who moved out of the Fort on July 4, 1754, carrying everything except artillery, and withdrew from the country. This left the entire Ohio Valley in the possession of the French and caused great alarm among the northern colonies as well as in Virginia.
At this time a congress composed of representatives from all the American colonies assembled at Albany, New York, to urge concerted action against the French and secure a more cordial support from as many Indian tribes as possible. In the meantime the French were actively occupied in strengthening their fortifications on the Niagara River, at their posts along the lakes and in the Ohio Valley. The British government saw that something must be done to stop aggressions of the French, or submit to loss of all English territory west of the Alleghanies. General Edward Braddock was sent over from England with six thousand regulars, and the colonies were requested to furnish as many volunteers as they could to unite with the regular troops for the protection of the frontiers.
Summer of 1755
In the summer of 1755 the entire army was in command of General Braddock, who was brave enough, but conceited and headstrong, with no knowledge of the Indian’s skill and daring in fighting a battle in the wilderness. Braddock started from Alexandria with two thousand British veterans to recapture Fort Duquesne. He was joined at Fort Cumberland by two companies from New York and several companies from Virginia. George Washington also joined the army and Braddock made him his aid-de-camp.
On June 9, 1755 Braddock’s army was led into ambuscade and was nearly destroyed by the combined forces of the Indians and French. Braddock was killed with hundreds of his men and many officers. An order for retreat was given and the remnants of Braddock’s army went to Fort Cumberland and a few days later to Philadelphia.
Andrew Lewis and all his brothers- Samuel the eldest was captured- served under Major Grant in Braddock’s army. Grant and Andrew Lewis, who was twice wounded in his action, were both captured by the French. While a prisoner, Major Grant addressed a letter to General Forbes attributing their defeat and capture to Lewis. French officers, having censored the letter and knowing imputation to be false, handed it to Lewis, who at once challenged Grant to combat. Upon refusal, Lewis “spat in his face and left him”.
After Braddock’s famous defeat, the General Assembly of Virginia made an appropriation of money for Colonel Washington and other officers and privates of Virginia volunteers to reward them “for their gallant behavior and losses in the late disastrous battle”. Colonel Washington was also given command of all forces raised or to be enlisted in Virginia. He selected for field officers next in command to himself Lieutenant Colonel Adam Stephens and Major Andrew Lewis.
Previous to the battle at Fort Duquesne the Virginia frontiers were terrorized with scalping parties. After the defeat the Indians began to send marauding parties to attack the settlers in the valley of Virginia, Upper James Valley, Roanoke Valley and the few settlements that had been made west of the Alleghanies in what is not Southwest Virginia. Attacks were so fierce and frequent that in February and March of 1756 Colonel Andrew Lewis commanded what was known as the “Sandy Expedition” to suppress the outrages committed by the Shawnees.
Treaty With Cherokees
In the same year Governor Dinwiddie, of Virginia made a treaty with the Cherokees in which it was agreed to build them a fort and place a garrison there to protect then against their aboriginal enemies, with the understanding that the Indians would send a number of their warriors to assist the English in their war against the French and the Northern Indians. Governor Dinwiddie gave orders to Major Andrew Lewis to raise a company of sixty men and go with then to the Cherokee country and build a fort. Major Lewis promptly executed the orders and built Fort Loudon about thirty miles from where Knoxville, Tennessee, is now located.
One of the greatest services to his country was performed by Andrew Lewis in 1768 when as a commissioner from Virginia he met with others in conference with 3,000 Indians at Fort Stanwick (Rome), New Yark, which opened the western lands for settlement. He must have been an impressive figure at the conference for it was at this time that the Governor of New York in speaking of Lewis remarked, “The earth seemed to tremble beneath him as he walked”.
Several years later Lord Baltimore who was then Governor of Virginia, was induced to appoint Colonel Andrew Lewis and Dr. Thomas Walker commissioners to visit the Cherokees and produce from them a pledge that the settlers west of New River should not be disturbed in the possession of their homes, pending the negotiations for rearranging the boundary lines of the hunting grounds of the tribe. The commissioners arranged that a new treaty – one entirely unsatisfactory had been signed two years earlier at Hard Labor, South Carolina – should be made with the Indians. John Stuart, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, met the principal chiefs and about two thousand of the warriors of the Cherokees at Lochaber, South Carolina, on October 18, 1770, and on October 22 the treaty was concluded.
Prominent Men Impressed
Prominent men, who resided east and west of the Blue Ridge had been greatly impressed with the future value of lands in the lower Kanawha valley along the southern banks of the Ohio, and in Kentucky, and were anxious to secure large holdings of the splendid fertile lands – George Washington, Patrick Henry, William Boyd, Andrew Lewis, Colonel William Preston, and others. Exploring parties were sent into this country of abundant resources and unappropriated lands. Indians, well informed through their spies and hunting parties of these exploring expeditions, reasonably concluded that they were the precursors of an active movement of white men to take control of the entire country south of the Ohio and drive natives from splendid hunting ground. There began a series of outrages committed by both Indians and whites which brought terror to the borders.
On July 12, 1774 Governor Dunmore forwarded an order to Colonel Andrew Lewis directing him to assemble a force of men from Botetourt, Fincastle and other counties to go on an expedition to the Ohio valley for the purpose of bringing Indians into subjection.
Letter to Preston
Colonel Lewis forwarded Dunmore’s order to Colonel Preston, with a letter in which he said, “The governor from what he wrote has taken it for granted that we would fit out an expedition and has acted accordingly. I make no doubt but he will be as much surprised by our backwardness, as he may call it, as we are at ye precipitate steps in ye ether quarter. Don’t fail to come and let us do something. I would as matters stand use great risqué rather than a miscarriage should happen.” Colonel Lewis ordered Preston, as county lieutenant of Fincastle, to enlist two hundred and fifty men, or more, if they could possibly be raised to go on the expedition.
Colonel Preston on July 20 sent by special messenger, a circular letter to Colonel William Christian in which he said: “-We should turn out cheerfully on the present occasion in defense of our lives and properties which have been so long exposed to the savages.”
Following these orders five companies under command of Captains William Campbell, Evan Shelby and Walter Crockett of the Holston valley; Captain William Herbert of the Upper New River valley; and Captain William Russell of the Clinch valley marched to join the expedition of Colonel Andrew Lewis to the Ohio.
Dunmore’s Second Letter
Lord Dunmore, who had gone to the fort at Winchester, Virginia, wrote Lewis on July 24, 1774 that conditions were so serious in the upper Ohio valley that he had determined to go to Fort Dunmore- formerly Fort Duquesne and later Fort Pitt- and from that place conduct and expedition down the Ohio to strike the Indians a blow that would break up their confederacy. He directed Lewis to raise a “respectable body of men” and join him at the mouth of the Kanawha as quickly as possible. He also wrote “I wish you would acquaint Colonel Preston of the contects of this letter that those he sends out may join you, and pray be as explicit as you can as to the time and place of meeting.”
In the last days of August and early September, companies were organized and marched to the appointed place for assembling, the Great Levels of Greenbrier, Lewisburg, W. Va., then named Camp Union. Lewis had with him about fourteen hundred men composed of volunteers and militia from Augusta under command of Colonel Charles Lewis, brother of Colonel Andrew Lewis; troops from Botetourt under Colonel William Fleming; men from Fincastle under Colonel William Christian; a company from Culpeper under Colonel John Field and one from Bedford under Colonel Thomas Buford.
On The March
On September 6, 1774 Colonel Charles Lewis marched with about six hundred Augusta troops toward the mouth of Kanawha. Colonel Christian wrote Colonel Preston: “His business is to proceed as far as the mouth of Elk and there to make canoes to take down the flour. He took with him 500 Pack Horses carrying 54,000 pounds of flour and 108 beeves.” One the 12th of September Colonel Andrew Lewis marched leaving a few more under Colonel Christian to await the return of the pack horses and receive additional supplies of flour and beeves.
Though – perhaps recalling terrible hardships endured on the Sandy Creek expedition from lack of provisions and ammunition – Colonel Andrew Lewis was afraid he could not secure and convoy enough provisions for the subsistence of the men, this expedition was amply provisioned. There was also sufficient ammunition received from sources that the records do not disclose.
In September while troops were gathering from the southwest, Dunmore with twelve hundred splendid, trained men had gone to Pittsburgh and renewed treaties of peace with the Delawares and Six Nations and such other tribes as were disposed to be friendly without waiting for Lewis’ command. Dunmore’s forces were known as the northern division of the army that was going against the Ohio Indians; and was under the immediate command of Colonel Adam Stephens, a native of Scotland, an educated physician who had settled in the lower valley of Virginia. He was a noted Indian fighter, was with Washington at Great Meadows, was wounded at Braddock’s defeat and served with distinction in the Revolutionary War.
On the 23rd of September, Colonel Andrew Lewis, with his forces joined Colonel Charles Lewis and his men at camp on Elk creek about one mile above where it flows into the Kanawha and one hundred eight miles from Camp Union. The march over Gauley Mountain with cattle and pack horses had been a slow, difficult and hazardous undertaking. Until September 30 the men were engaged in completing the storehouse and making canoes to transport supplies down the river. Scouts were sent in different directions to look for the enemy.
Failing to receive any message from Dunmore, Colonel Lewis decided to go to the mouth of the Kanawha, and started on October 1. Captain John Lewis, a nephew of Colonel Andrew Lewis, marched with his company a short distance in front of two columns, as advance guard. The cattle and the pack horses were placed between the front and rear divisions, each flank being covered with a guard of one hundred men. This formation was used each day on the march and during the six days not a man or animal was lost.
Army of 1,000 Men
This was the first army of a thousand men, composed entirely of frontier hunters and skilled woodsmen, that had ever marched against the Indians. The men must have presented a rare and imposing spectacle as they marched through the trackless mountain wilderness. They wore the frontier fringed hunting shirt made by their wives and daughters from jeans of heavy flax cloth dyed brown, yellow and red. A belt girded the waist; a leather pouch swung on the left side by a shoulder belt and a powder horn similarly carried on the right side. The leather pouch held their bullets and lead, bullet molds, patching, tow for wiping out the rifle barrel and such small tools as might be needed for cleaning and repairing their guns. The powder-horn was made from the horn of a cow or ox, scraped so thin and highly polished as to make it transparent and in which the powder kept always dry. The men wore either fur caps or soft hats made of skins, moccasins and heavy woolen or buckskin leggings that reached half way up the thigh. Each man carried and mountain flint-lock rifle, a tomahawk and scalping knife. Some of the officers wore swords in addition. On October 6, Lewis’ command, close upon eleven hundred men, encamped on the wide densely wooded peninsula where the Kanawha joins the Ohio. It’s fat deer and wild turkeys and other game won it directly the name of Point Pleasant. A letter from Governor Dunmore to Colonel Lewis was found in a hollow tree, having been placed there by messengers sent by the governor who had arrived several days in advance of Lewis. The contents of the letter were never revealed to the public, but it is believed by many that Lewis was ordered to cross the Ohio and join Dunmore who was attempting to make peace with the Indians. Lewis must have expressed dissatisfaction for himself and unwillingness on the part of his men to comply with the orders of the governor for two days later he received letters again from Dunmore. Though displeased at orders, which again were not revealed, Colonel Lewis made preparations to leave on October 10 and proposed to join Dunmore.
At night on the ninth, Cornstalk, the great Shawnee chief, who had been kept fully informed by spies of the movement of the Lewis army from the time it started from Camp Union until its arrival at the Ohio river, crossed the river with his savage army of nearly one thousand of the bravest and most skillful warriors of the Shawnee, Mingo, Delaware and Ottowa tribes. Wholly unsuspected, they formed themselves in military order, and early in the morning stole through the woods on the mostly sleeping camp. When almost within rifle range, they came suddenly upon two youths, James Mooney and ….. Hickman, members of Captain Russell’s company, ranging the Ohio banks in quest of deer. Hickman was instantly shot. Mooney escaped and alarmed his comrades.
About the same time Robertson and Sevier, self-posted sentinels, discovered and reported the danger. The shot had already roused the army and Lewis hastily formed his forces into two divisions under his brother, Colonel Charles Lewis, and Colonel William Fleming and sent them forward to engage, holding a strong reserve in camp- a wise precaution. Colonel Charles Lewis led the Augusta companies with Captains John Dickinson, Harrison and John Skidmore. Colonel William Fleming led the Botetourt and Fincastle companies with Captain Evan Shelby of Fincastle County, Russell, Buford and Love.
Charles Lewis Killed
After advancing three quarters of a mile from the reserve camp the troops were met with a volley from the tribes that mortally wounded Colonel Charles Lewis and killed several others, and the men fell back in a pause. Soon reinforced by Captains McDowell, Matthews and Stuart from Augusta and Captains John Lewis, Pauling, Arbuckle and McClanahan from Botetourt, they held their ground and the battle became general and unflinching, both sides fighting behind trees scarcely sixty feet apart. Cornstalk alone came into the open with disdain of cover encouraging his warriors. Whenever one of either side fell, some from the other would rush out to take his scalp, for the whites were as fierce as the Indians; and to save it others would spring out and desperate encounters took place with the knife and tomahawk. Until noon the battle raged without cessation; then the Indians gave back and formed a new line across the Point from river to river.
Fleming’s men pushed close after them, cautiously thrust forth a number of caps on the ends of rifles, let them fall when shot through, and instantly shot or knifed the savages who leaped forward to secure the scalps, adding many such ghastly trophies to their own belts. But they had advanced beyond their own lines, and were soon hemmed in by superior numbers. The Indians made wilder efforts than ever to destroy them. Twice Fleming led desperate charges to break the enclosed circle and was three times wounded and carried from the field. But in the afternoon both sides slackened their fire which ceased at sunset, and at night the savages recrossed the Ohio, and fled westward. The victory of the frontiersmen was not only complete, but it was one of the decisive contests of America; it was the last pitch battle for the frontier till Tecumseh’s time and it gave the central west to civilization though it was George Rogers Clarke who gave it to the Republic.
Crosses Ohio River
On October 17, Colonel Lewis crossed the Ohio with about one thousand men and proceeded on his way to join Dunmore at his camp, Pickaway Plains.
The Indians were so completely broken in spirit after their terrible defeat that a council of the head-men and chiefs was called to see if a favorable treaty could be made with the Virginians. When this council arrived at Dunmore’s camp, he sent a messenger to Lewis and ordered him to half with his forces. After the treaty was concluded Dunmore rode to Lewis’ camp to inform him of the terms of the treaty.
Colonel Lewis marched rapidly and directly back to Point Pleasant. The men completed the fort called Fort Blair, a small rectangle, about eighty yards long, with blockhouses at two of its corners. During the absence of the army across the Ohio a number of wounded had died from their injuries. Colonel Christian wrote: “I think there are near 70 dead. Capt. Buford and Lieut. Goldman and 7 or 8 more died whilst we were over the Ohio and more will yet die. Colonel Fleming is in a fair way to recover and I think out of danger if he don’t catch cold”.
List Oof Casualties
A list of the casualties follows: Augusta County: Killed were Col. Charles Lewis, Col. John Field, Capt. Sam Wilson, Lieut. Hugh Allen and 18 privates. Wounded were Capt. John Dickinson, Capt. John Skidmore, Lieuts. Samuel Vance and Samuel Laird along with 51 privates.
Botetourt County: Killed: Capt. John Murray, Capt. Robt. McClanahan, Capt. James Ward, Capt. Thos. Buford, Lieut. Matthew Bracken, Lieut. Edward Goldman, Ensign John Cundiff, and 17 privates. Wounded: Col. Wm. Fleming, Lieut. James Robinson.
(Quoted as Gen. A. Lewis’ report by Pendleton.)
The troops eager to get home began to make their homeward journey in small companies going the most direct route to their respective homes.
When the Revolutionary war began, Washington recommended to congress the appointment of Lewis as Major General, but the authorities refused in order to make a place for General Adam Stephens. Washington, however, wrote Lewis expressing his regret at the action of congress and assured him of the office upon the first vacancy. It was also upon Washington’s solicitation that he accepted brigadier generalship in the army and took command of the Virginians who were now fighting Dunmore, Royal Governor of the Crown. Dunmore was forced to flee Williamsburg and sailed down the York River remaining about a year in different localities on the Chesapeake Bay. He finally settled in Gwynn’s Island east of Matthews County. On July 9, 1776 General Andrew Lewis forced him to leave never to return thereby breaking the power of the last king’s governor in all Virginia as he had broken the power of the Indians in western Virginia.
Lewis Passes Away
For four years or more General Andrew Lewis took part in the Revolutionary war. In 1781 he resigned his command in the army because of a fever contracted in the low country. On his way homeward, as he was passing through Bedford County he grew suddenly worse and died at the home of Captain Talbot at Montvale on September 20, 1781. He was 61 years old. Colonel William Fleming and his two youngest sons were with him at that time. His body was taken to his home, “Richfield”, known later as “Dropmore”, just east of the present Norfolk and Western station in Salem. He was buried on the hill overlooking his home.
In 1768 Andrew Lewis acquired by patent six hundred twenty-five acres of land on which a portion of Salem is now located. Later two thousand acres were added. It is not known definitely when he moved his family to this new home, but we are told that Lord Dunmore visited him at “Dropmore” in 1774.
When Botetourt County was organized in 1770, he was made presiding justice of the county court., and he represented Botetourt County in the House of Burgesses for a number of years. He was an unflinching advocate of rights of the colonies and was a member of the convention of 1775.
Name Often In Records
It is in the Botetourt County records, where his name so often occurs, that his will was signed and dated June 23, 1780, a little more than a year before his death. Large lands, slaves and other properties were divided among his wife, five sons, daughter and three grandsons, who were children of John Lewis. He requested that mourning rings be bought before the estate was divided.
One hundred sixteen years had passed away when the daughters of the American Revolution determined to move the remains to East Hill cemetery, Salem, and erect a monument in memory of the “Hero of Point Pleasant”. It was difficult to locate the grave. Frederick Johnston, who had died many years before had been shown the exact spot by Colonel McClanahan who, when a mere boy, had been present at the burial. Johnston had marked A. L. on a stone with paint, but this, after so long a period of years, was difficult to find. Honorable Lucian H. Cocke of Roanoke had been shown by William McCauley from the town of Salem the location of the stone.
Accompanied by his wife and two other representatives of D. A. R. in search of the stone, Mr. Cocke rested beside a tree and noticed a peculiar stone some distance away. Upon examination it proved to be a boulder with paint marks put there by Frederick Johnston more than fifty years before.
ReInterred In 1897
On April 2, 1897 the neglected grave was opened by local undertakers. The bones were found in a perfect state of preservation, military buttons and coffin tacks with initials A.L. embedded in heads were found while beside them bones of the younger son, Charles, were found. The remains with those of the boy were reinterred in East Hill cemetery on April 5, 1897in the presence of a committee of ladies of the Margaret Lynn chapter. The simple, impressive service was in charge of Dr. J. B. Taylor.
A piece of the walnut coffin in which General Lewis was buried was taken from the grave and is now in the hands of a representative of the Lewis family.
General Andrew Lewis is one of six bronze figures surrounding the famous equestrian statue of Washington on Capital Square in Richmond. He is seen as a tall frontiersman, clad in hunting shirt and leaning on a rifle.
-Prepared by Lisa King