Capt Robert McClenachan, Jr

Capt Robert McClenachan, Jr

Male 1747 - 1774  (27 years)


Captain Robert McClenechan and The Battle of Point Pleasant

Notes based on the experience and death of Captain Robert McClenechan of the Virginia Militia. He was killed in the battle, leaving his wife Catherine Madison with two young sons.
Copyright Feb 1998, J.R. McClenahan


Also called "DUNMORE'S WAR"

By James R. McClenahan 

After the SPICER massacre and other battles between the white settlers and the Indians, the Indians went on the warpath. It was not a single tribe, but all the tribes in, what was the "Northwest Territory," all the land north of the Ohio River and west to the Mississippi River. The group was led by CORNSTALK, of the Shawnees and King of the Northern Confederacy; BLUE JACKET, Chief of the Shawnees, LOGAN, chief of the Mingoes, and MANKILLER, chief of the Cherokees. The settlers in Virginia raised an army composed of various county militias, and the Southern Army under the command of General Andrew LEWIS, marched north along the Kanewha River, .160 miles to Point Pleasant in a little over .19 days. The Northern Section under Lord DUNMORE, governor of Virginia, was supposed to meet them there. One of the companies was comprised of a group of volunteers from Botetourt County, Virginia, under the command of Captain Robert MCCLENACHAN.

The Indians attempted a surprise attack the morning of .1 0 October .1774, and were discovered by two scouts for General Lewis. A furious battle began just after dawn. It was a terrible scene filled with confused sounds: The shouting of the whites, the continual roar of the muskets, the war whoops and dismal yelling of the Indians, the ring of rifles, the clubbed guns, flashing knives, hand to hand fighting, screams of mercy, death groans, crashing through brush, and a pistol shot and a shriek here and there in the woods. The Indians finally retreated across the Ohio River at about 4:00 P.M. Seventy five whites were killed, and one hundred and forty-one wounded. The Indians losses were estimated at two hundred and thirty-three, killed and wounded. Capt. Robert MCCLENACHAN Jr. was killed in the battle. The day after the battle, the bodies of the slain men, and the ones who died of wounds during the night, were buried in different places. The officers who were killed were all buried inside the magazine, directly on the upper point of land at the juncture of the rivers.

On 17 Feb. 1908, the United States Congress passed a bill appropriating funds to erect a memorial commemorating the Battle of Point Pleasant as the first battle of the Revolutionary War. A large stone monument has been constructed with bronze plaques listing the killed and wounded. The monument and battlefield are part of Tu-Endie-Wei Park in Mason County, West Virginia. It's name is Shawnee, meaning, "mingling of the waters."

Although the population of America was relatively small at the time, the above evidence describes a historically remarkable coincidence. Chief Logan played a major role in the death of both my paternal gggg-grandfather, Robert, and my maternal ggggg-grandfather, William Spicer. Robert being killed in what is now the state of West Virginia and William Spicer in the state of Pennsylvania. Two men, who knew not of each other, but yet bonded by the future marriage of their descendants. An additional twist of fate had both these men killed in the same year separated by only a few months. Coincidence or fate?

  1. J. L Peyton. History of Augusta County. Virginia 2nd Edition. Bridgewater, Virginia 1953
  2. Simpson-Poffenbarger, Mrs. Livia, LL.D. Battle of Point Pleasant Mattox Printing Service, Point Pleasant, WV A. 1927.
  3. Waddell, Joseph A. Annals of Augusta County. Virginia from 1726 to 187 2nd Edition revised and enlarged
  4. C. Russell Caldwell, Pub. Staunton, V A 1902
  5. Stoner, Robert Douthat A Seed Bed Of The Republic--Early Botetourt Roanoke Historical Society, Roanoke, Virginia
  6. Wilson, Howard McKnight The Tinkling Spring--Headwater of Freedom The Tinkling Spring and Hermitage Presbyterian Churches Fisherville, Virginia
  7. Thwaites, Reuben Gold LL.D., Kellogg, Louis Phelps PH.D, Documentary History of DUNMORE'S WAR 1774 Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin 1905
  8. Special Thanks to Cherie Cupps of Oakdale California who supplied me with the initial information on the Spicer Massacre. Her material caused me to become interested and develop the above article. Thanks Cherie.

Copyright Feb 1998, J.R. McClenahan

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