Tu-Endie-Wei State Park
Point Pleasant, WV
Here at the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers, the bloody, day-long Battle of Point Pleasant was fought. On October 10, 1774, Colonel Andrew Lewis 1,100 Virginia militiamen decisively defeated a like number of Indian forces led by the Shawnee Chieftain Cornstalk.
Long recognized as the decisive engagement in a protracted series of Indian wars now known as Lord Dunmores War, the Battle of Point Pleasant has become officially known as the "First Battle of the Revolution." This action broke the power of the Indians in the Ohio Valley and quelled a general Indian war on the frontier. Significantly, it also prevented an Indian alliance with the British, one which could very possibley have caused the Revolution to have had a different outcome, as well as having altered the entire history of the U.S. In addition, the ensuing peace with the Indians enabled western Virginians to recross the Alleghenies to aid Revolutionary forces.
Fought on this point of land known by the Wyandotte Indian phrase "tu-endie-wei" or "the point between two waters," the battle raged all day. At times Cornstalk and his braves held the upper hand, but eventually the backwoodsmen proved superior on the then, heavily forested battlefield. At the end, over two hundred Indians were killed and more than 50 Virginians had lost their lives, including Colonel Charles Lewis, brother of the commanding officer.
Situated in the southern end of the town of Point Pleasant (#1 Main Street), two-acre Point Pleasant Battle Monument State Park commemorates the engagement. The parks centerpiece is an 84-foot granite obelisk that honors the Virginia militiamen who gave their lives during the battle, while the statue of a frontiersman stands at the base. Smaller memorial tablets in the park are dedicated to Cornstalk and to "Mad" Anne Bailey whose mad exploits in thwarting the Indians earned her the nickname, after her first husband, Richard Trotter, was killed in the battle. Another interesting marker rests on the spot where Joseph Celoron de Blainville, a French explorer, buried a leaden plate in 1749, claiming the land for his country.
Located on the park is Mansion House. Erected in 1796 by Walter Newman as a tavern, it is the oldest, hewn log house in the Kanawha Valley. Preserved as a museum, it features displays of antiques and heirlooms of the era, including a large square piano believed to be one of the first brought over the Alleghenies. Two bedrooms are furnished with authentic four-poster beds which are well over 150 years old.
The Colonel Charles Lewis Chapter, N.S.D.A.R. maintains Mansion House Museum and uses it for a chapter house as well.
Point Pleasant Battle Monument State Park is open year-round, and the museum is open from May through October 31.