BG Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis (1720-1781) as a young man became known as an outstanding frontiersman and surveyor.  In 1745, he assisted in surveying large tracts in the Cowpasture valley and, between 1749 and 1754, he helped survey about 50,000 acres in the Greenbrier (now West Virginia) area.  In the early 1740s, he married Elizabeth Givens, daughter of an early Augusta settler, and the couple had seven children. They established a homestead named Richfield in Botetourt County (established in 1769 from Augusta) near Salem, in what is now Roanoke County.

In 1754 he began his illustrious career as a soldier, serving as a captain in General Washington's Virginia Regiment. He was with Washington at the surrender of Fort Necessity in Southwestern Pennsylvania.  He later supervised the construction of frontier forts along the Greenbrier River, and was appointed county lieutenant (the highest county military rank) for Augusta County.  He fought with distinction in several military expeditions against the French and Indians. On one occasion, he was captured and spent 13 months imprisoned by the French before being exchanged.  As a colonel, in Dunsmore's War in 1774, he led his forces of mostly Augusta men in the Battle of Point Pleasant, at the confluence of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers.  With 600 men, Andrew fought to bloody victory against Cornstalk and his Shawnee warriors. His brother Charles Lewis, was killed in this engagement, which has been recognized as the first battle of the American Revolution.

With his brother, Thomas, Andrew served in the Virginia Conventions of the 1770s, as a delegate from Botetourt County.  As a general in the Revolutionary War, Andrew, and his Virginia force were instrumental in driving Governor Dunsmore from Virginia.  In 1780-81, Andrew Lewis served in the governor's council, first under Governor Thomas Jefferson, then under Governor Thomas Nelson.  He died in Bedford, on his way home to Richfield from Richmond in 1781.

The statue of Andrew Lewis stands with those of five other prominent Virginians around the base of the equestrian statue of George Washington in Capitol Square in Richmond.

(excerpted from

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Last Updated November 13, 2001
Copyright 2001