Lt. Col. Alexander McClanahan
b.ABT 1734 of Augusta County, Virginia
m. Bef. 1734
Facts and Events
Alexander McClanahan was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
Records in Augusta County, VA
From Chalkley's Augusta County Records:
Information on Alexander McClanahan
CHAPTER III. Children of Robert McClanahan.
I. — Alexander.
HE was the first son of Robert the first and his wife, Sarah. He married a Miss Shelton, who was sister of Patrick Henry's first wife. His first appearance in military life was during the Indian wars.
In the year 1764, the Indians in Western Pennsylvania and Western Virginia, rose up in mass against the whites, but were defeated by British troops and driven beyond the Ohio River. To conciliate and make them good neighbors, the government issued a proclamation forbidding any subject of Great Britain to hunt or settle west of the Alleghany mountains without written permission. After this a military force, under Colonel Bouquet, was sent across the Ohio River to treat with them.
In his command was a regiment of Virginians, one of whose companies was commanded by Captain Alexander McClanahan. John McClanahan, his brother, was lieutenant in another company.
One of the fruits of this expedition, which seemed to have been bloodless, was the recovery from the savages of many who had been captured and carried off by the Indians at different times in their hostile incursions uoon the whites. The infant son of Lieutenant John McClanahan received from the - government one thousand acres of bounty land for the services of his father in this expedition, his father having died about ten years after his return.
The Battle of Point Pleasant.
Ten years after Bouquet's expedition, A. D. 1774, the Indians along the Ohio River rose up with a spirit of desperate determination against the whites. They had become provoked by the gradual occupation of Kentucky by the latter in spite of Bouquet's proclamation. Convinced that they were doomed to destruction tribe by tribe if they stood on the defensive, they formed a confederacy, mustered their warriors together, and gave command of the whole army to Cornstalk, a chief, who proved himself in every way worthy of the confidence they reposed in him. He opened his campaign by attacking the whites on the border, plundering their property and massacreing their people.
This roused the Government of Virginia at Williamsburg. Governor Dunmore ordered General Andrew Lewis, then living in Botetourt County, to raise a force of ten or twelve hundred men in the upper Valley and march to Point Pleasant on the Ohio River. He himself, with another force, recruited in the lower Valley, set out for Fort Pitt, in Western Pennsylvania (now Pittsburg), intending to join Lewis, Of General Lewis' command, four hundred were from Augusta County, and composed a regiment which was commanded by his brother, Colonel Charles Lewis; the rest were from Botetourt County and were commanded by Colonel Fleming. Alexander McClanahan commanded, as captain, a company in Colonel Lewis' regiment, and Robert McClanahan, Jr., was captain of a company in Colonel Fleming's regiment.
Governor Dunmore failed to join General Lewis, when Cornstalk, taking advantage of the situation, delivered battle against Lewis at Point Pleasant, August 10, 1774. In this noted and decisive engagement, which lasted all day and was very bloody, Captain Robert McClanahan fell, mortally wounded. He left two sons — Robert, the third of the name — who moved into Kentucky. Two colonels, i. e. y Lewis and Field, six captains, and three lieutenants with other subalterns, were among the slain in this desperate engagement. See Howe's History of Virginia, page 363.
On the 22nd of February, 1775, the freeholders of Augusta county assembled to choose members of the convention of Virginia, called to consider the question of opposing the tyranny of Great Britain over the States. Mr. Thomas Lewis and Captain Samuel McDowell were chosen members of the convention, and a committee was raised to draw up a bill of instructions for their guidance. This committee consisted of the Rev. Alexander Balmaine, Mr. Samuel Matthews, Captain Alexander McClanahan, Mr. Michael Bowyer, Mr. William Lewis, and Captain George Matthews. Waddell says, this was the first patriotic meeting of the people of Augusta County of which we have any account.
At the commencement of the Revolution, Alexander McClanahan was commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel of the Seventh Regiment of Virginia Volunteers. (William Dangerfield was colonel and William Nelson major of this regiment.) He was in the battle of Great Bridge, near Norfolk, December 9, 1775, where "every British grenadier was killed without loss to the Virginians. He served also at Williamsburg in 1776, under General Andrew Lewis, and was commissioned Colonel of the same regiment, October 7th of the same year. He was also engaged in the battle of Gwynn's Island, July 8, 1776, after the burning of Norfolk, which battle put an end to the inglo- rious career of Lord Dunmore as Governor of Virginia. Shortly after, "Dunmore left the coast of Virginia forever." — Howe's History of Virginia, page 376.
The Virginia Gazette, of July 29, 1776, copied in Howe's Virginia, page 377, says: "General Lewis then ordered two hundred men, under Colonel McClanahan, to land on the island, which was performed as expeditiously as our small vessels would admit of. On our arrival we found the enemy had evacuated the place with the greatest precipitation, and were struck with horror at the number of dead bodies in a state of putrefaction." In this engagement Lord Dunmore was wounded in the leg.
Alexander had three children — a son, named John, who died young and unmarried, and two daughters, Mrs. Abney and Mrs. Austin. Descendants of these ladies now live in Augusta County.