The Shot Before ’The Shot Heard ‘Round The World’

Posted on July 1, 1992 by LCT Staff

Chauffeur Donna Atkins Mullens delivered visiting dignitaries to Point Pleasant to celebrate the 256th anniversary of the birth of the leader of the first battle of the American Revolution.
Chauffeur Donna Atkins Mullens delivered visiting dignitaries to Point Pleasant to celebrate the 256th anniversary of the birth of the leader of the first battle of the American Revolution.

Every good American knows that the first battle of the American Revolution took place on the famous battleground in Lexington, MA, after the “shot heard ‘round the world,” right?

Wrong, according to Patricia Burton, a noted authority on the “Battle of Point Pleasant.” The original battle of the Revolution actually took place six months and eight days earlier in the woods of Virginia (now West Virginia) on October 10, 1774, Burton asserts. In 1908, the 60th Congress of the United States officially recognized the Battle of Point Pleasant as the first conflict of the American Revolution.

Burton first became interested in the history of the battle after moving to Virginia. “I lived in a house that was close to that of Colonel Charles Lewis [leader of the battle],” she says. That was 27 years ago and Burton is still trying to piece together what happened over 200 years ago.

“Nobody seemed to care about those 46 dead Virginians who died in the battle,” she adds. Burton has been in strumental in getting the State of West Virginia to proclaim March 11 as Colonel Charles Lewis Day.

For the celebration this past year, Burton had invited the state treasurer to join in the festivities. “One day I saw a beautiful white limousine at a garage in town and I called the owner to see if he would be willing to provide his services for free,” Burton says Ed Atkins of Image Limousine Service in Gallipolis. OH, agreed to transport the state treasurer to the sight of the battle.

Burton is currently working on creating a video on the history of the battle that she will be giving to Atkins to show in the rear of his limousine to visitors to Point Pleasant. “This could support a lot of tourism for ancestors of the people who died at the Point,” Atkins predicts.

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