Historical Markers
General John Armstrong Historical Marker
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General John Armstrong

Pittsburgh Region


Marker Location:
Entrance to Armstrong County Courthouse, North end

Dedication Date:
May 11, 1917

Behind the Marker

John Armstrong (1717-1795) was a surveyor from Carlisle who became a colonel in the Pennsylvania militia created after markerBraddock's defeat. His brother, Lieutenant Edward Armstrong, was among those provincial soldiers killed when French-allied Delaware Indians took Fort Granville in July 1756. John Armstrong led the retaliatory raid against markerKittaning a few weeks later. Forty of his 300 Pennsylvania militiamen were killed or wounded in the attack, but they killed the Delaware leader Captain Jacobs and recovered several English captives held in the village. 
The "Kittanning Destroyed Medal" was the first American decoration for valor in battle.
The "Kittanning Destroyed Medal," engraved by Edward Duffield and...

For his leadership of the Kittanning raid, Armstrong was given a hero's welcome in Philadelphia, where he went to collect the bounty money that had been placed on the head of Captain Jacobs. A commemorative medal was even struck in his honor. But the Delawares might question this marker's description of him as "the hero of Kittanning." His tactics in that engagement–a surprise dawn raid in which the militia men burned Indian homes with their occupants trapped inside–reflected the brutality of a frontier war that saw atrocities committed by both sides, and the high casualties sustained by his force throws into question the extent of his victory at Kittanning.

Armstrong continued to serve in Pennsylvania's provincial forces during the Seven Years' War. He commanded Pennsylvania troops recruited for the Forbes Expedition in 1758 and was instrumental in convincing General Forbes to take a route to markerFort Duquesne through Pennsylvania rather than following Braddock's Road. During the American Revolution, he commanded Pennsylvania militiamen at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown in the fall of 1777.
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