Reporting on a deadly Indian raid in Pennsylvania in 1756 John Armstrong (1725-1795) American General in the Revolutionary War, fine content Autograph Letter Signed "John Armstrong", two pages with integral address leaf, 7.5" x 12", Carlisle, [Pennsylvania], November 8, 1756 to Pennsylvania Governor William Denny reporting of an Indian attack on Fort McDowell (near present-day Mercersburg, Pennsylvania). He writes in part: "Last Week a party of Indians has been in the Upper part of this County but a few Miles from McDowels Mill, where they have Barbarously Mangled a Number of the Inhabitants, and as is supposed taken some Children Captive. enclose'd is a list of the Kill'd and Missing. A Certain Samuel Peary mention'd in the list, left McDowels Fort on Wednesday afternoon only going to put his Horse to Pasture about a Mile & an [sic] half From the Fort, and had with him a little boy, but Neither returning that Night; fourteen men was Sent from the Fort belonging to Capt. Potters Company who found Sd. Peary Scalp'd & his body covered with Leaves -- and on their returned were waylaid by about thirty Indians, the Soldiers discovering the enemy on every hand, gave the first fire, and Says they wounded Some, but were Soon broken and put to the rout, four of the soldiers being Kill'd on the Sport and two missing. this misfortune is happen'd thro the weakness of the garrison, neither Potters nor Armstrong's company being compleat [sic], and the latter been Station'd in different parts of the Frontier was not convenient enough to assist, but they shall be no longer Separate... there are general Complaints s of the Powder here..." On the inside of the letter, a 4.5" x 10" manuscript has been attached listing the names of those killed or missing. Those killed included three soldiers and seven civilians. The missing included two soldiers as well as "...Four children belonging to John Archer, Samuel Neely a boy [and] James McCoid a child" Fort McDowell was constructed in 1755, one of numerous forts built along the Appalachian frontier to protect from raids by Indians allied with the French. The fort consisted of a rectangular stockade with four blockhouses that surrounded a gristmill. The fort was manned by about 40 militia until the competition of Fort Loudon several miles to the north. Fort Loudon would become an important post on the Forbes Road leading to Fort Pitt. Weak folds repaired with archival tape, else very good condition. Quite significant content. One has to wonder if the kidnapped children -- a common practice by several tribes -- were ever heard from again. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

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