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John Armstrong


Born in Brookborough Parish, County Fermanagh, Ireland. Married Rebecca Lyon. Father of James Armstrong, member of Congress and John Armstrong, member of Congress, senator and Secretary of War. Settled in the Cumberland district of Pennsylvania. Commissioned captain in January 1756 and lieutenant colonel in May.

Kittanning was an Indian village 45 miles from Pittsburgh. Delaware Indians from this village under Chief Jacob had been raiding nearby settlements. Armstrong attacked and burned the village September 8, 1756. This was an early victory by the British in the French and Indian War. Armstrong became known as "The Hero of Kittanning." On May 1, 1776, he was commissioned brigadier general. He commanded troops in South Carolina. His military accomplishments in the Revolutionary War were unremarkable and did not live up to his earlier fame. He served in the Continental Congress 1779 to 1880 and again 1787 to 1788. He died at Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Armstrong was honored by the "Kittanning Destroyed" medal. Dies were by Edward Duffield. Original medals in silver (Betts 400) were produced outside the mint after 1756. The dies were brought to the mint about 1800 and used to strike medals. Replacement dies were produced in the mint about 1874 and used to produce mint medals (Julian MI-33). The mint has also produced modern copies (USM 428).


Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


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