Posted by Lt. Col. John Armstrong on December 11, 2000 at 14:19:01:
11 December 1758
Reg’t Drum Major Edward Armstrong
77th Reg’t of Foot, Montgomery’s
I have received your dispatch of the 8th inst., and am in good health and spirit, as I hope you and your brother, Ian, are, and I am extremely pleased to hear from you. I hold no ill toward you from the impetuous behavior you exhibited two years ago, fully understanding your position on the matter of revenge for the death of your father, my dear brother, Edward. I knew you truly meant nothing by your remarks, that they were made in the heat of anger and forged by your youthful inexperience, and that the time would come when you would understand fully why I refused you accompanying me to Kittanning. Your experiences with Captain Croy and the 77th have now shown you those reasons in a way that I could not. You have grown to be a man, dear nephew. Cast those fears aside, lad, and speak of them no more.
I am quite proud to see your accomplishments, being Regimental Drum Major; my heart swells with pride! And now your brother, Ian, has been transferred to the 77th, and you will be together again. Yes, I did place a word or two where they just might do some good. My dear brother would be very proud of you boys; I know your mother is. By the way, Edward, she is well. I had a letter from her last week. She is preparing for the Holidays, and, they do not know it yet, but I will be able to join her and my dear wife, your Aunt Rebecca, and cousins James and little John in Carlisle for Christmas. I am so looking forward to that reunion. I miss them all tremendously!
I was at Rae’s Town this past Friday for a meeting with General Forbes, who, unfortunately, was unable to attend due to another episode of the bloody flux, so I spent the night with the 77th socializing with Capt. Croy and Cpl. MacWilliam, as well as several others of the men, before returning to my duties overseeing the communications, repairs, and the use of military escorts for provisions along Forbes‘s Road to Pittsburgh. While it was quite cold, we had the luxury of several very comfortable log homes, which have been given by locals for winter quarters. My God, those Highlanders like their Glenlivet! I am sorry you were not there. I was so looking forward to seeing you, albeit, unexpectedly.
I get a kick out of the prim and proper British Officers! Most cannot understand how we Provincials can stand to socialize with the common soldier. However, I have always placed much faith and trust in my soldiers, and truly care for their well being, as well as any of their families who might be following my regiment. Treated like men, they will respond as men. The British think that beating men will make them respond. Balderdash! They are men, not beasts! You and Ian, however, have a marvelous officer in Capt. Croy. He will take good care of all of the men under his command as I would, were I in that position.
Nephew, it is good that we can once again exchange thoughts and feelings. Let us keep these lines of communication open, and perhaps soon we can meet face to face. I must return to my duties here, and, please, write whenever you can. I truly want to know how you and Ian are doing.
I remain, yours very truly,
Lt. Col. John Armstrong
2nd Battalion Pennsylvania
Ft. Shirley, on the Aughwick
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