John Armstrong, an American officer in the revolutionary war, born at Carlisle, Pa., in 1758, died at Red Hook, Dutchess county, X. Y., April 1, 1843. At the age of 18 he entered the army as a volunteer, and at the battle of Princeton was one of Gen. Mercer's aids, and bore him in his arms from the field when he had received his death wound. He afterward became a favorite of Gen. Gates, and served under him, with the rank of major, through the remainder of the war. During the winter of l782-'3, while the army was encamped at Newburgh, great anxiety was felt as to the arrearages of pay, and the half pay promised to those officers who should serve through the war. After an unsuccessful application to congress, a meeting of officers was called anonymously for the 11th of March, 1783, to discuss their grievances. An anonymous address was issued, in which the writer exhorted his comrades to refuse to perform further military duty during the war, or to lay down their arms on the return of peace, unless their just demands were com-plied with. Washington immediately issued a call for a similar meeting on the loth, for the discussion of their claims, whicn was followed by another anonymous address, construing the action of Washington into an approval of the 1 course previously proposed by the writer.
At this meeting Washington addressed the officers with great feeling, assuring them of his ardent desire to cooperate with them in obtaining the ends which they had in view, but begging them not to follow the dangerous advice of the writer of the addresses. His eloquence was successful, and he afterward obtained from congress what the soldiers 'required. Armstrong wrote these anonymous productions at the request of many of his fellow officers, and although Washington had greatly blamed their author at the time, he afterward changed his opinion. Gen. Armstrong was subsequently secretary of state of Pennsylvania, and a member of the old congress. In November, 1800, he was chosen U. S. senator from New York, and in 1804 was sent as minister to France, where he served with ability, at the same time acting as minister to Spain. He returned home in 1810. At the commencement of the war of 1812 he received a brigadier general's commission, and the command of the district which included the city of New York. In the following year he was appointed secretary of Avar, and removed the war department to Sackett's Harbor. He incurred much blame for the capture of Washington in 1814, but very unjustly, as Gen. Winder, to whom the defence of the district had been intrusted, was appointed by the president in direct opposition to his advice.
Gen. Armstrong's indignation at Mr. Madison for taking no steps to relieve him of this undeserved disgrace ended in his resignation. He wrote two treatises on farming and gardening, a criticism of Gen. Wilkinson's memoirs, biographical sketches, and a history of the war of 1812. He also partly prepared a history of the American revolution.