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Manuscript Group 276
(32 items)

Military correspondence from Col. Daniel Brodhead, Commissioner of the Western District in Pittsburgh (a.k.a. Fort Pitt) to Col. Archibald Lochry (or Lochrey), Lieutenant of Westmoreland County.

Little is known about the life of Archibald Lochry prior to his demise in the battle known as "Lochry's Defeat" during the American Revolutionary War. Although his birthdate is unknown, it is believed that Lochry was of Irish ancestry. He and his brother William were active in the politics of early Bedford in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. In a listing of the deputies to the provincial convention held at Philadelphia, July 15, 1775, Lochry is named as a Westmoreland official in several capacities. In 1777 he served as a county lietenant and in 1778 he was clerk for both the Court of Quarter Sessions and the Orphans Court. Brother William was a county justice around 1774. Archibald Lochry was married, and had two daughters, Elizabeth and Jane.

Lochry was a colonel during the Revolutionary War. He headed a group of 107 militiamen from Westmoreland County which gathered at Fort Pitt on June 23, 1781. Lochry's battalion was supposed to join George Rogers Clark's expedition at Wheeling, West Virginia against the British. The goal was to capture Detroit. When Lochry failed to arrive on August 8, 1781, Clark's troops left without him. Clark did however leave a message for Lochry to follow him but the message was intercepted by the Tories. Lochry pushed ahead unaware of the danger. On August 25, 1781, on the Miami River in Indiana, Lochry's battalion was ambused by the British and their Indian allies. Thirty-seven men including Lochry were killed and the remaining 70 men captured. Because of Lochry's Defeat, Clark had to abandon his plans to take Detroit for the Americans.

Brodhead, commandant of the Eighth Pennsylvania Regiment at Fort Pitt, was surveyor general of Pennsylvania, 1789-1809, and wrote about the Wyoming Controversy in 1754 to Philadelphia. Stokley was named captain of a Westmoreland County company in 1781, later he was named a Justice of the Pleas of the Court of Common Pleas and a surveyor in Washington County. Lochry, Lieut. of Westmoreland County, was named prothonotary in 1781 of Westmoreland and died in 1781 while a justice of the peace of the Court of Common Pleas.

The letters consist of incoming correspondence from Brodhead to Lochery from April 10, 1779 to September 1780. The letters tell of military manuevers by Brodhead into Indian country in defense of Fort Pitt. Brodhead's invasion of Seneca country southeast of Lake Erie resulted in temporarily stalling the Indian offensive against the Americans. The correspondence discusses how Brodhead deplores the conduct of fearful frontier settlers who flee rather than fight the Indians; the need for supplies, horses, troops, new forts; preparation of settlers and troops to fight the Indians; hopes for peace; spy information about Indian movements; the surrender of English captives at Detroit; and other basic military and personal concerns, such as the health of wives. There is also one letter from Brodhead to Capt. Thomas Stokley, commander at Ft. Crawford. These papers ironically disclose much more about Broadhead's military career than Lochry's Defeat.

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