Famous Grave Sites

Gen. John Armstrong’s gravesite at Carlisle’s Old Graveyard.

Michael Bupp, The Sentinel

The Sentinel offers “Graves in the Valley” throughout September, looking at some of the famous and infamous people buried in cemeteries of the Cumberland Valley:

Gen. John Armstrong

THE HISTORY: Gen. John Armstrong in 1750 coordinated the first plot or plan for the town of Carlisle and was one of its first settlers. He was later appointed surveyor for the newly established Cumberland County.

Armstrong was instrumental in capturing Kittanning and developed a great friendship with Col. George Washington during the Battle of Fort Duquesne. Armstrong served many years in the military and was instrumental in helping to push the French from Pennsylvania.

In March 1776, according to the journals of Congress, he became a brigadier general. Within a short period of time the Pennsylvania government realized Armstrong was the one officer of the state who was capable of leading, directing and controlling the militia of the state, and he was promoted to major general.

Armstrong was a strong supporter of Washington, leading troops alongside him, and he advocated his run for presidency. Armstrong later held such positions as Carlisle school board member, and he became one of the first members of the Board of Trustees for Dickinson College.

HOW THEY DIED: Armstrong died in Carlisle, on March 9, 1795. In 1800 when Pennsylvania created a new county at Kittanning, it was named Armstrong County in his honor.

GRAVESITE: Old Graveyard, South Bedford and East South streets in Carlisle

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