ST. CLAIR, Sir John. ADS to "Colonel James Burd .... on his March", written from "Kickoney Pawlins" on 27 August 1758. 1 page bifolium, ink on laid paper, addressed and docketed on recto, with intact, red wax seal. Free-franked "On His Majestys Service". Minor splitting on some folds, one small marginal tear on cover, not affecting text. Otherwise VERY GOOD.
Sir John St. Clair (c. 1710-1767) was appointed Deputy Quartermaster General for the British forces in North America on 15 Oct. 1754, only days following his promotion to major in the 22nd Regiment of Foot. Landing in Virginia on 9 Jan. 1755, he rapidly undertook securing the supplies and facilities that General Edward Braddock’s troops would soon need on their expedition against the French in the Ohio Valley. Governor Dinwiddie on meeting St. Clair found him “a Gent. of much Merit & great Knowledge in Military Affairs", although this hard-working, but hot-tempered officer was earlier described by Colonel John Forbes of the 17th Foot as a "mad sort of Fool". During the ambush that resulted in "Braddock's Defeat", St. Clair had charge of the road party in the van of the column and “was shot thro the Body under the Right Pap”, but resolutely remained on the field directing his troops with some effect until fainting from loss of blood. He recovered from his wounds and was soon back on service in the field that fall. Ironically, in 1758 he was placed under the command of his earlier critic, Forbes, now a brigadier general and in command of the expedition against Fort Duquesne at the forks of the Ohio. Despite his lack of diplomacy, St. Clair's indefatigable efforts in procuring equipage and supplies and forwarding such to the frontier, as well as pushing the military road forward that was later to bear Forbes's name, contributed greatly to the expedition's successful outcome.
Written from "Kickoney Pawlins" or Kickenapauling's Old Town, at the crossing of Quemahoning Creek (now beneath the waters of Quemahoning Reservoir in Somerset County, Pennsylvania), St. Clair writes to the commander of the 2nd Regiment of Pennsylvania Provincials, that he heard "you was got to Edmunds Swamp [near present-day Buckstown] with the Artillery" the previous night and requests "You'll please to let me know when you think to be at this place if you can not come on this day" and forwards a request to meet with Major James Grant "to regulate several things to forward the Service." The 'Artillery' refers to the siege train of Forbes's frontier army, critical to the reduction of French-held Fort Duquense if held out for a siege. Joining St. Clair later that day, Burd and Grant, with 2500 troops and the artillery, pushed forward a few days later and by early September, began to construct storehouses, a hospital and fortified camp at Loyalhanna , later named Fort Ligonier--the final jumping-off station for the British attack on the French at the Forks of the Ohio (present-day Pittsburgh).Condition:Dimensions:15 - 1/2" x 12 - 1/2".