Fort Necessity National Battlefield

George Washington was not a great soldier.  His great contributions were always more political than military.  Washington’s undistinguished military career began at this small fort in western Pennsylvania.  On July 3, 1754, 22-year old Colonel George Washington was forced to surrender the fort and the colonial troops under his command to French forces from nearby Fort Duquesne (present-day Pittsburg). The surrender, although probably inevitable, was certainly hastened by the fact that Washington had built the stockade in a very poor location, close to covering forests and exposed to fire from nearby heights.  This action was the opening battle of the French and Indian War, the struggle between Great Britain and France for control of North America.  Washington went on to advise British General Braddock prior to his disastrous defeat near Fort Duquesne, and to a Revolutionary War career in which his only major victory, at Yorktown, was due more to his French allies than to his own troops, who were a minority of the forces besieging British General Cornwallis.

Click here for a map showing the location of Fort Necessity.

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