• Fort Necessity (NPS photo by Debbie Martinez)

    Fort Necessity

    National Battlefield Pennsylvania

History & Culture

The Fort Necessity Story

The confrontation at Fort Necessity in the summer of 1754 was the prelude to the war fought by England and France for control of the North American continent. The struggle was known in North America as the French and Indian War and spread around the world as the Seven Years' War. It ended in 1763 with the removal of French power from North America and India. The action at Fort Necessity was also the first major event in the military career of George Washington. It was the only time he ever surrendered to an enemy.

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The National Road

By early in the 19th century, the wilderness of the Ohio country had given way to settlement. The road Washington cut through the forest was replaced by the National Road. The road passed by Fort Necessity and bustled with traffic heading from port to plains and plains to port.

The Mount Washington Tavern was built near Fort Necessity as a stagecoach stop on the National Road. Today it is a museum dealing with life along the Road.

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Did You Know?

Group of British soldiers firing muskets at Fort Necessity

In 1771, George Washington purchased the meadow where he had fought the first battle of his military career. He owned the land until his death in 1799. The land is now part of Fort Necessity National Battlefield. More...