May 27, 2008
Contact: MaryEllen Snyder
FARMINGTON, Pa., - Historic detachments of French Marines and Colonial British troops will set up camp in the Great Meadows at Fort Necessity National Battlefield on this weekend, May 31 and June 1. This is the first time since the 250th anniversary of the battle that British and French forces are encamping at the Great Meadow at the same time.
The French unit is the Compagnie Franches de la Marines du Contrecoeur -- an educational living history unit from Fort Duquesne. Trent’s Company and Will’s Creek Rangers will represent the British. The camp will be open to visitors from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visitors are encouraged to explore the camp. Re-enactors welcome inquiries into the happenings of those early years.
The re-enactors will present special programs on military history at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. both days. The programs will end with a demonstration and firing of historic black powder weapons like those used at battle at Fort Necessity in 1754.
In the spring of 1754, Captain Trent and his company were assigned to build a fort at the forks of the Ohio River. A larger French force evicted the company before their fort was completed and replaced it with Fort Duquesne. The evicted troops returned to the nearest British outpost at Will’s Creek. In June of that same year, soldiers from the French Marines, New France Militia, and their Indian allies surrounded George Washington's Fort Necessity and forced him to surrender and retreat back to Virginia. The French returned to Fort Duquesne, which was under the command of Captain Contrecoeur.
Fort Necessity National Battlefield is located 11 miles east of Uniontown, Pennsylvania on US 40 – The Historic National Road. Admission to the park is $5.00 per adult, children 15 and under are free of charge. The fee is collected at the Interpretive and Education Center and is valid for seven days. For more information on this and other programs at Fort Necessity, please call (724) 329-5811.