• Fort Necessity (NPS photo by Debbie Martinez)

    Fort Necessity

    National Battlefield Pennsylvania

Jumonville Anniversary program and British and French encampments at Fort Necessity

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Date: May 24, 2010
Contact: Brian Reedy, 724-329-5470
Contact: MaryEllen Snyder, 724-329-8131

FARMINGTON, Pa., - Young George Washington was in the secluded glen at sunrise on that May morning 256 years ago.  The French troops, who were just waking, put up fifteen minutes of resistance.  The skirmish sparked the French and Indian War, a war that spread to four continents.
  
   Experience an accurate, historical portrayal of dress, customs, manners and activities of these historic soldiers on Friday, May 28 as the National Park Service commemorates this little-known fight.  Park staff portraying French and Indian War soldiers will be at the Jumonville Glen Unit of Fort Necessity National Battlefield from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Dressed in historic costume, they will offer illuminating facts about soldier life and will interpret the events that occurred and their impact on world history. 

   The Jumonville Glen Unit of Fort Necessity National Battlefield is named for the French commanding officer who died there May 28, 1754. It is located seven miles west of Fort Necessity National Battlefield on Jumonville Road.  The quarter-mile trail from the parking area to Jumonville Glen is paved, but can be slippery and uneven in places.  Visitors to the site should wear sturdy shoes.  In case of inclement weather, the program will be moved to the Fort Necessity Visitor Center.

   For more information on the Jumonville affair and Fort Necessity National Battlefield visit the National Park Service web site at www.nps.gov/fone or call 724-329-5512.

   Also this weekend, on Saturday, May 29 and Sunday, May 30, historic detachments of French Marines and Colonial British troops will set up camp in the Great Meadows at Fort Necessity National Battlefield. 

   The French unit is the Compagnie Franches de la Marines du Contrecoeur.  Trent’s Company, Waggoner’s Company of Virginia Regiment, and Maryland Forces will represent the British.  The camp will be open to visitors from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Visitors are encouraged to explore the camp.  Re-enactors welcome inquiries from the public into the events of those early years.

   The park staff will present special programs on military history at 10:30 a.m.,1 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 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 building 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.  Trent’s evicted troops passed through the Great Meadows as they returned to the British outpost at Will’s Creek, Maryland.  In July of that same year, soldiers from the French Marines, New France Militia, and their Indian allies surrounded George Washington's Fort Necessity in the Great Meadows and forced him to surrender and retreat back to Virginia.  The French returned to Fort Duquesne, which was under the command of Claude-Pierre Pécaudy, Sieur du 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 these and other programs at Fort Necessity, visit www.nps.gov/fone.

 -NPS-

Did You Know?

Stagecoach

In 1848 Robert S. McDowell counted 133 wagons pulled by six-horse teams pass along the National Road in one day. He took “no notice of as many more teams of one, two, three four and five horses.” Thomas Searight remembered as many as 20 stagecoaches in a line at one time on the road.