Memorial Salutes this Weekend at Fort Necessity
Contact: Tom Markwardt, 724-329-5811
Contact: Brian Reedy, 724-329-5805
FARMINGTON, PA: The National Park Service remembers the anniversary of the Battle of Fort Necessity on Thursday, July 3. The opening battle of what became the French and Indian War was fought 254 years ago at The Great Meadows, now the site of Fort Necessity National Battlefield. Also called the Seven Years War, the British and French fought this conflict around the world. Control of North America was the ultimate prize.
Rolling Thunder Chapter 5 Pennsylvania will perform a "missing man" ceremonial ritual at 3:00 p.m. at the visitor center to honor the fallen, missing in action, and prisoners of war from the battle.
After the ceremony, costumed re-enactors will present a program detailing the life of French and Indian soldiers. This program will be near Fort Necessity in the meadow and will conclude with a historic weapons demonstration, including musket and cannon. The soldiers’ life program will also be presented at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The Braddock campaign of 1755 will also be remembered at Fort Necessity this weekend. The story of one wagoner's trials and travails in this important expedition will be explained for one and all. The fictional Jacob Schoener works as a wagoner out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1755. Through connections with his employer, he is hired out to deliver items from Benjamin Franklin for General Braddock and his staff.
Schoener is portrayed by Cary Shaner, a retired English teacher from Berks County, Pa. Shaner is an active member of the German Regiment, a re-enactment unit representing a Continental Army regiment from the Revolution. He is a jovial entertainer who's knowledge of literature, arts and history show through in his presentations.
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 park programs, call 724-329-5512.
Did You Know?
Captain Louis Coulon de Villiers, who led the French attack on Fort Necessity, was the brother of Ens. Joseph Coulon de Jumonville, who was killed five weeks earlier by the British. Before reaching Fort Necessity, the French stopped where Jumonville was killed. De Villiers said he wanted vengeance.