Article Series

Series: French and Indian War - The Contest for the Ohio River Valley

In 1753 a young George Washington crossed the Allegheny Mountains on missions he hoped would lead to a career as a British Officer and land holdings that would make him wealthy. He was unsuccessful in both goals and his actions sparked a war that spread across the globe.

  • Fort Necessity National Battlefield

    Chapter 1: Prelude to war in North America

    Map showing Washington's trips to the Ohio Country in 1753 and 1754

    Events in the mid-18th century put the French and British on a collision course in the Ohio River Valley. Read more

  • Fort Necessity National Battlefield

    Chapter 2: Jumonville Glen

    Jumonville Glen

    George Washington encounters a French patrol in a secluded glen in 1754. According to Horace Walpole, a contemporary historian, it was here that "The volley fired by a young Virginian in the backwoods of America set the world on fire." Read more

  • Fort Necessity National Battlefield

    Chapter 3: Battle of Fort Necessity

     Reenactors representing British regular soldiers firing a volley from black power muskets.

    The French intend to stop the British advance to the Forks of the Ohio at all costs. They march out of Fort Duquesne with a large force of Marines bolstered by their American Indian allies and encounter the Virginians at the Great Meadows. Read more

  • Fort Necessity National Battlefield

    Chapter 4: The Braddock Campaign

    Soldiers in Red Coat and tricorn hats with heads bowed around a grave

    After the Virginians failed to secure the Ohio Country, the British sent General Braddock of the Coldstream Guard to evict the French. His failure was even more spectacular than Washington's. Read more