Right up the road from the Woodland Zoo is Fort Necessity National Battlefield. I had been here many times as a kid, but basically it was just a free for all to run through the woods and around the fort, I never really paid any attention. The fort itself is not what you think of when you think of a fort, it's a little round structure, basically just logs put into the ground. Fort Necessity was just that a necessity not meant to be a garrison fort. The battle of Fort Necessity was the first battle that General George Washington's military career and the only time he surrendered. I also thought it was interesting that Washington was an officer in the Brititsh army at this time.
The story is that General Washington was sent as an emissary to the French to discuss claims on the land, both the French and British claimed this part of Pennsylvania.
The musket firing demonstration
Washington was rebuted and was told that the French were not leaving. Washington returned to the Laurel Highlands and made camp in an area then known as the great meadow but would later become Fort Necessity. He learned that there was a camp of French soldiers not far away and he and his men decided to confront them to determine what they were doing there. The British surrounded the French and here the story divides, a shot was fired but no one takes responsiblity for it, in the end 13 Frenchman were killed including their leader Joseph Jumonville, 21 were taken prisoner however 1 soldier escaped and returned to Fort Duquesne to report the attack. Washington knew that there would be retribution for the attack and started to fortify his tiny area in the great meadows.
The battle came on July 3rd 1754 and lasted until 8pm that night when Capt Louis Villiers (who was Jumonville's brother) offered terms to Washington. He accepted the terms however, neither he or anyone in his company spoke very good French and therefore didn't notice the clause in the agreement that Washington admitted to assassinating Jumonville. Washington disputed this later but he had signed the agreement. The battle of Fort Necessity only lasted 1 day however, it is widely agreeded to be the start of the French and Indian war in America or the Seven Years' War in Europe.
The battlefield is a National Park site and although not very big it has a nice visitor center and guided tours of the fort which include an indepth discussion of the battle and various demonstrations. The day we were there it was musket firing. It'a also interesting that not far away is Jummonville's Glen which is named after the slain French Ensign.
Farmington Sights & Attractions review
Fort Necessity National Battlefield is located right off US Rte 40 in Farmington, PA. The fort itself is not much to look at however, they have put i… read entire review