Skip to main content

Fort Necessity National Battlefield

Fort Necessity National Battlefield

The battle at Fort Necessity in the summer of 1754 was the opening action of the French and Indian War.

Fort Necessity, a circular, palisaded fort, was built in 1754 by George Washington and his forces after a skirmish at Jumonville Glen, after which Washington expected another fight. On the morning of July 3, a force of about 600 French and 100 Indians approached the fort. After the French took up positions in the woods, Washington withdrew his men to the entrenchments. Rain fell throughout the day, flooding the marshy ground. Both sides suffered casualties, but the British losses were greater than French and Indian losses, and Washington surrendered.

Visitors can begin at the Visitor Center, where there is a 20-minute introductory film as well as, at various points throughout the summer months, talks, tours, and historic weapons demonstrations. A short walk from the Visitor Center is the fort. Other sites in the park include the Mount Washington Tavern, which looks at life on the nearby National Road, the grave of British Gen. Edward Braddock, and Jumonville Glen, the site of Washington's first encounter with the French.

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this magazine of trusted historical writing, now in its 75th year, and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.