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Database: Battle of Fort Necessity

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Date: July 3-4, 1754

This was one of the opening battles of the French and Indian war, and it's important that opening battles are quite exciting, otherwise everyone just sort of loses interest.

In 1754, George Washington was sent to the head of the Ohio River valley with a group of Virginia militia. The land there was contested territory between the British Colonists and the French. Washington's mission was to retake Fort Duquesne, and drive French forces out of the area.

Washington and his troops attacked a French patrol at Jumonville Glen, in what would be the first acts of violence in the war. Washington expected a return attack and so had his troops build a palisade wall surrounding their supplies - a "Fort of Necessity" - hence the name.

But they might as well have called it the "Fort of Inadequacy", because supplies ran low, and the militia (and their British Regular reinforcements) were quickly overwhelmed. On July 4, Washington surrendered, was allowed to retreat, and someone else was put in charge of naming forts.

It was Washington's only military surrender (though he had plenty of 'strategic retreats' - PR spin was alive and well even then...)

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