What was the only battle Washington ever lost?
July 18, 2017
It took the British and their colonists seven years of world war to redeem themselves.
Did George Washington Start the Seven Year War?
It all began when Washington, a recently-promoted Lieutenant Colonel in the British militia forces of Virginia, was sent to construct a fort at present-day Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The Ohio Valley had long been a contested territory among French Canadians, various Indian groups, and the British colonies of Pennsylvania and Virginia.
He was ordered to “act on the defensive,” but also clearly to “make Prisoners of or kill & destroy…” all those who resisted British control of the region.
A French force of thirty-five soldiers had camped in a rocky ravine not far from Washington’s encampment at the Great Meadows. Washington’s party stealthily approached the camp at dawn and ambushed the scouting party. In the ensuing battle, the leader of the French party, Joseph Coulon de Jumonville, was killed.
The French responded by attacking those fortifications Washington built. Washington’s force of around 400 men were greatly outnumbered by the approaching French. Unable to defend his makeshift “Fort Necessity” from French forces led by Jumonville’s half-brother,
Washington surrendered on July 4, 1754. The surrender terms allowed Washington and his troops to return to Virginia in peace. The Battle of Great Meadows proved to be the only time that Washington surrendered to an enemy in battle.
The confrontation between the British and the French escalated when the British dispatched two regiments of Redcoats under General Edward Braddock to America. It took the British and their colonists seven years of world war to redeem themselves.
In his detailed report, Lt. Col. Washington later wrote, “I heard the bullets whistle, and, believe me there is something charming in the sound.”
Gay Ingram is the author of George Washington: From Boy Surveyor to Soldier. The biography will be released later this summer.