ShareThis Page
News

'Clash of empires' started at Jumonville Glen

| Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 5:31 p.m.

To many historians, the shot heard around the world did not happen at Lexington and Concord, Mass.

It happened at Jumonville Glen, signaling the start of the French and Indian War. Fort Necessity National Battlefield recently hosted a re-enactment of this event.

The event was commemoration of the Jumonville affair of May 28, 1754, said Thomas Markwardt, a park ranger at Fort Necessity. "This skirmish was the first action in George Washington's military career," he said.

The skirmish -- in which 10 French soldiers were killed, 1 wounded and 21 captured -- led directly to the French campaign to Fort Necessity.

Markwardt called the battle a defining event in American history.

"The Battle of Fort Necessity is generally considered the opening of the French and Indian War, although the formal declaration of war did not come until later," Markwardt said. "This war spread into a global conflict between Great Britain and France. At the end of the war, France ceded its possession in North America to Great Britain, creating a vast British empire, eliminating one major threat to the safety and security of American colonists and opening the door to the West."

The Jumonville Glen Unit of Fort Necessity National Battlefield is named for the French commanding officer who died there May 28, 1754.

It is seven miles west of Fort Necessity National Battlefield on Jumonville Road.

Young Washington arrived at the secluded glen at sunrise. The French troops, who were just waking, put up 15 minutes of resistance. The war sparked by the skirmish spread to four continents.

Brian Reedy, park ranger, said Washington learned valuable lessons during the skirmish.

"He learned to rely on other people," Reedy said. "Most of all, this skirmish boosted Washington's confidence that he could lead other men in battle."

He pointed out that this "clash of the empires" was inevitable.

"North America was a tinder box; France and England were vying for power. This skirmish killed the hope that the English, the French and the Native Americans could peacefully co-exist."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me