Concerned about reports of new French incursions into the disputed Ohio valley, Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia in 1753 sent the 21-year old George Washington out on a reconnaissance of the Ohio Country. Looking to reassert British control, Colonel George Washington was ordered back towards the Forks of the Ohio in 1754 with a small force of Virginia militia and native-american allies. On May 28th, Washington’s soldiers found and attacked a French encampment at Jumonville Glen – an attack that precipitated the French & Indian War. Washington was later forced to surrender his rag tag army after being surrounded by the French at the Battle of Fort Necessity on July 3, 1754.
In 1755, Washington was invited to accompany Maj. Gen. Edward Braddock’s advance upon Fort Duquesne. Braddock’s force was ambushed and decisively defeated at the Battle of Monongahela on July 9th. Washington, stepping into the growing chaos of battle, organized a retreat that saved the remainder of the British and American force. Washington later led the Virginia Regiment during the successful Forbes Expedition in 1757 that captured Fort Duquesne. Washington’s French & Indian War experiences taught him many important military lessons that he incorporated into his American Revolutionary War actions.
Learn more about George Washington's role in the French and Indian War.
British authorities assigned General Edward Braddock the task of venturing to the Forks of the Ohio and removing the French presence from the region. Accompanying Braddock on the expedition was George Washington, who served as aide-de-camp.
The journal provides a first-hand glimpse of frontier diplomacy, the beginnings of the French and Indian War, as well as early indications of Washington's well-documented physical vigor and leadership.