GREAT MEADOWS, ten miles east of present-day Uniontown, Pennsylvania, was the site of the first battle in the French and Indian War. On 2 April 1754 a force of Virginians under Col. Joshua Fry, with Maj. George Washington second in command, embarked from Alexandria to engage the French at Fort Duquesne, Pennsylvania. Washington's first experience as a military commander occurred at dawn on 27 May, when he launched a successful surprise attack on a small French force north of Great Meadows. By June Fry had died and Washington was in command. Bunkered at Fort Necessity near Great Meadows, Washington's force was attacked on 3 July by about five hundred French and four hundred Indians. His provisions almost gone, Washington capitulated. After a prisoner exchange, the English force marched with its wounded back to Virginia.
Cleland, Hugh. George Washington in the Ohio Valley. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1955.
Washington, George. Washington and the West. New York: The Century, 1905.
Solon J.Buck/a. r.
See alsoBraddock's Expedition ; Colonial Wars ; Duquesne, Fort ; French and Indian War ; French Frontier Forts .