The Battle of Jumonville Glen

The Battle of Jumonville Glen was a 15-minute skirmish that started the wheels in motion for the 7 years war (also called the French and Indian war).

It all started on a cold winter night. A troop of English and Indian soldiers were marching toward a place called Fort Necessity.  The fort was in construction, and the soldiers were sent to keep it safe from the Canadians while it was being built. The English soldiers were commanded by a man named George Washington, (yes, the same man that let the continental army in the American Revolution) and the Indian soldiers were being led by a man named Tanacharison.

Washington and Tanacharison were about 5 miles apart when word came from the Indians that they had spotted the Canadian encampment.  (As a side note really quick, the band of 35 or so Canadians led by Joseph Jumonville, was just a small part of a larger group of soldiers. The larger group had already captured the partly constructed fort that Washington was on his way to defend.  Jumonville and his men were sent to warn Washington not to start messing around with the Canadian’s claimed land).  Washington marched his men the 5 miles that night to where Tanacharison was and set up an ambush.  The next morning, the Canadians were surprised by a bunch of soldiers attacking the camp.  The skirmish lasted only about 15 minutes, but quite a few of the Canadians were killed, including Joseph Jumonville.  Not including a couple of men that managed to escape, all of the Canadian survivors were taken as prisoners.  The dead were either just left in the field where the battle took place or  buried in very shallow graves.  George Washington pushed his men on to the fort.

When word came to the main party of Canadians, Jumonville’s brother was raving mad.  He took a troop of 600 soldiers, attacked Washington and his men and forced him to surrender.  The surrendering terms were written in french, which Washington couldn’t read, so it is questionable if he knew what he was agreeing to when he signed that paper. It turns out that the paper had a confession that he had had Jumonville specifically assassinated in the battle.   That was used against him later in life.

The next year, more and more small conflicts kept happening, and essentially grew into a full blown war.  In fact, both France and England declared war on each other in 1756.  This was the 7 years war, or the French and Indian war.