“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cumberland in Allegany County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

French and Indian War


—Fort Cumberland Trail —

French and Indian War Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, March 28, 2009
1. French and Indian War Marker
Inscription. "A volley fired by a young Virginian in the backwoods of America set the world on fire"

Fort Cumberland was built as a direct result of hostilities between the French and British over control of the Ohio Valley. The British king granted land in that area to The Ohio Company and settlers moved to the area. The French began forcing them out leading to armed hostilities. Actions taken by Governor Duquesne of New France and Lt. Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia and their representatives caused the French and Indian War. The ownership of North America was at stake.

Lt. Governor Dinwiddie's ultimatum to the French to leave the Ohio Valley was delivered by Major George Washington in 1753. The French refused and began pushing out the British settlers in the valley. In May, 1754, Colonel Washington, with his men and some Indian allies, defeated a party of Frenchmen at Jumonville Glen (near Uniontown, Pa.). This small spark ignited hostilities leading to the war. In July, with four-hundred men, Washington was defeated in his first major battle, at Fort Necessity (near Uniontown, Pa.), while badly outnumbered and with many of his men sick.

The French and Indian War began officially in 1754. Previous North American colonial wars between the French and British had resulted from European conflicts between these powers.
French and Indian War Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, March 28, 2009
2. French and Indian War Marker
This time, the action began in North America and spread to Europe. There, it was called the Seven Years' War, began in 1756, and involved many countries.

A large British Army, over 2100 men, under General Braddock was attacked near Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh, Pa.), by a much smaller body of French and Indians. Washington said the British were "most scandalously beaten." The British army returned here to lick it's wounds. In 1758, a British Army under General Forbes, was gathered here and at Raystown (Bedford, Pa.) and marched westward capturing Fort Duquesne. Colonel Washington was with this force and had been at Fort Cumberland.

Continuing British successes on the battlefield of North America ended the war. The Treaty of Paris, signed in 1763, gave all French land in Canada and east of the Mississippi River to Great Britain except two small islands. Spain, an ally of the French, lost Florida to Great Britain, but gained French lands west of the Mississippi River. See the maps above.

The French and Indian War lasted from 1754 to 1763. Fort Cumberland played an important part in it as a rallying point and depot for British forces headed for the Ohio Valley. It also served as a forward military outpost for gathering intelligence of enemy activity. Fort Cumberland was located on the front lines. Hostile Indians were active in the local area and soldiers stationed here served under frequently hazardous conditions.

Fort Cumberland Trail
Location. 39° 39.016′ N, 78° 45.938′ W. Marker is in Cumberland, Maryland, in Allegany County. Marker can be reached from Prospect Square. Touch for map. Marker is in the alley between the church and the Masonic Building. Marker is in this post office area: Cumberland MD 21502, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Perimeter of the Fort (within shouting distance of this marker); Trenches and Tunnels / Army Discipline (within shouting distance of this marker); Abandonment of Ft. Cumberland (within shouting distance of this marker); The Old National Pike (within shouting distance of this marker); Alteration of the Site (within shouting distance of this marker); National Road Monument (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Col. Thomas Cresap (about 300 feet away); Where the Road Began (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cumberland.
Categories. Forts, CastlesMilitaryNotable PersonsWar, French and Indian
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 5, 2009, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,402 times since then and 59 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week February 8, 2015. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 5, 2009, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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