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MAY 28, 1754: Lieutenant Colonel George Washington defeats a French-Canadian force at the Battle of Jumonville Glen, the first shots in what would become the French and Indian War. Washington’s colonial militia had been sent to protect a fort being constructed on the site of modern-day Pittsburgh when they learned of the presence of nearby French forces. Fearing an attack, Washington marched his troops through the night and surrounded the French, killing and capturing most in a brief skirmish. Controversy quickly swirled around he death of the French commander Joseph de Jumonviille in the firefight, and Washington is later compelled to surrender to French forces at Fort Necessity on July 3.