After three days encamped in the Great meadow, Washington learned of a group of French Soldiers patrolling the area. At the urging of Tanagharrison – “The Half King,” Washington made a pre-emptive strike. He then returned to his camp, and strengthened the defenses by erecting a stockade and a storehouse. After reinforcements arrived, Washington continued on his road building mission. Upon learning that a large French force had been dispatched from Fort Duquesne to attack him, he returned to “Fort Necessity” in the Great Meadow. He had his men dig earthworks: trenches and mounds, to improve the forts defenses.
The French arrived two days after the British forces returned to the fort. On the morning of July 3, they surrounded the fort and there was brisk fire from both sides throughout the day. A steady rain fell, increasing as the day went on, filling the trenches and drenching the combatants on both sides. Though the French were unable to capture the fort, their position seemed advantageous enough that at the end of the day they were able to convince the British to surrender.