Public Programs

Battle Briefs

How George Washington Started the French and Indian War

Tuesday, June 6, 2023 | 7 p.m. (ET) | Virtual
Tuesday, June 13, 2023 | 12 p.m. (ET) | Virtual and In-Person


In the vast frontier woods of what was called “the Ohio Country,” a young, inexperienced Virginia provincial officer named George Washington set off a series of events in 1754 that would soon set off the wide-scale conflict called the French and Indian War in America, and the Seven Years’ War in Europe. Based at a crude log fort called Fort Necessity in today’s western Pennsylvania, Col. Washington led a small detachment of Soldiers in search of suspected French spies in May. The ensuing skirmish that pitted the Virginians and their Indian allies against colonial French troops ended in bloodshed, further violence that summer, and eventually to an all-out imperial war engulfing Great Britain, France, Spain, American colonists, and Native Americans. Join the National Museum of the United States Army’s Elizabeth Maurer, Chief of Programs and Education, in a one-hour presentation exploring George Washington’s first command, his initiation into warfare, and decisions he took that sparked a world war.

Register for the VIRTUAL Battle Brief on June 6 at 7 p.m. ET

This program is offered VIRTUALLY and IN-PERSON on Tuesday, June 13. Museum guests may attend in-person. Seats are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Register for the VIRTUAL Battle Brief on June 13 at 12 p.m. ET.

Register to attend IN-PERSON on June 13 at 12 p.m. ET.

Turning Back the Tide: the Union Army and the Third Day at Gettysburg

Tuesday, July 11, 2023 | 7 p.m. (ET) | Virtual


After two days of bloody fighting on July 1 and 2, 1863 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Confederate General Robert E. Lee ordered 12,000 of his soldiers to attack the Union lines on Cemetery Ridge on the battle’s third and final day. This assault, later known as “Pickett’s Charge,” threatened to overrun the Federals’ positions and split Maj. Gen. George G. Meade’s Army of the Potomac in half. Learn from museum educator and historian John Maass how Union forces were able to turn back the southern onslaught, hold their lines, and win the day in one of the American Civil War’s most significant battles.

Dr. John R. Maass is an education specialist at the National Museum of the United States Army, and a former officer in the 80th Division of the Army Reserve. He received a B.A. in history from Washington and Lee University, and a Ph.D. from the Ohio State University in early U.S. history and military history. His most recent book is “The Battle of Guilford Courthouse: A Most Desperate Engagement” (2020).

Register for the VIRTUAL Battle Brief on July 11 at 7 p.m. ET

Explore past Battle Briefs