WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATED IN WINCHESTER, VA BY THE COL JAMES WOOD II CHAPTER & THE FRENCH AND INDIAN SOCIETY
On 20 February, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution cosponsored with the French and Indian War Foundation a commemoration of George Washington's 289th birthday. This was a virtual event based in Winchester to honor the Father of our Country and the 1st President of the United States. He was a key figure in both the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War. During the presentation we had visits from James Wood (by Steve Resan), the founder of Winchester and his son James Wood II (by Brett Osborn) who were both well known by Washington and fought with him during the respective wars. George Washington spent a good portion of his young life in Winchester helping survey the Fairfax land grant for Thomas Lord Fairfax, as well as performing surveying work for Wood. James Wood (1707–1759), a large landowner in the area, was the first citizen of Winchester. He acquired a track of land "on the branches of the Opequon" and became the first court clerk of the county. He laid out 26 half-acre lots from his land with survey assistance laid out by Washington, which became Winchester. Wood was a Colonel in the Frederick County Militia and served with Colonel George Washington in the 1754 campaign against the French. In 1756, on land granted by James Wood, Colonel George Washington designed and began constructing Fort Loudoun, which was occupied and manned with guns until the start of the Revolutionary War when it was used to house British and Hession Prisoners of War. In 1758, Washington stood for election to the House of Burgesses. His campaign was managed by Colonel James Wood (Senior), who procured 160 gallons of alcoholic drinks and distributed them gratis to 391 voters in Frederick County. Wood was then chosen to sit in for Washington at the polls on election day. Washington won the seat and again in 1761, serving Frederick County until 1765. James Wood, Jr.
(1741-1813) met Washington through his father. Wood, like Washington was a surveyor and soldier. At age 19, he was appointed deputy clerk of Frederick County and represented the county in the Virginia House of Burgesses from 1766 to 1776 and in the Virginia Constitutional Convention in 1776. Wood was commissioned a captain of Virginia troops in 1774, eventually attaining the rank of Brigadier General in the Virginia Militia, serving General George Washington and the colonies throughout the war. In 1789 Wood was chosen as an elector from Hampshire District for the 1789 election for President. He was among 10 Virginia electors who cast a vote for his friend, George Washington as President. At the commemoration, we next heard from Scott Straub about Fort Loudoun. Colonel George Washington was the commander responsible for protecting the back country from incursions by the French and Indian allies. In 1756, the Virginia House of Burgesses approved the construction of a chain of forts to defend the colony's frontier. The Fort Loudoun at Winchester was selected by Washington as a strategic location for this installation. He drew the plans and supervised its construction. This included his oversight of the 103 foot deep well that was dug in 1757 and still exists at the site. The fort was built between 1756 and 1758 with Washington managing its construction from his office in Winchester until sufficient construction allowed him to move into his headquarters at the fort. In December 1758 he announced he was resigning his commission and returned to Mount Vernon where he stayed until the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. Attending the commemoration for the Colonel James Wood II Chapter were President Marc Robinson, Vice President Thomas "Chip" Daniel, Sean Carrigan, Paul Christensen, Dale Corey, Erick Moore, Brett Osborn, Dennis Parmerter, Allan Phillips, Eric Robinson and Jim
Simmons. Participating from the French and Indian War Foundation were President David Grosso, Dale Corey, Erick Moore, Jim Moyer, Steve Resan, Marc Robinson and Scott Straub. The picture is a collage of attending members provided by Thomas "Chip" Daniel.