Washington recovered from his illness, and then returned to lead the Virginia army. He attained the rank of brigadier general and was a major factor in Britain's defeat of the French and capture of Fort Duquesne (renamed Fort Pitt by the British) in 1758. Immediately after his return to Virginia, Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis on January 6, 1759.
Wilderness fighting had made Washington a trained military man. This training helped prepare him for his greatest military challenge--leading the American revolutionary forces as commander in chief during the fight for independence that began in 1775 with the Battle of Lexington and Concord.