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This Day In Founding Fathers History – 25 April 2013
On this day in 1777, British General William Tryon landed at Fairfield, Connecticut with 2,000 soldiers, arriving with 20 transports and six warships. They moved eight miles inland and camped for the night. Danbury was a major supply center for the Continental Army based in the Hudson River Valley. The next day, British soldiers marched into Danbury in search of supplies. They also left chalk marks on the homes of loyalists and informers so that they would be spared when the rest were destroyed. Several storehouses and homes were set on fire. Included in the supplies of food, cots, tents and shoes that the British were set on destroying was a fair bit of rum. Instead of destroying the rum, the soldiers pardoned it and proceeded to consume it in its entirety. Now drunk, the soldiers continued their rampage through Danbury, although unwilling (or perhaps unable) to obey orders from their superiors. Messengers were scattered in all directions to take word to the local militia that Danbury was being raided. When a messenger reached Colonel Ludington’s home, he was exhausted and unfamiliar with the area and thus unable to continue. Ludington’s 16-year-old daughter, Sybil, was asked to finish rounding up the local troops, who numbered around 400 men. Sybil rode 40 miles round trip through areas filled with soldiers, Loyalists and outlaws, and returned the next day at dawn. Sybil Ludington is remembered by some today as “the female Paul Revere.” Although Colonel Ludington’s troops finally arrived in Danbury, it was too late to save the town, although they did aid General David Wooster and Benedict Arnold in fighting the British troops back to the coast. In the process, General Wooster was mortally wounded. The main battle on the way to the coast was the Battle of Ridgefield. Although it was a tactical victory for the British, the Patriot cause was galvanized in Connecticut. 1
1 “Sybil Ludington, the female Palu Revere, dies,” On This Day In History, Revolutionary War and Beyond, www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/sybil-ludington-female-paul-revere-dies.html#ixzz2RRA10GrQ; “Sybil Ludington,” Historic Patterson, New York, www.historicpatterson.org/Exhibits/ExhSybilLudington.php