Thursday, June 2, 2016

Heroine of the American Revolution

Sybil Ludington

"On April 25 1777, a 2,000 man British force entered Danbury, Connecticut in search of hidden Continental Army supplies. In the process they set fire to storehouses and homes. The 150 man detachment of Rebel defenders was no match for the Red Coats. A rider was dispatched to the home of Colonel Henry Ludington, commander of the 7th Regiment of the Dutchess County Militia. He arrived around 9 PM on a dark and stormy night with the message for Colonel Ludington to mobilize his men and drive the British off. Colonel Ludington’s men had been released to tend to spring planting and were scattered on farms around the countryside. Someone had to sound the alarm but the messenger was exhausted and didn’t know the area. Colonel Ludington couldn’t go because he had to prepare for battle. His daughter, Sybil, who had just turned 16, volunteered. She set out on that dark, stormy night, mounted on her father’s favorite horse, Star, with a large stick to bang on doors and protect herself. She rode on a man’s saddle and guided Star with a hempen halter, avoiding Red Coats, Tories and skinners* along the way. She rode 40 miles that night, over twice the distance of Paul Revere’s famous ride, arriving back home at dawn. She was responsible for the muster of 400 men. They arrived too late to save Danbury but joined other American forces at the Battle of Ridgefield who were able to drive the British to Long Island Sound where they boarded ships for New York."