April 26, 1777: Sybil Ludington’s Ride


The eldest of twelve children, Sybil Ludington grew up in a household of ardent patriots, her father being the commander of the local militia in Duchess County New York.  On April 26, 1777 she became, at age 16, a heroine of the Revolution when she rode forty miles to her father’s militia encampment at night on her horse Star to spread the alarm that the British were moving on Danbury Connecticut.  During her ride she successfully defended herself against a highwayman using a long stick.  She used the same stick to bang on the door of houses along the way to let the occupants know that the British were on the march,  Thanks to her, her father Colonel Henry Ludington chased after the British with 400 of his militia.  They were unable to intercept the British before their attack on Danbury, but they, along with other militia units, harassed the British as they retreated to New York.  The campaign is considered a turning point that helped ensure firm patriot control in Connecticut.  Sybil received the personal thanks of George Washington.

At 23 she married, she and her husband settling in Catskill, New York.  She had one son who she named Henry after her father.  Her ride is commemorated each year with a 50 kilometer run.

Published in: on April 26, 2021 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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  1. Reblogged this on Practically Historical.

  2. Thanks! It is a great vignette from the Revolution that deserves to be remembered.

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