Battle Apron: The Battle of Ridgefield

When British Major General William Tryon received the intelligence that the Americans were massing troops against him, he decided not to remain in Danbury for a day of rest as he had planned. Instead, on April 27, 1777, he gave the order for his troops to burn the supplies, and evacuate Danbury. Hoping to avoid the American troops, General Tryon planned to march his troops through Ridgebury Center to Ridgefield.

In the meantime, the plan decided upon by the American troops was for General David Wooster to take several hundred troops to harass the British from the rear, while General Benedict Arnold and General Gold Selleck Silliman proceeded to Ridgefield to prepare a defensive barricade.

General Wooster’s first attack on the unprepared British troops was a success. The Americans won the skirmish, even taking prisoners. However, during his second attack on the British troops, General David Wooster, the father of Masonry in Connecticut, was severely wounded, and transported to Danbury.

Unopposed, the British troops continued into the Village of Ridgefield where they breached the barricade set up by the American troops. The battle continued down Town Street, High Ridge, and East Ridge through Ridgefield. The American Generals Arnold and Silliman abandoned the Village of Ridgefield, and proceeded to Saugatuck, leaving the defense of the village to the remaining troops from the 4th Regiment militia, and remnants of nearby New York militia, and the patriots of Ridgefield.

The British troops bivouacked overnight at the south end of Ridgefield along what is today Wilton Road West.  Early morning, on April 28, 1777, the British troops broke camp, fired the Episcopal Church, which contained Continental Army supplies; fired Thomas Saymor’s hilltop residence, and left Ridgefield with three prisoners who were Ridgefield citizens.

The Battle of Ridgefield was over.

Support the battle by learning more at  BattleOfRidgefield.org or at SupportTheBattle.org. More information may be found by calling 203-403-7065, emailing info@BattleOfRidgefield.org or stopping by Jerusalem 49 Masonic Lodge next to Town Hall.