IntroductionSybil Ludington was an American Revolutionary War Woman who became famous for her horseback ride through upstate New York to warn militia that British troops were raiding and burning Danbury, Connecticut. What makes her ride even more impressive than that of Paul Revere's ride is that she was just a kid of sixteen when she heroically rode a treacherous forty miles during the middle of the night. To find out where her route took her, how she fended off outlaws during her ride and why there was such confusion over the spelling of her name, read the interesting facts and information on the life of Sybil Ludington below.
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Sybil Ludington Early Years
- Sybil Ludington was born on April 5, 1761 to Henry and Abigail Ludington.
- Sybil was the eldest of twelve children.
- Colonel Henry Ludington, Sybil's father, was a volunteer militia officer and community leader who went on to become an aide to General George Washington.
Sybil Ludington's Ride
- When Sybil's father got word that the British were attacking Danbury, she volunteered to ride through the countryside and alert the militia, knowing they needed to muster as many troops as possible.
- Sybil's ride on the night of April 26, 1777 took her through the towns of Kent, Mahopac and Stormville bringing her through both Putnam and Dutchess Counties in New York.
- During her late-night ride through the rain, which began at 9 PM, she managed to fend off British soldiers and loyalists as well as outlaws that didn't side with either the British or the Americans. She traveled with a stick and used it as necessary to defend herself against attacks.
- Some historians believe that along Ludington's journey, a man offered to ride with her but she instead sent him east to warn the town of Brewster.
- When she arrived back home about 400 troops had gathered at the Ludington residence to fight the British.
- Although the militia was not able to defend Danbury against attack, they were able to force the British to retreat in what became known as the Battle of Ridgefield.
Sybil Ludington Interesting Facts
- Ludington's hometown, once named Fredericksburg, was renamed Ludingtonville to honor Sybil's heroic acts.
- Interestingly, Sybil Ludington's name is not found on any official documents spelled as Sybil. The spelling on her tombstone says Sibbell, while her sister went by the spelling Sebil. To make things even more confusing, some documents suggests she spelled her own name as Sebal, yet she is also appears on historic records as Sibel and Cybil.
- At the age of twenty-three, Ludington married Edmond Ogden, a famer and innkeeper. They had only one son named Henry.
- Sybil Ludington died on February 26, 1839, at the age of 77. She was buried in Patterson, New York, at the same cemetery as her father.