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Monday, January 9, 2017

The midnight ride of ...Sybil Ludington



       Born in 1761 in Connecticut, Sybil Ludington was the eldest of twelve children. Her family settled in Dutchess County, New York, and in addition to being a farmer, Sybil's father held various positions within the small town and served in the military for over sixty years.  




He was loyal to the British crown until 1773, when he joined the rebel cause. Soon promoted to Colonel, he led his local regiment and commanded the vulnerable route that the British could take between Connecticut and the coast of Long Island Sound. 


When British troops and British loyalists attacked the nearby town, of Danbury, a rider came to warn Ludington and ask for the local regiment’s help. At the time, the Colonel’s men were disbanded for planting season, and all of the soldiers were miles apart at their respective farms.  
As the rider was too tired to continue, Colonel Ludington asked his barely sixteen-year-old daughter Sybil to ride through the night, alerting his men of the danger and urging them to come together to fight back. 


 Sybil rode all night through the dark woods, covering forty miles (a significantly longer distance than Paul Revere rode), and because of her bravery, almost the whole regiment was gathered by daybreak to fight the British.
After the battle at Danbury, George Washington went to the Ludington home to personally thank Sybil for her help. After the war, Ludington married a Catskill lawyer named Edward Ogden; they had one son.  She passed away in 1839. 
                                
  Although Ludington never gained the widespread fame of Paul Revere, she was honored with a stamp by the Postal Service in 1975. There is a statue of her by Lake Gleneida in Carmel, New York, and there are historical markers tracing the route of her ride through Putnam County.
                




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