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The Battle of Ridgefield – April 27, 1777
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 27 of April, repeating indefinitely
The Battle of Ridgefield was a battle and a series of skirmishes between American and British forces during the American Revolutionary War. The main battle was fought in the village of Ridgefield, Connecticut, on April 27, 1777. More skirmishing occurred the next day between Ridgefield and the coastline near Westport, Connecticut.
On April 25, 1777, a British force landed between Fairfield and Norwalk (now Westport) under the command of New York’s Royal Governor Major General William Tryon. They marched to Danbury, where they destroyed Continental Army supplies after chasing off a small garrison of troops. Word spread concerning the British troop movements, and Connecticut militia leaders sprang into action. Major General David Wooster, Brigadier General Gold Selleck Silliman, and Brigadier General Benedict Arnold raised a combined force of roughly 700 Continental Army regular and irregular local militia forces to oppose the raiders, but they could not reach Danbury in time to prevent the destruction of the supplies. Instead, they set out to harass the British on their return to the coast.
The company led by General Wooster twice attacked Tryon’s rear guard during their march south on April 27. Wooster was mortally wounded in the second encounter, and he died five days later. The main encounter then took place at Ridgefield, where several hundred militia under Arnold’s command confronted the British; they were driven away in a running battle down the town’s main street, but not before inflicting casualties on the British. Additional militia forces arrived, and the next day they continued to harass the British as they returned to Compo Beach in Westport where the fleet awaited them. Arnold regrouped the militia and some artillery to make a stand against the British near their landing site, but his position was flanked and his force scattered by artillery fire and a bayonet charge.
The expedition was a tactical success for the British forces, but the raid galvanized Patriot support in Connecticut.