The Story of the Teenage Girl Who Drove the British Out of Danbury
Everyone knows about the midnight ride of Paul Revere, but did you know there was a teenage girl named Sybil Ludington, whose own ride may have been personally responsible for driving the British out of Danbury?
According to her biography on Wikipedia, on the night of April 26, 1777, Sybil, who was just 16-years-old at the time, took to her horse and rode through Carmel, Mahopac, Kent, and Stormville, NY to alert Colonial troops that the British were burning Danbury. Her ride, which totaled 40 miles, was twice the distance that Revere rode during his famous Midnight Ride.
Riding through the night, she had alerted over 400 Colonial Troops that went on to attack the British in Danbury. While they couldn't save Danbury from being burned, they did save lives and joined forces with the Continental Army. From there, they were able to stop the British advance during the Battle of Ridgefield, and force them to return to their boats in Long Island Sound.
Sybil was even congratulated for her bravery by General George Washington when he visited her home.
After the war ended, Sybil married Edmond Ogden. They had a son together named Henry Edmund, and settled in the town of Catskill, NY, where she lived till her death in 1839.
She is buried in Patterson, NY, alongside her father, Colonel Henry Ludington.
So let's recap. Sybil Ludington, who is believed to have ridden 40 miles through incredibly harsh weather on dirt roads was not caught at the age of 16. But the much more famous
Paul Revere rode 22 miles on paved roads and was caught. History is funny sometimes.
Speaking of funny, here's a great clip of Sybil Ludington's story as told on Comedy Central's Drunk History: