SYBIL LUDINGTON Biography - Military related figures


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Name: Sybil Ludington                                                               
Born: 1761                                                                           
Died: 1839                                                                           
Sybil Ludington (1761-1839) was the daughter of Colonel Henry Ludington, the         
commander of the local militia near Fredericksburgh Precinct, New York (later       
renamed Ludingtonville, and now part of the town of Kent) during the American       
She was born and raised in Dutchess County, New York (this portion of Dutchess       
County later became part of Putnam County). The eldest of 12, she was often         
responsible for looking after her younger siblings. On the night of April 26,       
1777, she had but 7 siblings (Rebecca, Mary, Abigail, Archibald, Henry, Derick,     
Tertullus, Anna, Fredrick, Sophia, and Lewis). She was putting them to bed when     
her family received word that British troops had begun burning Danbury,             
Connecticut, which was only 25 miles away. Her father's troops were scattered       
over a large area around the house, and Sybil convinced her father to let her       
ride to warn them.                                                                   
At the time of the ride, she was 16 years old. For that day and age, this would     
be considered young adulthood; her mother married at 15.                             
While she was riding, British troops left chalk marks on properties and the ones     
w/o it would eventually be destroyed. Her ride started at 9:00 P.M. and ended       
around dawn. She rode 40 miles into the damp hours of darkness. She could see       
the sky aglow from the burning town. "Muster at Ludington's," she shouted at the     
farmhouses of the millitiamen. She rode through Carmel, on to Mahopac, thence to     
Kent Cliffs, from there to Farmers Mills and back home. She used a stick to prod     
her horse, named Star, and knock on doors. She managed to defend herself against     
a highway man with her father's musket. When, soaked from the rain and exhausted,   
she returned home, most of the 400 soldiers were ready to march.                     
The men arrived too late to save Danbury. The British were too late. At the         
ensuing Battle of Ridgefield, however, they were able to drive General William       
Tryon, then governor of the colony of New York, and his men to Long Island Sound.   
Sybil was congratulated for her heroism by friends and neighbors, and by General     
George Washington.                                                                   
The grave of Sybil Ludington                                                         
After the war, in 1784, Sybil married a lawyer from Catskill named Edgar Ogden.     
They had one child, Henry, whose son founded Fort Riley, Kansas. Sybil lived in     
Unadilla until her death in February, 1839. She was buried near her father in       
the Maple Avenue Cemetery in Patterson, New York.                                   
(If you look at the accompanying photograph of her headstone, you will see that     
her first name is incorrectly spelled "Sibbell" instead of "Sybil." There are       
also many signs posted along her historic route; some of the signs spell her         
first name "Sibyl" instead of "Sybil.")                                             
A statue of Sybil, sculpted by Anna Hyatt Huntington, was erected along her         
route near Carmel in 1961 to commemorate her ride. A smaller copy of the statue     
is located on the grounds of the DAR Headquarters in Washington, DC and another     
one is located in Danbury, Connecticut, on the grounds of the public library. In     
1975 she was honored with a stamp in the "Contributors to the Cause" United         
States Bicentennial series.                                                         
Each April since 1979, the Sybil Ludington 50-kilometer footrace has been held       
in Carmel, NY. The course of this hilly road race approximates Sybil's historic     
ride, and finishes near her statue on the shore of Lake Gleneida.