Work has begun on a major study of the Revolutionary War-era Battle of Ridgefield. An advisory group has been formed to oversee the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program grant obtained this year by the Ridgefield Historical Society. The two-year grant aims to deepen understanding of the Ridgefield events that were part of General Tryon’s raid on Danbury. T
he impetus for this new study was the discovery a year ago of skeletons that may be the remains of soldiers who fell in the battle. Analysis of the skeletons has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, but preliminary assessments suggested young men who were hastily buried in the 18th Century.
Another goal of the grant is to build community consensus for preservation related to the Battle.
Researchers will provide a final report to the Historical Society, including a preliminary assessment of the battlefield boundaries, and recommendations for additional research or archaeological surveys. The advisory group will be responsible for hiring historical researchers to arrive at the best understanding of what occurred on April 27, 1777, as Tryon’s troops marched through the town on their return to ships off Westport.
Another subcommittee will come up with a plan for publicizing the project’s work and discoveries across a variety of platforms. The two-year grant is anticipated as the beginning of a multi-year project to document and protect the site of Connecticut’s only inland battle during the Revolutionary War, one in which General Benedict Arnold was a hero for the Patriots.