General Wooster Died Here


At two A.M. in the morning of April 27th, Tryon roused his troops and began retreat to the awaiting ships at Compo Beach.

To avoid Wooster's force, the British army veered south from Danbury, marched through Ridgebury, and headed for Ridgefield. Hoping to delay Tryon until overwhelming reinforcements arrived, Wooster split his force, sending the main body with Arnold and Silliman to Ridgefield, while personally harassing the British rear with the remainder. Collectively the three engagements that followed became known as the Battle of Ridgefield. With the element of surprise, Wooster swooped out the woods about three miles north of Ridgefield and crashed into Tryon’s rear guard as it paused briefly for breakfast. Killing at least two redcoats, Wooster took about fifteen prisoners in this first engagement, then vanished back into the trees.

An hour later, Wooster struck again, but this time the British were ready, having positioned three artillery pieces in the rear. Rallying his men, the 67-year-old David Wooster was mortally wounded about two miles from Ridgefield center (a marker still graces the site) and his inexperienced militia dissolved in confusion. Wooster died five days later in Danbury, but his sacrifice had purchased precious time for Arnold to prepare a defensive position at Ridgefield.

Across the street is a small paddock that contains a few Sicilian Donkeys. Sicilian Donkeys are also called miniature donkeys and Mediterranean donkeys. They are a breed of donkey that originated from the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, where they were once used to turn grinding wheels and carry loads and where they are now nearly extinct. Starting about 1920, Americans began importing the little donkeys as pets and there are now about 10,000 in the USA. Every miniature donkey has a black cross on it's back.


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