Sybil Ludington was 16 years old as she courageously rode 40 miles to save New York during the Revolutionary War. She was born to Abigail and Henry Ludington on April 6, 1761. Colonel Henry Ludington was 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 Revolution. Sybil is known as “The Girl Paul Revere” and is a wonderful example of courage and faith.
Sybil was born and raised in what was then part of Dutchess County, New York, near the Hudson river. She was the eldest of 12, known to be a tom-boy and was full of determination. She cared for her siblings, who at the time of her ride, were Rebecca (14), Mary (11), Archibald (9), Henry (8), Derrick (6), Tartullus (3), and Abigail (1). The four youngest, Anna, Fredrick, Sophia, and Lewis. Had not been born yet at the time of her ride. She supported her father and often stood guard as there was a very large bounty on her father’s head by the loyalists of the area. Henry Ludington was a once British officer and many were angry at his turn for the patriot side.
On the night of April 26, 1777, at nine in the evening Sybil with 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. Her father had to remain in position, the messenger was exhausted, therefore, Sybil took on the ride during a thunderstorm and rainy night.
As her ride started at 9:00 P.M., it ended at dawn. Riding twice the distance as Paul Revere the people and militia men heard her cry as Danbury was burning, “Muster at Ludington’s”, she shouted at the farmhouses of the militiamen. Sybil’s ride went full circle through Carmel, on to Mahopac, thence to Kent Cliffs, from there to Farmers Mills and back to the Ludington home. With stick in hand, she rode her horse and knocked on doors and managed to defend herself against the enemy that crossed her path with her father’s musket. As she returned to her home in Freidsburg, soaked from the rain, she found most of her father’s 400 soldiers ready to march. Because of her courage, Colonel Ludington with his troops were able to keep the British from a conquering victory against the colonies.