RIDGEFIELD, CONN. — A discovery of skeletal remains beneath an 18th Century house near the site of a pivotal Revolutionary War battle here could be the first time in state history that soldiers from the Revolution have had their remains recovered from the field of battle.
On Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, the Connecticut Office of State Archaeology was notified by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner that human skeletal remains had been discovered under the foundation of the home in Ridgefield. The Connecticut state archaeologist bears statutory responsibility for investigating human remains determined by the Chief Medical Examiner to have been buried for more than 50 years.
Subsequent excavations by emeritus state archaeologist Nicholas Bellantoni with assistance from the Friends of the Office of State Archaeology, Inc. and University of Connecticut graduate students, have yielded two skeletons of robust adult men lying in an east-west orientation in ground that appears to be haphazardly dug. The burials are located in the area of the Revolutionary War Battle of Ridgefield (April 27, 1777) and may be associated with the battle. Excavations are ongoing with assistance from the Ridgefield Historical Society and the Ridgefield Police Department.
A press conference was held at the Ridgefield Historical Society, 4 Sunset Lane, Wednesday, December 18, 2019. Bellantoni, State Historian Walter Woodward, and members of the Ridgefield Historical Society were interviewed and answered questions from the press.
Photos from the site are available, but to preserve the integrity of the excavation, site visits cannot be permitted.
Watch for ongoing updates to this developing story:
- Three skeletons, possibly Revolutionary War soldiers, found under Ridgefield house, Stephen Coulter, Ridgefield Press, 12/17/2019
- Skeletons found near Ridgefield battle site fascinates history lovers, Macklin Reid, Ridgefield Press, 12/18/19
- Revolutionary War soldiers? State archaeologist believes Ridgefield skeletons fit the bill, Stephen Coulter, Ridgefield Press, 12/18/2019
- Experts to determine if remains found in Ridgefield are from American Revolution, reported by Mark Sudol, News 12 Connecticut, 12/18/2019
- Digging Up History in Ridgefield: Archaeologist, Historians, Scientist Study Three Skeletons, Possibly Revolutionary War Soldiers, HamletHub, 12/18/2019
- Skeletons that may be the remains of Revolutionary War soldiers discovered beneath historic house, Fox News, 12/20/2019
- QU Students Studying Skeletal Remains Found in Ridgefield (video), NBC Connecticut, 1/3/2020
- Possible Revolutionary War remains studied at Quinnipiac University in North Haven, Record-Journal, 1/3/2020
- Tests Begin on Bones That May Be Revolutionary War Soldiers, U.S. News, 1/3/2020
- Skeletal Remains Found in Ridgefield May Be Revolutionary War Soldiers, UConn Today, 1/15/2020
- Fourth skeleton discovered in Ridgefield, Ridgefield Press, 1/20/2020
- Update coming on Ridgefield skeletons, News Times, 2/28/2020
Testing on the skeletal remains has been suspended due to the pandemic. We are awaiting news of any change to this situation from state archaeologist Sarah Sportman.
Battle of Ridgefield Fund
The Ridgefield Historical Society has established a special Battle of Ridgefield Fund to provide financial support for the forensic work and for the eventual reinterment of the remains to help identify and honor the men who died on Ridgefield’s battleground.