Skeletal Remains Discovered Beneath Ridgefield Home May Belong to Revolutionary War Soldiers

Skeletal Remains Discovered Beneath Ridgefield Home May Belong to Revolutionary War Soldiers

Nick Bellantoni, Emeritus Connecticut State Archaeologist discusses the history, discovery, and excavation of the burials found in December 2019 and gives an update on the forensic analysis currently underway. (Dec. 8, 2020)
Update on the skeletal remains found in Ridgefield late last year and announces the significance of the Historical Society’s recent grant award from the National Park Service: American Battlefield Protection program. (May 27, 2020)

Read the press release here.

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.

State Archaeologist Emeritus Nick Bellantoni

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:

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.