Heritage Consultants’ research team — David George, Kevin McBride and David Naumec — continued gathering and assessing historical resources for the Battle of Ridgefield study during April, with the continuing goal of creating the most detailed historical narrative possible. Mapping of the entire battlefield also continues.
Among the organizations researchers worked with during the month, in addition to the Ridgefield Historical Society, were the Keeler Tavern Museum and History Center and the Ridgefield Library. The North Salem, N.Y., Town Historian Susie Thompson was able to provide copies of important primary and secondary source materials related to the New York militia who responded to the Danbury Alarm and fought at Ridgefield. Dr. Naumec will follow up with Ms. Thompson as well as with Ramin Ganeshram, director of the Westport Historical Society, which had created a 2017 Revolutionary War exhibit, “The British Are Coming!”, about the Danbury raid, which began with the British landing in Westport.
Heritage Consultants’ researchers also worked with historian Keith Jones (author of Farmers Against the Crown), who is a member of the project’s advisory committee, to determine if further research into Revolutionary War pension records is warranted. Mr. Jones said that cross-referencing more recently published battle rosters with the pension records might yield new information.
Ridgefield Historical Society volunteers are being engaged to search early newspaper databases for articles about the battle and other volunteers with genealogy expertise are working on the veteran pension research.
On April 29, the research team and Sharon Dunphy, Betsy Reid and Jack Sanders from the Ridgefield Historical Society were joined by Ridgefield archaeologist Lynn-Marie Wieland and Walter Mattis of the Fairfield Museum and History Center for a Battle of Ridgefield Site Walkover-Windshield tour. They covered the full route of march, battle sites and the British encampment, starting from the Danbury line along George Washington Highway.
Heritage Consultants believe large portions of the battlefield route remain intact as well as sites of major combat, suggesting a great deal of potential for discovering artifacts related to the various stages of the 1777 battle. Dr. Naumec has already been in contact with Elijah Crehan, who had done metal detecting on his grandparents’ former property on Main Street and found a variety of objects from the battle era; Mr. Crehan has volunteered to work with the researchers in the future.
Based on the April 2021 monthly report by David Naumec, Ph.D.