On This Day: British troops burn Danbury to the ground after marching from Westport
British troops burned a critical supply line to the ground in Danbury on this day in 1777 during the American Revolutionary War after marching nearly 24 hours from Westport to the Hat City.
Connecticut State Historian Walter W. Woodward says Continental Army troops stationed in New England and the strategically important Hudson River Valley were relying on the Danbury supply line, which was extremely vulnerable to attack.
Woodward says because of the inland location of the supply line, Continental troops never anticipated a British attack.
However, on April 26, 1777, Royal Gov. William Tryon, of New York, landed with over 1,800 British and loyalist troops on the shores of Compo Beach in modern-day Westport and began a grueling 24-hour march north to Danbury.
Once the British arrived, there were only two small armed Continental forces left to defend the supply line, but despite their efforts the city fell, and the British troops burned Danbury to the ground.