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Benedict Arnold Gets His

July 2024
1min read

At Ridgefield, Connecticut, on April 27, 1777, some two hundred militiamen led by Benedict Arnold valiantly tried to outfight two thousand British Regulars who were withdrawing to Long Island Sound after having destroyed American military stores at Danbury. The Americans were routed, but this year, the bicentennial anniversary of the little battle, twenty-three citizens of Ridgefield donated one hundred dollars apiece to have a medal struck off to honor Arnold’s bravery during the action.

Response to the gesture, predictably, has been mixed. The leaders of the local American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Marine Corps League were not amused, and one outraged citizen wrote to the Ridgefield Press: “What next-a medal for John Wilkes Booth?” Nevertheless, the demand for copies of the medal (silver: ten dollars; bronze: five dollars) has been heavy, and hundreds have been sold.

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