The British brought about 2,000 troops to Westport, who planned to destroy war supplies being stored about 20 miles north in Danbury. The British spent the night in Weston before reaching Danbury on April 26, where they destroyed food, medicine and ammunition (but didn’t do a great job of destroying a cache of rum, which they drank instead).
Warned of the pending arrival of local militia, the British evacuated Danbury and retreated south, engaging in battles in Ridgefield and Westport before sailing away on April 28. The British suffered more than 200 casualties in the fighting, and the Americans had 20 men killed and 40 wounded.
Westport marks the battles with three monuments. At the intersection of Compo Road South and Post Road East, a boulder bears a plaque reading “Here occured the first engagement between the Continentals and the British Troops when they invaded Connecticut April-25-1777.” The plaque was dedicated in 1914 by the Connecticut Society Sons of the American Revolution.
The site, on a small traffic median, is also marked by a brown hanging sign bearing the Connecticut logo and the inscription “One mile south at Compo Beach, 2000 British Troops landed April 25, 1777, for raid on Danbury.”
A bit further down Compo Road, Westport’s Minuteman monument kneels atop a traffic circle at the intersection of Compo Road South and Compo Beach Road. The monument depicts a musket-wielding Continental soldier waiting with his sleeves rolled up for the returning Redcoats.
A plaque on the north side of the base reads “To commemorate the heroism of the patriots who defended their country when the British invaded this state April 25th 1777. General David Wooster, Colonel Abraham Gould and more than one hundred Continentals fell in the engagements commencing at Danbury and closing on Compo Hill”
Continuing south to Compo Beach, a pair of large cannons have been mounted on a granite base to commemorate the fighting on and near the beach as the British returned to their ships. The cannons, whose markings can’t be distinguished, were donated by the U.S. government. The monument, dedicated in 1901, was restored in 1999.
(On Friday, we’ll look at Danbury’s monument to the invasion and the nearby grave of Gen. David Wooster.)