I don't kn ow if there is any truth to this at all....

What Is Lyme Disease? New Findings Deepen the Mystery

A new study that points to sexual transmission has added to the controversy.

Jarret Liotta

for National Geographic

Rampant disagreement over what constitutes Lyme disease—in particular, who may have contracted it and how, and how long it lasts—has spawned the larger question of how best to treat it. A new study pointing to the possibility of sexual transmission of the pathogen adds fuel to the fire.

Amid the uncertainty, a patient-led lobby (the counterculture, as someone has called it) that includes doctors as well as Lyme sufferers advocates a broader definition of the disease, both for treatment and insurance purposes.

But the medical establishment asserts that too liberal a definition—and what are seen as renegade practitioners—has led to irresponsible and potentially dangerous treatment of unrelated maladies misidentified as Lyme.

It's also unknown how many people have died because of Lyme. A 2011 study found that of the 114 deaths reported over a five-year period listing Lyme as a partial or direct cause, only one was consistent with clinical manifestations described by the International Classification of Diseases.

In December 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that Lyme carditis—a condition in which the Lyme bacterium infects the heart—caused three deaths over the past two years. Between 1985 and 2008, only four other fatal cases were confirmed.

While the course of the illness varies greatly from person to person, initial manifestations can include a unique skin lesion known as erythema chronicum migrans, headaches, musculoskeletal pain, coughing, sore throat, conjunctivitis, and minor neurological impairment.

If the diagnosis is confirmed early enough, Lyme is treated almost exclusively with short-term antibiotics, often penicillin, which are almost 100 percent effective. But if Lyme goes untreated, symptoms can progress. (Watch related video: "The Deer Tick")

In Lyme's second stage, typically between one and several months after the initial infection, neurological abnormalities can arise, such as meningitis, encephalitis, and cranial neuritis, which can manifest as facial palsy. Some patients develop cardiac problems.

In the third stage, which can take several months to years to show up, many patients develop chronic arthritis as well as an increase in neurological and cardiac symptoms, the severity of which can ebb and flow.

Voices in the counterculture argue that Lyme's symptoms are more intense and longer lasting than the medical establishment acknowledges. They say that symptoms of chronic Lyme disease are responsible for related deaths, including suicides from depression about the disease or from the trauma of persistent debilitating symptoms such as arthritis, heart problems, and cognitive impairment.

New Developments

And now, further complicating the picture, a study published this January contends that Lyme disease may be sexually transmitted. It shows that the Lyme pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), has been found in both male and female sexual secretions, raising the question of whether people are at risk through intimate contact.

Bb is one of only six known spirochete bacteria, named for their coiled spiral shape. (One of the six is the bacterium responsible for syphilis.)

A collection of Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, the bacterial agent of Lyme disease transmitted by ticks. 

Borrelia burgdorferi is the bacterial agent of Lyme disease.

The primary vector for Bb is the deer tick—Ixodes scapularis—although other kinds of ticks have been known to transmit it, and other insects, including some mosquitoes, carry the pathogen.

A study of Bb last year revealed that it's the first known organism that doesn't need iron to survive. This allows it to evade an iron-inhibiting hormone called hepcidin, produced by the liver, which can starve intrusive bacteria.

Instead, Bb thrives on manganese, which it uses to make essential enzymes for survival—something researchers who made the discovery last year believe could play a role in ultimately combating the pathogen.

Origins: Did Ötzi Have Lyme?

In 2012, a team of researchers claimed that the 5,300-year-old mummy known as Ötzi the Iceman, discovered along the Austria-Italy border in 1991, had contracted Lyme.

Some claim that the disease first appeared in Germany in the 1880s or France in the 1920s; others say it took root in the U.S. around the time of the Great Depression.

In the summer of 1975, 39 children living relatively close to one another in Lyme, Connecticut, were recognized as sharing common symptoms consistent with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Polly Murray, whose 11-year-old son, Todd, was one of those affected, alerted the state health department after the local orthopedic doctor was stumped. "He had a different answer for everybody," says Todd, who is now 49.

Ötzi the Iceman, a 5,300-year-old mummy, may have had Lyme disease.

As his mother began drawing attention to the strange epidemic, a doctor at Yale University named Allen Steere began sleuthing the problem.

In a 1977 paper in the medical journal Arthritis and Rheumatism, Steere identified a new disease transmitted by ticks. He called it Lyme arthritis, and soon after it became known as Lyme disease.

Lyme ticks are active year-round, other than during subfreezing weather, but spring is the most dangerous season. That's when the baby ticks, or nits—so tiny as to be almost invisible—are born.

One theory—compelling but controversial—about the sudden emergence of the disease in Connecticut blames the accidental release of infected ticks during experiments at Plum Island Animal Disease Center, on Long Island Sound about eight miles south of Lyme.

Originally operated by the U.S. Army, then by the Department of Agriculture, and now by the Department of Homeland Security, the facility's official mandate is defense research relating to agricultural bioterrorism.

A book by Michael Carroll called Lab 257 cites post-World War II experiments on Plum Island that involved using ticks as disease vectors for germ warfare.

Officials have denied the allegations, but Carroll and others—including former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura—allege the government has used the facility to develop various diseases intended for delivery as biological weapons.

When Is Lyme Lyme?

For his discovery of Lyme and subsequent work on the disease, Allen Steere started out as the counterculture's golden boy. But he came to believe that too many symptoms were being labeled chronic Lyme without proof. He says he's now a pariah to advocacy groups and Lyme sufferers, and he avoids involvement in the increasingly polarized controversy.

Gary Wormser, head of infectious diseases at New York Medical College in Valhalla, agrees that misdiagnosis of Lyme is rampant. "I don't think it's helping patients. I don't think it's helping science," he says.

Lyme, Wormser says, has become a catchall for a constellation of symptoms that elude diagnosis: "If I can't figure out what you have, it must be Lyme disease."

He puts some of the blame on medical science's failure to find answers to a range of symptoms that include headaches, joint and muscle aches, depression, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, and cognitive impairment. These ailments often seem to be subjective, with no physiological cause.

"For a lot of people who are not feeling well, those people are the most vulnerable to turning to the types of practitioners that don't follow mainstream practices," Wormser says.

"I'm not saying there aren't some [Lyme] patients that have been debilitated by some of these symptoms, but it seems to be a really small percentage—far less than you'd be led to believe."

Todd Murray, one of the original Lyme children, grew up to be an emergency department physician. He believes he still suffers from symptoms relating to the original infection.

"I have weird things I attribute to Lyme," he says, including a permanent heart condition diagnosed in 1989.

As a doctor, Murray recognizes the dilemma of anecdotal evidence. "I can see both sides, because physicians have to go on evidence-based medicine. So to try to use therapies which have not been shown to be beneficial in clinical studies doesn't make sense."

He cites, for instance, hormone replacement therapy for post-menopausal women, which was ultimately shown to increase coronary artery disease, stroke, and breast cancer. "A lot of things in medicine would seem to intuitively make sense. However, when they're studied, the outcomes may be found to be different than expected," Murray says.

Challenges of Treatment

Identification of Lyme usually begins with the telltale bull's-eye rash. But patients don't always present with the rash, or sometimes it has a different shape and appearance, which means the disease can progress before a course of antibiotics is prescribed.

In Lyme's later stages, antibiotics are still used, with dosages and duration increased. But there's disagreement as to whether antibiotics should ever be administered for longer than three months, even in extreme cases.

"The ideology of the counterculture," Steere says, "is to simply treat symptoms with antibiotic therapy, [and] the Infectious Diseases Society of America [IDSA] has said in essence that's not correct." The IDSA notes that "using antibiotics for a very long time [months or years] does not offer superior results and in fact can be dangerous, because it can cause potentially fatal complications."

Lyme disease is often accompanied by a bull's-eye rash.

Counterculture doctors treating patients whom they believe have chronic Lyme will recommend not only long-term antibiotic treatment but also various other therapies, such as holistic curatives, physical therapy, and counseling.

Because some people who have Lyme elude detection, "you have to ask the right questions when you make a diagnosis," Murray says. "I think there needs to be a standardized, reliable protocol for testing."

Culturing the Lyme spirochete, Bb, to determine the presence of Lyme would provide a definitive answer. But it's costly and time-consuming, and therefore rarely done.

Instead doctors usually check for the presence of Lyme antibodies through a blood test. According to the CDC's recommendations, if the test, known as an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), proves negative for the antibodies, no further test is recommended. If it comes up positive, a second test—an immunoblot test—is recommended to confirm Lyme.

Murray says ELISA and blots in tandem are currently the best method, along with more complicated cerebrospinal fluid tests in cases where symptoms are apparent but the first two tests are negative.

But with these methods, false negatives are still a significant possibility. It's also possible that Lyme cells can alter their outer surface protein and escape detection, and that different spirochetes can cause symptoms that look like Lyme but aren't. All this, Murray says, means research must be targeted toward finding better tests for the disease.

Follow the Leaders—Or Off With Your Head!

Daniel Cameron, president of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society, speaks for the counterculture. He believes that "thought leaders" in the medical community prevent acceptance of what he considers strong evidence that Lyme is both underreported and ineffectively treated. "Who wants to question Dr. Wormser?" he says.

"Even though the evidence is accumulating [that Lyme can be chronic], doctors have a tendency to have to wait for a thought leader to change their mind, otherwise they'll get criticized, or the medical board might drop the ax on you," he says. "Off with your head! So it becomes high risk to become a doctor who treats chronic Lyme. Most doctors don't want to have to."

Photo of a hiker on a trail in Wisconsin. 
Photograph by Jeffrey Phelps, Aurora Photos/Corbis

Ticks are easily picked up on hikes through wooded areas, like the trails seen here in Parfrey's Glen in Wisconsin.

Cameron says many state medical boards are pursuing lengthy "chart-by-chart" investigations of doctors using long-term antibiotic treatment for Lyme. These can continue for years prior to legal action by boards aimed at revoking a doctor's license.

But five states—California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island—have passed laws protecting physicians from reprisal or harassment when treating Lyme patients with long-term antibiotics.

While he's careful not to use the word "cure," Cameron says that with long-term treatment, patients who have had Lyme for years can go into remission and be symptom-free.

He's not particularly impressed with the CDC's latest announcement that the number of Lyme cases in the U.S. is likely ten times the 30,000 or so generally reported each year.

"In epidemiology, every time you have a surveillance system, you always at least have a tenfold underreporting. There have been studies that show it might be as much as 40 times that."

He also questions the fact that 95 percent of the reported cases come from just 13 states, mostly in the Northeast, along with Minnesota, Virginia, and Wisconsin. People in other states are less likely to report cases if the official view is that Lyme is rare and geographically restricted, according to Cameron. "That's a little bit of a reporting problem."

Could the CDC's admission of greater numbers be related to the preparation of a new Lyme vaccine?

"They had one vaccine," Cameron says—LYMErix, which was available for about five years until 2002. It was then shelved because of low sales and, some say, questionable effectiveness. (Ironically, Lyme vaccines are available for dogs but not humans.)

"The buzz on the street is that, of course, one of the reasons the CDC recognized more cases is that in order to get a vaccine through the pipeline, you have to have a problem," Cameron says.

Game Changer

Raphael Stricker, a San Francisco–based internist who co-led the sexual transmission study, says the possibility of Lyme spreading that way would "change the whole picture." It means that potentially ticks aren't the only culprits.

"What I think this is going to do is that it's going to move treatment to another level," he says.

Connecticut Witch Trials

 By E.Jones,
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – We usually think of Salem Massachusetts when we think of witch trials, but Connecticut has it’s very own witch trial history.
Cynthia Wolfe Boynton who wrote  “Connecticut Witch Trials: The First Panic in the New Word” joins Jim on set to talk about her book.
Written by award-winning journalist Cynthia Wolfe Boynton and published at the end of September by The History Press. It uses newspaper clippings, court records, letters and diary entries to tell the story of Connecticut’s witch hunt, which began almost 50 years before Salem’s more infamous one.
Connecticut’s witch hunt was the first and most ferocious in New England, yet few know it ever occurred. Why is this?
It’s likely because Connecticut’s took place in a relatively calm manner over an extended period of time — 1647 and 1697 — and following all the judicial procedures of the day, while Salem’s consisted of a wild, intense and hysterical seven months in 1692, where few judicial processes were followed. In Connecticut, witchcraft was a crime like robbery or murder. You committed it, you were arrested and tried. Today, the idea seems sensational, but it wasn’t in the 17th century. They believed the devil walked the earth and was as much a threat to the public that needed to be stopped as, say, a uncaught killer is today.
How many people were executed?
Eleven women and men were executed, beginning with Alse (Alice) Youngs of Windsor. Her hanging in Hartford on May 26, 1647 was the first witchcraft execution to occur in New England and the new world. Most were women, but there were also men and a handful of couples were accused, a few of them executed together.
Was writing this book easy? Was there a lot of information for you to go off of?
No. It wasn’t easy. There are no known diaries or first-person accounts from those who witnessed the trials. And the majority of court ledgers and other documents from the period no longer exist.
The few delicate, handwritten court papers and depositions that do remain are housed in archives at the Connecticut State Library, Connecticut Historical Society and at Brown University’s John Hay Library in very fragile condition — torn, yellowed and often incomplete. What’s there, however, does provide insightful details. There’s also been a few reference books about Connecticut’s witch trials that were written that were just invaluable to me. Connecticut State Historian Walter Woodward is probably the state’s upmost expert on the topic, so I attended several lectures he gave on the topic, and just worked really hard to dig and piece together whatever I could from the very scattered bits of information that exist.
Isn’t the classic children’s book The Witch of Blackbird Pond about Connecticut’s witch trials?
It is. It’s a book published in 1958 that was inspired by Wethersfield’s witchcraft history, and it’s widely popular, used in language arts curriculums in middle schools around the country. It’s a wonderful story, but factually it’s inaccurate. It’s fiction. But when I wrote my book, I tried to keep The Witch of Blackbird Pond in the back of my mind and remember that people love it, and it’s remained popular for so many years, because it’s so well written and presented as a wonderful story. I tried to write my book the same way–to present what happened during Connecticut’s witch trials as not just a conglomeration of names, dates and fact, but as a story that would draw people in and enjoy.
Were there any people from this time in Connecticut history who especially impressed and stuck with you?
John Winthrop Jr. He was one of Connecticut’s governors during this period and instrumental in saving the lives of several accused witches, as well as bringing Connecticut’s witch trials to an end. Winthrop wasn’t just a politician. He was a physician, an astronomer, and an alchemist. And he knew that not everything in life was as cut and dry as Puritans believed. Winthrop understood that not everything was unexplainable was caused by witchcraft or the devil, and he worked very hard to make Connecticut’s leaders at that time, and the people who lived in the Connecticut Colony, to see and understand that too.
The book was published last month, but you’re having a launch party this week?
Yes. The Barnes & Noble in Milford is hosting a launch this Tuesday, Oct 28, at 7 pm, which I’m very grateful and excited for.

Fifth Connecticut Regiment sets up history camp at Bradley-Hubbell Homestead

By Tony Spinelli

Alex DeAndrade, 16, of Ledyard stirs a pot of goulash over an open campfire at the 5th Connecticut Regiment, an American Revolution re-enactment group that encamped at the historic Bradley-Hubbell Homestead on a recent Saturday. Photo by Tony Spinelli
It was just a simple iron pot of goulash, with chunks of stew beef mixed with some minced onions and a soupy tomato base, 1776 style, but 16-year-old Alex DeAndrade of Ledyard stirred it up over an open campfire as if it were the leading entrée from a five-star restaurant.
“It’s delicious,” said Alex, who is one of the youngest members of the 5th Connecticut Regiment, an American Revolution re-enactment group that encamped at the historic Bradley-Hubbell Homestead Saturday for a fund-raiser.
The event, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., drew a couple of dozen visitors during the first hour, and members of the Easton Historical Society were hopeful a lot more would stop by to take in a little living history.
Mike Zap, 62, of Ridgefield drew lots of attention with his replica musket from the American Revolution. The long gun shook the air with a loud crack and emitted a burst of smoke and fire, but was not half as dangerous as the innocuous looking star-shaped bayonet attached to it, he explained.
It seems the Colonial muskets had little accuracy, as far as firearms go. “You were lucky to hit anything,” he said. “That’s why the soldiers stood in line and fired together. They hoped if they all aimed at the same time at least some of them would hit something.”
The real danger was when the fighting got close and the bayonets were used.
“They made a wound that could not be sutured by doctors of the time,” he said, to an astonished crowd of onlookers. “Even if you got bayoneted in the leg, you could bleed to death. Or you’d get an infection and die from that.”
Mr. Zap said the regiment is made up of men, women and children who enjoy teaching living history, by dressing the part and playing the role of the nation’s first army.
He played a guessing game.
“Most of what I have is period replica, but there is one thing about me today that isn’t. Can you guess what it is?” he asked some spectators.
It wasn’t his white shirt. It wasn’t the linen pants, or wool coat.
“It’s my beard,” he said, tackling his neck fur. “The Continental Army were not allowed to wear beards.”
That’s too bad, because they could have used them to help keep warm.
“There were 5,000 who died. Most died from hunger, or from exposure to the weather,” he said, reckoning up a vision of Valley Forge.
The regiment takes its name from a historic precedent. The second formation, 5th Regiment-Connecticut Line, was part of the long-term Continental Army, America’s first regular troops, and was formed in the spring of 1777 under Col. Philip Burr Bradley, according to the group’s literature.
The regiment saw its first action against the better-trained, better-equipped British at Ridgefield in April 1777.
The regiment was also unfortunate to suffer from a lack of food, clothing and clean sanitary conditions, and spent the winter of 1777-78 at Valley Forge. The regiment fought at famous battles, including Germantown, Pa., in 1777, and Yorktown, N.Y., in 1781. It dissolved after 1782.
Today’s 5th Connecticut Regiment was formed as a living history unit in late 1974, according to the literature. Once or twice a year, the regiment travels to major re-enactments from Quebec to Virginia.
Under a tent Saturday, brothers Sam Dennis, 13, of Trumbull and Kole Dennis, 10, got a look at some of the smaller weapons soldiers would use and were quite impressed.
“I like the grenade,” said Kole, hoisting a black iron ball stuffed with a fuse, about the size of a baseball. It packed a powerful gunpowder punch back in George Washington’s day.
“I like the tomahawk,” said Sam, who learned that tomahawks came in large and small sizes, one small enough for a boy to use because boys had to learn their role in the world of soldiering and homesteading.
The re-enactment, which also included a cannon drill and an attack from British marines, was sponsored by the Historical Society of Easton and Easton’s Parks and Recreation Department. Admission was $5.
There are more events planned. Richard Tomlinson will speak on “Witchcraft Prosecution: Chasing the Devil in Connecticut” on Sunday, Oct. 19, from 2 to 4 at the Easton Public Library Community Room, 691 Morehouse Road.
The author will highlight three major witchcraft trials in Connecticut history, the Hartford Witch Panic of 1662-63; the landmark prosecution of Katherine Harrison of Wethersfield; and the trial of Mercy Disbrow, the last woman convicted of witchcraft in Connecticut, a case that was contemporary with the Salem witch hunts.
Another event coming up is on Sunday, Nov. 2, at 2 p.m., also at the Easton Library Community Room. Carolyn Ivanoff will discuss “One Family’s Civil War.”

She will discuss the story of the French family during the Civil War, based on nearly 600 letters of Captain Wilson French, Company G, 17th Connecticut Volunteers, who was wounded and captured at the battle of Gettysburg.

Ghost stories: Connecticut is one of the most historic states in ...

Ghost stories: Connecticut is one of the most historic states in ...: Connecticut is one of the most historic states in the country.  Along with being one of the oldest areas of our nation, it’s also one of...

Ghost stories: Connecticut is one of the most historic states in ...

Ghost stories: Connecticut is one of the most historic states in ...: Connecticut is one of the most historic states in the country.  Along with being one of the oldest areas of our nation, it’s also one of...

Ghost stories: Connecticut is one of the most historic states in ...

Ghost stories: Connecticut is one of the most historic states in ...: Connecticut is one of the most historic states in the country.  Along with being one of the oldest areas of our nation, it’s also one of...

The Battle of Ridgefield

The Battle of Ridgefield Connecticut was fought in Ridgefield center on April 27, 1777 and more skirmishing occurred the next day between Ridgefield and the coastline down by Westport.
On April 25, 1777 a British force under the command of the Royal Governor of the Province of New York, Major General William Tryon (Above) landed in Westport, and marched north to Danbury where they destroyed Continental Army supplies after chasing off a small garrison of troops.
When word of the British troop movements spread, Connecticut militia leaders sprang into action.

 Generals David Wooster, (Above) Gold S. Silliman, and Benedict Arnold raised a combined force of roughly 700 Continentalsbut could not reach Danbury in time to prevent the destruction of the supplies. Instead, they set out to harass the British on their return to the coast.
On April 27, the company led by Wooster attacked Tryon's rear guard twice during their march south. In the second encounter, Wooster was mortally wounded and died a week later.

The main encounter then took place at Ridgefield, where several hundred militia under Arnold's command confronted the British and were driven away in a running battle down the town's main street, but not before inflicting casualties on the British. Additional militia forces arrived, and the next day they continued to harass the British as they returned to Compo Beach, where the fleet awaited them. Arnold regrouped the militia and some artillery to make a stand against the British near their landing site, but his position was flanked and his force scattered by artillery fire and a bayonet charge. The expedition was a tactical success for the British forces, but their actions in pursuing the raid galvanized Patriot support in Connecticut. While the British again made raids on Connecticut's coastal communities including a second raiding expedition by Tryon in 1779 and a 1781 raid led by Arnold after his defection to the British side, they made no more raids that penetrated far into the countryside.
In the first two years of the American Revolutionary War, the state of Connecticut had not been the scene of conflict, even though the war had begun in neighboring Massachusetts in April 1775, and New York City had been taken by the British in a campaign in the fall of 1776.
 Major General William Howe, commanding the British forces in New York, drafted a plan for 1777 in which the primary goal was the taking of the rebel capital, Philadelphia. Troops left to defend New York were to include a brigade of 3,000 provincial troops under the command of the former royal governor of New York, William Tryon, who was given a temporary promotion as "major general of the provincials" in spring 1777. Howe's plan included authorization for Tryon to "operate on Hudson's River, or ... enter Connecticut as circumstances may point out."
 Tryon was given one of the early operations of the season, a raid against a Continental Army depot at Danbury, Connecticut. Howe had learned of the depot's existence through the efforts of a spy working for British Indian agent Guy Johnson, and had also met with some success in an earlier raid against the Continental Army outpost at Peekskill, New York.
A fleet consisting of 12 transports, a hospital ship, and some small craft was assembled and placed under the command of Captain Henry Duncan. The landing force consisted of 1,500 regulars drawn from the 4th, 15th, 23rd, 27th, 44th and 64th regiments, 300 Loyalists from the Prince of Wales American Regiment led by Montfort Browne, and a small contingent of the 17th Light Dragoons, all led by Generals Sir William Erskine and James Agnew. Command of the entire operation was given to General Tryon, and the fleet sailed from New York on April 22, 1777.
The Danbury depot had been established by order of the Second Continental Congress in 1776, and primarily served forces located in the Hudson River valley. In April 1777 the army began mustering regiments for that year's campaigns.
When Tryon's expedition landed in Connecticut, there were about 50 Continental Army soldiers and 100 local militia at Danbury under the command of Joseph Platt Cooke (Below)(Below), a local resident and a colonel in the state militia. Commodore Duncan anchored his fleet on April 25 at the mouth of the Saugatuck River, and landed Tryon's troops on the eastern shore at a place called Compo Point in what is now Westport, but was then still part of Fairfield.

 They then moved inland about 8 miles and encamped in an area that is now part of Weston. The march continued the next day, and they reached Danbury early that afternoon. All along the march militia fired on them, attempting to slow their advance. They drove off Cooke's troops, who had been attempting to remove supplies, killing at least three and capturing at least two in skirmishes.

 Before their departure early the next morning, the British destroyed 4,000 to 5,000 barrels of pork, beef, and flour, 5,000 pairs of shoes, 2,000 bushels of grain, and 1,600 tents among other supplies; the troops were also reported to consume significant quantities of rum. The tory houses had marks on their chimneys so they avoided the torch.

The British fleet was first spotted when it passed Norwalk. When the troops landed, Patriot messengers were dispatched to warn Danbury and local militia leaders of the movements. Major General David Wooster and Brigadier General Benedict Arnold were in New Haven when messengers reached them on April 26. Wooster immediately sent the local militia to Fairfield. When he and Arnold reached Fairfield, they learned that General Silliman, the commander of the Fairfield County militia, had already departed for Redding, with orders that any militia raised should follow as rapidly as possible. Wooster and Arnold immediately moved in that direction.

 Including their troop of volunteers, Silliman assembled a force numbering about 500 militia members and 100 Continental Army regulars. Messages broadcasting the alarm went as far as Peekskill, where Alexander McDougall began mobilizing Continental Army troops garrisoned there to intercept Tryon in case he entered Westchester County. The force then moved out, heading toward Danbury in a pouring rain. By 11 pm they had only reached Bethel, about 2 miles short of Danbury. Since their wet gunpowder would make battle impossible, they chose to spend the night there rather than press on to Danbury.
Tryon was alerted to the presence of the Americans in Bethel around 1 am on April 27, cutting short thoughts of remaining for another day in Danbury. Rousing the troops, he ordered the houses of Patriots to be burned; in all, more than twenty structures were destroyed.

 The troops then left Danbury around dawn, and marched south toward the village of Ridgefield in an attempt to avoid General Wooster's force. Hoping to delay General Tryon until overwhelming reinforcements arrived, General Wooster split his force. The main body, about 400 men, went with Generals Arnold and Silliman across the countryside to Ridgefield, where they were met by another 100 militiamen, and erected crude barricades on the road through town. General Wooster personally chased after the British column with the remaining 200; his effort was assisted by local Patriots who created impediments before the British column, including the destruction of at least one bridge.

 Taking advantage of the element of surprise, Wooster engaged Tryon's rear guard as it paused for breakfast about 3 miles north of the town of Ridgefield. Killing at least two British soldiers, Wooster took about forty prisoners in this first engagement, and then retreated for cover in nearby woods. He struck again an hour later, but the British were more prepared for a second engagement, having positioned three artillery pieces with their rear guard, spraying the colonials with grape shot.

 Rallying his men, the 67-year old General Wooster was mortally wounded moments after yelling "Come on my boys! Never mind such random shots!" about 2 miles  from Ridgefield's town center; his inexperienced militia dissolved in confusion. Wooster died five days later in Danbury at the home of Nehemiah Dibble, whose house had also served as General Tryon's temporary quarters in Danbury. Wooster's last words were reported to be "I am dying, but with a strong hope and persuasion that my country will gain her independence."
 Wooster's harassment of the British column had provided enough time for Arnold and Silliman to prepare a crude defensive position at Ridgefield.

The British column arrived at the base of Arnold's barricade at the northern end of Ridgefield's town center sometime after noon. Following an hour-long artillery barrage of the barricade, Tryon dispatched flanking parties to test both sides of the American position. Having anticipated this move, General Silliman posted forces at both flanks that blunted initial thrusts.

 Outnumbering the Patriot forces by more than three to one, Tryon chose to advance on all three fronts including a 600-man column under covering artillery fire against the barricade itself under the leadership of General Erskine. Tryon directed General Agnew to send out flankers, whose enfilading fire helped breach the barricade.

 The British then pursued the Patriot forces in a running battle the length of Town Street, and gained control of the town. With 12 dead and 24 wounded, the Americans withdrew under General Arnold's orders.

 After the barricade was breached, Arnold was positioned between his men and an advancing enemy platoon when his horse was struck by nine musket shots. The horse went down, and Arnold was pinned and tangled in its trappings.

 A British soldier charged him shouting for Arnold to surrender. Arnold shouted "Not Yet" and shot and killed the solder. He then ran off with his troops with a slightly injured leg. This entire engagement took around fifteen minutes.

After encamping for the night just south of Ridgefield, the British forces departed the next morning, leaving six houses and the Episcopal Church a Patriot supply depot and field hospital in flames.

 During the night, the militia had regrouped under the command of Continental Army Colonel Jedediah Huntington, and were expanded to about 500 men by the arrival of more militia from Connecticut, as well as a militia force from neighboring Dutchess County, New York led by Colonel Henry Ludington. This force engaged in a swarming harassment of the British column as it moved south that resembled the British retreat from Concord at the start of the war. From behind convenient stone walls, trees, and buildings the militia constantly fired at the British column as it headed back toward Compo Beach.

In the meantime, General Arnold had gathered about 500 reinforcements further south, including a small company of Continental artillery led by Colonel John Lamb. Arnold adopted a strong position on Compo Hill that commanded the roads leading across the Saugatuck River toward the beach, and waited for the British to arrive.

 Tryon's force forded the Saugatuck River well above Arnold's position. This prompted Arnold and the chasing militia, now led by General Silliman, to attempt an entrapment of the British before they reached the beach. However, the British column, moving at full speed, was able to gain the high ground, and was joined by some fresh marines landed from the ships to provide cover for the embarkation.

 Arnold then prepared his force to attack the British, but a well-timed bayonet charge by Erskine's men broke the formation in spite of determined action by Lamb's artillery and Arnold's attempts to rally the troops. During the skirmish, Arnold had a second horse shot out under him, and Lamb was injured. The British successfully embarked and sailed for New York.

The official British report listed 26 killed, 117 wounded, and 29 missing. The Pennsylvania Journal reported on May 14, 1777 that the British casualties were 14 enlisted men killed, with 10 officers and 80 enlisted men wounded.

 The New York Gazette of May 19, 1777 published a Patriot account stating that 40 British prisoners were taken by the Americans. Douglas Southall Freeman, on the other hand, gave the British loss as 154 killed and wounded.

The Americans were reported to lose about 20 killed, with between 40 and 80 wounded, although the British claimed in their reports that more than 100 Americans were killed, and over 250 were wounded. They also incorrectly reported that Colonel Lamb was killed; his injuries were severe enough that he appeared to be dead on the field.

Although Tryon's raid on Danbury and actions in Ridgefield were tactical British successes, the resistance by American forces and a consequent rise in American military enrollments in the area deterred the British from ever again attempting a landing by ship to attack inland colonial strongholds during the war. The British also would never again conduct inland operations in Connecticut, despite western Connecticut's strategic importance in securing the Hudson River Valley.

The British destroyed at least 19 houses and 22 stores and barns, along with many military and medical supplies. The town estimated that the expedition caused more than $32,000 in damage, and submitted claims to Congress for recompense. Congress issued a payment of about $1000 to the town selectmen in response. Further applications were made to the state's General Assembly in 1787, which resulted in the awarding of land in the Ohio Country that now includes Sandusky, Ohio.

The raid increased support in the area for the Patriot cause, thus negating the short-term gains by Tryon against Patriots in territory that had previously been neutral. Soon after Tryon sailed away from Compo Beach, approximately 3,000 Connecticut citizens joined the Connecticut Army of Reserve.

In May, Lieutenant Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs led a reprisal raid from Connecticut against a British position in Sag Harbor, New York. Connecticut later sent a company of cavalry and two full regiments to assist Major General Horatio Gates in the defeat of Lieutenant General John Burgoyne at the pivotal Battles of Saratoga in September and October 1777, and sent militia companies to assist in the defense of the Hudson at Peekskill.

 Tryon again raided Connecticut in 1779, but the expedition was limited to raiding port towns. The last major raiding expedition the British conducted was ironically led by Benedict Arnold after he changed sides; his 1781 raid on New London included stiff resistance by the militia at Groton Heights.  (below)

Benedict Arnold (Below) was well rewarded for his role in the affair. He had planned, after visiting his family in New Haven, to travel to Philadelphia to protest to the Second Continental Congress the promotion of other, more junior officers, to major general ahead of him.

In recognition for his role at Ridgefield he received a promotion to major general, although his command seniority over those other officers was not restored. He was also awarded a horse "properly caparisoned as a token of ... approbation of his gallant conduct ... in the late enterprize to Danbury." Arnold's seniority was restored after his important contributions to the success at Saratoga.