Fox Valley Chapter Patriot Profile


Private John Dudley 1758 - 1846

This page contains information on John Dudley, one of the soldiers who fought in the American Revolution and who are buried in the counties served by the Fox Valley Chapter. This page contains his biography and photographs of his grave.

John Dudley crossed the Delaware with George Washington's army in the immortal Christmas attack, and he fought in the battles of Trenton, Princeton and Saratoga. He lived to be almost 88 years old and is buried in Naperville cemetery in Naperville, Illinois.


Biography of Patriot John Dudley


John Dudley was born February 25, 1758 in Seabrook, New London County, Connecticut. In 1776, at the age of 18, he was residing in the town of Newport, Cheshire County, New Hampshire.

In late September or early October of 1776, the Militia of the area was called up to be sent to Fort Ticonderoga, about the time of the defeat of Generals Waterbury and Arnold on Lake Champlain. John Dudley volunteered for the New Hampshire militia, which set out under Colonel Walker of Charlestown and Colonel Benjamin Bellows.

Upon arrival at Fort Ticonderoga he joined Colonel Reed’s Regiment, enlisting in a company commanded by Captain Robert Oliver Ashley under Colonel Reed’s command, in a group that was know as Year Men due to the one year term of their enlistment. John Dudley was stationed at Mount Independence, which the American troops named in honor of the Declaration of Independence, and was opposite Fort Ticonderoga on the Vermont shores of Lake Champlain. It was atop this rugged promontory that American troops built a fort complex to guard against a British attack from Canada. Soon, the Brigade was ordered to march to Albany which was accomplished by moving by water on Lake George. The Brigade was stationed a few days at Fort George, and then marched again to Saratoga, where they encamped a few days, and then proceeded to Albany.

At Albany, they boarded a vessel and sailed to Kingston. From here they marched to Newtown, Pennsylvania, arriving in early December to join the main forces of General George Washington’s army. From Newtown, Pennsylvania the forces proceeded to Trenton, New Jersey and Washington’s famous crossing of the Delaware. Here, for the first time, on December 26, 1776, John Dudley met the enemy British Forces. During this famous battle and subsequent American victory, John Dudley took part and assisted in capturing about 900 Hessian soldiers.

After the Battle of Trenton, the Year Men’s enlistment expired, and John Dudley was discharged. On the same day of his discharge he reenlisted in a company commanded by Captain Mann in a regiment under the command of Colonel Stark. It is possible his reenlistment was due to the impassioned pleas of Washington to his men, when he stated: My brave fellows, you have done all I asked you to do and more than could reasonably be expected. But your country is at stake, your wives, your houses, and all that you hold dear. You have worn yourselves out with fatigues and hardships, but we know not how to spare you. If you will consent to stay only one month longer, you will render that service to the cause of liberty and to your country which you probably never can do under any other circumstances. The present is emphatically the crisis which is to decide our destiny.

Shortly thereafter, the regiment marched to Princeton, New Jersey, where the regiment took part in that successful battle and captured hundreds of British soldiers. From Princeton, New Jersey, the army moved to Norristown, Pennsylvania where they took up winter quarters. About the 15th of February, 1777 John Dudley’s enlistment expired, he received a pass and returned home to New Hampshire, arriving on March 1, 1777.

In May of 1777 the area militia was again called upon to return to Fort Ticonderoga due to fears the British were expected to attack there. The militia was then under the command of Captain Samuel Hurd of Newport, New Hampshire in a regiment under the command of Colonel Bellows. Upon arrival at Ticonderoga John Dudley was again stationed at Mount Independence. After about a month and a half, when no British appeared, the brigade was dismissed, and John Dudley returned home to Newport.

In September of 1777 the militia was again ordered to arms, under the command of Lieutenant Jesse Wilcox, and the militia was immediately marched toward Saratoga in order to assist in opposing British General Burgoyne. They eventually met up with the troops under Colonel Bellows, and the combined force proceeded directly to Saratoga, arriving on the day Burgoyne retreated from Stillwater to Saratoga. John Dudley took part in the Battle of Saratoga, which forced the surrender of Burgoyne. After the battle of Saratoga, the militia was once again discharged, and John Dudley went home to Newport.

When the Indians and Tories burned Royalton on the White River in Vermont the militia was again called upon under the command of Colonel Samuel Hurd, and the expedition went out to find the parties responsible, but soon heard the enemy had retreated and the militia was about to be ordered home when the order was countermanded, and the militia was ordered to Newbury on the Connecticut River. They arrived after traveling non-stop, they found no signs of the enemy, and were again discharged after about two weeks of service.

After the war ended, John Dudley moved to Rutland County in Vermont, and sometime later he relocated to Ogden, Monroe County, New York.

It is known that John Dudley was married to Lydia S. Booth, but it is not known what year or location in which they were married. At this time, the only known and documented child of this marriage is John Dudley, Jr. who was born in Ogden, New York on May 7, 1795.

We do know that John Dudley, Jr. came west from Ogden, New York to Lisle Township, DuPage County, Illinois in the early 1830s, and that he was married to Mary Barrows, who was born in Vermont.

By the summer of 1840, John Dudley, Sr. had relocated from New York to DuPage County, Illinois and was living with his son John Jr. because he was “aged and unable to support himself.” As no grave has been located for John Sr.’s wife Lydia, it is assumed she passed away in New York, and John Sr. came west alone.

John Dudley passed away on January 2, 1846 at the age of 87 years, 10 months and 7 days, and is buried in section two, plot 506 of the Naperville Cemetery in Naperville, Illinois.

John Dudley’s Revolutionary War Pension File #S.32.225
Records of the Naperville Cemetery Naperville, Illinois
Pioneers of Naperville, Fort Payne Chapter DAR
A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services, Sixth Federal Census
Records of the First Congregational Church of Naperville, Illinois
History of DuPage County Illinois, Rufus Blanchard, 1882, O.L. Baskin & Co., Chicago, Illinois, Page 245
Sons of the American Revolution Revolutionary War Graves Register, record #38552
1790 Federal Census, New Hampshire, Cheshire County, Newport
1800 Federal Census, New Hampshire, Cheshire County
1810 Federal Census, Vermont, Rutland County, Orwell
1820 Federal Census, New York, Monroe County, Ogden
1840 Federal Census, Illinois, DuPage County, Lisle Township


Photos from Naperville Cemetery in Naperville

John Dudley passed away on January 2, 1846 at the age of 87 years, 10 months and 7 days, and is buried in section two, plot 506 of the Naperville Cemetery in Naperville, Illinois. His grave is toward the southern side of the cemetery mid way up the hill.
Click for MapQuest map to cemetery. Click on thumbnail and enlarged photo will autoclose in 15 seconds.

Naperville Cemetery The sign to the Naperville Cemetery is visible when driving on South Washington St. Dudley Family Plot The Dudley Family Plot is well positioned mid way up the hill.
Dudley Plot Looking Down Looking at the Dudley Family Plot down the hill to Washington St. Dudley Grave Revolutionary War Soldier John Dudley, Sr on the right with his son, John Jr., on the left.
Dudley Grave Text Close-up of the text for John Dudley, Sr on the family grave stone. DAR Marker Close-up of the custom DAR marker from the Fort Payne chapter.