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Saturday, June 3, 2023

Revolutionary War Patriot honored at Naperville Cemetery


Above / Members of the Sons of the American Revolution stand in front of the newly dedicated commemorative marker honoring Revolutionary War soldier John Dudley, who is buried in Naperville Cemetery. From left, Ray Beets, Kevin Alcott, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Dale Bottom (ret.), Tom Ashby, Michael Campagnolo, Rod Herbig, Ron Feldman, Michael Johnston and Franz Herder.

Revolutionary War veteran John Dudley was honored Sept. 19 with a commemorative marker in Naperville Cemetery by the Sons of the American Revolution – Fox Valley Chapter.

Dudley is one of only 15 Revolutionary War veterans identified in the Northern Illinois area, said Michael Johnston, former Fox Valley Chapter president and lead researcher on John Dudley. Johnston learned more about Dudley through numerous sources including Dudley’s Revolutionary War pension file and federal census records dating back to 1790.

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“It is a very rare occurrence to locate a new patriot,” Johnston said. “The most recent was Israel Warner in 2008 in Big Woods Cemetery.”

John Dudley was born Feb. 25, 1758, in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. During the Revolutionary War in 1776, he sailed across the Delaware River with General George Washington and assisted in the capture of 900 Hessian soldiers in the subsequent surprise attack at the Battle of Trenton on Dec. 26. On January 3, 1777, John Dudley saw action in the Battle of Princeton, at which hundreds of British soldiers were captured. In May, he returned to Fort Ticonderoga with the militia, and in September 1777 he fought at the Battle of Saratoga, where British General Burgoyne surrendered. Following this battle, the militia was discharged, and Dudley returned home to Newport, New Hampshire. Dudley passed away on January 2, 1846 at his son’s home in Lisle Township, DuPage County at the age of 87 years, 10 months and 7 days, and is buried in Naperville Cemetery.

“John Dudley and his fellow patriots worked together to establish a new country of opportunity and hope for future generations,” Mayor Steve Chirico said. “Our forefathers’ sacrifices should be honored and remembered for all time.”

“Each of us stands firmly on the horizons others have brought to light for us,” said Naper Settlement President and CEO Rena Tamayo-Calabrese. “I can comfortably say that without the sacrifices made by men like John Dudley, we would not be here today.”

Rod Herbig, vice president, Sons of the American Revolution-Fox Valley Chapter, said that the SAR is marking the graves of Revolutionary War veterans to protect the gravesites and to preserve them.

“We want to make people aware of the historic significance of these Revolutionary War patriots,” he said. “It’s also an opportunity for schools to teach their students about an important time in our history when we became an independent nation.”

Story and photo courtesy Donna DeFalco for Naper Settlement

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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.


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