Biography of Benedicy Arnold
Famous American Biographies





BENEDICT ARNOLD, an American general and traitor of the Revolutionary war, is one of the noted characters in American history. He was born in Norwich, Connedicut, January 3, 1740. He ran away and enlisted in the army when young, but deserted in a short time. He then became a merchant at New Haven, Connecticut, but failed. In 1775 he was commissioned colonel in the Massachusetts militia, and in the autumn of that year was placed in command of one thousand men for the invasion of Canada. He marched his army through the forests of Maine and joined General Montgomery before Quebec. Their combined forces attacked that city on December 31, 1775, and Montgomery was killed, and Arnold, severely wounded, was compelled to retreat and endure a rigorous winter a few miles from the city, where they were at the mercy of the Canadian troops bad they cared to attack them. On his return he was raised to the rank of brigadiergeneral. He was given command of a small flotilla on Lake Champlain, with which he encountered an immense force, and though defeated, performed many deeds of valor. He resented the action of congress in promoting a number of his fellow officers and neglecting himself. In 1777 he was made major general, and under General Gates at Bemis Heights fought valiantly. For some reason General Gates found fault with his conduct and ordered him under arrest, and he was kept in his tent until the battle of Stillwater was waxing hot, when Arnold mounted his horse and rode to the front of his old troop, gave command to charge, and rode like a mad man into the thickest of the fight and was not overtaken by Gates' courier until he had routed the enemy and fell wounded. Upon his recovery be was made general, and was placed in command at Philadelphia. Here he married, and his acts of rapacity soon resulted in a courtmartial. He was sentenced to be reprimanded by the commander in chief, and though Washington performed this duty with utmost delicacy and consideration, it was never forgiven. Arnold obtained command at West Point, the most important post held by the Americans, in 1780, and immediately offered to surrender it to Sir Henry Clinton, British commander at New York. Major Andre was sent to arrange details with Arnold, but on his return trip to New York he was captured by Americans, the plot was detected, and Andre suffered the death penalty as a spy. Arnold escaped, and was paid about $40,000 by the British for his treason and was made brigadier-general. He afterward commanded an expedition that plundered a portion of Virginia, and another that burned New London, Connecticut, and captured Fort Trumbull, the commandant of which Arnold mur dered with the sword he had just surrendered. He passed the latter part of his life in England, universally despised, and died in London June 14, 1801.


FROM:
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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