Benedict Arnold's Treason at West Point



Benedict Arnold was born in Norwich, Connecticut on January 14 1741. He was the second of six children though only him and his younger sister Hannah survived yellow fever and other plagues. Arnold attended a private school when he was 10 and his parents hoped he would eventually attend Yale University. Though, after two of his younger siblings succumbed to the plague, Arnold's father took up alcohol and eventually their fortune was depleted. Arnold's mother was able to secure an apprenticeship with her cousins at the nearby apothecary.
When Arnold was 14 he had heard the sound of a drummer and wanted to enlist in the militia against the French during the French and Indian War , but his mother refused to let him. When he turned sixteen he enlisted and began his infamous military career.
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Benedict Arnold


Military Career
When the American Revolutionary Warbroke out Arnold was a captain in the militia of Connecticut. After the Battle of Lexington and Concord, Arnold suggested to the Massachusetts committee of safety that the Continental Army march down to New York and seize Fort Ticonderoga which was poorly defended by the British.
In September 1775 Arnold marched to Quebec with 1,100 men under orders from General Washington to invade the city. On December 31, 1775 Arnold and his small army invaded the city and during the battle Arnold was shot in the leg and as a result it was shattered. Though he was unable to move Arnold kept the city under fire until April of 1776 when he was replaced by General David Wooster.
During the war Arnold had made a few friends but many more enemies within the army and Congress itself. Of those few friends he was closest to George Washington, Horatio Gates, and Philip Schuyler.
In December of 1776 Washington assigned Arnold to the defense of Rhode Island after the British had taken control of Newport. Since Arnold was in the area, he spent most of his time in New Haven visiting his family and socializing in Boston. During this time Arnold was, unknowingly, not given the promotion to major general by Congress. Once the news finally reached his ears, Arnold tried to resign, but Washington wouldn't accept his resignation.
While on the way to Philadelphia to discuss his future in the Continental Army, his troop encountered a small British force moving supplies to the British army. While trying to stop the supplies from reaching the British in the Battle of Rigefield he was again injured in the leg. After the battle had concluded Arnold yet again tried to resign but George Washington denied his resignation and sent him north to Fort Edward to help with the defense.
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Fort Ticonderoga
In Autumn of 1777 Arnold's friend Horatio Gates took his place as commander general of the army. Arnold was extremely upset and angry with his friend for taking the place that he himself should've recieved. During the first Battle of Saratoga Arnold had a great influence until Gates, after multiple loud and heated disagreements, removed him from command of his troop. While fighting the second battle, under the orders of his former friend Gates, Arnold was fighting the English when he was wounded for the third time in the left leg.



After the English General Burgoyne had surrendered the the colonists, Congress appointed him as captain again. Congress told Arnold that his seniority was restored because of his bravery during the Battle of Saratoga, but Arnold suspected it was because of his injury and not because they were apoligizing to him for not appointing him as commander general or fixing what they had done wrong.
Changing Sides

In 1778 Arnold began to become very upset and started to believe that the colonists were going to lose the war against Britain. In 1778 Arnold finally sent a letter to Sir Henry Clinton through Major Andre. The letters of secret communication were disguised as communications between merchants.
Arnold wanted to hurt the chances of the Americans winning as much as he possible could so he applied to be in command of West Point. West Point was a great asset to the Americans because of it's location and the military supplies which was stored there for the use of the colonists.
After Congress appointed the unknown traitor, Arnold immediately set off for West Point. After becoming accustomed Arnold began to weaken the defenses of the fort in order for the British to conquer it easier.
On August 3, 1778 a letter was sent to Arnold by Clinton with the final terms of the surrender of the fort. The terms were that Arnold receive £20,000 and the surrender of the fort would not be counted as a loss to Arnold. By August 30, the deal was closed and Andre was sent with a letter to delivery to Clinton to tell him the date of the siege. The ship that was supposed to bring Andre back to New York was destroyed because the letter was accidentally delivered to the head of the Connecticut militia. Since the ship was destroyed Andre had to travel overland and was captured along with Arnold before the siege could have been made.
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West Point

John AndreJohn Andre was born in London on May 2, 1750. He followed his dream and enlisted in the army after his father died in 1769. In 1774 he was assigned to defend St. John's fort in Canada. During the Siege of St. Johns Andre was captured and taken as a prisoner of war and sent to Lancaster Pennsylvania. During his stay, he was treated cruelly and thus his deep rooted hatred for the rebels began.
On May 10, 1778 Andre was given the offer of assisting in the siege of West Point after Benedict Arnold offered to surrender it for a price. Finally, after months of negotiations, the price agreed upon was 20,000 pounds.
After the plot of treachery was exposed Andre was sent to prison in Tappan, New York where he was executed on October 2, 1780.

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John Andre


Works Cited