November 18, 2008

Who am I?

I was born in Norwich Connecticut on January 14, 1741. I served with a militia unit in the French and Indian War at the age of 16. I ran a successful trading company and owned several ships, trading with Canada and the West Indies. Upon the outbreak of hostilities with England in 1775 I formed a militia company and marched to war. I joined with Ethan Allen in the successful attack on Fort Ticonderoga. I led an unsuccessful attack on Quebec City. In the retreat I formed a flotilla on Lake Champlain and beat back the pursing British. I returned a hero, but found myself passed over for promotion. Congress and jealous brother officers engineered this snub.

I was finally promoted to Major General after defeating the British at Danbury. I lifted the siege at Fort Stanwix and defeated the British again at the Battle of Freeman's Farm. I saved the day at Saratoga, receiving crippling wounds. I was finally promoted with backdated seniority. It was too little, too late.

As Commander of Philadelphia, I was accused of using my position to gain wealth and was put on charges. My hot young wife helped convince me Congress and brother officers were out to destroy me. I contacted the British to see if they needed someone with my obvious superior skills. I devised a plan to give the valuable stronghold of West Point to the British. I was nearly caught and barely escaped to the British lines. My British contact, John Andre was found with my plans of the fort and was executed as a spy.

The British would not trust me, British society shunned my wife and I. After the war I tried to regain my trading company, but none of my business partners would trust me, not even those in Canada or the West Indies. I died in June of 1801, misunderstood and a victim of jealousies everywhere. My name has become synonymous with Traitor.

My name is Benedict Arnold.

Brought to you through the Wordsworth Dictionary of Military Biography 1997 paperback edition. Purchased at the bargain Price of $2.99 several years ago.

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