Benedict Arnold: The Traitor That Saved The Colonies

There are many events in history that capture the imagination. There are many historical figures that are bigger then life. In terms of property management Providence Rhode Island has a couple historical characters that almost changed Providence property management. Benedict Arnold is one such figure. His treason almost turned the fight for independence into a victory for the British. His name is synonymous with being a traitor, but the truth is not so black and white. He was a hero before he became a traitor and it can be argued that it is because of Arnold that the Colonies defeated England.

Arnold was involved in the first successful campaign of the colonial war. Fort Ticonderoga in up state New York was held by the British. Benedict Arnold asked for and received orders for his militia to capture the fort. They encountered Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys with plans for the same thing. Arnold felt he should lead both companies in battle and felt Allan should follow his plans and command. The Green Mountain Boys had other ideas. They worked out a plan that allowed for the two commanders to lead an assault on the fort. The campaign for Fort Ticonderoga was about as dramatic as melting ice. Trying to transport the troops across the river in the earlier hours, Arnold and Allen became aware of the approaching dawn. They decided to make their assault with only 83 men. They marched right up to the Fort, suggested the British should surrender and the battle was over without a shot.

It was at the battle of Saratoga that Arnold paved the way for victory of the Colonies. Arnold was a smart and assertive leader. He was willing to take risks and reaching for an advantage. At Saratoga, Arnold wanted an aggressive approach, but was thwarted by the more conservative General Gates. Later Arnold found out that Gates didn’t tell anyone about his part in the first battle of Saratoga. Arnold commanded the left flank where great casualties were inflicted on the British. Benedict Arnold was not a man willing to go unrewarded or uncompensated. During the confronation between Gates and Arnold, command. The second battle of Saratoga was well underway when Arnold mounted a horse and charged into battle, in open defiance of General Gates. Gates sent officers after Arnold with the instruction to remove him from the battle field. Before that could happen, Arnold was breaking the British line and capturing a part of their defenses. He was injured as the battle came to a close. After about ten days the British surrendered their position. It was this colonial victory that convinced the French to enter the fray and turn the tide of war in favor of the colonialists.

After five months of convalescence, Arnold was appointed the Military Governorship of Philadelphia. Arnold had his seniority restored and, though he had been passed over several times, was finally promoted. The congress began to suspect that Arnold was taking advantage of his position and they had investigated him several times already. While he was in Philadelphia Arnold began his secret correspondence with the British. For a large amount of sterling, 100,000 pounds, and a position as Brigadier General, Arnold was willing to surrender West Point, a pivotal fort on the Hudson River.

Arnold’s plan was thwarted when his messenger was captured with detailed correspondence in his boots. Arnold ran to the British and tried to explain his behavior in an open letter. After many years, despised in the new nation, un-trusted in Britain, Benedict Arnold perished alone and poor. He was both the champion that saved the colonies and the villain that almost brought them down.

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