6.) Benedict Arnold

  • 02/12/2020 12:00 AM
  • Source: AAN
  • by: AAN Staff
6.) Benedict Arnold
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

The tale of Benedict Arnold and his betrayal of American patriots during our war for independence is well known, but few realize the full extent of his treachery.

Major General Arnold joined the colonists at the beginning of their cause and disgusting himself in the conflict's first major battles. However, he had a nasty habit of claiming other commanders' success as his own. He complained to the Continental Congress about these alleged grievances, but they were rejected.

This coupled with the fact that he was taking massive amounts of money from the colonial government to fund a lavish lifestyle made him increasingly unpopular. General Washington sought to help Arnold redeem himself by giving him control of the garrison at West Point, New York. 

Little did Washington know that Arnold was already determined to betray our nascent republic, having learned that the British would give him $20,000 for the capture of the fort.

Unfortunately – for Arnold – his contact was captured by local militia and the plot was uncovered. Arnold fled, leaving his British contact to face the gallows by himself.

Arnold then joined the British Army as a Brigadier General and led British troops in a raid on Richmond, Virginia. Following that campaign, his troops burned New London, Connecticut to the ground while butchering American militiamen who were attempting to surrender.   

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