What do we know about Benedict Arnold? He betrayed his country. He gave America up to the British. Is that the whole truth and nothing about the truth? Let’s see.
What do we know about Benedict Arnold? He fought in the American Revolution and traded sides to fight with the British. A few people know that he tried to give West Point to the British. But there is more to the story.
Arnold was one supported by George Washington. Many times throughout his career, he would find himself slighted with only Washington coming to bat for him. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.
Benedict Arnold was eager to fight for the new country. Instead, what he found was unfair treatment by many in the new military, including Ethan Allen. Several times Arnold was caught between two states/colonies’ troops who wanted the glory. His rank did not allow him to override the decisions, so he had to wait in limbo. Repeatedly, Arnold found himself the scapegoat for mistakes and pushed aside when victory was achieved. The few times success was attributed to him, a dark cloud quickly followed that was usually based on allegations from those determined to keep Arnold from rising up in rank.
As time went on, Arnold found himself being pushed aside as others below him were promoted higher than he despite Washington’s support of him. At one point, his commission was pulled. After being reinstated, he was court-martialed and found guilty of charges that Washington believed were foolish. Arnold was continually finding himself under a black cloud.
Continuing to get the short end of the stick, Arnold was prime pickings for the British. His resentment allowed the British to get a foothold into the American army. Arnold had given himself to the new country and its military. The only thing he got in return was ridicule and accusations despite the huge support he had received from George Washington. Sticking it to the ones who rejected him, he turned to the British.
The result? Aside from his name becoming synonymous with treason, he left his home and moved to Britain where he was taken care of but never trusted by the British. He was a traitor even to them.
Though still wrong, was Benedict Arnold a hundred percent in the wrong? Or did the American military play a part in creating the man who would commit treason?