In American history, there is a man who wanted to be famous, but he became famous for the wrong reasons. You have probably heard his name, even if you don’t know the details of his life. Benedict Arnold is a name that brings to mind betrayal and treason. He actually was a gifted man and a great soldier. All he ever wanted was to be accepted and respected, but in trying to achieve that, he actually ended up causing no one to trust him or accept him.
He was a general during the American Revolutionary War who fought under George Washington. Benedict Arnold was passed over for promotion, falsely accused by his rivals, deferred by those who could help including George Washington, and deprived of the recognition for his accomplishments. He wouldn’t admit that he had caused any of his problems. He always blamed someone else.
He finally decided to get revenge by switching sides to help the British. In fact, while he was the commander of West Point, he plotted to surrender it to the British. Before that happened, a British spy was captured carrying papers that exposed his plan. Benedict Arnold barely escaped. The British rewarded him, but never completely trusted him.
He was never given an important military command. Arnold has been called “the best general on either side of the conflict.” He earned a name for himself, but it is a reputation as a traitor.
Contributed by: Tommy Burrus