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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion > American Revolution

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American Revolution 1763-1789 The birth of a new nation - to commence at the Proclaimation of 1763 to the end of the Articles of Confederation.

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  #1  
Old 03 Jul 07, 14:57
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The Benedict Arnold Thread

I have taken on the responsibility of reading and reviewing one of the books listed by Dr. Sinister in this thread, and have selected the book entitled Benedict Arnold's Navy.

To help keep me on track with reading and reviewing, I have decided to try to post one fact a day that I have learned about Benedict Arnold. My hope, in addition to helping me meet my deadline, is to share some stuff about Arnold's earlier escapades, before the "He was a general who turned traitor and sold West Point to the British" version of history that is taught in schools in this country.

Feel free to discuss or correct anything I have wrong (I'm not an expert)... :)

And so, today's fact:

In May of 1775, Benedict Arnold (then a Captain in a local company of the Connecticut militia) was promoted to Colonel and given charge of a regiment-sized unit (that he was to recruit himself) with the purpose of capturing Fort Ticonderoga from the British. This was the first offensive colonial action of the American Revolutionary War that was authorized by a (quasi-)legitimate colonial governing body, the Massachusetts Committee of Safety.
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  #2  
Old 03 Jul 07, 15:30
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That's a good start......
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  #3  
Old 03 Jul 07, 15:42
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recommend you use any of the following in researching prep of your review and facts list...some are better then others. I have used em in forumng elsewhere.

http://www.benedictarnold.org/

http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/fall97/arnold.html

http://www.americanrevwar.homestead....les/ARNOLD.HTM
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  #4  
Old 05 Jul 07, 00:06
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recommend you use any of the following in researching prep of your review and facts list...some are better then others. I have used em in forumng elsewhere.
Thanks for the links, I'll keep them on hand.

Today's fact:

In his pre-war career, Benedict Arnold frequently conducted commerce between New England, Canada, and the West Indies. Although his legitimate trade was usually horses (later causing opposing British troops to refer to him as a "horse trader" or "jockey" instead of a proper soldier), he was also a part-time smuggler and therefore well acquainted with the British import and excise taxes that were such a sore spot for the colonies.
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Old 05 Jul 07, 01:21
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This is interesting. I'm wondering if his past chicanery had an effect on his future decisions.
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Old 05 Jul 07, 01:25
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This is interesting. I'm wondering if his past chicanery had an effect on his future decisions.
Could be, but the general sense I get at this point (a few days into the book) is that it probably didn't. He seemed to be a solid, disciplined, no-nonsense kind of guy... which is what would make him a good soldier. I can see where he has something of an ego, which is what I suspect will eventually play more of a part in his treason.
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Old 10 Jul 07, 09:35
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Ok, took a couple days off from reading (anniversary over the weekend), but I haven't forgotten about this thread. I'm now about a hundred pages into the book, I'm discovering that Benedict Arnold isn't that involved in the story yet. Rather, the author is giving a more complete picture of the early war on the northern front. Interesting stuff, but not much noteworthy to add about Benedict so far. I am at the point in the narrative where he is leading the invasion of Canada via Maine... so I expect he will come back to the forefront in the narrative soon enough.

A quote from him, though, that I enjoyed. This was after he was relieved of his command of Fort Ticonderoga, after having led the joint assault (his men and Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys) that secured it from the British:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benedict Arnold
It appears to me very extraordinary that the Congress should first appoint an officer and afterwards, when he has executed his commission, to appoint a Committee to examine if he was fit for his post.
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Old 10 Jul 07, 17:56
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Ok, took a couple days off from reading (anniversary over the weekend), but I haven't forgotten about this thread. I'm now about a hundred pages into the book, I'm discovering that Benedict Arnold isn't that involved in the story yet. Rather, the author is giving a more complete picture of the early war on the northern front. Interesting stuff, but not much noteworthy to add about Benedict so far. I am at the point in the narrative where he is leading the invasion of Canada via Maine... so I expect he will come back to the forefront in the narrative soon enough.

A quote from him, though, that I enjoyed. This was after he was relieved of his command of Fort Ticonderoga, after having led the joint assault (his men and Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys) that secured it from the British:
So he's feeling slighted already. The seed is germinating.

Keep this thread going Mirrorshades, I am very interested in Arnold.

Nice links CV.
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Old 10 Jul 07, 22:39
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Keep this thread going Mirrorshades, I am very interested in Arnold.
Will do my best. So far it's a nice overview of the northern stuff, but not focusing entirely on Arnold. Stuff there that I didn't know, but not a whole lot of especially interesting stuff.

("Well, today I read about how he hired a shipbuilder and some carpenters from the local village to build some boats to transport his men upriver." -- Woo.)
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Old 11 Jul 07, 15:12
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Originally Posted by mirrorshades View Post
Will do my best. So far it's a nice overview of the northern stuff, but not focusing entirely on Arnold. Stuff there that I didn't know, but not a whole lot of especially interesting stuff.

("Well, today I read about how he hired a shipbuilder and some carpenters from the local village to build some boats to transport his men upriver." -- Woo.)
Well, sometimes history is boring. It'll pick up when you get to the battles. IIRC that was a nasty little fight on the lake.
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Old 17 Jul 07, 10:13
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Ok... the book is starting to pick up a little bit. :)

Arnold, having lead one of the detachments in a failed assault on the city of Quebec, was wounded in the leg and taken from the front lines to a hospital in the suburban area outside the city walls. He maintained command of his men from his hospital bed, despite the urging of the doctor and his staff that he retreat further away from the front. Arnold, however, "... ordered his pistols loaded [and] a sword on his bed, &c., adding that he was determined to kill as many as possible if they came into the room." (From the journal of Dr. Senter, the unit physician.)
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Old 17 Jul 07, 14:05
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Mirrorshades, my Arnold history is very rusty. Does this take place before Benedict's "hookup" with Loyalist lady from Philly? What's the time frame, 1776 or 1777? IIRC, the lake battle does take place in the fall but I cannot recall what year.
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Old 17 Jul 07, 14:18
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The failed attack on Quebec was at the end of December 1775. They had to do it then because a number of men had their enlistments expiring January 1.
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Old 30 Jul 07, 16:00
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By way of an update... I am now about 2/3 of the way through the book. British reinforcements have arrived to Canada (spring 1776 now), thereby effectively ending any effort at an American invasion.

And still... Benedict Arnold's role is on-again-off-again in the narrative, and there is nothing yet resembling a formal navy for the American forces.

Truly, the title Benedict Arnold's Navy seems so far to be a misnomer. :)
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Old 30 Jul 07, 16:09
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Oh, there won't be any 'formal' navy. You wait until you see how these ships are built. And what they were exactly. Let's just say that the designs and plans for most of them were never used again.
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