Sunday, October 18, 2015

Quirky, Revolutionary War style

Three of my collateral Revolutionary War ancestors  fit into the "Quirky" category when lumped together. I have three prominent RevWar collateral ancestors who were not related by blood, but had some interaction.

(1) Benedict Arnold - 4th cousin 6x removed.
(2) Nathanael Greene - 3rd cousin 7x removed
(3) Thomas Sumter - 5th great-granduncle

Arnold and Greene were both favorites of George Washington and were numbered among his most trusted generals. Both were frequently overlooked or underestimated by Congress.

Arnold was an aggressive and talented commander, as was demonstrated at Forts Ticonderoga and Stanwix, Quebec, Valcour Island and Saratoga. Arnold should have received the majority of the credit that went to Gates at Saratoga. Vanity got the better of him. While serving as military governor of Philadelphia, Arnold's business dealing drew the ire of influential Pennsylvanians, as did his marriage to Peggy Shippen, daughter of a loyalist. Arnold received a formal reprimand from Washington in lieu of a courts martial to pacify Arnold's opposition. Rather than accept the field command that he long desired, Arnold requested command of West Point. He then went about planning to turn it over to the British. The plot was foiled and Arnold turned coat to become a British officer. He was active during the Southern campaign.

Greene became the Quartermaster General under Washington, although he longed for a field command. When the war shifted to the South, Congress put Gates in command against Washington's wish for Greene to be in charge. Gates defeat an Camden opened the door for Greene's appointment to Commander of the Southern Army. His strategy in the South kept the army in the field and eventually led to Cornwallis' move to Yorktown.

One of the partisan leaders that Greene relied on was Gen. Thomas Sumter of South Carolina. Greene had to handle Sumter with kid gloves to maintain the "Gamecock's" cooperation. Greene was frequently frustrated with Sumter.

Then there was a British officer that both Greene and Sumter would have loved to have captured - Benedict Arnold.

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