Friday, February 10, 2017

Revolutionary War Ancestors [direct & collateral] I: Hero & Traitor

OK, I'll get Cousin Benedict out of the way right off the bat.
Benedict Arnold [1741 CT - 1801 London, Eng.]
1775: Arrived at Boston and was sent to try to take the poorly defended Fort Ticonderoga [NY]. He had to join forces with Ethan Allen & his Green Mountain Boys, who were on the same mission. Allen received the lion's share of the credit for taking the fort.

1775: Arnold was wounded during the Siege of Quebec City.

1776: Arnold's make-shift navy near Valcour Island on Lake Champlain delayed the British and allowed the Continetal Army to prepare for the defense of New York.

1777: Commanded forces at the Battle of Ridgefield, CT.

1777: After heated arguments with Gen. Gates, Arnold was relieved of command and confined to quarters. Disobeying Gates, he rallied Continental forces and spearheaded the defeat of Burgoyne's Regulars and received a crippling leg wound that nearly cost his life. Gates took the credit for the victory. 

1778: While recovering from his leg wound, Arnold was appointed military commander of Philadelphia. His marriage to Peggy Shippen, daughter of a noted Tory and his financial dealings began his downfall. He would be reprimanded by his beloved commander, Gen. Washington.

1780: Arnold refused a field command and requested to be appointed commander at West Point. He struck a deal with the British through Maj. John Andre to turn over the strategic fort to the enemy. The plot was uncovered, Arnold escaped and Andre captured and hanged as a spy.

1781-83: Arnold joined the British Army and led raids in Virginia and Connecticut. After the war he went to England.

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