What About Benedict Arnold?

Benedict Arnold is widely held in disdain by most Americans for becoming the most famous traitor in our history. What most Americans don’t realize is that Arnold was a hero before he became a turncoat. His heroism is recognized by a monument in Saratoga National Historic Park in New York.

At that park a boot, yes a boot, monument is erected in honor of Benedict Arnold’s heroic acts in the Battles of Saratoga. The monument is in the form of a boot because of the injury Arnold sustained to his leg in that battle. The dedication of the monument reads: To the “most brilliant soldier of the Continental Army . . .winning for his countrymen the decisive battle of the American Revolution and for himself the rank of Major General.”

The problem was that Arnold thought he should have been elevated to the rank of an outright general. He therefore became disillusioned with Congress and entered into an agreement with the British to send them information that would allow them to take West Point. His plan was uncovered, and he escaped to Britain. He earned the title of hero, but thereafter the more significant title of traitor.

The boot monument is the only monument that does not mention a name, because he became a traitor. So this war memorial does not say for which person is has been erected!


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