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The Treason of Benedict Arnold
From the War Journal of Henry Dearborn
Benedict Arnold (pictured above), was born on January 14, 1741, in Norwich, Connecticut, and died on June 14, 1801, in London, England. He was actually a competent patriot officer who served the cause of the American Revolution until 1779.
In 1775 his troops successfully captured Fort Ticonderoga in New York, a British fort. Afterward, he was appointed by General Washington to command an expedition to capture Quebec. He marched with 700 men through the wilderness country of Maine which was looked upon as a remarkable feat of woodsmanship and endurance and attacked the well-fortified city. Colonel Montgomery was killed, and Arnold was severely wounded.
The movie, Hero Betrayed on Amazon.com depicted him rather romantically and as being unhappy that he was not promoted by George Washington as a deserving commander, and concerned about his worldly goods, joining forces with the British General, Major John Andrew.
Arnold turned traitor after 1779 and joined forces with Major John Andre, a British officer. When the plot was discovered, Arnold escaped into Canada, but Major Andre was hanged!
Major John Andre Hanged
Henry Dearborn kept a journal on the events which he witnessed or was part of during the Revolutionary War. For this reason, his comments are more truthful than histories written in later years.
The Yorktown Campaign. Dearborn's entries.
"September 25, 1781. Treason of the blackest day - is this day fortunately discovered? Major John Andre, Adjutant General of the British Army taken within our lines in disguise acting as a spy, upon which Major General Arnold immediately deserted from his Command of West Point on board a British sloop of war that lay in the River below King's Ferry, being convinced his hellish plot would soon be brought to light and his only safety was in flight. The plan was as follows: he had agreed to put the enemy in possession of the Important Post called West Point together with the stores and garrison this night, and a body of the enemy was embarked at New York for the purpose - and had not a superintending providence almost miraculously interposed in our behalf by Major Andrew into our possession after he thought himself quite secure, and out of reach, the enemy would undoubtedly soon been in possession of our most important Post, which would have been a capital loss to America; - as soon as this plan was discovered two brigades were detached and sent to West Point.
September 26th. One, Joshua Smith, was taken up on suspicion of being an accomplice of Arnolds.
September 29th. A Board of General Officers sits today for the trial of Smith.
October 1st. Major Andre was ordered to be hanged at 5 o'clock P.M. but the consequence of a Flag from the enemy, the execution was put off.
October 2nd at 12 o'clock this day Major Andre was executed. He discovered great firmness and candor on the occasion; he was one of the most promising young gentlemen in the British Army, had been an Aid-de-camp to General Clinton, and was lately appointed Adjutant General to the British Army in America."
Source: Revolutionary War Journals of Henry Dearborn 1775-1783 (1971).