Researching the American Revolution

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Benedict Arnold

Memorial to Benedict Arnold on Saratoga Battlefield

Without the benefit of formal military training or significant militia experience, Benedict Arnold rose through the officer corps to be one of the most senior Major Generals in the Continental Army.  After switching sides, Arnold served as a Brigadier General in the British Army.  His legacy and contributions  are hotly debated among historians and the public.

Biographies

Brumwell, Stephen. Turncoat: Benedict Arnold and the Crisis of American Liberty. New Haven, CT: YUP New Haven and London, 2018.

Hill, George Canning. The Life of Benedict Arnold. New York: A. L. Burt Company, 18–.

James Thomas. The Traitor and the Spy. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1953.

Lefkowitz, Arthur S. Benedict Arnold’s Army: The 1775 American Invasion of Canada during the Revolutionary War. 1st ed. New York, NY ; El Dorado Hills, CA: Savas Beatie, 2008.

Malcolm, Joyce Lee. The Tragedy of Benedict Arnold: An American Life. New York and London: Pegasus, 2018.

Martin, James Kirby. Benedict Arnold, Revolutionary Hero: An American Warrior Reconsidered. New York: New York University Press, 1997.

Nelson, James L. Benedict Arnold’s Navy: The Ragtag Fleet That Lost the Battle of Lake Champlain but Won the American Revolution. Camden, Me.: International Marine/McGraw-Hill, 2006.

Philbrick, Nathaniel. Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution. New York, New York: Viking, 2016.

Randall, Willard Sterne. Benedict Arnold: Patriot and Traitor. 1st ed. New York: Morrow, 1990.

Young Adult book

Fritz, Jean. Traitor, the Case of Benedict Arnold: The Case of Benedict Arnold. New York: Putnam & Grosset Group, 1997

Memoirs and Papers

Benedict Arnold Papers, 1765-1886 (MS Am 1446).  Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Benedict Arnold Papers, relating to the Major John Andre’s apprehension, 1780.  Library of Congress.

Fictional Autobiography

Stimson, F.J. My Story:  Being the Memoirs of Benedict Arnold:  Late Major-General in the Continental Army and Brigadier-General in that of His Britannic Majesty. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1917.

Saratoga Battlefield Monument

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Reverse side of the Arnold Boot Memorial at Breymann Redoubt. There are multiple errors and embellishments in the inscription.

Errors and Embellishments

  • “the most brilliant soldier of the Continental Army” – Arnold never won a battle under his leadership.  At Saratoga he was closely supervised by General Gates
  • “desparately wounded” – wounded in the leg
  • “Great Western Redoubt” – actually Breymann Redoubt
  • “winning the decisive battle” – Yorktown has a stronger claim
  • “and for himselt the rank of Major General” – He was already a major general at the time of the Saratoga battle

Assault on the City of Quebec, December 31, 1775

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Leading his Rebel assault force out of an intense British ambush, Col. Benedict Arnold was wounded in a leg near the intersection of modern day Rue Saint-Thomas and Cote de la Canoterie in Old Town Quebec.

 

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