“Let Gates had enough and ordered the soldiers

“Let me die in this old uniform in which I have fought my battles.  May God forgive me for ever having put on another.”  These words were spoken by, none other than, the famous Benedict Arnold on his deathbed in 1801.  Benedict is trying to portray that his bold choice to switch over to the British was a terrible decision.  He pleads with God to forgive him for his betrayal and hopes that he can let him die as the early American Revolution hero, he once was. Throughout the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, Benedict Arnold was without a doubt, one of the most important soldiers in the Continental Army who betrayed his country simply for higher rank, money, and recognition. Benedict Arnold’s desire for power and recognition in the continental army after winning multiple wars lead him to betray the Americans and become known as the most infamous traitor in American history.Despite any previous information you have gathered about Benedict Arnold’s traitorously actions, Benedict played an extremely important role in the Battle of Saratoga and was key to the Continental army’s success.  During the Battle of Saratoga there were two important sub battles that took place.  These two battles were known as the Battle of Freeman’s Farm and the Battle of Bemis heights.  On September 19,1777 the Battle of Freeman’s farm had commenced.  Arnold convinced General Horatio Gates to push forward and attack the British despite that he wanted to hold back and maintain the ground they had.  Thus Benedict took Daniel Morgan’s riflemen along with Henry Dearborn’s infantry (together 12,000 men) into battle to block a British flanking column lead by John Burgoyne.  The Americans put forth an outstanding fight.  Arnold Wouldn’t let up, letting more and more troops into the fight until Horatio Gates had enough and ordered the soldiers to stop fighting.  This event weakened the British army  tremendously, 278 had died 331 were wounded, and 285 were captured which more or less about half the army that traveled with John Burgoyne. Weak or not John Burgoyne was determined to fight so, on October 7,1777, 19 days after the first battle had taken place, John attempted to fight again.  Benedict was eager to go back into battle but Horatio Gates had other plans and was convinced that staying in a defensive position would be the best.  However Arnold thought differently and thus ignored orders form Horatio Gates and went into battle.  During what is known as the Battle of Bemis heights, Benedict Arnold and his army were able to capture key strong points forcing the British to retreat back to Saratoga.  “Ignoring orders from the jealous Gates to remain in his quarters, Arnold joined the fighting and led an attack that captured key strong points, forcing the British to retreat to Saratoga” (History.com staff).  In the end, Benedict and his men defeated the big bad British sending them back to Saratoga where John Burgoyne surrendered 6222 men.  Winning the Battle of Saratoga was not all that happened.  Because the Americans won the Battle of Saratoga they proved to the French that they were worthy to fight with them and that they were a strong force.  The French became allies with the Americans for the rest of the war.  In the end Benedict Arnold’s tactical thinking and persistency was key to the Americans success.  Arnolds doing helped the Americans to gain possession of Saratoga and showed the French they were capable of fighting with them. (History.com staff and Battle of Saratoga) While yes, Benedict Arnold was extremely important to the win of the Battle of Saratoga and many other battles he was not pleased with the continental army and thus moved over to British forces.  One of the causes of Benedict Arnold’s act of treason was that he didn’t feel he was getting the recognition he deserved for what he had did in the army.  This is a fair and respectable reason as to why someone would become a traitor.  During war,  five men of lower ranks in the army were promoted over Benedict Arnold which was infuriating.  Benedict even went as far as calling out Colonel Varick and Major Franks (aid to Benedict in the war) in his letter that he had sent back to the Americans after he had turned over to the Britishes side.  In the ending message he wrote “Varick, Franks, and Smith “are totally ignorant of any transactions of mine that they had reason to believe were injurious to the public.”  In simpler words, Benedict explains that those three men were completely unaware of his actions in the war that they believed what he was doing was bad which was clearly triggering to Arnold considering he mentioned it in his last letter to the Americans.  Another reason why Benedict Arnold left the Americans was because he felt that rank as well as money were two things he was lacking to receive in the army.  Again we go back to the promotion of the men, Benedict was angry that he was at a low rank in the army and was being outranked by others.  However there was another problem, Arnold’s wife.  Benedicts wife lived an extremely expensive lifestyle that she simply couldn’t afford.  Benedict needed money and wanted it fast which he wasn’t getting from the Continental army.  Also, Benedict lived a rather expensive childhood himself.  He possibly could be missing the expensive life he once lived, and “needed” more and more money.


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