Andre was an Adjunct General to the British army. It was his job to help the Crown win the war. But Benedict Arnold’s actions are hard to understand. Not only did he leak intelligence to the other side, by 1780 he lobbied hard for the command of West Point. His purpose? To be in a position to give up the fort, and its 3,000 men, to the enemy.
When General Washington gave Arnold what he asked for, the Commander-in-Chief had no idea what his friend was plotting. A strategically significant American stronghold on the Hudson River, West Point in British hands would have split the colonies in two.
By September 19, 1780 all that remained were final negotiations between Andre and Arnold.