Benedict Arnold - A FLAWED HERO

A FLAWED HERO (Illustration) American Revolution Biographies Famous People History Revolutionary Wars Social Studies American History

While he was a Major General for the Americans, Benedict Arnold was wounded during the 31 December 1775 attack on Quebec. This drawing of Arnold was created in 1780 and is online, courtesy Library of Congress. 


When Benedict Arnold was commandant of Philadelphia (living beyond his means with his beautiful second wife Peggy Shippen), he was court-martialed. The charge? Misusing government supplies.

Writing of the court martial to his friend, General George Washington, and complaining of “my suffering,” Benedict Arnold believed the charges were unfounded. Washington was especially chagrined. He called the charges against Arnold “peculiarly reprehensible.”

Convicted on two counts (personally using government wagons and giving preferential treatment to a ship he later invested in), Arnold’s character flaws began to surface.

Injured first in a failed assault against Quebec (in 1775) and again at the battle of Saratoga (in 1777), Benedict Arnold was intelligent, daring and courageous. But his other side - the side where pride ruled - began to take hold of his reasoning.

He complained to Washington:

Having...become a cripple in the service of my country, I little expected to meet [such] ungrateful returns.

By the spring of 1779 he was talking with the British. Perhaps they would treat him with more respect.
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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 01, 2003

Updated Last Revision: Apr 27, 2019

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