Traitor to the cause
A headstrong Boy
Benedict Arnold (Age 14): Come on boys let’s light the biggest bonfire this town has ever seen. Let’s get all the lumber and wood we can and put it on the highest hill. We’ll go down to the shipyards and steal huge barrels of tar. You’ll be able to see the bonfire for miles.
Young friend of Benedict: You’re one crazy guy Benedict but let’s do it!!
Town Constable: Hey you boys stop what you’re doing! You want to burn the whole town to the ground.
Young friend of Benedict: We’re out of here!
Benedict Arnold: How dare you interrupt our fun. I ought to punch you in the face.
Town Constable: Come on Benedict. I’m taking you to your mother to see what she can do with you.
Townsperson 1: That Benedict is one headstrong boy.
Townsperson 2: I heard he once climbed to the top of a burning building and walked like a man on a tightrope across the roof.
Townsperson 1: Yeah! And remember the time he rode the watermill because someone dared him too. It was a sight to see.
Townsperson 3: Too bad he had to drop out of school because his dad’s business lost all that money.
Townsperson 2: Now his dad is the town drunk. He’s had to bring his dad home from the local tavern so many times that the other kids make fun of him. That must be pretty embarrassing for Benedict.
Townsperson 1: OH! I feel sorry for the kid. He lost his two little sisters to yellow fever. His little bother died as a baby and all he has now is his sister Hannah. His family used to be wealthy and now they can’t even afford to send him to school.
Townsperson 3: I wander what stunt he might come up with next.
Benedicts Mother: Benedict, I don’t know what to do with you son. I think I’ll send you to your cousins so they can teach you how work in their business.
Benedict: I’ll make you proud mom and show everyone that the Arnold’s are successful.
In Search of Adventure:
Benedict (Age 29): Margret, my lovely wife, I miss you so when I’m out at sea. I do wish you would write me more often.
Margaret (Benedict’s wife): You have become a successful businessman Benedict and you’re in command of many ships that brings us trades from all over the West Indies and Canada.
Benedict: If it wasn’t for those stupid taxes the British put on our sugar, tea and other goods just to help the King of England we’d be better off.
Margaret: You need to control your temper. You’ve gained more enemies than friends during your time sailing port to port. Remember when they through you in jail for beating up that man who was going to tell on you for smuggling goods so you wouldn’t have to pay those taxes to British.
Benedict: Oh! The courts went easy on me and just gave me a small fine. One day someone has got to drive them British back to England. They don’t belong here.
Margaret: You are a very successful man who had made a name for himself. Your first business as a merchant failed and you spent 6 weeks in debtors’ prison but the shipping business now is going well and we have a big two-story house in town and you’ve got three wonderful boys now who will one day grow up to be just like you.
Benedict: Well one day these patriots will rise up to drive those British out of the colonies and I’ll be ready to join the fight.
A Fearless Leader:
Benedict Arnold: The British have weapons at Fort Ticonderoga, but only a few men guard them. We should Attack and take those cannons.
Massachusetts General: We’ll make you a colonel and put you in charge of the attack, Arnold.
Benedict Arnold: My men and I are prepared and we shall leave at once.
Militia informer: Ethan Allen is leading an attack on Fort Ticonderoga as well and his men are almost there already.
Ethan Allen: I have been sent by my commander in New York to attack Fort Ticonderoga.
Benedict: You need to step aside Mr. Allen. I have orders to lead the attack on Fort Ticonderoga.
Ethan Allen: My Green Mountain Boys won’t fight for anybody but me. And you can’t take that fort without them.
Benedict: Well, I guess I don’t have a choice. We’ll have to share command even though I don’t like it.
Ethan Allen: The heavy rains have postponed our night attack till morning. We shall make a surprise attack at daybreak.
Benedict: Not all of my men have gotten here yet but we’ll join the attack with you.
(The next morning)
Ethan Allen: I order you to hand over this fort instantly! Give me your sword!
British Captain William Delaplace: By what authority?
Ethan Allen: In the name of the great Jehovah and the Continental Congress.
British Captain William Delaplace: Well it looks like you’ve over taken us and not even one shot fired.
Benedict: Mr. Allen, your men are looting the fort and drinking up all the rum they can find.
Ethan Allen: Oh, they deserve to enjoy themselves.
Benedict: Well I’m in command of this fort now and your men need to leave. The rest of my men will be arriving soon and I’ll be supervising this fort.
Patriot Soldier: Mr. Arnold the British have a war ship on Lake Champlain and have the ability to come down and retake Fort Ticonderoga.
Benedict Arnold: Not while I am in command. We’ll stop them before the get here.
Patriot Soldier: The Liberty is ready to set sail to St. Johns Canada.
Benedict Arnold: Great! Let’s set sail for Canada and stop those British from coming down and taking back this Fort.
Benedict Arnold: Surrender your warship at once. Your ship is mine now, Captain.
Patriot Militia Leader: Welcome Back, Colonel. That was a daring raid. You could have been killed or captured. You’ve outwitted the British on their own turf and brought back their Warship with captured guns and supplies too. Now, the British have less ability to transport troops and supplies and you’re the first American to successfully invade a foreign country.
Benedict Arnold: I’ll risk anything to defeat the British!
(Four Weeks later)
Colonel Hinman: I am here with 1000 of my men to take over command of this fort and Mr. Arnold you will be second in command. You have been asked to account for your expenses that are many times over what you have been authorized to spend. You asked 16 pounds for that horse you ran to death and Congress won’t pay you more than 3 pounds and the list goes on.
Benedict: How dare you question my honesty! I resign and I’ll be leaving right away.
Patriot Soldier: Benedict, those Green Mountain Boys must have made false reports to the congress.
Benedict: Yeah! Now Ethan Allen will take all the credit for Fort Ticonderoga and St. Johns.
Patriot Soldier: The problem is that there is no central military authority among the colonies to give us unity. Each colony is responsible for organization of troops, funding, and military operations. Getting each colony to cooperate together is difficult. Since you’re from Massachusetts and there are fewer troops than Connecticut is why they’ve sent Colonel Hinman here to take command.
Benedict: It’s still wrong that I get demoted after everything I’ve accomplished and questioning my expenses.
(On Benedict’s way home he learns that his wife had died)
George Washington: Some of our political leaders don’t like you Mr. Arnold. They say you always do things your own way. But I think you’re an excellent commander.
Benedict Arnold: Thank you, sir.
George Washington: Now that I am commander in chief of the Continental army, I’m planning an attack on Canada and I want you Mr. Arnold to lead this wilderness campaign. You shall lead your men up through Maine to Montreal. General Montgomery will go up Lake Champlain with his men to Montreal and will meet your there to assist in the attack.
Captain Montgomery: Mr. Arnold, your men have suffered a great deal coming up through the wilderness of Maine.
Benedict Arnold: Yes, we had several hundred patriot Soldiers desert us on the trip up here. We came close to starving and freezing to death. We even had to eat our dogs to stay alive. But I’ve kept up their morale and they’re ready to fight.
Captain Montgomery: Let’s begin the attack!
Patriot Soldier: What happened, Colonel?
Benedict Arnold: I’ve been shot in the leg and Captain Montgomery is dead. You men keep fighting.
Patriot Soldier: Too many of our men have been captured sir. They’re sending in more British troops. There’s no way we can defeat them.
Benedict Arnold: We’ll have to retreat back to America. But first let me shoot my horse, I don’t want the British to be able to use it.
Battle for Lake Champlain
Benedict Arnold: We must not let the British come down from Canada into Lake Champlain and try to take back those forts.
Patriot soldier: They have built a monstrous ship named the Inflexible. It’s a huge warship that carries 20 cannons. Nothing we have can compete with that.
Benedict Arnold: The channel is too narrow they won’t be able to send but one ship through at a time and we’ll be able to fight them off.
Patriot Soldier: The British are having trouble getting the Inflexible in the channel because of the winds.
Benedict Arnold: Good! That will give us more time to fight the smaller ships.
Patriot Soldier: It’s night time now and heavy fog is setting in. What should we do? That big warship will be here soon and we’ll lose the battle for sure.
Benedict Arnold: Turn off all lights on the ships. We’ll sneak past them in the fog of the night. Keep just one light on the rear of our boat so the others can follow.
Patriot Soldier: They’re discovered our plan. What should we do?
Benedict Arnold: Let’s head for shore so they can’t sink us and we’ll be safe on the land. Then set fire to all the ships so they can’t take them from us.
Benedict Arnold: We were lucky to escape. We lost too many men and ships. The mission failed.
Patriot Captain: Not at all, Arnold. The British returned to Canada. If not for you, they would have taken Ticonderoga. We’ll keep control of the Hudson River – for now.
Benedict is still not happy
Patriot Soldier: Some of our leaders don’t like you – or trust your recklessness. Five men have been promoted to major general ahead of you.
Benedict Arnold: I can’t stand this treatment. I’ll resign when I can no longer serve my country with honor.
Patriot: What does General Washington say to the letter you wrote him?
Benedict Arnold: He will speak to Congress for me. He wants me to help.
Patriot: What will you do?
Benedict Arnold: For now, I’ll continue to serve my country but I had better get promoted soon.
Patriot: They’ve promoted you to Major general since the battle of Ridgefield. In that battle your horse was shot and fell on top on you but you still managed to shoot the other man before he killed you. But other major generals still outrank you, since they were promoted first.
Benedict Arnold: Others have accused me of stealing supplies, even though I’ve spent me own money on the troops. I can’t stand these insults.
Battle of Saratoga
General Gates: For weeks you’ve disagreed with my orders, Mr. Arnold.
Benedict Arnold: You must give me more men to fight!
General Gates: I will, but I don’t want you commanding them.
Patriot: General Gates, Benedict Arnold has left to the battle when you gave him orders to stay here.
General Gates: Go after him and tell him that he is through fighting.
Benedict Arnold: If you’d sent more men, we would’ve beaten them.
General Gates: I’m taking away your command and you will not be going into any battles.
(One month later, 2nd battle of Saratoga)
General Gates: The battle has started again and we must defeat them.
Patriot: Mr. Arnold, you can’t go to battle. It’s the general’s orders.
Benedict Arnold: Gates is a fool. Come on, boys. We’ll have them on the run before nightfall.
Patriot: Arnold, you’ve been shot in the leg but we’ve won the battle and 600 British soldiers surrendered.
Benedict Arnold: Yeah! But Gates will get the victory for this battle.
Arnold’s Court Martial:
Benedict Arnold: I am heartily tired with my journey, and almost so with human nature. I daily discover so much meanness and ingratitude among mankind that I almost blush at being of the same species. (Letter he actually wrote to his wife)
Peggy (Benedict’s second wife): Congress had brought eight charges against you but they dropped four of them. You ended up only be charged with one crime and that was granting an illegal pass to that business partner you had in the shipping business.
Benedict Arnold: My sentence was light. All I got was a reprimand from George Washington.
Peggy: What are you going to do now?
Benedict Arnold: I want to get revenge on the whole continental Army and that George Washington. Our leaders don’t care about me. They’ve always denied me the honor I deserve. I bet if I offer my services to the British Army I could help end this battle and give the British the victory they want.
Peggy: I know a man who can help. He’s a British officer named John Andre. He could help you get your message to the General Clinton the commander of the British Army.
Benedict’s secret meetings
John Andre: The British need control of the fort called West Point. It controls the Hudson River which is an important American supply route. We need to take control of it so we can defeat the Americans and put a stop to this battle.
Benedict: I’ll convince Congress that I am the man to command that fort and I’ll get you the important information of how to attack and take over West Point. Did you find out how much the British is willing to pay me for my services?
John Andre: They want proof first that you can deliver what you promise.
Benedict: I’ll be sending you secret messages on how to plan your attack on West Point. I’ll give you maps and details about the fort that could help you.
John Andre: Thanks, I’ll give your messages to General Clinton.
Patriot General: Mr. Arnold, we’re glad you’re here. The fort needs repairs. We couldn’t defend ourselves if the British attacked.
Benedict Arnold: I’ll do my best, General.
John Andre: Your plans sound excellent, Mr. Arnold. But it is too late for me to row back to my ship. I could be seen by your men.
Benedict Arnold: You’ll have to travel by land. Show this pass, and any patrols will let you by.
American Patrol: Stop young man! Let me see your pass. We still need to search you because there are lots of spies around here.
John Andre: I have a pass, please just let me go.
American Patrol: What is this letter stuck in your boot? I shall give it to the commander-in-chief, George Washington. You know we hang spies here in the colonies.
Peggy: A letter came and said they have captured John Andre and sent the letter he had on him to George Washington. You could be killed for such treason. You must flee!
Benedict Arnold: I will leave at once.
Patriot Soldier: Where are you going Mr. Arnold?
Benedict Arnold: Be quiet and keep rowing! Head this boat south, soldier. I have something important to do.
Patriot Soldier: You’re heading toward a British warship. I don’t understand sir.
Benedict Arnold: You men can join me if you want. This war has been a mistake. We’re better off with the British ruling us than the fools running Congress.
Patriot Soldier: We won’t join a traitor.
(Arnold sailed away on the Vulture and prepared to fight for the British against the Americans.)