Benedict Arnold was wounded in action twice, both times in the leg, while fighting with the rebels at Quebec and Saratoga. This monument honors his leg only, as he later switched sides and betrayed his country.
During his 1777 campaign, British General Burgoyne attempted to split New England away from the rest of the colonies. At Breyman Redoubt on the Saratoga battlefield, American forces, rallied by Benedict Arnold, broke through the British defenses, forcing a retreat of Burgoyne’s remaining troops. A few days later the King’s army was surrounded and forced to surrender.
Without the heroic actions of Benedict Arnold, the Americans would not have won the Battle of Saratoga. It was possibly during his long recuperation from the severe leg wound that he received there, he fell under the influence of his loyalist in-laws, and turned traitor. According to period letters and diaries, they worked on him incessantly, reminding him of the disrespect that General Gates had shown to him by relieving him of command just before the battle.
Some historians believe that had he not turned traitor, he would have gone down in history as one of America’s greatest patriots – almost at the lofty heights of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Now his name is much worse than Dr. Mudd’s.
This image was made in Saratoga County, New York (map).
Learn More: The American Revolution