Benedict Arnold


January 17, 2003, 01:51 PM
There was a movie recently on Benedict Arnold on A&E. It seemed to portray Arnold in his early years as a hero the the American army.

The movie goes on to show how he was shafted by Congress and why he betrayed America.

I was wondering what others who saw the movie thought about it?

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January 17, 2003, 02:00 PM
Didn't see it, but Arnold was a very heroic figure until he screwed the pooch.

Getting shafted pretty much goes with military service, and Arnold's betrayal simply proved that despite his previous gallantry, he was a person of low character.

4v50 Gary
January 17, 2003, 02:13 PM
Didn't see the movie, but I've read enough. Arnold had an ego. He was a hero and very much responsible for our victory at Saratoga. Had he died there, he would have gone down as one of the greats in the history of our revolution. However, his ego got to him and he felt himself slighted when he was assigned to command the forts that guarded the approach to Albany.

January 17, 2003, 04:09 PM
I saw it and thought it was pretty good. I think it placed too much of the blame on his wife. It portrayed her as an "Eve" type woman that convinces her "Adam" type husband to do something wrong. It boils down to the fact he was money hungry and a glory seeker and wasn't getting either by fighting on the side of the revolutionaries. He actually requested the command of Ft. Knox with the intention of handing it over to the English. He thought England was going to win the war, so he jumped ship thinking he might gain his fame with them.

Mike Irwin
January 17, 2003, 05:42 PM
Arnold's greatest failing was his vanity.

He was a very effective, and very heroic, field commander, but his personality made him pretty unpopular with his peers and superiors. He wanted into the top reaches of Colonial society, and the chair wasn't being pulled out at the head of the dinner table, so to speak.

Arnold didn't have high regard for Washington, and didn't try to hide it, which really killed him, too. Washington apparently didn't like him, either. That in and of itself was a pretty serious impediment to Arnold's advancement, as the Colonial military heirarchy was really a Cult of Washington.

Peggy Shippen's role may have been overblown in the movie (I missed it), but there's no doubt that she opened the social door for him to people who had Loyalist leanings who likely had a lot more to do with his "conversion" than she did.

Arnold's life after he fled to England wasn't all that great, either. He learned the hard way that if you sell out your side, the side you sell out to never will really trust you, either.

4v50 Gary
January 17, 2003, 07:04 PM
BTW answerguy (Mike), was Eggs Benedict named after him?

Jim V
January 17, 2003, 07:11 PM
Gary, only the ones done in a poor diner, 'cause the turn on ya.

Lone Star
January 18, 2003, 06:54 AM
I saw most of the A&E movie before I had to go somewhere. It paralled a book called, I think, "Dark Eagle", which I read a couple of years ago.

I'd say that Washington and Arnold got along pretty well, IF the movie was correct. I know that many despised Gen. Gates, so Arnold wasn't alone in that.

I've always admired Maj. John Andre, a gallant and sophisticated enemy. One of the worst parts about war is having to kill people like Andre.

The previous posts sum it up: Arnold felt that fame and fortune were due him, that he was a slick guy who'd get away with avenging himself on Congress and an upstart nation, and secure a place for himself in postwar Britain.

Lone Star

Mike Irwin
January 18, 2003, 12:17 PM
"Was eggs Benedict named for him..."

Probably not.

Eggs Benedict didn't enter the language until about 1900. As far as I'm concerned, it could have stayed out of the language. Take a greasy piece of meat, put it on a soggy piece of bread, top with a half raw egg, and cover with a slimy grease sauce.

Wow. That sounds REALLY appetizing.

4v50 Gary
January 18, 2003, 12:51 PM
"greasly", "slime" and "raw"...

Yeah, Eggs Benedict was named after him all right.

January 19, 2003, 12:37 AM
Actually, he liked him a great deal. The movie had him threatening to hang him when he heard about his treason. In reality, he bent his head and wept.
The movie would have been much better if a two parter, having the first part show WHY Arnold was really considered one of our greatest heros until the treason. This act STUNNED the nation-to be badly. I didn't think the TV flick brought this out enough.

Mike Irwin
January 19, 2003, 02:38 AM

Yeah, I think you're right.

I was Gates and Arnold who hated each other, and Gates did his best to keep Arnold away from field command.

January 19, 2003, 03:34 AM
Gates and Arnold who hated each other, and Gates did his best to keep Arnold away from field command.In military politics, that probably kept Arnold out, which led to his wrath, which led to his betrayal, which led to Gates being "proven" right, which buttressed the American adoption of CS (domestic fowl excrement) military politics we still have today.

Of course, Arnold should have saluted and said "Yes, sir!" when informed he wouldn't get the command he wanted, but his weak character sure set it up for the future so that any megalomaniacal twit of sufficient rank can torpedo somebody's career without accountability, and similarly cause talentless and clueless sycophants to be promoted to where they're truly dangerous.

January 19, 2003, 07:06 AM
One thing the movie brought out is that Arnold's treason resulted it the states coming closer together and increasing their will to fight and win. They all but say that Arnold's defection won the war for the US. Not sure how true that is but I guess it really helps if you have someone to focus your anger on.

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