When Arnold was at war he was a militia captain. Following the fighting at Lexington and Concord shortly thereafter, his company marched northeast toward Boston. Arnold proposed and participated in a maneuver to seize New York’s Fort Ticonderoga. Returning home after the battle, he learned that his wife had died earlier in the month.
Arnold also proposed an invasion of Quebec. When the Continental Congress excluded him from the primary missions, Arnold convinced George Washington to lead a second expedition to attack via a wilderness route. Arnold proved to be a divisive figure. He fought heroically in conflicts, including the Battle of Saratoga, but made many enemies. He was frequently accused of corruption, at one point facing a court martial for misappropriation of funds.
The treason of Benedict Arnold had been long premeditated. Passionate, discontented, constantly persuaded that he was neglected and ill treated by Congress, demanding from that body more than it could or would grant, his disaffection grew extreme. While in command in Philadelphia in 1778, his "illegal and oppressive acts" drew on him the censure of the Council of Pennsylvania, and finally subjected him to a trial by court-martial, which sentenced him to a reprimand from the commander-in-chief. By this time his treasonable sentiments were fully grown, and he began a secret correspondence with Sir Henry Clinton, through the medium of Major Andre. Arnold assumed the name of Gustavus, and Andre of John Anderson. These letters were disguised under the form of mercantile communications.
Arnold, who wished to injure the American cause and enhance the value of his services to the British as much as possible, now applied for the command of West Point, a post of the utmost value both from its location and from the extensive supply of military stores which it held and covered. Having no means of getting to the vessel, Andre was compelled to seek his way back by land. All his entreaties being without avail, and having no other resort, Andre submitted to the necessity of his situation, and resolved to pursue the route by land. A little before sunset he and Smith set off, accompanied by a negro servant belonging to the latter. At a late hour in the evening they were stopped by a patrolling party, led by Captain Boyd, who proved so inquisitive as to give them much annoyance. They met with a welcome reception, but, coming at a late hour to a humble dwelling, their accommodations were narrow, and the two travelers were obliged to sleep in the same bed.
Having solicited their host in vain to receive a…