The Day Benedict Arnold Was Court-Martialed


It happened this day in history – 1779. General Benedict Arnold faced a court-martial in Philadelphia on 13 counts of “misbehavior” involving schemes for war profiteering and expansion of his personal authority. He was cleared of most of the charges, but General George Washington issued a reprimand that angered Arnold, who had served the American Revolution well.

That anger and other perceived slights persuaded Arnold that he had never been properly rewarded or acknowledged for his military successes, which included service in the colonial assault on Quebec in 1775-76 and in the Saratoga campaign. Resentment over Washington’s rebuke – which spoke of “misbehaviors” that were “imprudent and improper” – would fuel Arnold’s traitorous plan to turn over to the British the fortifications at West Point, which he commanded beginning in August 1780. The plot was discovered, and Arnold defected to Great Britain, although his aide and fellow conspirator, British Major John Andre, was hanged in 1780 in New York.

Sin is always discovered, and it always comes with a price. Benedict Arnold was able to fun from America, but he could never outrun God.


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