Arnold Was a Fervent Patriot for Eight Years

In 1770, when news of the Boston Massacre reached Arnold in the West Indies, he was apalled at the tepid response of his fellow colonists. He wrote: “Good God, are the Americans all asleep and tamely giving up their liberties…?” By May, 1775, he had become as passionate in the name of liberty as anyone. He was, in fact, a member of the famous Sons of Liberty.

He Was America's Best Battlefield General

George Washington certainly knew this, and Arnold was one of his favorites. One can argue that the pugnacious and indefatigable Arnold contributed more to the success of the revolution than any other man save the future President himself.

His Actions at Valcour Island Likely Saved the Revolution

Arnold's ragtag naval fleet, hopelessly outclassed by the enemy naval forces on Lake Champlain, nevertheless delayed the British long enough to force them to suspend their plans to attack critical Fort Ticonderoga, gaining at least six crucial months for the rebellion to regroup.

Arnold Was the Real Hero at Saratoga

His aggressive actions during the two battles of Saratoga were the key elements in what would prove to be the turning point of the war, as the rousing rebel victory induced France to formally ally with the Americans, ensuring their success.

He Was Lauded as "America's Hannibal"

Arnold proposed and led an expedition to attack the British in Quebec via an audacious 200-mile trek through Maine wilderness. Unfortunately, due to desertions, terrible weather and unforeseen hardships along the way, the expedition failed by a whisker. Still, Arnold's feat was favorably compared with Hannibal's crossing of the Alps in 218 B.C.

Arnold Arguably Built the USA's First Navy

While the British plotted to control the Lake Champlain/Lake George/Hudson River waterway complex and split the colonies in two, Arnold supervised construction of American ships at Skenesboro, New York. Then, as an unofficial admiral, he launched the fleet of small boats and ships onto Lake Champlain, causing the British to delay their plans for four weeks.