Benedict Arnold

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My whole thoughts are now bent on making a safe retreat out of this country; however, I hope we shall not be obliged to leave it until we have had one bout more for the honour of America.

Benedict Arnold V (January 14 1741June 14 1801) originally fought for American independence from the British Empire as a general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War until he obtained command of the American fort at West Point, New York and, switching sides, plotted unsuccessfully to surrender it to the British.

Sourced[edit]

The commissioners this day leave us, as our good fortune has long since; but as Miss, like most other Misses, is fickle, and often changes, I still hope for her favors again; and that we shall have the pleasure of dying or living happy together.
Let me die in this old uniform in which I fought my battles. May God forgive me for ever having put on another.
  • Neglected by Congress below; pinched with every want here; distressed with the small-pox; want of Generals and discipline in our Army — which may rather be called a great rabble — our late unhappy retreat from Quebeck, and loss of the Cedars; our credit and reputation lost, and great part of the country; and a powerful foreign enemy advancing upon us; are so many difficulties we cannot surmount them. My whole thoughts are now bent on making a safe retreat out of this country; however, I hope we shall not be obliged to leave it until we have had one bout more for the honour of America. I think we can make a stand at Isle-aux-Noix, and keep the Lake this summer from an invasion that way. We have little to fear; but I am heartily chagrined to think we have ldst in one month all the immortal Montgomery was a whole campaign in gaining, together with our credit, and many men and an amazing sum of money. The commissioners this day leave us, as our good fortune has long since; but as Miss, like most other Misses, is fickle, and often changes, I still hope for her favors again; and that we shall have the pleasure of dying or living happy together.
    • Letter to General Horatio Gates (31 May 1776) published in The Life of Benedict Arnold : His Patriotism and His Treason (1880) by Isaac Newton Arnold, p. 96
  • We have but very indifferent men in general. Great part of those who ship for seamen know very little of the matter.
    • Letter to General Gates (7 September 1776), in Battle of Valcour on Lake Champlain, October 11th, 1776 by Peter Sailly Palmer(1876) p. 5
  • The drafts from the regiments at Ticonderoga are a miserable set; indeed the men on board the fleet, in general, are not equal to half their number of good men.
    • Letter to General Gates (21 September 1776), in Battle of Valcour on Lake Champlain, October 11th, 1776 by Peter Sailly Palmer(1876) p. 5
  • We have a wretched motley crew, in the fleet; the marines the refuse of every regiment, and the seamen, few of them, ever wet with salt water.
    • Letter to General Gates (21 September 1776), in Battle of Valcour on Lake Champlain, October 11th, 1776 by Peter Sailly Palmer(1876) p. 5
  • What do you think would be my fate if my misguided countrymen were to take me prisoner?
    • Reportedly asked to a captured captain from the Colonial Army, as quoted in The Picturesque Hudson (1915) by Clifton Johnson; the captain is said to have replied, "They would cut off the leg that was wounded at Saratoga and bury it with the honors of war, and the rest of you they would hang on a gibbet."
  • Let me die in this old uniform in which I fought my battles. May God forgive me for ever having put on another.
    • Unverifiable, but reportedly said by Arnold on his deathbed in 1801, requesting to wear the uniform of the Colonial Army from before his defection to the British, as quoted in The Picturesque Hudson (1915) by Clifton Johnson

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