Listen: General Henry Clinton Arnold, Arnold, Benedict Arnold discussed on Espionage
"Against the Court Martial proceedings after Paul. If he were to remain valuable spy he would have to retain the trust of his fellow continental soldiers more than that he would have to to regain a responsible position in the army. Although Benedict Arnold was still unable to walk he was forced to travel to Middlebrook Brooke New Jersey for his trial there he discovered a moment of irony Henry Clinton John Andrei Superior Officer and the very man Arnold was secretly trying to help head launched an offensive that call George Washington away from his duties in the military justice system. The Court Martial was postponed indefinitely Clinton had inadvertently prevented Arnold from being able to spy for Clinton Arnold returned home in June of seventeen seventy nine with nothing to show for his trip upon opening joining his mail. He discovered a coded letter that did little to improve his mood. John Andre had suddenly refused to make any strong wrong promises regarding payment not only that his letter tactfully made reference to Benedict Arnold diminished level of value to the British war effort due to his poor reputation. It's unclear if the British had vetted arnold before agreeing to work with him an only just now discovered arnold woes regardless while the British were still willing to make use of Arnold. They certainly weren't going to to pay in advance. Andrei wrote than Arnold would need to secure a conspicuous command and orchestrate the surrender of of several thousand soldiers at that point he would receive two guineas for each man who surrendered or about three hundred and thirty six dollars in today's currency of course Andrei must have been well aware that this was an impossible task for the badly injured arnold he he wasn't fit to serve much less to command a force of thousands Arnold took the letter exactly as it was intended as a stinging rebuke. Luke meant to make him feel old useless and unwanted Andrea must have been deeply offended by Arnold's arrogant reply demanding manning more firm assurances of financial compensation although John Andrei had a great deal of respect for Peggy. He wasn't taking very well tour blustering husband. Perhaps it bothered him. That Arnold was so clearly a greedy mercenary rather than a heartfelt defender vendor of the monarchy like himself arnold in the heat of anger scribbled out another letter to John. Andrei using Joseph Stands Berry again is a currier Arnold response was delivered to the head of British intelligence immediately but but when John Andrei decoded the letter he found that it was merely a shopping list for various types of cloth and ribbon piggy shopping list presumably presumably the message was clear. I may have things to say but I have nothing to tell you even though he was still massively in debt thanks to the loan he had taken out to win. Over Peggy's father Arnold refused to take Andre slight lying coming down had he been younger and more able bodied man he might have challenged the British spy to dual instead. He traded an insult assault for an insult predictably. This message caused a breakdown in communication between Andre Arnold which which in turn caused considerable worry for Peggy. She badly wanted her husband to follow through on his promise to spy for the British. Her anxiety only became worse when midway through the year. Hegi learned that she was pregnant. It didn't exactly come comes a shock. A couple had a very active sex life which arnold used to brag about in letters to his male friends but the timing was is less than ideal with Arnold still facing a court martial and potentially jeopardizing his status as a new spy by insulting John Day. Hey the expanding family was in danger of total insolvency hagey again. N. begged her husband to give Andrey some information that would help general Clinton but as seventeen seventy nine dragged on the prideful Arnold refused to reopen the lines of communication in December of seventeen seventy nine benedict Arnold's Donald Court Martial finally began this preceding was all about his attempts to profit from his position as commander of Philadelphia though Oh he was guilty of several of the charges. None of them were terribly serious. He was in no danger of lengthy incarceration or execution representing himself. Benedict Arnold mounted a spirited defence that focused almost entirely on how much he'd sacrificed for the country entry. He eloquently told the panel about the blood he had shed. He wobbled on his badly injured legs inspiring pity he ranted and raved about the dangers endured. It was a feeble attempt to gain unadulterated sympathy in in January of seventeen eighty thirty nine year old benedict arnold was cleared of all but two charges the improper issuing a pass to a a friendship and the use of government wagons for personal purposes. His sentence would be a public reprimand. Although this was a very positive outcome arnold was furious. He unsuccessfully demanded that the public reprimand be dropped. It was a particularly securely stinging punishment because the reprimand was to come from George Washington himself steaming and Ashamed Benedict Benedict Arnold went home to his pregnant wife in puttered around the house. He spent much of his time numbing his injured leg with opium and alcohol. Hegi soon distracted him from his misery by giving birth to a baby boy in March of seventeen eighty at at age thirty nine. Benedict Arnold was a father for the fourth time he had no means of supporting this child having served since seventeen seventy ninety. Five is an unpaid officer in the continental army. He and Peggy were forced to move into a small home owned by Peggy's father so that they could rent doubt Arnold's larger home and use the rental income to support themselves in April of seventeen eighty. The promised reprimand demand was finally published. Washington called Arnold conduct peculiarly reprehensible as well as imprudent and improper proper but as Washington publicly chastise arnold he was also to arnold surprise writing a private letter to arnold contradicting the very reprimand in it. Washington exhorted Arnold to exhibit a new those noble qualities which have placed you on the list of our most valued commanders. I will myself furnish you so far. Is it be in my power with the opportunities for regaining leaning the esteem of your country. It was an unexpected boon coming. Just when Arnold was at his lowest. The commander commander-in-chief was personally willing to provide him with new opportunities arnold mentally skipped over the part about exhibiting more positive positive character traits in his own mind. Washington had promised him a huge favor and arnold knew exactly what he wanted over the long months of waiting I for his trial and then for the reprimand he'd had plenty of time to think about and how he was going to be useful to the British without the use of his legs he certainly couldn't lead a large company of soldiers in the battle as has Andrei had suggested in their last terse correspondence but he could command of Fort and he knew just the right the one located in New York state West Point was the crown jewel of Washington's defensive strategy adage heavily fortified in strategically located along the Hudson River West Point was crucial to prevent the British from splitting the New England colonies from the Middle Colonies Arnold handing the Ford over would be a true prize John Andrei in General Henry Clinton Arnold knew it would take some work to convince Washington. He was suited for the command at West Point. It required Washington to replace the current Commander Commander Robert. How after planting the seed in Washington Arnold reopened his correspondence with John Andrei writing as if the command was already his as he waited for both responses. Arnold redoubled his efforts to get his legs to work again his old musket. Injury didn't bother him quite so much anymore these days with a little practice he managed to even get back on a horse. This however had an unfortunate side effect arnold briefly convinced Washington that he was ready for field duty over his own objections. Arnold was ordered to command the left wing of a defending force in New York on August. I seventeen eighty eighty he'd be fighting alongside Washington and his men just like old times but he'd be far from West Point and the attack Washington was expecting would come from Henry Clinton. The Very General Arnold was trying to help lucky for arnold the offensive offensive was called off at the last minute as if in sympathy to Arnold for depriving him of another chance at battle George Washington added a postscript to his general orders on August third reading simply arnold will take command of the garrison at West Point even though he'd been begging for this appointment for months reading the words came as a total shock finally benedict arnold had the resolution to all his financial problems in his hands if he could just turn west point over the British he'd never want for money again and all he had to do in exchange was betray. His countrymen countryman his comrades in arms and his nation.."