Benedict Arnold Gets “The Boot”
An infamous American traitor, Gen. Benedict Arnold ironically played a heroic role in the Battles of Saratoga. Read about why he is remembered at the battlefield with a boot.
An infamous American traitor, Gen. Benedict Arnold ironically played a heroic role in the turning point of the American Revolution. Read about why he is remembered at the battlefield with a boot. At Saratoga’s Battle at Freeman’s Farm, British forces far outnumbered the Patriot troops. Arnold devised a daring plan to engage the enemy head-on, unleashing a relentless assault that inflicted heavy casualties upon the British. His bravery and resolve inspired his men to rally in the face of adversity.
In the second battle, at Bemis Heights, Arnold led a fierce assault that caught the British off guard. With sword in hand, he personally led his troops into the thick of the fighting, driving back the British. Arnold’s bold maneuvers and audacious exploits helped to ultimately force Burgoyne’s surrender, securing a resounding victory that would become the turning point in the war.
The second battle left Arnold severely wounded in the leg and, even more lasting, bitterly resentful when General Gates took credit before Congress for the Battles of Saratoga’s success. Ultimately, Arnold turned against the Patriots and became famous for being a traitor.
Today, at Saratoga National Park, Arnold’s contribution to the Battles of Saratoga is marked by a monument of a single boot and a two-star epaulet draped over a howitzer barrel. There is no mention of Arnold by name. It reads:
“In memory of the most brilliant soldier of the Continental Army who was desperately wounded on this spot, the sally port of Burgoyne’s great [western] redoubt 7th October 1777 winning for his countrymen the decisive battle of the American Revolution and for himself the rank of Major General.”