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Old December 12, 2006, 11:08 PM   #185
4V50 Gary
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Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 16,847
Same German officer's view on Benedict Arnold

Quote:
"This man was born in New England in North America. He learned pharmaceutics and established himself in business. Then, in an unlawful way, he declared himself bankrupt. Afterward, he engaged in horse trading in the West Indies and sailed his own vessel there. As soon as the unrest arose in America, he became one of the most fiery and zealous of rebels, and was chosen a general by his comrades...

"In 1780 the Congress entrusted him with the important post of West Point, where he then played the cunning trick on his countrymen which brught the good (Major) Andre to grief.

"He was a man of medium size, well built, with lively eyes and fine features. He could be very polite and agreeable, especially at the table, but if one stayed too long in his company, then the apothecary and horse trader showed through the general. He spoke a great deal about his heroic deeds on the other side, and frequently mentioned his ingenious trick at West Point, a story which he could make ridiculous with much wit.

"In his military actions he constantly displayed his former resolution, which, however, was mixed with a cautious concern due to his fear of the gallows if he fell into the hands of his countrymen. He always carried a pair of small pistols in his pocket as a last resource to escape being hanged. I have watched him very closely, and I found him very restless on the day the Americans threatened to take Portsmouth with a coup de main. On that day, he was not the 'American Hannibal.'

"His dishonorable undertaking, which, had it succeeded, could have actually turned the war more favorably for England, nevertheless cannot be justified, for surely self-gain alone had guided him, and not remorse for having taken the other side. If he really felt in his conscience that he had done wrong in siding against his mother country, he should have sheathed his sword and served no more, and then made known in writing his opinions and reasons. This would have gained more proselytes than his shameful enterprise, which every man of honor and fine feelings - whether he be friend or foe of the common cause - must loathe."
Here you have it from a German Jager Captain, Johann Ewald, who served under Clinton, Arnold, Phillips (died in Petersburg, VA) and Cornwallis. He served alongside Simcoe (Queen's Rangers) and Tarleton (British Legion).
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