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Benedict Arnold võitleb vapralt Valcouri saarel


11. oktoobril 1776 alistab Briti laevastik Sir Guy Carletoni juhtimisel brigaadikindral Benedictus Arnoldi juhtimisel 15 Ameerika püssipaati Champlaini järve äärses Valcouri saare lahingus New Yorgi praeguses Clintoni maakonnas.

Kuigi peaaegu kõik Arnoldi laevad hävitati, kulus brittidel Patrioti mereväe alistamiseks rohkem kui kaks päeva, lükates edasi Carletoni kampaania ja andes patriootidele piisavalt aega New Yorgi olulise kaitse ettevalmistamiseks.

Aasta varem, Kanada patriootide ebaõnnestunud kampaania ajal, oli Kanada kuninglikul kuberneril Carletonil õnnestunud pääseda patrioodikindral Richard Montgomery varajaste edukate rünnakute eest suvel ja sügisel. Ta hiilis Quebeci linna, organiseeris linna kaitseks 1800 meest ja valmistus patriootide piiramist ootama. Patrioodid, kelle ees seisis tähtaeg, kuna nende vägede värbamised lõppesid aasta lõpus, tulistasid 7. detsembril nooli linnamüüride kohal. Nooled kandsid kirju, milles nõuti Carletoni alistumist. Kui Carleton ei nõustunud, alustasid ameeriklased 8. detsembril linna pommitamist Montgomery kahuriga. Seejärel üritasid nad 31. detsembril katastroofiliselt ebaõnnestunud rünnakut, mille käigus Montgomery tapeti ja Arnold raskelt haavata sai. Valcouri saare ümbruses toimunud tegevus oli viimane etapp Carletoni jõupingutustel, et Arnold Kanadast lõplikult ära ajada.

Arnoldit peeti patrioodikangelaseks oma vapruse eest Quebeci piiramisel ja varem New Yorgis Fort Ticonderoga patriootide hõivamise ajal, 10. mail 1775. Arnold aga ei tundnud, et oleks oma jõupingutuste eest piisavalt tunnustust saanud , ja olles 1780. aastal West Pointi komandörina, nõustus ta loovutama olulise Hudsoni jõe kindluse brittidele 20 000 naela eest. Krunt avastati pärast seda, kui Briti spioon John Andre tabati süüdistavaid pabereid kandes, sundides Arnoldi põgenema Briti kaitse alla. Seejärel ühines ta brittidega nende võitluses selle riigi vastu, mida ta kunagi nii vapralt teenis.

Arnold suri Londonis 1801. ameeriklaste jaoks on tema nimi endiselt sõna “reetur” sünonüüm.

LOE LISAKS: Miks Benedict Arnold Ameerika reetis?


Sellel ajaloo päeval -11. oktoober 1776

Sellel ajaloo päeval, 11. oktoobril 1776, Valcouri saare lahing algab. See oli Ameerika revolutsiooni üks esimesi olulisi mereväeülesandeid, millega sai brigaadikindral Ameerika Benedictus Arnold Briti kapteni vastu Thomas Pringle.

Ameerika kampaania Quebeci vallutamiseks 1775. aasta sügisel oli läinud katastroofiliselt. Kindral Richard Montgomery aastal tapeti Quebeci lahing, olles oma ülemjuhataja, Benedictus Arnold, sai raskelt vigastada. Arnold jätkas pärast lahingut Quebeci linna piiramist, kuid ameeriklased olid lõpuks sunnitud taanduma. Arnold tõi esile Ameerika vägede tagaosa, astudes viimasele seisukohale Fort St. Jean's, kus ta põletas kindluse ja kõik laevad, mida ta kasutada ei saanud, et keelata brittidel nende kasutamine. Seejärel purjetas Arnold Champlaini järvest alla Fort Crown Point kus ameeriklased valmistusid Briti invasiooniks.

Tagasi kell Fort St. Jean's, Kanada kuberner ja kindral Guy Carleton tal polnud võimalust oma vägesid lõunasse viia, kuna Arnold oli kõik laevad hävitanud. Ta oli sunnitud suvel ehitama laevastiku, millest paljud olid valmistatud Euroopast imporditud eelvalmistatud osadest. Vahepeal hakkasid ameeriklased oma laevastikku täiendama, tuues Skenesborosse sadu laevaehitajaid, kuna New Yorgi ülaosas polnud palju laevaehitajaid.

Benedictus Arnold jälgis mitme laeva ehitamist, mis tõi kogu laevastiku 15. Arnold sõitis septembris põhja poole, et tutvuda Briti tegevusega, jõudes piisavalt lähedale St. Jeanile, et tulistada. Septembri lõpuks teadis Arnold, et britid alustavad varsti, nii et ta suundus lõunasse Valcouri saarele, mis on ideaalne koht brittide kaasamiseks.

Saarel oli kitsas kanal enda ja mandri vahel, mis takistas brittidel täielikult kaasata Ameerika laevastikku, mis oli märkimisväärselt üle ja üle. 11. oktoobri hommikul möödusid britid Valcouri saarest, mõistmata, et laevastik on selle taga peidus. Kaks Ameerika laeva tulid välja, võitlesid ja meelitasid Briti laevad ülejäänud laevastiku poole tagasi.

Terve päeva kestnud lahingutes sai enamik Ameerika laevu ja kahuripaat kahjustada Philadelphia uppus. Saarel jäi üks Ameerika laev randuma ja pardale. Öösel õnnestus Arnoldil sõita pimedas laevastikuga lõunasse ja suunduda pelgupaika. Kapten Pringle oli maruvihane, et tema vaenlane põgenes, ja alustas otsinguid. Järgmise kahe päeva jooksul suundus kahjustatud laevastik lõunasse, kaotades enamiku ülejäänud laevadest. Mõned uppusid, üks tabati ja mitu lasti, et britid neid kinni ei saaks. Ainult 4 algsest 15 laevast jõudsid tagasi Crown Pointi.

Ülejäänud Arnoldi sõdurid suundusid maismaal Crown Pointi, kus Arnold põletas kindluse maha ja taandus Ticonderoga kindlus. Britid maandusid seal 14. päeval, kuid mõne nädala jooksul tõmbusid talve saabumise tõttu tagasi Kanadasse.

Kuigi Valcouri saare lahing kaotati, Arnoldile omistatakse tavaliselt eduka sissetungi ärahoidmine põhja poolt 1776. aastal. Briti väed teadsid, et karmil New Yorgi talvel on tarneliinide avamine Quebeci tagasi väga raske, mistõttu taganesid nad järgmisel aastal uuesti proovima . Kui Briti kindral John Burgoyne tõi sissetungi järgmisel aastal, see ebaõnnestus, sest ameeriklastel oli kogu talv ja kevad ette valmistada vägede ja varude masse. Kui Burgoyne järgmisel aastal Saratogas oma armee loovutas, oli see sõjas suur pöördepunkt ja võit ulatus kogu kaotuseni Valcouri saare lahing .


Benedictus Arnoldi kaks nägu

Kolonel Benedictus Arnold, kes juhtis kubermangu vägesid Kanada kõrbe kaudu Quebeci vastu ja sai selles linnas, kindral Montgomery juhtimisel haavata. London. Avaldatud Those poolt 26. märtsi 1776 seadusega. Hart.

Ometi oli Arnold ka meie põhireetur. Ta tegi midagi enamat kui vahetas sõda kriitilises punktis poolt. Ta üritas pettuse ja salakavaluse abil reeta ameeriklase strateegiliseima kindluse vaenlasele. Seejärel juhtis ta Briti vägesid oma endiste kaasvõitlejate vastu ja põletas New Englandi linna maha enne Inglismaale lagunemist.

Kaks sajandit nägid ajaloolased selle paradoksi mõistmise nimel vaeva. Nad lihtsalt ei suutnud aktsepteerida, nagu ajaloolane 1913. aastal ütles, „et me võlgneme oma riigi päästmise kriitilisel hetkel ühele kõige mustemale reeturile ajaloos”. Nad langesid tagasi arusaamale, et Arnoldil oli alati olnud mustvalvuri hing, kuid ta oli seda varjanud. Algusest peale oli teda motiveerinud omakasu ja rahaarmastus. Isegi lapsepõlves läksid lood, hoides vihjeid tema moraalse kiu puudumisele.

Hiljutisemad hinnangud tunnistavad, et Arnold oli tõepoolest paradoksaalne tegelane, kes oli pühendunud patriootlikule eesmärgile oma sõjaväekarjääri alguses, kuna oli sellele hiljem vaenulik. Pealegi pakub tema vastuoluline iseloom väärtuslikku õppetundi ajaloo - ja inimloomuse - keerukusest ja perverssusest.

Arnoldi reetmise üksikasjad on hästi teada. Abielus jõuka lojaalsest perekonnast koosneva tütrega, kes põdes pahameelt selle üle, et kongress ei suutnud oma saavutusi premeerida, sõlmis ta 1780. Ainult puhas juhus katkestas süžee napilt.

Vähem tuttavad on Arnoldi olulised saavutused sõja esimese kolme aasta jooksul. Ta näitas imelikku võimet projitseerida autoriteeti ja inspireerida mehi, keda ta juhtis. Tema intuitiivne arusaam sõjalisest taktikast ja strateegiast konkureeris kogenumate ohvitseridega.

Pärast vägivalda puhkes Lexingtonis ja Concordis 1775. aasta kevadel oli Arnold üks entusiastlikke sõjaväeamatööre, kes relvakutsele vastasid. Tollane edukas New Haveni kaupmees ja merekapten liitus ta Fort Ticonderoga vallutamisega, mis on oluline Briti post Champlaini järvel, mis on ainus siseveetee Suurbritanniast Kanadasse mässulistesse kolooniatesse.

Patrioodid, kes soovisid oma revolutsiooni pikendada, otsustasid minna kaugemale ja tungida Kanadasse. Arnold juhtis vabatahtlikult väikest armeed üle Maine'i rööbasteta mägede ja üllatas Quebeci linna. Herkulese jõupingutused viisid kartmatu juhi ja tema mehed linna vallutamisest vaid juuksekarva kaugusele. Arnold sai linnusele hilisema rünnaku ajal tõsise jalahaava.

Kui Briti abivägi saabus ja Ameerika jõupingutused kokku kukkusid, korraldas Arnold korralikuma väljaastumise. Tagasi Fort Ticonderoga aitas ta kavandada strateegiat Briti juggernauti peatamiseks või vähemalt viivitamiseks.

1776. aasta suvel kogusid britid kuningliku mereväe asjatundlikkusele toetudes põhja poole võimsa mageveelaevastiku. Ameeriklased lõid Arnoldi juhendamisel Champlaini järve lõunaotsa ümbruses kõrbes kokku väikese relvapaatide jõu. Võitlusvõistluse eesmärk oli vaenlast piisavalt kaua edasi lükata, et lõpetada võitlushooaeg ja lükata vastasseis veel aasta võrra edasi.

Strateegia töötas. Britid ehitasid kogu suve laevu, et kinnitada mereväe domineerimist kitsa saja miili pikkuse veetee kohal. Arnold hõljus oma väikese relvapaadipakiga järve põhjapoolses otsas julge jõudu nähes.

11. oktoobril 1776 asusid britid lõpuks teele. Arnold kohtus nendega väikeses lahes Valcouri saare taga järve läänerannikul. Enesetappuna tundunud taktika puhkes metsikuks, tühjaks saanud kahurlahinguks, mis lõppes sellega, et patriootide laevastik jäi sandiks ja britid olid valmis järgmisel hommikul riigipöörde läbi viima. Millegipärast - ajaloolased kriimustavad siiani selle üle pead - suutsid Arnold ja tema mehed Briti blokaadi kaudu põgeneda ja öö jooksul järvele lõuna poole suunduda.

Järgnes meeletu võidusõit, Arnoldi mehed sõudsid lahtiste paatidega läbi tuisu, britid jõudsid aeglaselt järele. See tipnes järjekordse kaootilise merelahinguga. Kuigi Arnold kaotas peaaegu kogu oma laevastiku, suutis ta enamiku oma meestest päästa. Briti komandörid olid patriootide fanaatilisest otsusekindlusest nii hämmingus, et nad tegid pausi, mõtlesid selle üle ja naasid Kanadasse.

Järgmisel aastal, kui Briti armee laskus Kanadast ja vallutas Fort Ticonderoga, olid Ameerika patrioodid paremini ette valmistatud. Horatio Gatesi juhtimisel kogusid nad Albanyst põhja pool asuvas Saratogas suure hulga kontinentaalseid sõdureid ja miilitsat. Arnold mängis olulist rolli kahes lahingus, mis peeti seal 1777. aasta sügisel. Ta juhtis teise lahingu haripunkti ajal otsustavat süüdistust ja sai raskelt haavata. See oleks viimane kord, kui Arnold oma riigi eest võitleks.

Kolm aastat hiljem laskusid kõik Arnoldi kangelaslikud saavutused - tema erakordne pühendumine asjale, oma raha väljamaksmine oma vägede tasumiseks, sõjahaavad - tema kurikuulsa reetmise musta auku. Tema nimi sai reeturi sünonüümiks.

Arnoldi paradoksaalsus annab talle uue tähtsuse ajastul, mil paljud on küsinud, kas asutajapõlve liikmeid tuleks austada või sõimata. Kas revolutsiooni juht võiks olla nii rikas mees kui ka võrdse vabariigi pooldaja? Kas orjaomanik võiks propageerida põhimõtet, et kõik mehed on loodud võrdseks? Kas mees saaks põliselanike käest maad röövida ja aidata siiski kaasa vastupidava ja demokraatliku rahva kujundamisele?

Trükis, mis kujutab Ethan Allenit ja Ticonderoga linnuse vallutamist mais 1775. Pildil pole kolonel Arnold, kes aitas ka kindluse vallutada.

Keskendumine asutajate puudustele on olnud vajalik ja oluline parandus kahe sajandi lioniseerimisel. Kuid Arnoldi paradoksaalne olemus tuletab meile meelde, et kõik mehed ja naised sisaldavad vastuolusid. Meie hinnang peab olema proportsionaalne - au tema saavutuste eest, hukkamõist riigireetmise eest.

Washington, Jefferson ja Madison omasid kõik orje. Kui see oleks nende ainus atribuut, võiksime nad väiklaste ja süüdlasteks jätta. Kuid igaühe sees oli paradoks. Nad lõid riigi, mis tühistas kodanike allumise monarhidele, riigi, mis liikus liiga peatunult üksikisiku vabaduse, inimõiguste ja õigluse suunas.

Keegi pole reeturi pjedestaalile asetamiseks. Aga kui me saame nõustuda, et Benedictus Arnold aitas meil iseseisvuse võita ja reetis oma kaaslased ja oma riigi, siis näeme selgemalt, et ajalugu kujundavad paratamatult vigased ja konfliktsed inimesed.

Jack Kelly on auhinnatud kirjanik ja ajaloolane. Tema raamatute hulgas on Valcour: 1776. aasta kampaania, mis päästis vabaduse põhjuse ja Giants bänd: amatöörisõdurid, kes võitsid Ameerika iseseisvuse, mis pälvis DAR ajaloo medali. Ta on ka selle autor Anarhia serv, Taeva kraavja Püssirohi ja on New Yorgi kunstide sihtasutus teaduskirjanduses. Kelly on esinenud kanalites The History Channel, National Public Radio ja C-Span. Ta elab New Yorgis ja Hudsoni orus.


11. oktoober 1776 Valcouri saar

Ühel päeval sisenes Benedictus Arnold ajalukku oma riigi reeturina. Praeguseks oli ta ostnud oma noore rahva, veel ühe aasta, mil võidelda.

Ameerika revolutsiooni algusaegadel vaatas teine ​​kontinentaalkongress põhja poole, Quebeci provintsi. Piirkonda kaitseti sel ajal kergelt ja Kongress oli mures selle potentsiaali pärast Briti baasina, kust kolooniaid rünnata ja jagada.

Kontinentaalse armee ekspeditsioon Quebecisse lõppes 31. detsembril katastroofiga, kuna kindral Benedict Arnold sai raskelt vigastada kuulihaavaga vasakusse jalga. Kindralmajor Richard Montgomery tapeti ja kolonel Daniel Morgan koos umbes 400 kaaspatrioodiga tabati.

Kuunari profiil ja#8220Liberty ”

Quebeci tugevdati massiliselt 1776. aasta kevadel, mil saabus 10 000 Briti ja Hessia sõdurit. Juuniks olid kontinentaalse armee jäänused sõidetud lõunasse Fort Ticonderoga ja Fort Crown Pointi.

Kongressil oli õigus Briti kavatsusel kolooniaid jagada. Quebeci provintsi kuberner kindral Sir Guy Carleton asus seda peaaegu kohe tegema.

Taanduvad kolooniad võtsid kaasa või hävitasid peaaegu kõik paadid, vallutades ja relvastades 1775. aastal neli laeva: Liberty, Ettevõtlus, Kuninglik metslaneja Kättemaks. Olles otsustanud otsustava veetee tagasi võtta, asusid britid sõjalaevade demonteerimiseks mööda St. .

Seal veetsid nad 1776. aasta suve ja varasügise, ehitades sõna otseses mõttes järve ülemjooksule sõjalaevastiku. 120 miili lõuna pool tegid koloniaalid sama.

Saeveski Fort Anne'is

Ameeriklastel oli järvede transportimiseks kasutusel väike laevastik madalat tõmmet, kuid neil oli vaja merelahingu säilitamiseks midagi suuremat ja raskemat.

Aastal 1759 asutas Briti armee kapten Philip Skene Champlaini järve New Yorgi poolele asula, mis ehitati ümber saeveskite, liivveskite ja rauavalu.

Tänapäeval on endine Skenesborough küla tuntud kui “Whitehall ”, mida paljud peavad Ameerika Ühendriikide mereväe sünnikohaks. Aastal 1776 pani kindralmajor Horatio Gates Skenesborough sadama kaldal käima Ameerika laevaehitusoperatsiooni.

Pingutusi jälgis Hermanus Schuyler, varustuse eest vastutas aga sõjaväeinsener Jeduthan Baldwin. Gates palus kogenud laevakaptenil kindral Benedict Arnoldil jõupingutusi juhtida, selgitades, et ma olen mereasjade ja#8221 osas täiesti ebateadlik.

New Yorgi osariigi kõrbe värvati 200 tislerit ja laevaehitajat. Nii kohmetu oli see kohustus, et töömeestele maksti rohkem palka kui kõigile teistele mereväes, välja arvatud kommodoor Esek Hopkins. Vahepeal otsisid toitlustuspeod maapiirkondades relvi otsides, teades, et Champlaini järvel tuleb kaklus.

Pole laialt teada, et Ameerika revolutsiooni võideldi rõugepandeemia keskel. Kindral George Washington oli varakult vaktsineerimise pooldaja, mis oli Ameerika sõjapüüdlustele ütlematu kasu. Sellegipoolest puhkes Skenesborough laevaehitajate seas palavik, mis peaaegu seiskas nende töö.

Champlaini järv: aiasaar (paremal), Valcouri saar (vasakul)

See oli kiiruga ehitatud ja mõnel juhul mittetäielik laevastik, mis libises vette 1776. aasta suvel ja sügisel. Veidi rohkem kui kahe kuuga valmistas Ameerika laevaehitus kaheksa 54 ′ gondlit (püssipaati) ja neli 72 ′ kambüüsi . Pärast valmimist sõudeti iga kere Fort Ticonderoga, kus see oli varustatud mastide, taglase, relvade ja varustusega. Oktoobriks 1776 oli Ameerika laevastikul 16 laeva, kes otsustasid peatada lõuna poole suunduva Briti laevastiku.

Kuna mõlemad pooled sulgesid end oktoobri alguses, teadis kindral Arnold, et on ebasoodsas olukorras. Üllatuse element oli kriitiline. Arnold valis Valcouri saarest läänes väikese väina, kus ta oli peidetud järve põhiosa eest. Seal tõmbas ta oma väikese laevastiku poolkuu moodustisse ja jäi ootama.

Carletoni laevastik, mida juhtis kapten Thomas Pringle, sisenes 9. oktoobril Champlaini järve põhjaossa.

Soodsate tuulte käes 11. päeval lõunasse sõites olid mõned Briti laevad juba Ameerika positsioonist Valcouri saare taga möödunud, enne kui said aru, et nad on kohal. Mõned Briti sõjalaevad suutsid pöörduda ja lahingut anda, kuid suurimad ei suutnud tuule poole pöörduda.

Võitlused kestsid mitu tundi kuni pimedani ja mõlemad pooled tegid teatud kahju. Ameerika poolel, Kuninglik metslane jooksis karile ja põles. Gondel Philadelphia oli uppunud. Briti poolel lendas üks püssipaat õhku. Mõlemad pooled kaotasid umbes 60 meest. Lõpuks tegid suuremad laevad ja inglaste kogenum meresõit ebaühtlase võitluse.

Sel päeval oli kihlatud vaid kolmandik Briti laevastikust, kuid lahing läks patriootide poolel halvasti. Sel ööl libisesid Ameerika laevastiku räsitud jäänused läbi ridadevahe, lonkides summutatud aerudel mööda järve. Briti komandörid olid üllatunud, kui nad järgmisel hommikul nad kadusid, ja ajasid neid taga.

Üks laev teise järel möödus ja hävitati 12., Muidu, liiga kahjustatud, et edasi minna, loobuti. Lõikur Lee sõitis karile oma meeskonnaga, kes seejärel põgenes läbi metsa. Neli kuueteistkümnest Ameerika laevast põgenesid põhja poole Ticonderogasse, et järgmisel aastal Briti väed neid vallutada või hävitada.

Kolmandal päeval neli viimast püssipaati ja Benedict Arnold ’s lipulaev kongress pärast 2½-tunnist relvalahingut karistati Vermonti pool Ferris lahes karile. Tänapäeval kutsutakse väikest sadamat Arnold ’s Bay.

200 pääses kaldale, kellest viimane oli Benedictus Arnold ise, tõrjudes isiklikult oma lipulaeva enne viimast lahkumist, lipp endiselt lehvimas.

Britid säilitaksid sõja lõpul kontrolli Champlaini järve üle.

Ameerika laevastikul polnud kunagi võimalust ja kõik teadsid seda. Ometi oli see suutnud aasta lõpus piisavalt kahju tekitada, nii et Carltoni laevastikul ei jäänud muud üle, kui naasta talveks põhja poole. Üks päev, Benedictus Arnold siseneks ajalukku oma riigi reeturina. Praegu oli kindral ostnud oma noore rahva, veel ühe aasta, mil võidelda.

1905. aasta postkaardil on Benedict Arnoldi lipulaeva, “Kongressi ja#8221 säilmed.


Ameerika revolutsiooni podcast

Suurem osa 1776. aasta suvest keskendus New Yorgile. See oli koht, kuhu Suurbritannia saatis suurema osa oma vägedest ja just seal toimus suurem osa lahingutest. Kui ma mõned episoodid tagasi arutasin, saatis Suurbritannia selle ala turvamiseks ka suure kontingendi Kanadasse. Kui kindral Johnny Burgoyne saabus kevadel 8000 püsikliendiga, ei oodanud kindral Guy Carlton isegi kogu väeosa saabumist, enne kui ta oma väed Quebecist välja tõi ja ameeriklased Kanadast täielikult välja ajas.

Kuid Quebeci piiril rünnak peatus. Britid ei saanud oma laevastikku kergelt St. Lawrence'i jõest Champlaini järvele transportida. Kindral Benedictus Arnold oli järvele ehitanud Continental laevade laevastiku. Carleton ei tahtnud Arnoldi laevastikule väljakutseid esitada enne, kui ta oli võimeline seda tegema tohutu jõuga.

Valcouri saare lahing (Wikimedia kaudu)
Nagu ma juba 106. jaos arutasin, ei jaganud Suurbritanniast Kanadasse tugevdusi juhtinud Burgoyne Carltoni vastumeelsust rünnata. Burgoyne oli pettunud, istudes terve suve ja oodates, et midagi juhtuks. Ta veetis suurema osa suvest Londonis oma ülemust kõigiga, keda ta teadis.

Aga kui kaks Briti tipp -kindralit Kanadas omavahel läbi ei saanud, ei olnud see midagi võrreldes Ameerika poole sisetülidega. Kindral Philip Schuyler juhtis endiselt New Yorgis põhjaarmeed. Kongress saatis kindral Horatio Gatesi Kanadasse sõjaväge juhtima. Aga nüüd, kui ameeriklased Kanadas olid New Yorki tagasi taganenud, veetsid mõlemad kindralid suurema osa suvest võitlemas selle üle, kes tegelikult juhtis. Schuyler oli kõrgem ohvitser, kuid Gates oli saanud sõltumatu käsu.

Nooremad ohvitserid jätkasid ka oma võitlust. Kindral Arnold oli veetnud suurema osa sõjast peaaegu kõigi teiste kohtunud ohvitseride vaenlasteks. Suve jooksul oli ta sattunud tülisse kolonel Moses Hazeni sõjakohtu pärast, mille tulemusel kohus palus luba Arnoldi vahistamiseks kohtu põlguse väljendamise eest.

Gates keeldus sellist vahistamist lubamast, sest britid kavatsevad igal päeval rünnata ja Arnold oli nende parim lahinguväljaülem. Järgmisena pidi Arnold võitlema, et laevastiku juhtimine tagasi võtta pärast seda, kui Schuyler oli kolonel Jacobus Wynkoopile käsu andnud. See võitlus viis selleni, et Gates toetas taas Arnoldit ja arreteeris Wynkoopi. Nii oli 1776. aasta suve lõpuks Arnold taas Champlaini järve laevastiku juht ja valmis vaenlasele vastu astuma.

Briti kindral Carleton oli pärit samast juhtimiskoolist nagu kindral William Howe New Yorgis: võtke aega, ärge tehke midagi riskantset, oodake, kuni suudate vaenlase üle suruda, nii et tulemuseks võib olla ainult üks tulemus. Kui Howe kasutas 1776. aasta suve lõpus ja sügisel Washingtoni armeed New Yorgist aeglaselt välja, siis sai Carleton alguse veelgi hiljem. Tema laevastik lahkus St. Jeanist alles 4. oktoobril. Aga kui see juhtus, oli Carleton hästi ette valmistatud, et alistada järvel igasugune kontinentaalne vastupanu.

Äike (JAR -ist)
Carltoni hilinemine tulenes umbes 25 sõjalaevast koosneva laevastiku kokkupanekust, mis oli ehitatud St. Jeanis või purustatud osadeks Three Riversis ning seejärel käsitsi kantud ja St. Jeanis kokku pandud. Suurim, Äike oli rohkem ujuv aku, umbes 500 jalga pikk. Ainuüksi selle kuus 12 naela suurtükki muutsid ta võrdseks kõigi Ameerika laevadega järvel, kuid Äike oli ka kuus 24 naela ja haubitsad, mis tähendab, et ükski teine ​​laev ei jõudnud tema tulejõule lähedale. Kuna laev oli nii suur ja raske, oli oletatav eesmärk hõljuda Crown Pointi ja Ticonderoga linnustesse, et neid piiramisrõngas kasutada.

Carltonil olid Champlaini järvel täiemahuliseks merelahinguks valmis muud laevad. The Paindumatu oli kuusteist 12 naela ja kaks 9 naela. The Carleton oli kaksteist 6 naela ja Maria, nimega Carletoni naise#8217 naisel oli neliteist 6 naela. Nad ehitasid ka gondli nimega Lojaalne teisendaja kuue 9 naela ja ühe 24 naelaga. Lisaks kuulus laevastikku mitu väiksemat rida laeva, mille vööri külge oli paigaldatud üks kahur. Vähemalt kümme neist väiksematest laevadest oli ehitatud Suurbritannias ja saadetud komplektidena üle Atlandi ookeani, et need järvel kokku panna.

Lisaks kahekümne viiele kahuriga relvastatud sõjalaevale kuulus laevastikku nii väevedusid kui ka mitusada India kanuu. Enamik püsikliente jäi maha, oodates, kuni laevastik järve puhtaks teeb. Kuid laevastikku kulus umbes tuhat püsiklienti, aga ka sadu Kanada miilitsat ja indiaanlasi, kes olid valmis võitlema kaldal kohatud maavägedega.

Suurbritannia laevastiku vastu võitlemiseks olid kontinentid oma laevastiku kokku pannud ja ehitanud. Suurimad laevad olid Kuninglik metslane ja Ettevõtlus, mille Arnold oli aasta varem järvel jäädvustanud. Nad olid ka ehitanud Kättemaks, Liberty, ja Lee. Enamik neist olid relvastatud kuue või nelja naela kahuriga, kuigi Lee oli üks 12 naela. Suurus oli nende kahuritega tõesti oluline, kuna eesmärk oli vaenlase laevadel suured augud ära rebida, et neid uputada. Suurem kahur tegi suuremad augud. Neid võis tavaliselt lasta ka kaugemalt.

Ameeriklased panid suurema osa oma raskematest relvadest neljale suurele reale Trumbull, Washington, kongress, ja Väravad, millel kõigil oli üks või kaks 18 naela, samuti mõned 12 naela ja mõned väiksemad kahurid. Lahingus võis neid sõita kergemini kui purjelaev, loodetavasti mõned edukad löögid, enne kui vaenlane jõudis tulele tagasi. Nende saagide puuduseks on see, et nad nõudsid rohkelt mehi sõudmiseks ja olid vabas vees palju aeglasemad, mis tähendab, et vaenlasel oleks kergem neid ületada. Continental merevägi täiendas oma laevastikku kaheksa väiksema püssipaadiga: Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Ettehooldus, New Haven, Spitfire, ja Boston. Nagu gallid, tuli igaüks sõuda. Igaühel oli vähemalt üks 9 või 12 naela ja paar väiksemat kahurit.

Tänu suurepärasele jõule, paremini väljaõppinud meeskondadele ja palju rohkem ressursse tundis Carleton kindlalt, et suudab Champlaini järvest alla liikuda, kohtuda Ameerika laevastikuga igal ajal, kui nad valivad, võita need ja jätkata Fort Ticonderoga lõunaosas. järv. Ta eeldas, et Arnold astub oma laevastikule vastu Cumberlandi punktis, mis on üks kitsamaid kohti järvel, kus väiksem mandrilaevastik on vähem ebasoodsas olukorras.

Kaart, mis näitab lahingu asukohta (Wikimedia)
Gates käskis Arnoldil hoida oma laevastikku Fort Ticonderoga ja Carletoni laevastiku vahel ning teha kõik endast oleneva kaitseks. Eeldatav tulemus langeb lõpuks tagasi Fort Ticonderoga. Seal, kindluste ja relvade toel, said nad laevastiku vastu lõpliku kaitse üles seada.

Arnold arvas, et need on rumalad korraldused, kuid ei viitsinud selle pärast tülitseda. Selle asemel ignoreeris ta lihtsalt korraldusi ja viis ellu oma plaani. Ta teadis, et Carlton oli liiga ettevaatlik, et liikuda seni, kuni tuuled talle kasuks tulid, ning et Carlton ei jäta vaenlase laevastikku selja taha, kui suundub alla Fort Ticonderoga. Arnold tahtis Carltoni võitlusse meelitada kohas, kus ameeriklastel oleks suurim eelis.

Valcouri saar oli väike saar Champlaini järve lääneranniku lähedal, veidi alla Cumberlandi punkti. Saare põhjaosast saare ja lääneranniku vahele jäävasse kitsasse vette sisenemispunkt oli enamiku Suurbritannia suurte laevade sisenemiseks liiga täis kive ja prahti. Seetõttu peaksid nad purjetama ümber ida saare lõunaossa ja seejärel põhja poole Valcouri lahte. Kuna Carlton oleks oodanud purjetamist, kuni tal oleks järve alla viinud ühtlane põhjatuul, oleks tuul tema vastu, kui ta purjetas tagasi Valcouri lahte Arnoldi laevastikuga.

Arnold aheldas oma laevad kaarega lahe sees. Nii said kõik tema laevad koondada tule lahele sisenevatele Briti laevadele, mida nad pidid tegema üks või kaks korraga ja vastu tuult. See annaks Arnoldi laevastikule aega laevade lammutamiseks, kui see sisenes, ilma et peaks kogu Briti laevastikuga korraga silmitsi seisma.

Tundus, et plaan töötas suhteliselt hästi. Nagu oodatud, ootas Carlton head ilma ja soodsat põhjatuult, enne kui 10. oktoobril lõunasse suundus. Sel ööl lebas Briti laevastik ankrus Valcouri saarest vaid paar miili põhja pool.

Tekib vaidlus selle üle, mis tegelikult juhtus. Loomulikult avaldas Carlton pärast lahingut ametliku raporti. Kuid aasta hiljem kirjutasid mitmed tema alluvad ohvitserid Avatud kiri kapten Pringlele avaldati Londonis, mis oli paljudele faktidele suuresti vastuolus, nagu Carlton neid esitas, ning süüdistas Carltoni ka arguses. Kolm ohvitseri, kes selle aruande esitasid, olid ärritunud, et Carlton võttis laevastiku juhtimise enda kanda, selle asemel et Burgoyne'ile seda au lubada. Nad olid ka ärritunud, et Carlton oli määranud kapten Thomas Pringle laevastiku ülemaks nende kolme staaži üle. Seetõttu võis nende Carltoni-vastane eelarvamus olla sama tugev kui Carletoni eelarvamus, et maalida pilt, mis pani ennast võimalikult heasse valgusesse.

Ameerika laevad Valcouri saarel (Wikimedia kaudu)
Carlton ütles, et tal pole aimugi, et Ameerika laevastik asub Valcouri lahes. Ta ootas täielikult, et leiab nad Cumberlandi punktist. Kui ta seda ei teinud, jätkas ta sõitu lõuna poole, kasutades samal hommikul tugevat põhjatuult, purjetades mööda Valcouri saart ja mööda järve alla. Eriarvamuste ohvitseride raportis öeldi, et ta teadis Ameerika laevastikust. Kui Carleton oli Champlaini järve ääres Burgoyne'i kõrvale jätnud, oli Burgoyne saatnud järve rannikult vaenlast otsima kergjalaväelasi. Nad teatasid tagasi, et märkasid 9. oktoobril Valcouri saare lähedal laevastikku. Avatud kirjas öeldi, et Carlton teadis sellest ja keeldus luureandmetega tegelemast.

Tõde on tõenäoline, et kaks päeva varem oli piirkonnas teatatud vaenlase kohta. Kuid pärast seda, kui Carlton ei leidnud vaenlast sealt, kus ta ootas, eeldas ta, et nad on järvest nii kiiresti taandunud kui võimalik. Puuduvad tõendid selle kohta, et Carlton oleks saanud luureandmeid, mis näitaksid konkreetselt vaenlase täpset asukohta Valcouri saare taga. Nii lasi Carleton igal laeval täiskiirusel järvest alla sõita.

The Paindumatu ja Äike olid kaugel järvest saarest mööda, kui Arnold hakkas kartma, et laevastik võib temast täielikult mööda sõita. Sellest ajast peale oleks see võib -olla olnud hea, kui Arnold oleks võinud Briti laevastikule tagant alla tulla, võttes välja sõjaväeveod, enne kui sõjalaevad saavad ümber pöörata ja neid kaitsta. Kuid Arnold soovis, et laevastik ründaks teda Valcouri lahes. Hommikuks, kui laevastik liikus lõunasse, tellis Arnold Kuninglik metslane ja kolm reast, et liikuda lõunasse Suurbritannia laevastiku püüdmise suunas.

Guy Carleton (Wikimedia'st)
As soon as the British spotted his ships, Arnold ordered them to turn around and return to the line. He had gotten the attention of the British fleet and knew they would sail into his defensive lines now. But while the row gallies could return to the American lines, the Royal Savage had trouble tacking against the wind. The inexperienced crew was unable to get back to the lines as British gunboats surrounded and bombarded her, taking out most of her sails. The British Inflexible soon came within range and used its heavy artillery to destroy the hull and rigging. Soon the Royal Savage crashed into the coast of Valcour Island where the surviving crew abandoned ship and escaped into the island. Some made their way back to the fleet, others would be captured by Indians who Carlton deployed on the island later that day.

A British boarding party was able to capture the Royal Savage and began using the cannon on the stranded ship to fire on the American fleet. But the Americans soon focused their fire and forced the British to abandon the sinking ship. Instead, they burned it down to its water line later that evening. Although Arnold had not been aboard the ship that day, he did have his personal property and papers aboard ship, the loss of which would come to haunt him later.

The Royal Savage went down quickly in early fighting, giving hope to the British that this would be an easy fight. The first British gunboats sailed into Valcour Bay along with the Carleton, and that is the ship Carleton, not to be confused with the Maria, where General Carleton was aboard. As the ship Carleton entered Arnold’s trap, all the American ships concentrated their fire. The Carleton’s commander, a young Lieutenant named James Dacres took a hit in the head and was knocked unconscious. At first the crew thought he had been killed, and were about to throw his body overboard, as was customary at the time. Fortunately for Dacres, an alert midshipman named Edward Pellew, realized Dacres was still alive and prevented him from being thrown overboard. Years later, both Dacres and Pellew would become British admirals fighting in the Napoleonic wars. Pellew is known better by his later title, Admiral Lord Exmouth.

The Royal Savage (from JAR)
The Carlton was in danger of sinking or being captured. With its rigging shot away, it could not even sail away from battle. Midshipman Pellew had to climb into the rigging and while under fire, kick at a sail to get it to unfurl properly. With the assistance of British gunboats, the Carlton eventually retreated from the line of fire and escaped with heavy damage.

Overall, Arnold’s plan was working well. The British fleet could not attack him en masse. His American gunners, despite little experience, effectively hit the few ships that made it into the bay. The British Thunderer ja Loyal Convert were too far downwind to make it back in time for battle at all that day. The large square rigged Inflexible was not able to get into the Bay where it could effectively fire on the Americans.

With the Carlton out of commission, that left only the Maria and the smaller British gunships. The Maria was not the largest ship in the fleet, but it was one of the fastest, and had the fleet commander Captain Pringle and General Carlton aboard. Nagu Maria approached the bay, an American cannonball passed over the deck nearly taking off Carlton’s head. Reportedly, Carlton simply turned to a colleague, Dr. Knox, standing next to him and also almost killed by the same ball, and asked him “Well doctor, how do you like a sea battle?” But that shot was enough for Captain Pringle to order the ship to pull back and drop anchor, where the commanders could observe the fight from a safe distance. This later resulted in charges of cowardice against Pringle.

Carlton ordered his Indians to land on Valcour Island and along the New York coast as well. From there, the Indians fired on the American ships with muskets. The fire was mostly distracting for a few ships closest to shore. Arnold had prepared for such an eventuality by building wooden breastworks on the ships to shield the men from musket fire.

A few Indians attempted to row out to the ships and board them. But effective use of swivel guns quickly dissuaded them from those attempts. Mostly the Indians on shore prevented the Americans from any attempts to abandon ship and make their way overland back to Fort Ticonderoga.

Battle at Valcour Island (from British Battles)
Throughout the day, both the enemy and his own men observed General Arnold in the thick of the fighting, moving from cannon to cannon to direct fire.

By late in the day, the Inflexible finally got itself within range of the American ships. With its superior firepower, it did some damage, but also took considerable fire from the Americans. Before long, dusk ended the fighting, after about seven hours of battle. Many of the American ships were running out of ammunition, as were many of the smaller British gunships.

Overall Arnold’s plan worked well. He had forced the British to attack him with only a few ships at a time, and against the wind. But Carlton’s advantage in numbers of ships, men, guns, and ammunition made it virtually impossible that the Americans would destroy or capture the British fleet entirely.

When the second day began, Arnold would no longer have the element of surprise. He remained trapped in Valcour Bay. Escape to the north was impossible given the rocks and impediments. Even if the American fleet could get through to the north, it would still be trapped between the British fleet and the British rear where 7000 British regulars were there to meet them. Carlton’s fleet blocked a southern escape. Hundreds of Indians patrolled the forests on both Valcour Island and the mainland, preventing Arnold from simply scuttling his ships and attempting an escape overland.

To the British, and probably to most American officers, it looked like Arnold’s choices the following morning were surrender, burn the ships and surrender, or fight it out as the British fleet crushed the Americans. Any of these results would be reasonable. Arnold’s fleet has served its purpose. It had delayed the British attack on Fort Ticonderoga for nearly the entire 1776 fighting season. If the British captured the fleet, it would mean a few hundred prisoners, about the same as when the British captured Montgomery and Arnold’s attack force at Quebec nine months earlier. It was an acceptable sacrifice for keeping 12,000 British and allies from taking the Hudson Valley and linking up with British forces in New York City that year.

Despite his position though, Arnold was not ready to surrender yet. That night, at a council of war, he revealed his plan to escape from the British fleet.

Next Week, Arnold attempts to escape from the British fleet.

Previous Episode 109: Great fire of NY & Hanging Nathan Hale



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Barbieri, Michael "The Battle of Valcour Island" Journal of the American Revolution, Jan. 2, 2014: https://allthingsliberty.com/2014/01/battle-valcour-island

Barbieri, Michael "The Fate of the Royal Savage" Journal of the American Revolution, May 2, 2014:
https://allthingsliberty.com/2014/05/the-fate-of-the-royal-savage

Gadue, Michael "The Thunderer, British Floating Gun Battery on Lake Champlain" Journal of the American Revolution, April 4, 2019: https://allthingsliberty.com/2019/04/the-thunderer-british-floating-gun-battery-on-lake-champlain

Gadue, Michael "The Liberty, First American Warship Among Many Firsts" Journal of the American Revolution, June 10, 2019: https://allthingsliberty.com/2019/06/the-liberty-first-american-warship-among-many-firsts

Pippenger, C.E. "Recently Discovered Letters Shed New Light on the Battle of Valcour Island" Journal of the American Revolution, Oct. 11, 2016: https://allthingsliberty.com/2016/10/recently-discovered-letters-shed-new-light- battle-valcour-island

Seelinger, Matthew Buying Time: The Battle of Valcour Island, 2014: https://armyhistory.org/buying-time-the-battle-of-valcour-island

Hubbard, Timothy W. "Battle at Valcour Island: Benedict Arnold As Hero" American Heritage Magazine, Vol. 17, Issue 6, Oct. 1966: http://www.americanheritage.com/content/battle-valcour-island-benedict-arnold-hero

C-Span: author James Arnold discusses his book, Benedict Arnold’s Navy (2006): https://www.c-span.org/video/?193388-1/benedict-arnolds-navy

Benedict Arnold's Legacy: Tales from Lake Champlain, Center for Research on Vermont (2016): https://archive.org/details/Benedict_Arnold_s_Legacy_-_Tales_from_Lake_Champlain

Free eBooks
(from archive.org unless noted)

Hill, George Benedict Arnold: A Biography, Boston: E.O. Libby & Co. 1858.

Kingsford, William The History of Canada, Vol. 6, Toronto: Roswell & Hutchinson, 1887.

Books Worth Buying
(links to Amazon.com unless otherwise noted)*

Fleming, Thomas 1776: Year of Illusions, W.W. Norton & Co., 1975.

Hatch, Robert Thrust for Canada, Houghton-Mifflin, 1979.

Randall, Willard Benedict Arnold: Patriot and Traitor, William Morrow & Co. 1990.


Then Again: Benedict Arnold’s strategic retreat from the Battle of Valcour Island

Vermont artist Ernie Haas depicted an incident from the Battle of Valcour Island in his painting “Cannon Exploding Aboard Gunboat New York, October 17, 1776.” Courtesy of Ernie Haas and the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

Editor’s note: Mark Bushnell is a Vermont journalist and historian. He is the author of “Hidden History of Vermont” and “It Happened in Vermont.”

The men had little idea what to expect. Most of them were new to the sea, having been drawn only recently from the ranks of civilians and soldiers. And their commanders had kept them largely in the dark about what they would be facing – a much larger, better-trained and better-armed squadron, which just happened to be from the world’s most fearsome navy.

These sailors, numbering probably about 500 (though some accounts say 800), were under the command of Gen. Benedict Arnold. This was October 1776, years before his betrayal of the American cause, when he was still one of the would-be country’s most audacious and skilled military leaders.

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During that summer of ’76, as the Declaration of Independence was being hammered out hundreds of miles to the south in Philadelphia, Arnold and these men were assigned to deprive the British control of Lake Champlain. The waterway was vital to the British war plan, and thus key to America’s defenses. The British intended to sail large numbers of troops down the lake. They would seize the twin forts at Ticonderoga on the New York shore and Mount Independence, directly across from it on the Vermont side. They would then rendezvous with British forces near Albany, thus isolating New England from the rest of the former colonies.

Arnold’s orders were to amass a small group of gunboats and pit them against the world’s preeminent naval power. The very idea reeks of hubris, something the supremely confident Arnold had in no short supply. Still, he had doubts about his men: “We have a wretched motley crew in the fleet, the marines (are) the refuse of every regiment, and the seamen, few of them ever wet with salt water,” he wrote his commanding officer.

Much of the American Navy, which consisted of little more than a dozen, hastily constructed gunboats, was stationed with Arnold off Isle LaMotte, at the north end of the lake. They were there to harry British forces venturing south.

Benedict Arnold was one of America’s most competent military leaders at the start of the Revolution. Wikimedia Commons

Arnold’s spies and scouts reported that the British were hauling large ships down the Richelieu River. When they reached Lake Champlain, he knew, the odds were long against the American fleet surviving. The British flotilla was made up of three dozen vessels, including four large ships. Among them were the flagship Inflexible, with three tiers of sails, and an even larger ketch, the Thunderer, which, in addition to six 12-pound guns and a siege howitzer, carried six 24-pounders. Arnold didn’t have a single gun that large. The British also had two dozen gunboats and scores of canoes, carrying perhaps 1,000 Native Americans warriors.

Against this seasoned armada, whose guns could throw twice as many pounds of metal with each broadside as his fleet, Arnold realized he had to use his only advantage, his superior knowledge of the lake. He ordered his ships to sail into Valcour Bay, between Valcour Island and the New York shore, just south of current-day Plattsburgh.

The location had tactical advantages for the Americans. The forested island would conceal the American gunboats, which meant that the British would likely be past the bay’s mouth before spotting them. That would mean the British would have to tack north into the wind to engage in battle. The tricky maneuver, upwind and into a narrow bay, meant the British ships couldn’t attack en masse, Arnold reasoned.

Arnold anchored his fleet of 15 vessels – including a pair of two-masted schooners, eight gondolas, three galleys, a sloop and a cutter – in a crescent formation to allow them to catch the British in a crossfire. The vessels were anchored in such a way that their crews could quickly move them from a broadside firing position to one in which their bows presented themselves to the enemy, making a smaller target.

The British sailed south on Oct. 11. Sir Guy Carleton, royal governor of Quebec, had taken command despite his inexperience. He expected to find the Americans in Cumberland Bay, closer to Plattsburgh, or else fleeing to Ticonderoga. (A year later, three of his top officers would take the extraordinary step of writing to the London Gazette, claiming that Carleton had intelligence that the Americans were in Valcour Bay. If he heard such reports, he dismissed them.) He sailed his forces toward Cumberland Bay and was surprised not to find the Americans.

Continuing south in search of Arnold’s fleet, the British were in a tattered formation, strung out for miles. At about 9 o’clock that morning, after passing the mouth of Valcour Bay, they spotted five American vessels – a schooner and sloop and three row galleys – on the open lake and pursued them. Arnold may have sent the vessels out as bait. The British struggled to sail against the north wind, as Arnold had anticipated. The galleys and the sloop had no trouble making it back to their spots in the crescent. The schooner, the Royal Savage, however, ran aground near Valcour Island and had to be abandoned under heavy fire.

The narrow channel meant the British had to rely heavily on their gunboats, which were nimbler craft. The larger ships had to remain at a distance, limiting their effectiveness. The Thunderer, for all its firepower, proved difficult to sail, and played no part in the action.

For seven hours, the battle raged on. The Americans had no chance at victory. As dusk fell, Carleton pulled back his ships to rest and finish the job the next morning. Arnold gathered his captains to assess damages. They had lost the Royal Savage. A second boat, the Philadelphia, was leaking badly and would soon sink. Several other vessels were badly damaged, but still seaworthy. In all, the Americans had lost about 60 men. Many others were wounded. Worst, they had fired three-quarters of their gunpowder. Continuing the fight was not a reasonable option.

That night, Carleton had left his nearest vessel a mile from the shore. Arnold saw an opportunity. He could have retreated north, between Valcour Island and the mainland, but chose a more daring course. He and his men would slip past the anchored British fleet and race south to the safety of the American forts.

An 18th century diagram of the Battle of Valcour Island. Wikimedia Commons

Arnold ordered the surviving vessels to sail and row with muffled oars. To keep in formation, the men rigged small lanterns to shine on a patch of white chalked on each vessel’s stern. The light would only be visible from about 50 feet. A fog had settled, further obscuring the flotilla. With the British distracted by the noise of their carpenters making repairs and the light from the still-burning Royal Savage, the Americans made their way south along the shore.

At daybreak, the British were stunned to find Valcour Bay deserted. They eventually spotted the fleeing Americans and gave chase. As the British gained on them, Arnold considered making another stand along the west shore, but ultimately decided their best chance was flight. He ordered his fleet to make for the American-held fort at Crown Point, on the New York shore north of Ticonderoga. One of his ships, the Washington, was leaking badly. Overtaken by the Inflexible, the Washington surrendered. The British took 106 prisoners.

Four American vessels managed to slip away and eventually made it all the way to Fort Ticonderoga. Arnold wasn’t so lucky. Several British ships chased his ship, the Congress, and four American gunboats. “They kept up an incessant fire on us for about five hours,” he later reported. Out of ammunition and with nearly half his crew dead or wounded, Arnold realized he couldn’t reach Crown Point, still 10 miles to the south. Rather than surrender, he ordered the vessels into Ferris Bay (now named Arnold’s Bay) on the east shore. He knew it was too shallow for the larger British ships to follow.

On Arnold’s orders, the Americans grounded their vessels and set them ablaze as British boarding parties rowed closer and long-range cannon shots rained down. Men quickly pulled the wounded from the vessels. In his haste, an American gunner ignored the pleas of a Lt. Goldsmith, who had been injured through the thigh. When the boat’s powder magazine exploded, Goldsmith’s body was blasted into the air. Arnold was furious and “threatened to run the gunner through on the spot,” a witness recalled.

Arnold and his men retreated overland, staying near the shore, then were met by boats and ferried to the New York side. They reached Crown Point barely ahead of the British. Arnold ordered the fort burned. They marched on to Ticonderoga, reaching it on Oct. 15.

Five days later, Carleton visited his troops encamped at Crown Point. Snow covered their tents and the distant Adirondacks. His men had crushed Arnold’s navy, but he was in no mood to tackle the next, more formidable, obstacles. Fort Ticonderoga and Mount Independence were braced for an attack, with 13,000 soldiers defending them. Judging that his men lacked time to build proper winter quarters, Carleton pulled his troops north to the comforts of their Canadian bases.

The British would have to wait until the following year to continue their movement south. When they returned, they would face a much better prepared Continental Army and an enflamed and well-armed citizenry, which would ultimately defeat them at Saratoga.

A depiction of the Battle of Valcour Island by an unknown artist. Wikimedia Commons

Correction: The photo captions of the two paintings of the battle were switched in an earlier version of this article.


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1. Philip Schuyler. “Resolves of a Council of War Held at Crown Point,” in William James Morgan, ed., Naval Documents of the American Revolution, kd. 5 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1970), 961.

2. Alfred Thayer Mahan, The Major Operations of the Navies in the War of American Independence (London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, Limited, 1913), 7, 14.

3. John A. Barton, “The Battle of Valcour Island,” History Today 9, no. 12 (1959): 794–95 John R. Bratten, The Gondola Philadelphia and the Battle of Lake Champlain (College Station, TX: Texas A&M Press, 2002), 58.

4. James L. Nelson, Benedict Arnold’s Navy: The Ragtag Fleet that Lost the Battle of Lake Champlain But Won the American Revolution (Camden, NJ: McGraw Hill, 2006), 7.

5. Barton, “The Battle of Valcour Island,” 793.

7. “A List of the Navy of the United States of America on Lake Champlain Aug. 7th, 1776,” in Naval Documents, kd. 6, 96–98.

9. “Captain Charles Douglas to Philip Stephens,” in Naval Documents, kd. 6, 1344–45 Bratten, The Gondola Philadelphia, 58 Barton, 796.

18. “Brigadier General Benedict Arnold to Major General Philip Schuyler,” in Naval Documents, kd. 6, 1275 Nelson, 316.

21. John P. Milsop, “A Strife of Pygmies: The Battle of Valcour Island,” MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History 14, no. 2 (2002): 86–90.

22. Milsop, “A Strife of Pygmies,” 94.

23. Brendan Morrissey, Saratoga: Turning Point of a Revolution (Westport: Praeger, 2004), 32.

25. Bratten, 72 “Gen Horatio Gates to Gen Benedict Arnold,” in Naval Documents, kd. 6, 1237 James Kirby Martin, Benedict Arnold, Revolutionary Hero: An American Warrior Reconsidered (New York: New York University Press, 1997), 288.


Episode Two: “Betrayed”

As three British armies move to converge on Albany, New York from the North, West and South, Arnold uses a clever deceit to turn back back the British offensive moving from the West along the Mohawk valley. Next he fights the British invaders from the North to a standstill at the first battle of Saratoga.

Following his battlefield victory Arnold becomes embroiled in a bitter dispute with his commanding officer General Gates who takes all the credit for the success. This is the culmination of a long simmering rivalry and one of several disputes Arnold has had with other officers and civilian leaders of the revolution. Early life experiences shaped Arnold’s personality into a volatile mix of principled ideals, heightened sensitivity to perceived insults and a short temper. Despite being repeatedly passed over for promotion and unfairly accused he remained committed to the cause — sacrificing his own blood and treasure.

The second battle of Saratoga begins and the Americans falter. Disobeying orders Arnold rallies the troops and leads them to victory. But he is grievously wounded. Again General Gates takes all the credit for the stunning British defeat. As he recuperates Arnold begins to lose faith in the cause. His injury Leaves him crippled and unable to lead in battle, so George Washington assigns him a desk job: Military Governor of Philadelphia.

A British occupation of the city had just ended leaving in its wake a deeply divided community. Radical patriots were eager to punish loyalists who had supported the occupiers and Quakers who, in neutrality, had acquiesced. As governor of the whole population Arnold endeavors to protect the lives and property of the loyalists and Quakers. This offends the sensibilities of the radical patriots who also take issue with his marriage to a young Philadelphia socialite, Peggy Shippen. She had come of age during the time women of her class socialized with the British officer corps and she continued to correspond with some of them at their new post in New York City. His marriage into a Quaker family, coupled with business deals he had with some merchants who may have collaborated with the enemy occupiers further enrages the radical patriots.

Arnold’s old rivals and personal enemies came back to haunt him. Finally the radical patriots persuade George Washington to publicly reprimand Arnold on trumped up allegations. For Arnold this is the final straw. He feels betrayed. He comes to believe that America would be better off as a British colony than under the Leadership of the Patriots.

Arnold requests a transfer from Philadelphia to the command post of the Hudson River fort at West Point. He begins corresponding with his wife’s contacts on the British side and arranges for a British takeover of West Point and possible capture of George Washington himself. The pint is foiled when his co-conspirator is captured with incriminating evidence. Arnold barely eluded capture himself. Washington and the other leaders must vilify Arnold so others dare not follow his lead back to British loyalty.


Benedict Arnold fights valiantly at Valcour Island - HISTORY

Location: 7 miles south of Plattsburgh, between Valcour Island and west shore of Lake Champlain, Clinton County.

Ownership and Administration (1961). State of New York.

Significance. Benedict Arnold's daring fleet action off Valcour Island on October 11, 1776, had a far-reaching effect on the outcome of the War of Independence. Although the American force was defeated, its very presence on the lake and its stubborn fight proved to be a strategic victory by delaying the British invasion of the northern Colonies in 1776. By the time the lake had been cleared of American vessels the British commander concluded that the season was too far advanced to carry out his projected movement toward Albany. The invasion did not resume until the following year, by which time the Americans were better able to meet and repulse it. This they did at Saratoga, the turning point of the Revolution. Alfred T. Mahan, the naval historian, wrote: "That the Americans were strong enough to impose the capitulation of Saratoga was due to the invaluable year of delay secured to them in 1776 by their little navy on Lake Champlain, created by the indomitable energy, and handled with the indomitable courage of the traitor, Benedict Arnold." [47]

Not until early fall of 1776, was Gen. Sir Guy Carleton, British commander in Canada, ready to cooperate with Howe in New York by moving down Lake Champlain and the Hudson River on Albany. By early October, Carleton's fleet was built and ready for action㬙 vessels, mostly gunboats carrying a single gun, against the American fleet of 16 vesselsש taken from the enemy and others hurriedly built on the lake.

Between Valcour Island and the west shore of Lake Champlain is a sound about three-quarters of a mile wide. Midway on the island a high bluff juts into the sound, dividing it into a north and a south bay. On the day of battle, October 11, 1776, Arnold's fleet㬋 vessels were present—lay anchored in line across the bay south of the bluff, concealed from the enemy fleet approaching from the north. Carleton's vessels sailed down the eastern side of Valcour Island and were south of it before the crewmen caught sight of Arnold's fleet. Carleton had to attack against the wind, a decided disadvantage in the age of sail. Closing to short range, the opposing battlelines hammered each other from about 11 a.m. until dusk. One of the two American ships lost that day was the Gundelo Philadelphia, which sank about an hour after the battle. This vessel, recovered from the lake bottom in 1935, is described on pp. 85-86.

The end of the day found Arnold's surviving vessels heavily damaged and low on ammunition. Further fighting was out of the question. The British line still lay between Valcour and escape to the south, but in darkness and a providential fog the survivors of the fight slipped past the left flank of the enemy line. In the next 2 days, Carleton's pursuing vessels knocked out ship after ship, and Arnold burned some to keep them from enemy hands. Arnold and other survivors of the action eluded capture, but when the final score was counted it was discovered that of the ships engaged at Valcour only 4 had reached safety. The American Fleet on Lake Champlain was destroyed, but its work had been done. The invasion from Canada had been halted for 1 crucial year.

Present Appearance (1961). Valcour Island is about 2 miles long from north to south and approximately 1-1/4 miles wide. It is rocky, high, and wooded, and, as seen from the west shore of Lake Champlain, it probably looks much as it did when it sheltered Arnold's makeshift fleet. The sound or bay between the island and the west shore of the lake is three-quarters of a mile wide. Although the shore of Lake Champlain has been built up to some extent, and Valcour Island is the property of several private owners, the island and, more importantly, the bay where the fighting took place have suffered little loss of integrity as landmarks of the War for Independence. No effort has been made to preserve or interpret the scene of the battle, and the only marking is a small monument on the mainland about 5 miles south of Plattsburgh, in view of the island. This was erected in 1928 by the State Education Department and the Saranac Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. [48]


The Army once considered putting the A-10’s BRRRRT! on a tank

Posted On January 28, 2019 18:41:39

The A-10 Thunderbolt II, popularly known as the Warthog, was originally designed as a “tank-killer”. In fact, the entire aircraft was essentially built around a 30 mm rotary cannon, known as the GAU-8 Avenger, a fearsome name for a gun capable of spitting out depleted uranium shells the size of soda bottles designed to shred heavy Soviet tanks and armored personnel carriers into mental confetti.

While the Avenger’s primary use has been as the A-10’s main weapon, seeing combat action from the Persian Gulf War onward, the US Army once considered making this cannon its own by mounting it on the very thing it was created to destroy: tanks.

General Electric’s concept of the M247 Sergeant York, complete with a shortened version of the Avenger (General Electric)

In the late 1970s, the US Army began looking to replace their aging force of self-propelled anti-aircraft guns with newer, more effective systems that could do a similar job with even more lethality and effectiveness than ever before. The result of this search for new air defense artillery would be fielded alongside the Army’s newest and fighting vehicles — namely the M1 Abrams main battle tank and the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle, as part of the service’s vision for the future.

A competition under the Division Air Defense name was thus created.

The goal of the DIVAD program was to design, build and field a self-propelled air defense gun system, able to engage and shoot down low-flying enemy aircraft with controlled bursts of shells from a cannon mounted on a turret. The system would be manned by a small crew, aided by a radar tracking system that would pick up targets and “slave” the gun to them before firing. In concept, the DIVAD vehicle could go anywhere, dig in and wait for enemy aircraft to appear, then shoot them down quickly.

One of the various participants in the competition, according to Jane’s Weapon Systems 1988-1989, was General Electric, fresh from designing the GAU-8 Avenger for what would be the Air Force’s next air support attack jet – the A-10 Warthog. General Electric had the bright idea to take a modified version of the Avenger and place it in a turret, configured to hold its weight while moving the cannon around quickly to track and hit new targets as they appeared.

The GAU-8/A Avenger Gatling gun next to a VW Type 1. Removing an installed GAU-8 from an A-10 requires first installing a jack under the aircraft’s tail to prevent it from tipping, as the cannon makes up most of the aircraft’s forward weight. (US Air Force photo)

The turret, in turn, would be mated to the chassis of an M48 Patton main battle tank as per program requirements, giving it mobility. Able to spit out shells at a rate of 3900 rounds per minute at an effective range of 4000 feet, the Avenger would’ve been a major threat to the safety of any aircraft in the vicinity, sighted through its radar.

However, General Electric’s entry, referred to as the Air Defense Turret, didn’t advance during the DIVAD program. Instead, Ford and General Dynamics were given prototype production contracts to build their designs for testing, with Ford ultimately winning the competition. Known as the M247 Sergeant York, Ford’s anti-aircraft gun system was much more conventional, significantly lighter and apparently somewhat cheaper to build than the Avenger cannon concept.

However, it under-performed severely, much to the embarrassment of its parent company and the Army.

The DIVAD program soon proved to be an abject failure, with nothing to show for pouring millions into the project and the Sergeant York prototypes. The M247 couldn’t adequately track target drones with its radars, even when the drones were made to hover nearly stationary.

In 1985, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger finally put the program out of its misery, noting that missiles were the future of air defense.

The Avenger cannon nevertheless does serve in a somewhat similar role today, functioning as the core of the Goalkeeper Close-In Weapon System, found on a number of modern warships around the world. Goalkeeper is designed to engage surface-skimming missiles aimed at naval vessels and obliterate them by putting up a “wall of steel” – essentially a massive scattered burst of shells which will hopefully strike and detonate the missile a safe distance away from the ship.

Still, one can’t help but wonder just how incredibly awesome mounting a 30mm Gatling cannon to a tank could have been, had the Army chosen to pursue General Electric’s idea instead of Ford’s.


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