Item description for Benedict Arnold's Army: The 1775 American Invasion of Canada During the Revolutionary War by Arthur S. Lefkowitz...
A brilliant American combat officer and this country's most famous traitor, Benedict Arnold is one of the most fascinating and complicated people to emerge from American history. His contemporaries called Arnold "the American Hannibal" after he successfully led more than 1,000 men through the savage Maine wilderness in 1775. The objective of Arnold and his heroic corps was the fortress city of Quebec, the capital of British-held Canada. The epic campaign is the subject of Benedict Arnold's Army, a fascinating campaign to bring Canada into the war as the 14th colony. The initiative for the assault came from George Washington who learned that a fast moving detachment could surprise Quebec by following a chain of rivers and lakes through the Maine wilderness. Washington picked Col. Benedict Arnold, an obscure and controversial Connecticut officer, to command the corps who signed up for the secret mission. Arnold believed that his expedition would reach Quebec City in twenty days. The route turned out to be 270 miles of treacherous rapids, raging waterfalls, and trackless forests that took months to traverse. At times Arnold's men were up to their waists in freezing water dragging and pushing their clumsy boats through surging rapids and hauling them up and over waterfalls. In one of the greatest exploits in American military history, Arnold led his famished corps through the early winter snow, up and over the Appalachian Mountains, and on to Quebec. Benedict Arnold's Army covers a largely unknown but important period of Arnold's life. Award-winning author Arthur Lefkowitz provides important insights into Arnold's character during the earliest phase of his military career, showing his aggressive nature, need for recognition, experience as a competitive businessman, and his obsession with honor that started him down the path to treason. Lefkowitz extensively researched Arnold's expedition and made numerous trips along the same route that Arnold's army took. Benedict Arnold's Army also contains a closing chapter with detailed information and maps for readers who wish to follow the expedition's route from the coast of Maine to Quebec City. There is a growing interest in the Founding Fathers and the Revolutionary War as a source of national pride and identity and the Arnold Expedition as told through Benedict Arnold's Army is one of the greatest adventure stories in American history. Arthur S. Lefkowitz lives in central New Jersey REVIEWS "...In short, BENEDICT ARNOLD'S ARMY is brilliant. The prose sparkles, the research shines, and the historical fog enveloping this obscure expedition lifts to reveal the military gamble across a barely-charted wilderness... hard to put down."Magweb.com 05/2008"...highly recommended to American History shelves and anyone who would want to learn more about this enigmatic figure of American History." Midwest Book Review, 05/2008
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25" Weight: 1.52 lbs.
Publisher Savas Beatie
ISBN 1932714030 ISBN13 9781932714036
Reviews - What do customers think about Benedict Arnold's Army: The 1775 American Invasion of Canada During the Revolutionary War?
Excellent Book, probably the best of the current crop Jul 28, 2008
I purchased this book with a "Ho hum, another book purporting to offer something new on the Arnold expedition." I was pleasantly surprised in that Lefkowitz has written probably the best complete book on the expedition's march and subsequent battle for Quebec. What was "new" was that the author's end notes were excellent, and his discussions of controversial points were most welcome.
The parts focusing on Arnold were not expressly germane to a book about Arnold's Army, but they did not detract excessively. I would have wanted more on the life of the American soldiers while prisoners of the British and the details of their return, but primary sources on this part of the story are few.
The author lists many references, but only about two dozen would supply probably 99 percent of the information available on the expedition. Actually, this is a story that an historian almost can get his arms around just by reading Kenneth Roberts's, "March To Quebec", at least for the journals by the expedition members. Coupling that with Justin Smith's "Arnold's March From Cambridge To Quebec", and one pretty well covers the ground.
So why this volume? Well, because it brings all of the above together, weeding out the myth (like Aaron Burr's Indian Mistress) and resolving conflicts and discrepancies in source writings. A good example of this is the story by Francis Nichols who maintained that a drunken British sailor fired the cannon that killed Montgomery although Nichols was not there and evidently based his account on heresay. Another is Morgan's comment in a letter he wrote to Henry Lee of finding the second barricade undefended that was probably a fabrication in whole or in part. Another is the discussion of "Dog Lane", a name for the path Arnold used for his approach to the lower town that was apparently added in the nineteenth century.
Probably very little will be added to the story through further research in future years as the vast majority of primary sources are already known (and they are very few.) Once in a while a little is added when a letter is found like that written by my Great-great-great-grandfather James Dougherty who was in Smith's company, captured at Quebec and immediately on being paroled, broke parole and joined Washington to fight on until 1783. Whether or not Lefkowitz's book will someday be considered the definitive work I leave up to future generations, but it will come close.
Learn more about this enigmatic figure of American history. May 4, 2008
Benedict Arnold is viewed by most as simply a traitor to the American Revolution, but in fact he was one of the most complex and intriguing people in history. "Benedict Arnold's Army: The 1775 American Invasion of Canada During the Revolutionary War" follows the traitor's exploits before his infamous act, focusing on his invasion of Canada. He was dubbed the "American Hannibal" by his contemporaries due to his amazing exploits and acts during his less infamous time on the side of the Americans. "Benedict Arnold's Army: The 1775 American Invasion of Canada During the Revolutionary War" is highly recommended to American History shelves and anyone who would want to learn more about this enigmatic figure of American history.
Benedict Arnold's exploits in the Revolutionary War Apr 29, 2008
Before Benedict Arnold turned traitor, he was a highly-regarded officer in the American Army. Having risen to the rank of colonel, he had caught the eye of George Washington. Arnold was having a significant role in the defense of the northern boundaries of the rebellious colonies to keep British forces from invading from Canada.
Washington selected Arnold to lead part of American forces on an invasion of Canada to remove this threat of British invasion and possibly bring the British possession over to the American side. General Montgomery was to lead the other major part of the American forces. Montgomery would go up the Hudson for an attack on fortified Quebec. Arnold was to lead his force through Maine mainly along the Kennebec River to meet up with Montgomery for the attack.
Arnold did eventually meet up with Montgomery, but not before an arduous trek through the Maine wilderness which weakened and demoralized his men. The delay in reaching Quebec also upset the timing of the planned attack. By the time the American forces joined together, the British were able to repulse the assault on Quebec. They had learned of the advance of the American forces and strengthened the defenses of the city.
The invasion of Quebec was disastrous, though not fatal to the American cause. Montgomery was killed in the assault. Arnold's reputation suffered, so it wasn't long before he went over to the British.
Author of three previous books on the American Revolutionary War, the independent scholar Lefkowitz relates this major, though failed, episode in the Revolutionary War in an engrossing manner that never flags despite its detail as the details are colorful as well as informative. In many cases, the details are revealing as well with respect to Arnold's attributes and character. Readers of popular history could not find a better account of the Arnold expedition and especially the maneuvering leading up to the attack on Quebec and the attack itself. Welcome too is the series of 10 maps such readers can refer to to follow the tale.
Where Was the Editor? Apr 25, 2008
Ever since reading "Arundel" by Kenneth Roberts in the ninth grade, I have been fascinated by the story of Arnold's expedition up the Kennebec and down the Chaudiere to Quebec. When I heard about this book I eagerly sought it out and got into it. I must pay tribute to the research and historical descriptions of Mr. Lefkowitz. What was most bothersome, however, was the plethora of typos, omitted dates, words left out, and other evidences of a badly-edited work. One of the most irritating things was the consistent misspelling of one of the key geographic sites in the whole story, Lake Megantic. With one or two exceptions this was always spelled "Magentic" in the book. I would say that Mr. Lefkowitz wrote a fine book but was ill served by his publisher.
The Definitive Account of the 1775 Invasion of Canada Mar 29, 2008
Author Arthur Lefkowitz's account of Benedict Arnold's army marching through the Maine wilderness to attack the city of Quebec during the waning months of 1775 may very well be the definitive account of this expedition. For those, me included, who would not fit the definition of a historian this book may go into a little more detail than what may interest you. Nevertheless, the book will be worth your time. Many of those who accompanied Arnold on this trip included veterans of the Battle of Bunker Hill in June of 1775. Several who took part on this harrowing trip were called gentleman volunteers. Among them was a smallish man who distinguished himself well named Aaron Burr. The plan of attack was for General Philip Schuyler who was to first attack Montreal from Fort Ticonderoga while Arnold and his men traveled to Quebec through Maine. Schuyler became sick along the way and had to return, and he was replaced by General Richard Montgomery. Arnold and his men suffered on their trek by having to deal with numerous hardships such as portaging their way around numerous waterfalls, insufficient food, freezing weather, and traveling through swamps. There was some question whether Arnold would defer to Montgomery's authority when they joined forces in Quebec, but the two got along fine. With several soldiers' enlistments due to expire with the arrival of the new year and several attempts to get British Governor Guy Carleton to surrender the two generals combined their attack on Quebec on December 31st in a snowstorm. Although Montgomery was killed and Arnold took a musket ball below the knee and the effort to take Quebec failed this experience provided valuable training experience that went into winning American independence. This book is a valuable addition to Revolutionary War literature.