Boot Monument


Boot Monument

The Boot Monument is an American Revolutionary War memorial that commemorates an unnamed American Patriot general, Benedict Arnold. Located in Saratoga National Historical Park, New York. It is the only war memorial in the United States that does not bear the name of the person commemorated. fact|date=August 2007|Is there not also a plaque to him at West Point?|http://historictraveler.away.com/primedia/military/plebes_along_hudson_1.adp

The monument commemorates Arnold's contribution to the Continental Army's victory over the British in the Battle of Saratoga. Arnold was wounded in the foot during the Arnold expedition as well as at Saratoga near where the monument is located at "Tour Stop #7 - Berryman Redoubt". The injury effectively ended his career as a fighting soldier.

The memorial was donated by John Watts de Peyster a former Major General for the New York State Militia during the American Civil War who wrote several military histories about the Battle of Saratoga.

The dedication on the back reads:

"Erected 1887 By
JOHN WATTS de PEYSTER
Brev: Maj: Gen: S.N.Y.
2nd V. Pres't Saratoga Mon't Ass't'n:
In memory of
the most brilliant soldier of the
Continental Army
who was desperately wounded
on this spot the sally port of
BORGOYNES 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."

Benedict Arnold is not mentioned by name on the monument. Several years later, as the Revolutionary War continued, after a series of slights and insults by the Continental Congress, the wounded Arnold turned traitor to the United States and joined with the British and their Loyalists. Arnold attempted unsuccessfully to hand over his American command, West Point, to the British. Although this attempt failed, Arnold was given the rank of a British brigadier general and the British exchequer paid him £6,000.

A story that has circulated in various versions states:

:When Benedict Arnold was leading the forces of the King against his former compatriots in Virginia, among his prisoners was a certain plucky and witty officer, who, in answer to Arnold's question, "What will the Americans do with me if they catch me?" replied, "They will cut off the leg which was wounded when you were fighting so gloriously for the cause of liberty, and bury it with the honors of war, and hang the rest of your body on a gibbet." [The Maine Book by Henry Ernest Dunnack (1920) page 52]

References

Sources

Randall, Willard Sterne. "Benedict Arnold: Patriot and Traitor". Dorset Press, New York, 1990.

Sneiderman, Barney. "Warriors Seven: Seven American Commanders, Seven Battles, and the Irony of Command." Savas Beatie, New York, 2006.

External links

* [http://www.nps.gov/sara/tour-7.htm National Park Service page on the monument]


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