Patriot & Traitor: Benedict Arnold in Connecticut – July 22 to 25, 2015 – PAST TOUR

Patriot & Traitor: Benedict Arnold in Connecticut – July 22 to 25, 2015 – PAST TOUR

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Wednesday, July 22 (7:30pm) – Saturday, July 25 (5 pm)

Led by James Kirby Martin and Bruce Venter

HQ: Meriden, CT

Reserve a room at the Holiday Inn Express by June 22 for special rates

Conference Package: $495

Patriot-and-TraitorPerhaps no American historical figure evokes more controversy than Benedict Arnold. He was the hero of the Revolutionary War’s greatest battle, Saratoga and three years later America’s first and most famous traitor. Indeed, he was an intricate character.

We have designed this unique America’s History tour to be able to show you two sides of this enigmatic personality. By focusing on Connecticut, we will be able to reveal Benedict Arnold as a merchant and budding military leader, a patriot who fought the British during the Danbury raid and, finally, as a traitor who in a red-coated uniform led Crown forces in a mean-spirited raid on New London. We are fortunate to have the country’s foremost Arnold biographer leading our tour.

Our first day will focus on Benedict Arnold as a patriot home on leave visiting his family in New Haven, who joined forces with Brig. Gen. David Wooster and local Connecticut militia men to fight a British raiding party bent on destroying rebel stockpiles in Danbury in April 1777. We will follow the British landing at Compo Beach in Westport to the first engagement between Williams Tryon’s 1,800 Crown troops and patriot militia. We will pass Christ Church along the British route, then make a stop at Putnam Memorial Park, a 1778 American winter encampment named for Connecticut’s other famous Revolutionary War general. We will stop at three sites of engagement near Ridgefield where patriot forces confronted Tryon’s men making their way back to the coast from Danbury. During these fights, Wooster was mortally wounded and Arnold had a horse shot from under him. Arnold tried to block the British retreat at Ridgefield, but Tryon managed to sidestep the American position and escape back to their waiting ships.

On our second day we will see Arnold as a traitor who donned a British general’s uniform in 1780 to fight for King George. One of his escapades as a redcoat was the New London raid in September 1781. As a feint to assist the Yorktown situation, Arnold led a two-pronged attack on Forts Griswold and Trumbull with a combined force of regulars, Loyalists and Jaeger. Both forts were captured and the town set ablaze. Arnold looked at the conflagration “with the apparent satisfaction of Nero.” We will visit Fort Griswold which is in remarkably pristine condition for an urban site and Avery House, used as a hospital during the battle. The original Fort Trumbull is gone, but its 19th century replacement is an excellent example of American coastal defenses and has a museum partly dedicated to Arnold’s raid. While in the area, we will visit historic Norwichtown, Arnold’s birthplace which boasts numerous 18th century structures, including the house of Samuel Huntington, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Our third day will concentrate on Benedict Arnold in New Haven through his activities as a merchant and rebel. His first wife, Margaret is buried in Center Church and the site of his house is nearby. We will visit the Powder House Incident site where Arnold showed real patriotism for the American cause. We will also visit Savin Rock and the sites associated with the British raid on New Haven in July 5, 1779.

There is much to see on this tour of Benedict Arnold as a hero and a traitor and Connecticut’s 18th century sites, many of them not often covered by Revolutionary War tours. And you will have a chance to decide for yourself if there is any exculpation for Arnold’s decisions and actions. As always, America’s History will have a few surprises for participants who select this tour.

What’s included: motor coach transportation, three lunches, beverage and snack breaks, a map and materials package, all admissions and gratuities, and the services of experienced tour leaders. The hotel will provide a complimentary hot and cold breakfast buffet each day. Tour participants are responsible for transportation to the headquarters hotel, and securing a room reservation, if necessary. Dinner is on your own. Tour goes out rain or shine. Please see our policy page for information about cancellations.

Hotel: We have arranged with the headquarters hotel for a group rate of $93.00 per night plus tax (double or single occupancy.) Please call the Holiday Inn Express, 2104 N. Broad Street, Meriden, CT 06450 at 203-443-5700 and ask for the America’s History group rate. This rate will be guaranteed until June 22, so please make your reservations soon.

Our Tour Leaders:
Dr. James Kirby Martin is author of the award-winning biography Benedict Arnold, Revolutionary Hero: An American Warrior Reconsidered. He has taught at the University of Houston since 1980, where he served as Department Chair and is currently the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen University Professor of History. Jim is the author or editor of twelve books, including A Respectable Army: The Military Origins of the Republic and co-author of Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution.
Dr. Bruce M. Venter is president of America’s History, LLC and an experienced leader of Revolutionary War tours. He is the author of The Battle of Hubbardton: The Rear Action That Saved America. His article entitled “Behind Enemy Lines: Americans Attack Burgoyne’s Supply Line” appeared in Patriots of the American Revolution magazine. He also serves as 1st Vice President of the American Revolution Round Table of Richmond, Virginia.

Registration Fee: $495.00

Register Online:

Register by phone, e-mail or postal mail:

  • Phone: 1-703-785-4373
  • Email us at:
  • Postal mail: America’s History LLC, P. O. Box 1076, Goochland, VA 23063

Visa, Master Card and Discover accepted. We take checks too!

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