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Benedict Arnold was an American military officer who served as a general during the American Revolutionary War, fighting for the American Continental Army before betraying them to the British in 1780. George Washington had given him his fullest trust and placed him command of the fortifications at West Point, New York. Arnold planned to surrender the fort to British forces, but the plot was discovered in September 1780 and he fled to the British. His name quickly became a byword in the United States for treason and betrayal because he betrayed his countrymen by leading the British army in battle against the very men whom he had once commanded.