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A monument to a man’s leg was erected on the Saratoga battlefield in honor of Benedict Arnold, one-time hero of the Continental Army but who later tried to betray West Point and then fled to England.

Because Arnold was instrumental in winning the crucial battle of Saratoga where his left leg was wounded. General Depeyster had the monument erected at his own expense. The rest of the betrayer’s body and his face were not to be commemorated!

The inscription beside the boot nowhere carries the name of Benedict Arnold. It reads:

“In memory of the most brilliant soldier of the Continental Army, who was desperately wounded on this spot. . . 7th October, 1777, winning for his countrymen the decisive battle of the American Revolution, and for himself the rank of major general.”

Great things can be erased by bad acts.

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