Lead: In the Spring of 1779 the British intelligence chief in the colonies received word that one of America's most famous war heroes was ready to defect to Britain.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1776 Benedict Arnold was a highly successful shipowner and merchant in New Haven, Connecticut. Despite his prosperity, he was considered by the finer families in town as a rather coarse interloper who consorted with ruffians. As the war approached he became a leader of a group of rough radicals who agitated for revolution and who harassed Loyalists in the name of patriotism. When fighting broke out in Massachusetts he volunteered and served as one of Ethan Allen's officers in the successful attack on Fort Ticonderoga, N.Y. in May 1775. At the Battle of Saratoga, until he was severely wounded, Arnold commanded several battalions in the decisive American victory.