Benedict Arnold

Scouring the depths of history

Philadelphia II

From the Sydney Morning Herald

Susan Gough Henly peers into vessels submerged beneath North America's most historic body of water.

Standing on the deck of Philadelphia II, a replica of one of Benedict Arnold's 1776 gunboats, I listen to Eric, a guide fitted out in period costume.

He is describing what it might have been like living and fighting alongside dozens of citizen soldiers aboard this 16-metre square-rig ship.

"Just up the lake, the British were building war boats at the rate of knots," Eric says. "It was too dangerous to stay on land because of unfriendly Native American tribes.

"So you can imagine what the conditions must have been like with 44 men in this space for weeks at a time."