Tag Archives: Rear Admiral George Cockburn

Washington Burning

Attacking Washington during the War of 1812

On August 25 during the third year of the War of 1812, British Troops torched the White House and the buildings housing the Senate and the House of Representatives amongst other buildings that the Americans hadn’t burned themselves. The campaign was in retaliation to lowly attacks on Canadian citizens and private property along the north shore of Lake Erie in May of 1814.

On August 24th, 1814, a British force led by Major General Robert Ross (not to be mistaken with General “Thunderbolt” Ross who spent many years hunting the Incredible Hulk although no less tenacious) occupied Washington, D.C. and set many fires on controlled targets in the American capitol. Due to the strict discipline of the British troops, private buildings and dwellings were preserved, garnering the respect of much of the American citizenry, while facilities of the U.S. Government were utterly destroyed.

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