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The Burning Of Washington DC During The War Of 1812 – Causes, Effects And Facts

The war of 1812
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Washington, D.C. can simply be called either Washington or D.C. This is the capital city of the United States of America. This is also the federal district. Washington D.C. is situated next to the bank of the Potomac river which forms the southern and the southwest border of the US. The major significance of this city is that it is a world political capital. Washington, D.C. is also a city that had more than 20 million tourists in the year 2016. The war of 1812 is known to many. The burning of Washington DC during the war of 1812, was an invasion act performed by the British. But, do you know what caused the burning of Washington DC? This was the only time Washington D.C., the capital city was occupied and captured by a foreign power. Continue to read and know more about who was involved in the burning of Washington DC and some unknown facts about the burning of Washington DC.

burning of Washington dc during the war of 1812

The War of 1812

The American forces were defeated on the 24th of August, 1814 in the Bladensburg Battle. General Robert Ross, who led the British force, marched into the capital city of Washington D.C. During the war of 1812, Several militaries and government buildings were set on fire that very night, which also included the White House (Presidential Mansion).  

The Burning of Washington DC During The War Of 1812

What Caused The Burning Of Washington DC?

The burning of Washington DC during the war of 1812, was a retaliation attack. In the year 1811, the American forces caused major destruction to Upper Canada. The U.S forces also looted and burnt their capital. This was what caused the British military forces to enter Washington, D.C. and burn the White House and Washington DC as they retaliated for the American attack on the city of Canada.

what caused the burning of Washington dc

Who Was Involved In The Burning Of Washington DC?

Major General Robert Ross along with Admiral George Cockburn was the one who was involved in the burning of Washington DC. The British force consisted of 4,500 “battle-hardened” soldiers, who attacked the capital city, Washington DC, and set it on fire.

Facts About The Burning Of Washington DC

  1. One of the surprising facts about the burning of Washington dc is that Washington D.C. was occupied by the British forces for 26 hours (approx).
  2. The burning of Washington DC was extinguished by a hurricane and tornado.
  3. Because of the invasion, then President, James Madison, was forced to stay with a Quaker.
  4. President James Madison and his officials found refuge in Brookeville.
  5. The tornado caused major damage to the British ships.
  6. President James Madison spent that night in the house of Caleb Bentley. Currently, that house is known as ‘Madison House’.

The Thunderstorm That Saved DC

Washington D.C. was saved by the storm. The heavy rain along with thunderstorms extinguished the fire that burnt the capital city. But it is also said that the storm caused even bigger problems and destruction by causing cracks and collapsing the already charred buildings. The storm also destroyed the Patent Office. So, in the end, the storm is considered to be good and bad. In the year 2013, Weather Channel released an episode titled ‘The Thunderstorm That Saved D.C’ in remembrance of these events.

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