The Burning of Washington:|
"The avowed object of the Enemy is, the destruction of the City and Navy Yard, at Washington, the City and Navy yard at Norfolk, and the City of Baltimore..."
-- Commodore Joshua Barney discussing the importance of establishing a sufficient defense for the Chesapeake Bay region
After the Battle of Blandensburg, the British marched into Washington DC, and there they dined on Madison's "victory" dinner. Afterwards, they burned the White House (then known as the Executive Mansion), Treasury Building, Capitol, Library of Congress, and the Washington Navy Yard. Severe weather, fear of an American counter attack, and an accidental explosion, at what is now Fort McNair, convinced the British to withdraw from the city.
On 24-25 August 1814, the British occupied Washington, burning the Executive Mansion, the Washington Navy Yard, and other public buildings.
After Bladensburg, some United States Soldiers and Marines retreated to Sewall-Belmont House and its grounds. When they saw the British troops stop nearby to obtain water, they opened fire, killing General Robert Ross's horse. Ross ordered his soldiers to burn the house in retaliation.