WAR OF 1812
August 27, 1814
We returned to Washington today. It saddens us to see our capital in ashes.
We lost the city to the British three days ago after the Battle of Bladensburg in
Maryland. President James Madison actually took control of a group of soldiers
and fought alongside us for a period of time. General Ross and the British troops
overwhelmed our men and we could not hold them back any longer. We did the
best we could and it allowed many of the Congressmen and our country’s leaders
to get out of the city unharmed. Our President did not run, though. He and his wife,
Dolly stayed as long as they possibly could before the danger became too great. He
met us at the battlefield and stayed with our troops for as long as he could before
taking his wife to safety.
Once the British gained control of our capital, they seemed intent on
destroying it. Buildings everywhere were ablaze. The Library of Congress, White
House, the House of Representatives and many other federal buildings were
destroyed. Homes were burnt to the ground and the city was ravaged in an attempt
to get revenge for our troops burning down buildings owned by Canada’s
government earlier in the war (“The American,” 2010). Before they left, the
British troops raided homes and buildings everywhere taking whatever they could
use in the way of supplies and ammunition.
WAR OF 1812
President Madison is with us surveying the damage to the area. He is intent
on rebuilding the city and his beloved White House. It is apparent, the destruction
of our nation’s capital has given the President and those of us in the military a new
dedication to make sure we win this war. For as heartbreaking as this defeat was, it
has given us the courage and conviction to see this war through to the end.
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