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Battle of Washington (Short-lived US)

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Battle of Washington
Timeline: Short-lived US
date: May 17, 1816
location: Washington
result: Close British victory
War of 1812

British Empire

United States of America

Commanders

Arthur Wellesley

Jacob Brown

The Battle of Washington was a battle during the War of 1812, in which the British took the American capital of Washington (which was later renamed Georgetown). Arthur Wellesley's army, now famous for its victories at Waterloo, New York, and Trenton, advanced on the capital on the afternoon of May 16, 1816.

The army made preparations during the night. Just after dawn, Wellesley's army commenced the attack. One division had travelled around to the other side of the city to prevent government officials from escaping. The battle was fierce, and at several points an American victory seemed likely, but the British won in the end.

Many Congressmen and Senators had fled before the battle, as had the vice president, but President James Madison was present, having made plans to leave the Capital the next day. When he heard that the battle had begun, he attempted to make an escape. His escape was cut short when stray fire hit his shoulder. He died of blood loss.

This victory was the penultimate step on the fall of the United States. After the battle, Wellesley's army pushed through the rest of the country all the way to New Orleans. The Meeting of the Armies over half a year later is seen as the last step on the fall of the USA.

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