The Burning of Washington occurred following the British victory at the Battle of Bladensburg earlier in the day. President James Madison, military officials, and his government, who had mostly been present at the battle, had already fled the city. The American army had been completely routed and the British army was able to enter Washington D.C. unopposed.
Less than a day after the attack began, a sudden, very heavy thunderstorm put out the fires. It also spun off a tornado that passed through the centre of the capital, setting down on Constitution Avenue and lifting two cannons before dropping them several yards away, killing British troops and American civilians alike. Following the storm, the British returned to their ships, many of which were badly damaged. The occupation of Washington lasted only about 26 hours. After the "Storm that saved Washington", as it soon came to be called, the Americans returned to the city.
This scene was built by James Pegrum as part of a series of models on interesting events and people in British history. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see them first.