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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion > American Age of Formative Expansion

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American Age of Formative Expansion 1789-1830 To begin with the 1st US President & extend through the Whiskey Rebellion, Quasi War with France, War of 1812, & southeastern Indian wars,

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  #1  
Old 25 Jun 11, 12:09
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The man who captured Washington

Major generl Robert Ross hero or villian?
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  #2  
Old 25 Jun 11, 15:58
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Major generl Robert Ross hero or villian?
Neither. Ross was a soldier engaged in waging war against the enemy. He burned the public buildings of Washington DC just as the Americans had done so at York (Toronto.) I don't mind that the British burned the White House and Congress in 1814. However, I do object to them burning the Library of Congress, because lot of irreplaceable, priceless books and information was forever lost.

Ross was later killed by an anonymous American sharpshooter's rifle bullet near Baltimore a few weeks later.
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Old 26 Jun 11, 23:12
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Ross was killed at the Battle of North Point.

Sincerely,
M
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Old 29 Jun 11, 11:41
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[IMG][/IMG] This is a monument built in honour of Ross in his home town in Ireland...[IMG][/IMG] This image shows it beening cleaned someone has put American flag...BETSYROSS on top.Ross was killed at battle of Baltimore,were Francis Scott Key wrote the star spangled banner.Washington post defence correspondent Steve Vogel and british historian Peter Snow are both writing books about the events,Snow is also preparing a tv documentary.In MHO Ross was a hero who always lead from the front.
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Old 05 Jul 11, 15:43
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Major general Robert Ross hero or villain?
He was a officer in the British army who fell in the line of duty, he was a honourable, brave and effective commander.

Hero.
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Old 07 Jul 11, 04:08
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Originally Posted by johnbryan View Post
Neither. Ross was a soldier engaged in waging war against the enemy. He burned the public buildings of Washington DC just as the Americans had done so at York (Toronto.) I don't mind that the British burned the White House and Congress in 1814. However, I do object to them burning the Library of Congress, because lot of irreplaceable, priceless books and information was forever lost.

Ross was later killed by an anonymous American sharpshooter's rifle bullet near Baltimore a few weeks later.
American Soldiers and Sailors also looted the Libary at York though in justice Chauncey tried to round up as many of the stolen books as possible to return them. Ross himself said that had he known it in time the books would most certainly have been saved.There is cause to belive him as the British did not burn the post office when told that there were scientific models housed there which were private property.

As for whether it was revenge for York there is some debate whether it was for that or for recent American atrocities in the Niagara when they burned towns like Dover/St Kitts and Bridgewater etc. Though Ross himself thought it was retaliation for York.

In terms of looting it seems that was done by locals taking advantage of the chaos of an evacuation of a city etc.

Finally as for whether Ross was killed by a rifleman or musketman or not its hard to say for sure as he may even have been killed mistakenly by one in his own side. . There was claims that two lads called Mcomas and Wells did it but both where killed soon afterwards and seems unlikely. Though they say its more likely he was killed by a rifleman though
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Old 07 Jul 11, 04:20
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Ross was killed at the Battle of North Point.

Sincerely,
M

Killed beforehand to be precise. He and Cockburn were out front with the free clonial black militia (ex slaves who escped to british lines and enlisted) when they ran into an ambush they cut there way out but Ross was killed while they were doing it (Which is why there are so many conflicting accounts of when or how Ross was killed)
The Battle of North point happened afterwards and was a British Victory they then came across Baltimores defensive lines which had about 10000 men in them with 1200 sailors and marines. The British commander Brooke (I think cannot remember for sure) did not think he could storm (Even he had captured them the casulties would have been heavy especially for the small size of the force involved) them so instead the Navy bombarded Fort Mchenry instead and the birth of the US national anthem.

When the British retreated back the way they had come they were not harrased or hurried (out it was not Moscow or even Burgos) and embarked safley.
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Old 26 May 12, 00:44
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The British at Washington did not burn it as revenge for the burning of York, now Toronto . In fact there were no Canadians in the attacking force
which was regular British army and Royal Marines landed from a fleet off shore . Was Gen. Ross a villian ? NNo more or less than many generals in many wars . Now Adm Cochrane he was an odd ball, some contemporatoes called him crazy maybe , maybe not he was a good naval officer. HJis Brother is memoraliozed in several South American nations as a hero against the Spanish in era after the Napoleonic wars.
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Old 26 May 12, 02:13
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The British at Washington did not burn it as revenge for the burning of York, now Toronto . In fact there were no Canadians in the attacking force
which was regular British army and Royal Marines landed from a fleet off shore . Was Gen. Ross a villian ? NNo more or less than many generals in many wars . Now Adm Cochrane he was an odd ball, some contemporatoes called him crazy maybe , maybe not he was a good naval officer. HJis Brother is memoraliozed in several South American nations as a hero against the Spanish in era after the Napoleonic wars.
It was in retaliation I believe for US burnings on the Niagara after towns like St-Kitts and Bridgewater were burnt Prevost asked if there would be retaliation to bring it home what they were doing on the east coast and cochrane said yes.

I think you mean Cockburn. Cochrane was overall commander but it was Cockburn who had operational command on the ground during the Washington and Baltimore campaigns. He worked very well with Ross and they got on. Ross was a good man and very quiet. Also Thomas Cochrane was his nephew not his brother. He was due to be his uncles flag captain before he got arrested.
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Old 10 Jun 12, 13:12
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It was in retaliation I believe for US burnings on the Niagara after towns like St-Kitts and Bridgewater were burnt Prevost asked if there would be retaliation to bring it home what they were doing on the east coast and cochrane said yes.

I think you mean Cockburn. Cochrane was overall commander but it was Cockburn who had operational command on the ground during the Washington and Baltimore campaigns. He worked very well with Ross and they got on. Ross was a good man and very quiet. Also Thomas Cochrane was his nephew not his brother. He was due to be his uncles flag captain before he got arrested.
Ross was in command once the soldiers were put on land. He had the final decision on whether or not to attack Washington. Cockburn went along for the ride but Ross was in command. Ross made the decision to burn the public buildings and he reportedly told the Americans whose house he stayed in overnight that it was in retaliation for York. BTW, according to one of the British officers who was present, Harry Smith, Cockburn wanted to burn the entire town but Ross would not allow it.
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Old 14 Jun 12, 10:04
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Ross was an excellent officer, very competent and well-respected.

Regarding his death in action at North Point, he was killed during the advance guard squabble that immediately preceded the main engagement. The end advance guard action saw contact broken between the two forces as the new British commander, Colonel Arthur Brooke, figured out what he wanted to do. He did not attack immediately from march column, but took the time to bring up his entire force to face the well-uniformed and positioned Americans and fight his own battle.

To state that Ross was killed at the Battle of North Point is correct as far as I can judge. If someone disagrees, that's fine, but it is a moot point as well as a tempest in a teapot.

Sincerely,
M
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Old 14 Jun 12, 10:10
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As for who set fire to what and when in Washington, the Americans set fire to the Washington Navy Yard, the East Branch bridges, and the Long Bridge that crossed into Virginia.

Ross only took 300 men into Washington proper to prevent reoccurences of the aftermath of British sieges in the Spanish Peninsula.

One house was burned because a sniper fired from it, killing two corporals and Ross's horse.

The Capitol and the White House were burned (when the White House was sandblasted in the early 1990s to get all of the old paint off, the scorch marks from 1814 became clearly visible and were photographed by the Smithsonian).

The Washington Arsenal was burned as were other public buildings-an accidental explosion killed 12 and wounded 30, but private property was generally left alone, the looting was later done by local American citizens.

Sincerely,
M
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Old 14 Jun 12, 10:48
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"An American sniper shot him through the right arm into the chest. According to Baltimore tradition, two American riflemen, Daniel Wells and Henry McComas, aged 18 and 19, respectively, were credited with killing Ross. Ross died while being transported back to the fleet."
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Old 14 Jun 12, 12:41
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And?

I've seen that it was one rifleman that shot him. And the difference between being killed outright and mortally wounded is merely time.

It also depends on the source you use as to what happened where and to whom.

Sincerely,
M
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Old 14 Jun 12, 17:30
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Simple math..... one of them missed his target. To be fair they split the honor.... good enough.
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