The burning of the public buildings in Washington continues to stoke up a lively debate with some arguing that it was carried out in retaliation for the Americans burning British-controlled York (modern-day Toronto), Upper Canada, in April 1813. Others, by contrast, believe that the decision was influenced by events when General Ross approached the city following his decisive victory at the Battle of Bladensburg (24th August 1814). His original intention, it has been argued by some, was to secure a ransom for the city. Entering Washington under a flag of truce, a volley of shots was fired at Ross from a nearby house (and perhaps from the Capitol – as some British officers alleged at the time), killing Ross’ horse, several of his men and wounding others. The intention to exact a ransom from the American government in lieu of burning the public buildings was abandoned as a result. Whatever the reason, both American and British accounts agree that General Ross ensured that private property was respected in Washington. The violation of the flag of truce, it was argued by some on the British side at the time, exposed Washington to total destruction by the prevailing conventions of warfare. Most commentators, both contemporary and modern, agree that the notorious Admiral Cockburn who accompanied Ross to Washington would have laid the entire city in ashes had he not been restrained by Ross.