January 5, 1781
Benedict Arnold leads British naval forces in an attack on Richmond, Virginia during the American Revolutionary War. Arnold offered to leave the city unharmed if Thomas Jefferson would agree to surrender its tobacco stores and military arms, but Jefferson refused. In response, Arnold ordered the city to be burned. The capture and subsequent burning of Richmond was one of Arnold’s most notorious actions. His actions angered George Washington so much, a bounty was placed on Arnold’s head.
This Day in History by Jim Daley; Copyright 2019; Publications International, Ltd.