Robert Ross, 1766–1814, British general. He served against the French in the Netherlands, in Egypt, and in the Peninsular War. In the War of 1812 he defeated a U.S. force at Bladensburg, and on the same day (Aug. 24, 1814) he surprised and captured Washington, burning all the public buildings. Spurred by victory, Ross decided to attempt the capture of Baltimore. On Sept. 12, in a thick wood near North Point, his army encountered the American militia. A skirmish ensued, and Ross was killed.