The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the Federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall. Though not in the geographic center of the District of Columbia, the Capitol is the origin by which the quadrants of the District are divided. Officially, both the east and west sides of the Capitol are referred to as "fronts." Historically, however, only the east front of the building was intended for the arrival of visitors and dignitaries.
United States Capitol in Trail of Glory
The United States Capitol was unfinished at the time of the War of 1812. When American forces evacuated Washington in advance of the arrival of British troops, that actually made it a strong tactical position for the city's impromptu defenders, Sam Houston and Patrick Driscol.