The Plot to Burn New York
November 25, 1864 - The Confederacy was reeeling from the scorched earth tactics of General Sherman, so southerner Jacob Thompson hatched a desperate plan to send secret agents into New York City. The goal was to set the Big Apple ablaze.
The team of eight operatives that attempted the mission was called the Confederate Army of Manhattan. At 8:45 in the evening they spread out across the city and started lighting fires in 19 hotels and other buildings, including P.T. Barnum's museum. Thankfully for New York, all the fires were quickly extinguished and the plot literally fizzled out.
Only one of the arsonists was ever caught. A Louisiana man named Robert Cobb Kennedy was caught a few months later when he tried to sneak back into the United States from his hideout in Canada.
He was tried, convicted and executed at Fort Lafayette within view of the city he attempted to burn down.