65 Facts About Ambrose Burnside


Ambrose Everett Burnside was an American army officer and politician who became a senior Union general in the Civil War and three-time Governor of Rhode Island, as well as being a successful inventor and industrialist.


Ambrose Burnside was responsible for some of the earliest victories in the Eastern theater, but was then promoted above his abilities, and is mainly remembered for two disastrous defeats, at Fredericksburg and the Battle of the Crater.


Ambrose Burnside could be described as a genuinely unlucky man, both in battle and in business, where he was robbed of the rights to a successful cavalry firearm that had been his own invention.


Ambrose Burnside was born in Liberty, Indiana, and was the fourth of nine children of Edghill and Pamela Brown Ambrose Burnside, a family of Irish and English origins.


Ambrose Burnside's great-great-grandfather Robert Burnside was born in Scotland and settled in the Province of South Carolina.


Ambrose Burnside's father was a native of South Carolina; he was a slave owner who freed his slaves when he relocated to Indiana.


Ambrose Burnside attended Liberty Seminary as a young boy, but his education was interrupted when his mother died in 1841; he was apprenticed to a local tailor, eventually becoming a partner in the business.

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Later, Ambrose Burnside arrested Moon, her younger sister Virginia "Ginnie" Moon, and their mother.


Ambrose Burnside kept them under house arrest for months but never charged them with espionage.


Ambrose Burnside obtained an appointment to the United States Military Academy in 1843 through his father's political connections and his own interest in military affairs.


Ambrose Burnside graduated in 1847, ranking 18th in a class of 47, and was commissioned a brevet second lieutenant in the 2nd US Artillery.


Ambrose Burnside served two years on the western frontier under Captain Braxton Bragg in the 3rd US Artillery, a light artillery unit that had been converted to cavalry duty, protecting the Western mail routes through Nevada to California.


Ambrose Burnside was promoted to 1st lieutenant on December 12,1851.


In October 1853, Ambrose Burnside resigned his commission in the United States Army and was appointed commander of the Rhode Island state militia with the rank of major general.


Ambrose Burnside ran as a Democrat for one of the Congressional seats in Rhode Island in 1858 and was defeated in a landslide.


Ambrose Burnside then went west in search of employment and became treasurer of the Illinois Central Railroad, where he worked for and became friendly with George B McClellan, who later became one of his commanding officers.


Ambrose Burnside became familiar with corporate attorney Abraham Lincoln, future president of the United States, during this time period.


At the outbreak of the Civil War, Ambrose Burnside was a colonel in the Rhode Island Militia.


Ambrose Burnside raised the 1st Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and was appointed its colonel on May 2,1861.


Ambrose Burnside commanded the Coast Division or North Carolina Expeditionary Force from September 1861 until July 1862, three brigades assembled in Annapolis, Maryland which formed the nucleus for his future IX Corps.


The battle was a part of the campaign in North Carolina that was led by Ambrose Burnside and known as the Ambrose Burnside Expedition.


Ambrose Burnside was promoted to major general of volunteers on March 18,1862, in recognition of his successes at the battles of Roanoke Island and New Bern, the first significant Union victories in the Eastern Theater.


Ambrose Burnside was offered command of the Army of the Potomac following Maj.


Ambrose Burnside refused this opportunity because of his loyalty to McClellan and the fact that he understood his own lack of military experience, and detached part of his corps in support of Maj.


Ambrose Burnside again declined command following Pope's debacle at Second Bull Run.

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Ambrose Burnside was given command of the Right Wing of the Army of the Potomac at the start of the Maryland Campaign for the Battle of South Mountain, but McClellan separated the two corps at the Battle of Antietam, placing them on opposite ends of the Union battle line and returning Ambrose Burnside to command of just the IX Corps.


Ambrose Burnside implicitly refused to give up his authority and acted as though the corps commander was first Maj.


Ambrose Burnside did not perform an adequate reconnaissance of the area, and he did not take advantage of several easy fording sites out of range of the enemy; his troops were forced into repeated assaults across the narrow bridge, which was dominated by Confederate sharpshooters on the high ground.


Ambrose Burnside reluctantly obeyed this order, the third such in his brief career, in part because the courier told him that, if he refused it, the command would go instead to Maj.


Ambrose Burnside assumed charge of the Army of the Potomac in a change of command ceremony at the farm of Julia Claggett in New Baltimore, Virginia.


Ambrose Burnside took place on our farm in front of our house in a change of command ceremony at New Baltimore, Virginia on November 9,1862.


Ambrose Burnside was upset by the failure of his plan and by the enormous casualties of his repeated, futile frontal assaults, and declared that he would personally lead an assault by the IX corps.


In January 1863, Ambrose Burnside launched a second offensive against Lee, but it bogged down in winter rains before anything was accomplished, and has derisively been called the Mud March.


Ambrose Burnside offered to resign his commission altogether but Lincoln declined, stating that there could still be a place for him in the army.


Ambrose Burnside had dispatched several agents to the rally who took down notes and brought back their "evidence" to the general, who then declared that it was sufficient grounds to arrest Vallandigham for treason.


Ambrose Burnside next turned his attention to Illinois, where the Chicago Times newspaper had been printing antiwar editorials for months.


Ambrose Burnside remembered the section of General Order No 38 which declared that offenders would be banished to enemy lines and finally decided that it was a good idea so Vallandigham was freed from jail and sent to Confederate hands.


Meanwhile, Lincoln ordered the Chicago Times to be reopened and announced that Ambrose Burnside had exceeded his authority in both cases.


Ambrose Burnside dealt with Confederate raiders such as John Hunt Morgan.


John W Frazer refused to surrender in the face of two Union brigades but Burnside arrived with a third, forcing the surrender of Frazer and 2,300 Confederates.


William S Rosecrans was defeated at the Battle of Chickamauga, and Burnside was pursued by Lt.


Ambrose Burnside skillfully outmaneuvered Longstreet at the Battle of Campbell's Station and was able to reach his entrenchments and safety in Knoxville, where he was briefly besieged until the Confederate defeat at the Battle of Fort Sanders outside the city.


Ambrose Burnside was ordered to take the IX Corps back to the Eastern Theater, where he built it up to a strength of over 21,000 in Annapolis, Maryland.


The IX Corps fought in the Overland Campaign of May 1864 as an independent command, reporting initially to Grant; his corps was not assigned to the Army of the Potomac because Ambrose Burnside outranked its commander Maj.


Ambrose Burnside fought at the battles of Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House, where he did not perform in a distinguished manner, attacking piecemeal and appearing reluctant to commit his troops to the frontal assaults that characterized these battles.

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Ambrose Burnside was never recalled to duty for the remainder of the war.


Ambrose Burnside was contemplating resignation, but Lincoln and Grant requested that he remain in the Army.


The United States Congress Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War later exonerated Ambrose Burnside and placed the blame for the Union defeat at the Crater on General Meade for requiring the specially trained USCT men to be withdrawn.


Ambrose Burnside was elected to three one-year terms as Governor of Rhode Island, serving from May 29,1866, to May 25,1869.


Ambrose Burnside was nominated by the Republican Party to be their candidate for governor in March 1866, and Burnside was elected governor in a landslide on April 4,1866.


Ambrose Burnside was a Companion of the Massachusetts Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, a military society of Union officers and their descendants, and served as the Junior Vice Commander of the Massachusetts Commandery in 1869.


Ambrose Burnside was commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic veterans' association from 1871 to 1872, and served as the Commander of the Department of Rhode Island of the GAR.


In 1876 Ambrose Burnside was elected as commander of the New England Battalion of the Centennial Legion, the title of a collection of 13 militia units from the original 13 states, which participated in the parade in Philadelphia on July 4,1876, to mark the centennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.


In 1874 Ambrose Burnside was elected by the Rhode Island Senate as a US Senator from Rhode Island, was re-elected in 1880, and served until his death in 1881.


Ambrose Burnside continued his association with the Republican Party, playing a prominent role in military affairs as well as serving as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee in 1881.


Ambrose Burnside died suddenly of "neuralgia of the heart" on the morning of September 13,1881, at his home in Bristol, Rhode Island, accompanied only by his doctor and family servants.


Personally, Ambrose Burnside was always very popular, both in the army and in politics.


Ambrose Burnside made friends easily, smiled a lot, and remembered everyone's name.


Ambrose Burnside had been the most unfortunate commander of the Army, a general who had been cursed by succeeding its most popular leader and a man who believed he was unfit for the post.


Ambrose Burnside's tenure had been marked by bitter animosity among his subordinates and a fearful, if not needless, sacrifice of life.


Ambrose Burnside had been willing to fight the enemy, but the terrible slope before Marye's Heights stands as his legacy.


Ambrose Burnside had repeatedly demonstrated that it had been a military tragedy to give him a rank higher than colonel.


One reason might have been that, with all his deficiencies, Ambrose Burnside never had any angles of his own to play; he was a simple, honest, loyal soldier, doing his best even if that best was not very good, never scheming or conniving or backbiting.


Also, he was modest; in an army many of whose generals were insufferable prima donnas, Ambrose Burnside never mistook himself for Napoleon.


Ambrose Burnside was noted for his unusual beard, joining strips of hair in front of his ears to his mustache but with the chin clean-shaven; the word burnsides was coined to describe this style.

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