Ambrose Burnside



Born: May 23, 1824 in Liberty, Indiana

Died: September 13, 1881 in Bristol, Rhode Island

Political Party: Republican

Religion: Protestant (Christian)

Wife: Mary Bishop

Allegiance: United States (Union)

Highest Rank: Major General

Other: Became 30th Governor of Rhode Island

Involvement in Civil War:

Ambrose Burnside was a very controversial general during the Civil War. Some say he was a good general and others said he was one of the worst. Before the Civil War started General Burnside was a Brigadier General in the Rhode Island militia. Burnside would then go on to fight in the Civil War, where he fought in the Eastern Theater. When the Civil War started he created a regiment (1st Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry) and was the colonel of it. He then went on to fight with his brigade at the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861. Burnside became popular during these early years of the war, but when Burnside was promoted and given command of more men at the Battle of Antietam he did not perform well. In Mr. Lincolns Army by Bruce Catton he says, "Burnside had repeatedly demonstrated that it had been a military tragedy to give him a rank higer than a colonel". Burnside was not very good at commanding a large group of soldiers, and the duties and responsibilities of being a higher rank. This was also seen at the Battle of Fredericksburg (he was the leading commander) when he sent thousands of his soldiers straight at a stonewall where the Confederates were entrenched. The loses of that day were 12,653 Union casualties and 5,377 Confederate casualties. After this battle Burnside lost his command of the Army of the Potomac and became less popular general of his time.

Engagements (Civil War):

- First Battle of Bull Run

- Battle of Roanoke Island

- Battle of New Bern

- Battle of South Mountain

- Battle of Antietam

- Battle of Fredericksburg

- Knoxville Campaign

- Overland Campaign (Battle of Wilderness/Spotsylavania Courthouse/North Ana/Cold Harbor)

- Siege of Petersburg (Battle of the Crater)

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