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Ambrose Burnside

Facts, information and articles about Ambrose Burnside, a Civil War General during the American Civil War

Ambrose Burnside Facts

Born

May 23, 1824 Liberty, Indiana

Died

September 13, 1881 Bristol, Rhode Island

Years Of Service

1847–1865

Rank

Major General

Commands

Army of the Potomac
Army of the Ohio

Battles

American Civil War
First Battle of Bull Run
Burnside’s North Carolina Expedition
Battle of Roanoke Island
Battle of New Bern
Maryland Campaign
Battle of South Mountain
Battle of Antietam
Battle of Fredericksburg
Knoxville Campaign
Overland Campaign
Battle of the Wilderness
Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
Battle of North Anna
Battle of Cold Harbor
Siege of Petersburg
Battle of the Crater

Ambrose Burnside Articles

Explore articles from the History Net archives about Ambrose Burnside

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Ambrose Burnside summary: Ambrose Burnside was the fourth out of nine children born to Pamela and Edghill Brown Burnside and he attended Liberty Seminary when he was only a young boy. His education came to a half after his mother passed away in 1841. Eventually he got an appointment to attend the United States Military Academy where he graduated from in 1847. He served during the Mexican-American War and the Civil War. Burnside served in the Rhode Island Militia as a brigadier general. He was eventually appointed to serve as its colonel in 1861.

Ambrose Burnside In The Civil War

He commanded his brigade at the first battle of Bull Run and took over the command of his troops after brigadier general David Hunter was wounded. Burnside then commanded the North Carolina expeditionary force or the coast division. Burnside was eventually offered the command of the army of the Potomac after the peninsula campaign in which major general George B. McClellan failed. Burnside also led the right wing in the army of the Potomac when the battle of South Mountain began. He also served in Fredericksburg, East Tennessee, the Crater, and the Overland Campaign. During the Battle of the Crater, Burnside received orders not to use the division of black troops just a few hours before the infantry attack. Black troops had been trained for the mission; without them, Burnside had to use untrained troops instead.

Ambrose Burnside After The War

Burnside worked at several industrial and railroad directorships after the war including the Martinsville railroad, Vincennes and Indianapolis railroad. As of 1874, he became one of the Rhode Island senators, eventually being reelected in 1880. He could not serve his full second term because he died in 1881.

 


 

Articles Featuring Ambrose Burnside From History Net Magazines

January - February 1863

Emancipation causes a stir both North and South, and a section of Virginia prepares to secede—from Virginia

January

1 – The Emancipation Proclamation takes effect—as does the Homestead Act, signed into law the previous May.

The first recorded homestead claim …

Tennessee TensionNeither Braxton Bragg nor William Rosecrans was a stranger to controversy. Which one could weather their meeting at Stones River?
Lincoln's midtermsEvery president faces a shift in Congress after two years, but this halftime show was especially dangerous.
Teacher, Preacher, Soldier, SpyHow the headmaster of a Washington boys' school became a Rebel spy—and tried to kidnap Lincoln
Hard War on the Southern PlainsThis story about Sherman's post-Civil War Indian campaign just won a top award from Army Historical Foundation
Julian Scott Civil War PainterCurator Michael McAfee talks about artist Julian Scott and 51st New York Infantry at Antietam.
The Ultimate Political Action Committee

A congressional war panel proves too many cooks can poison the pot

By any standard, Ball's Bluff was a fiasco. What began as a raid in October 1861 escalated into an unintended battle for Leesburg, Va. The Yankees so badly …

What a difference a day makes


Confederate soldiers under the command of Gen. Robert E. Lee camp on the outskirts of Hagerstown, Maryland, in September of 1862. Image courtesy of Weider History Group archive.

War seemed far away to the editors of a Maryland weekly newspaper–until

McClellan's War-Winning StrategyThe "young Napoleon" had a viable plan to beat the Confederacy. What went wrong?
Where is General George MeadeHow Union General George G. Meade became the Rodney Dangerfield of the Civil War
Gen. George McClellan at Second ManassasGeneral Disobedience: ‘Little Mac’ let John Pope twist in the wind; With response from Prof. Ethan S. Rafuse
'The Roar and Rattle': McClellan's Missed Opportunities at AntietamThe Battle of Antietam resulted in more pivotal changes, across a broader spectrum of events—military, political, diplomatic, societal—than any other battle of the war. Yet if evaluated in purely military terms, it was not decisive at all.
The Worst Battlefield Blunders: Five Battles That Ended BadlyBattlefield blunders can be as decisive as brilliant tactics. Five of the worst military blunders came at the battles of Gallipoli, Fredericksburg, Dien Bien Phu, Adwa, and Little Bighorn.
Sculpting a Scapegoat: Ambrose Burnside at AntietamA fresh examination of Major General Ambrose Burnside's actions at the Battle of Antietam suggests he was made into a scapegoat for others' failings.
Daily Quiz for August 15, 2007This general commanded the Army of the Potomac during the Battle of Chancellorsville:
Table of Contents - September 2007 - Civil War TimesSubscribe to
Civil War Times
magazine today!

FEATURES

The Fierce Pride of the Texas Brigade
By Susannah U. Bruce
Duty, honor and a fervent desire to preserve the storied reputation of the Lone Star State are what drove Robert E. …

William J. Palmer: Forgotten Union General of America's Civil WarWilliam J. Palmer raised the Anderson Troop, a mounted contingent of elite scouts, then recruited the 15th Pennsyl­vania Cavalry before being sent on spying missions that landed him in a Richmond prison.
Table of Contents - September 2007 - America's Civil WarSubscribe to
America's Civil War
magazine today!

FEATURES

America's Bloodiest Day
George McClellan's lucky find of Robert E. Lee's Special Orders No. 191 led to a fight near Antietam Creek on what became the bloodiest day in American history—September 17, …

Kit Carson's Rescue Ride

The Mexican War was over. The Santa Fe Trail, that 909-mile road of commerce which had become the pathway for military invasion, was once again bustling with trade caravans. The necessity of supplying the new American military outposts in New …

Intelligence: The Secret War Within America's Civil WarSpies, slaves, fake deserters, signal towers, and newspapers were all sources of intelligence Union and Confederate commanders used to peer into the enemy's plans.
Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig: World War I's Worst General

Visiting the Somme battlefield in northern France is largely a matter of going from one Commonwealth Graves Commission cemetery to another. The graveyards are everywhere, some of them very small, comprising only a handful of white Portland marble stones, many …

American Indian Sharpshooters at the Battle of the Crater

Lieutenant Freeman S. Bowley was fighting for his life in the man-made hellhole that was the Petersburg Crater when he noticed that the former slaves in his company of the 30th United States Colored Troops were not the only men …

Letters From Readers -- February 2007 Civil War Times Magazine

Longstreet vs. Jackson
Jeffry Wert's cover story "Lee's Best Subordinate" in the August 2006 issue is in my opinion wrong. James Longstreet was not Lee's best general.

Longstreet was a failure when given independent command. His conduct at the Battle …

Letters from Readers -- January 2007 America's Civil War

Firing the First Shot
Regarding the July issue, I especially liked Dana Shoaf's editorial about the Wisler house and J.D. Petruzzi's fine article on the first shot at Gettysburg. Like countless others, I've risked life and limb to climb the …

Battle of Cold Harbor: The Folly and HorrorThe blame for a broad command failure that led to 7,000 unnecessary Union casualties in a single hour applies to more than just the commander in chief.

By Robert N. Thompson

America's Civil War: Why the Irish Fought for the Union

The Irish experience in the Civil War has probably received more attention — and celebration — than that of any other ethnic group. Mention of the Irish commonly conjures up images of the Irish Brigade's doomed charge at Fredericksburg, of …

Battle of Salem Church: Final Federal Assault at ChancellorsvilleWhile a dazed 'Fighting Joe' Hooker reeled from the brilliant Confederate flank attack at Chancellorsville, Union Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick fought his way past Rebel defenders to attack the enemy rear. At Salem Church, he tried to open a second front -- and possibly save the day.

By George Rogan

Battle of Antietam: Two Great American Armies Engage in CombatThe opposing armies at Antietam were two very different forces commanded by two very different men.

By Ted Alexander

James Longstreet: Robert E. Lee's Most Valuable Soldier

The words resonate through Confederate history like an unwelcome truth. As General Robert E. Lee made preparations for an assault on the center of the Union line at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, his senior subordinate, Lieutenant General James Longstreet, …

Battle of Antietam: 7th Maine's Senseless Charge On the Piper Farm

It had no effect on the battle — other than adding to the casualty lists — and there was no good reason for ordering it in the first place. But for the whim of a subpar brigade commander, whose sobriety …

George Smalley: Reporting from Battle of AntietamNew York Tribune reporter George Smalley scooped the world with his vivid account of the Battle of Antietam.
Ephraim Dodd: An American Civil War Union PrisonerShould a Texas Ranger expect justice or death from his Union captors?
Account Of The Battle of the WildernessIn the dark, forbidding woods of Virginia's Wilderness, Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee stumbled blindly toward their first wartime encounter. Neither had a clear idea of his opponent's intentions, but each planned to do what he did best--attack.
Second Battle of Manassas: Union Major General John Pope Was No Match for Robert E. LeeBrash, bombastic John Pope tempted fate by returning to the old battleground at Manassas. He thought he had caught Robert E. Lee napping. He was wrong.
America's Civil War: Horses and Field ArtilleryWorking side by side with soldiers, horses labored to pull artillery pieces into battle. Without them, field artillery could not have been used to such deadly effect.
Abraham Lincoln and Walt Whitman: War's Kindred SpiritsKindred spirits Abraham Lincoln and Walt Whitman prepared themselves for another bloody year of war as 1863 dawned.
Battle of Antietam: Controversial Crossing on Burnside's BridgeShould General Ambrose Burnside have ordered his men to wade Antietam Creek? Author Marvel undertook a personal odyssey to find out.
Battle of Antietam: Taking Rohrbach Bridge at Antietam CreekWhile Union commander George McClellan fumed and the Battle of Antietam hung in the balance, a handful of Rebels held off Federal troops at 'Burnside Bridge.'
Brigadier General John Gibbon's Brief Breach During the Battle of FredericksburgAlthough overshadowed by the doomed Federal attack on the Confederate center, General John Gibbon's 2nd Division managed -- however briefly -- to make a breakthrough on the Union left.
1st Louisiana Special Battalion at the First Battle of ManassasRecruited from New Orleans' teeming waterfront by soldier of fortune Roberdeau Wheat, the 1st Louisiana Special Battalion more than lived up to its pugnacious nickname--Wheat's Tigers--at the First Battle of Manassas.
Memoirs of Thaddeus S.C. Lowe, Chief of the Aeronautic Corps of the Army of the United States During the Civil War: My Balloons in Peace and War (Book Review)

Reviewed by Keith Miller
By Thaddeus S.C. Lowe, edited by Michael Jaeger and Carol Lauritzen
Edwin Mellen Press, 238 pages

Thaddeus Lowe, a pioneer in wartime aviation, wrote his memoirs in 1911, but a serious accident cut short his efforts …

Life at West Point of Future Professional American Civil War OfficersWhether they spent their energy studying or sneaking off to Benny Havens's tavern, the future professional officers of the Civil War left West Point with enough stories for a lifetime -- and an enduring common bond.
First Battle of Bull Run: The U.S MarinesWith hordes of eager Confederates gathering at Manassas, panicky Union commanders massed whatever forces they could in the nation's capital. Among those answering the call were the U.S. Marines. Manassas, however, would not be one of their shining moments.
Sullivan Ballou: The Macabre Fate of a American Civil War MajorMajor Sullivan Ballou gained fame for the poignant letter he wrote to his wife before the First Battle of Bull Run. Not so well known is that after he was mortally wounded in that fight, Confederates dug up, decapitated and burned his body.
America's Civil War: George Custer and Stephen RamseurGeorge Custer and Dodson Ramseur had a friendship that survived the Civil War -- until the Battle of Cedar Creek.
Battle of Chancellorsville: Day OneNew Union commander 'Fighting Joe' Hooker planned to encircle Robert E. Lee at the Virginia crossroads hamlet of Chancellorsville. The plan seemed to be working perfectly, until....
Abraham Lincoln: Deciding the Fate of 300 Indians Convicted of War Crimes in Minnesota's Great Sioux UprisingEven as the Civil War intensified, President Abraham Lincoln faced the aftereffects of a bloody Indian war in Minnesota. More than 300 men faced execution, but the death sentences required the president's approval.
The Dahlgren Papers RevisitedThe mystery surrounding documents detailing a Union plan to murder Jefferson Davis is put to rest by historian Stephen W. Sears.
Abraham Lincoln: Commander in ChiefAlthough he lacked the military experience, President Abraham Lincoln took on active direction of the Union war effort, influencing and managing events and generals in every field of operations.
Winchester, Virginia: A Town Embattled During America's Civil WarWinchester, Virginia, saw more of the war than any other place North or South.

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