Ambrose Burnside Facts
May 23, 1824 Liberty, Indiana
September 13, 1881 Bristol, Rhode Island
Years Of Service
Army of the Potomac
Army of the Ohio
American Civil War
First Battle of Bull Run
Burnside’s North Carolina Expedition
Battle of Roanoke Island
Battle of New Bern
Battle of South Mountain
Battle of Antietam
Battle of Fredericksburg
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
» See all Ambrose Burnside Articles
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 1863Emancipation 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 is by Union Army scout Daniel Freeman, near Beatrice, Nebraska Territory. 3 – Federals win …
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 CommitteeA 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 mismanaged the assault that the Union commander, Colonel Edward D. Baker, would almost certainly have …
What a difference a day makesConfederate soldiers under the command of Gen. Robert E. Lee camp on the outskirts of Hagerstown, Maryland, in September of 1862. Image courtesy of World History Group archive. War seemed far away to the editors of a Maryland weekly newspaper–until the Battle of Antietam rocked their world On September 17, 1862, a new edition of …
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 toCivil War Timesmagazine 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. Lee’s favorite shock troops. The Birth of Photojournalism By Kevin Morrow How pioneering Civil War cameramen such …
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 toAmerica’s Civil Warmagazine today! FEATURES America’s Bloodiest DayGeorge 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, 1862. Battle of Antietam: Union Surgeons and Civilian Volunteers Help the WoundedBy John H. NelsonThousands of men were …
Kit Carson’s Rescue RideThe 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 Mexico added to this traffic. The 1848 discovery of gold in California also led to …
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 GeneralVisiting 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 bearing the inscription, A Soldier of the Great War / Known unto God. One sees …
American Indian Sharpshooters at the Battle of the CraterLieutenant 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 of color wearing Union blue and dodging Confederate Minié balls on the stifling hot morning …
Letters From Readers — February 2007 Civil War Times MagazineLongstreet vs. JacksonJeffry 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 of Seven Pines, in which he was in charge of 30,000 troops and provided the primary …
Letters from Readers — January 2007 America’s Civil WarFiring 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 steep little road berm to pay my respects to the 8th Illinois marker. I couldn’t …
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
More Ambrose Burnside Articles
America’s Civil War: Why the Irish Fought for the UnionThe 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 Father William Corby granting absolution before Gettysburg, or possibly the mourning wolfhound at the base …
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 SoldierThe 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, voiced objections. At one point in the discussion, Longstreet recounted his experience as a soldier …
Battle of Antietam: 7th Maine’s Senseless Charge On the Piper FarmIt 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 some held in question, it never would have happened. Yet late on the afternoon of …
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 MillerBy Thaddeus S.C. Lowe, edited by Michael Jaeger and Carol LauritzenEdwin Mellen Press, 238 pages Thaddeus Lowe, a pioneer in wartime aviation, wrote his memoirs in 1911, but a serious accident cut short his efforts to publish his account of his contribution to the Union war effort. By bringing My Balloons in …
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.
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.
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.
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.