Major General Ambrose Burnside

Ambrose Burnside was an Indiana native and a Rhode Island resident. He attended West Point and fought in the Mexican War. He commanded a regiment at the First Battle of Bull Run.

At Antietam, he commanded IX Corps, assigned to the southernmost part of the battlefield. His corps was assigned the task of crossing Antietam Creek. After crossing the creek, he pushed the Confederate troops back until A. P. Hill's division, making a 17 mile (27 km) forced march from Harper's Ferry, checked the advance.

He had "...a fantastic set of whiskers describing a double parabola from in front of his ears, down over his chops, and up across his mouth."

Dispite Burnside's own assessment that he was unqualified, he was given command of the Army of the Potomac in November 1862. Following the disastrous loss at Fredricksburg in December 1862, and the ill-fated "Mud March," he was relieved of command in January 1863, the command passing to Joseph Hooker.

Ref.: Foote, S., The Civil War: A Narrative, v. 1. Vintage Books, NY, 1986.

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Photo credit: Library of Congress
Created 27 JAN 1999; Modified 24 JUL 2014