Ambrose Burnside
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 1824
Date of Death: 1881
Cause of Death: Angina pectoris
Religion: Protestantism
Occupation: Soldier, Inventor, industrialist
Spouse: Mary Richmond Bishop (d. 1876)
Military Branch: United States Army
(Mexican-American War)

(American Civil War)

Political Party: Republican Party
Political Office(s): Governor of Rhode Island (1866-69)
United States Senator from Rhode Island (1875-1881)
Fictional Appearances:
The Guns of the South
POD: January 17, 1864
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
Military Branch: United States Army
(Second American Revolution)
Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): How Few Remain
Type of Appearance: Direct
Military Branch: United States Army
(War of Secession)

Ambrose Everett Burnside (May 23, 1824 – September 13, 1881) was an American railroad executive, inventor, industrialist, and politician from Rhode Island, serving as governor (1866-1869) and a U.S. Senator (1875-1881). As a United States Army general in the American Civil War, he conducted successful campaigns in North Carolina and East Tennessee, but was defeated in the disastrous Battle of Fredericksburg. Later he was in charge of planning the unsuccessful and publicly embarrassing Battle of the Crater on July 30, 1864, the latter battle effectively forcing the end of his command career.

He lent his name to the word "sideburns," originally applied to his own distinctive style of facial hair ("burnsides," later reversed), now applied more widely to any facial hair extending down from the hairline past the ears and stopping short of forming a full beard.

Ambrose Burnside in The Guns of the South[]

Ambrose Burnside was one of several Union generals who were used as imaginary targets when the Rivington Men demonstrated the AK-47 to Robert E. Lee and his staff.[1]

Burnside later took part in the Army of the Potomac's crushing defeat in the Wilderness.[2]

Ambrose Burnside in Southern Victory[]

Ambrose Burnside commanded the IX Corps of the Union Army of the Potomac during the War of Secession. He advised his commanding general, George McClellan, against offering Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia battle at Camp Hill, Pennsylvania in 1862. His advice was ignored, and the Army of the Potomac was destroyed.[3]

See also[]


  1. The Guns of the South, pgs. 6-7, MPB.
  2. Ibid., pg. 103.
  3. How Few Remain, pg. 4-6, mmp.
Political offices
Preceded by
James Y. Smith
Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
Seth Padelford
Preceded by
William Sprague
United States Senator from Rhode Island
Succeeded by
Nelson W. Aldrich
Military offices
Preceded by
George McClellan
Commander of the Army of the Potomac
Succeeded by
Joseph Hooker