Who was Ambrose Everett Burnside? (1824 – 1881)

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Ambrose Everett Burnside (1824 – 1881), American general and politician, born in Liberty, Indiana, and educated at the U.S. Military Academy. He served in the Mexican War and in several campaigns against the Native Americans; at the outbreak of the American Civil War he accepted command of a Union regiment, which he led in the First Battle of Bull Run.  Ambrose Burnside was a Union general during the U.S. Civil War.

He allowed whiskers to grow on the sides of his face while shaving his chin, a style that became known as “burnsides,” after his name, and later came to be called sideburns .Promoted to brigadier general in August 1861, he took part in the capture of Roanoke Island and Fort Macon in North Carolina. In September 1862, by now a major general, he fought in the Battle of Antietam under General George B. McClellan, whom he succeeded in November as a commander of the Army of the Potomac; a month later his forces were decisively defeated by Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Burnside was then transferred to the Army of Ohio and successfully resisted the Confederate siege (1863) of Knoxville, Tennessee. He served under Generals George G. Meade and Ulysses S. Grant at the siege (1864) of Petersburg, Virginia, but was held responsible for heavy Union losses and relieved of command. After the war Burnside was governor of Rhode Island (1866-69) and a U.S. senator (1875-81).

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