Item 4277 - Maj. Gen. Ambrose Everett Burnside

Item 4277 - Maj. Gen. Ambrose Everett Burnside
Contributed by Maine Historical Society
Item 4277
Maj. Gen. Ambrose Everett Burnside
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Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside (1824-1881) of Rhode Island graduated from West Point in 1847 and, after the Mexican-American War, left the army to develop a breech-loading rifle.

At the start of the Civil War, he organized the 1st Rhode Island Infantry, and successfully led troops at First Manassas. He was then appointed a brigadier general of volunteers and commanded the North Carolina Expeditionary Force.

He was promoted to major general in March 1862 and became commander of the Army of the Potomac in November 1862. He lost that command after Union losses at Fredericksburg. He continued to command troops throughout the war.

General Burnside's facial hair inspired many soldiers during the Civil War to grow similar facial hair and also was the genesis for the term "sideburns."

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