Ambrose Burnside (1824–1881) was a Union general in the Civil War. Born in Indiana and educated at West Point, Burnside served in the Mexican-American War before resigning from the Army. At the onset of the Civil War, he rejoined the Army and was appointed colonel of the First Rhode Island Volunteers. After the First Battle of Bull Run, Burnside was promoted to brigadier general and, later, to major general. He led forces in the Battle of Antietam but was ineffectual in his command. Despite his failings at Antietam, he was promoted again when Lincoln appointed him commander of the Army of the Potomac to replaced McClellan. He was defeated at Fredericksburg, Virginia, by Robert E. Lee in December 1862. Burnside was soon replaced by Joseph Hooker and sent to Ohio, where he orchestrated the capture Confederate general John Hunt Morgan and precipitated a political crisis when he suspended publication of the Chicago Times. In 1864, he served under Grant in the Wilderness campaign and led a disastrous effort at Petersburg, which led to his resignation in 1865. He later served as governor of Rhode Island and in the US Senate.

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History

Already have an account?

Please click here to login and access this page.

How to subscribe

Click here to get a free subscription if you are a K-12 educator or student, and here for more information on the Affiliate School Program, which provides even more benefits.

Otherwise, click here for information on a paid subscription for those who are not K-12 educators or students.

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History

Become an Affiliate School to have free access to the Gilder Lehrman site and all its features.

Click here to start your Affiliate School application today! You will have free access while your application is being processed.

Individual K-12 educators and students can also get a free subscription to the site by making a site account with a school-affiliated email address. Click here to do so now!

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History

Why Gilder Lehrman?

Your subscription grants you access to archives of rare historical documents, lectures by top historians, and a wealth of original historical material, while also helping to support history education in schools nationwide. Click here to see the kinds of historical resources to which you'll have access and here to read more about the Institute's educational programs.

Individual subscription: $25

Click here to sign up for an individual subscription to the Gilder Lehrman site.

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History

Upgrade your Account

We're sorry, but it looks as though you do not have access to the full Gilder Lehrman site.

All K-12 educators receive free subscriptions to the Gilder Lehrman site, and our Affiliate School members gain even more benefits!

How to Subscribe

K-12 educator or student? Click here to get free access, and here for more information on the Affiliate School Program.

Not a educator or student? Click here for more information on purchasing a subscription to the Gilder Lehrman site.

Related Site Content