Did you know that Ambrose Burnside was born today in 1824? He was an inventor, soldier, politician, and more. During the Civil War, he served as a general in the Union Army, but was not a very effective military leader. Afterwards, he served as a governor for Rhode Island and a US Senator. He was known for his distinctive facial hair style: two strips of hair in front of his ears that joined with his mustache. The style came to be known as ‘burnsides’ (after his name); eventually the syllables were revered to become the phrase we know today “sideburns”.
We hope that you do not have a hair-raising day at school today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
In 1853 Ambrose Burnside resigned his United States Army commission. He worked on designing and manufacturing firearms. The carbine he designed was used during the Civil War and is known as the Burnside Carbine.
In 1871, Ambrose Burnside was chosen as the first president of the National Rifle Association.
After leaving the military, Ambrose Burnside worked in the railroad industry as a director or part of the presidency. Some of the railroad companies he was involved with include: Cincinnati and Martinsville Road, Rhode Island Locomotive Works, Indianapolis and Vincennes Railroad, and others.
In 1876, Ambrose Burnside was elected as the commander of the New England Battalion of the Centennial Legion, a group of 13 militia units from the 13 original states which participated in a 4th of July parade in Philadelphia to mark the centennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
I love this Bruce Catton’s description of Ambrose Burnside: “Physically he was impressive: tall, just a little stout, wearing what was probably the most artistic and awe-inspiring set of whiskers in all that bewhiskered Army.”
Ambrose Burnside is buried in Swan Point Cemetery, Providence Rhode Island.