Why Famous: Served as the Governor of Rhode Island from 1866 to 1869. During the American Civil War he was a general in the Union Army, where he led successful campaigns in North Caroline and Tennessee, but suffered defeats at the Battle of Fredericksburg and Battle of the Crater.
After his period as a governor, he served as a US Senator for Rhode Island from 1875 until his death in 1881, and also had a number of industrial directorships, most prominently on the country's railroad networks.
His distinctive style of facial hair gave birth to the name sideburns, derived from his last name.
- 1862-11-05 Ambrose Burnside replaces McClellen as head of Army of Potomac
- 1862-11-17 Union General Ambrose Burnside marches north out of Washington, D.C., to begin the Fredericksburg campaign
- 1862-12-11 Battle of Fredricksburg in Virginia begins between Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Major General Ambrose Burnside