Burnside — his Antecedents, &c.
The Richmond correspondent of the Grenada Appeal
gives the following account of McClellan
Gen Ambrose Everett Burnside
who supplants the ‘"Young Napoleon
,"’ is one of the most courteous and well-behaving officers of the Yankee
He was born in Indiana
, and entered the Military Academy of West Point
from that State in the year 1843, in the same class with Ambrose P. Hill
and Henry Heth
, who are now Generals
in the Confederate
Having served some years in the artillery after graduation, he resigned his commission and went to live in Rhode Island
, where he had married a woman of wealth and accomplishment.
All his own private resources and the greater part of his wife's fortune were spent by him in preparations for the manufacture on a large scale of a new rifle of his own invention upon which there had been a favorable report from an army commission appointed to examine it, and for which he expected a great contract from the Secretary of War
In this he was disappointed.
, who was then at the head of the War Department of the United States
, awarded the contract to other parties.
was at the time, as he now is, President
of the Illinois Central Railway, enjoying a fat salary and wielding a considerable patronage, and he offered Burnside
a clerkship with a salary of two thousand dollars a year, which was accepted.
The two friends were managing the affairs of the railway when the present war broke out, affording to both the chance of military glory, and to Burnside
the hope of bettering his estate.
They both obtained permanent positions, and have since been constantly before the public eye. Burnside
's most intimate personal friends--Generals Heth
, and others — are on the Southern
side fighting the battle of freedom and independence.
On repeated occasions Burnside
is said to have behaved with unexpected courtesy toward the Confederates
, more especially in the Roanoke Island
affair, where the lamented O. Jennings Wise
was killed, and in his bearing toward non-combatant citizens of Fredericksburg
and its neighborhood, one or two of whom he certainly discharged from arrest, though they had been apprehended by special order of Stanton
's Secretary of War
To a gentleman — whose name and county it is not proper to give — Burnside
declared, less than three months ago, that when this war upon the South
became a war for the extermination of slavery he should resign his commission.
The proclamation has been published several weeks, and he has not resigned.
On the contrary, he takes command of the grand army of invasion and comes to incite the slaves to revolt in the spirit of his master.
Doubtless, when Burnside
made that speech about resigning he was sincere, and really meant it; but the temptation of military fame was too strong.
The Richmond correspondent of the Charleston Mercury
writes the following incident in his military career:
A friend, who was a merchant in Washington city
at the first battle of Manassas
, and who left the week following, was amusing me the other night with sundry incidents connected with Washington
and that battle, both prior and subsequent to it. Among others he mentioned that this Gen. Burnside
, a short time previous to the battle, passed through the city in command of the, or a, Rhode Island brigade.
On having some encomiums bestowed upon it, he publicly remarked, he ‘"commanded a brigade which could with case march from Washington
to the Gulf
."’ When he left Washington
‘"he wore a wreath"’ of flowers around one of his arms, and carried an immense bouquet in his hand.
Such was Gen. Burnside
on starting on his first military expedition.
On the day after the battle he returned, looking so haggard that my friend, who saw him, said he looked as if he had been on a ‘"bust"’ for three weeks. Of his entire brigade but little over a hundred could be rallied.
When or where the demoralized mass ever got together I never learned.