Ambrose Burnside (1824-1881) was a U.S. military officer, railroad executive and politician best known for serving as a Union general during the Civil War (1861-65). Burnside first saw combat in the Civil War at the First Battle of Bull Run in July 1861. He later led an expeditionary force in North Carolina and then served during the Maryland Campaign at the Battle of Antietam. Although he was reluctant to take the post, in November 1862 Burnside was placed in charge of the Union Army of the Potomac. He was removed from command in January 1863 after the devastating Union defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg. Burnside next held a departmental command in Ohio and then participated in the defense of Knoxville in the fall of 1863. He would later resign from duty in the wake of his unit’s failure during the Battle of the Crater in July 1864. After the Civil War Burnside worked as a railroad director and later served as a U.S. senator and governor of Rhode Island. He died in 1881 at the age of 57.