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Ambrose Burnside

  • American politician
  • Born May 23, 1824
  • Died September 13, 1881

Ambrose Everett Burnside (May 23, 1824 – September 13, 1881) was an American soldier, railroad executive, inventor, industrialist, and politician from Rhode Island. He served as governor and as a United States Senator. As a Union Army general in the American Civil War, he conducted successful campaigns in North Carolina and East Tennessee, as well as countering the raids of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan, but suffered disastrous defeats at the Battle of Fredericksburg and Battle of the Crater.


The commanding general publishes, for the information of all concerned, that hereafter all persons found within our lines who commit acts for the benefit of the enemies of our country will be tried as spies or traitors, and, if convicted, will suffer death.




Being about to land on the soil of North Carolina, the general commanding desires his soldiers to remember that they are here to support the Constitution and the laws, to put down rebellion, and to protect the persons and property of the loyal and peaceable citizens of the State.




The general commanding congratulates his troops on their brilliant and successful occupation of Roanoke Island. The courage and steadiness they have shown under fire is what he expected from them, and he accepts it as a token of future victory.




The wastefulness of indiscriminate plunder impoverishes a country, while it adds nothing to the support of the army; policy, as well as humanity to the inhabitants, dictates that all levies should be made according to established rules, and under the charge of discreet and competent officers.




The late brilliant actions in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas divided and weakened the enemy on the Rappahannock, and the auspicious moment seems to have arrived to strike a great and mortal blow at the Rebellion, and to gain that decisive victory which is due to the country.




I am in favor of a foreign policy that will cultivate relations of peace with all nations, and I will never give my influence, either as a private citizen or a public servant, for war, so long as it can be honorably avoided.




I am opposed to the wholesale giving away of the public lands to railroad corporations and other like institutions; at the same time, I believe that the government can encourage, by gifts, great national enterprises which are for the common weal and are so placed that they cannot properly expect local support.




If you persist in your purpose of secession, there will be war - a bloody and cruel war. Not only will the North fight, but she will also triumph. The experiment of secession will fail, and the South, in ruin and desolation, will bitterly repent the day when she attempted to overthrow a wise and beneficent government.




I am in favor of admitting any territory into the Union of States as soon as it has fulfilled the requirements of the Constitution and shall petition for admission.




So many men have so many times predicted the time of the end of the Rebellion, and been mistaken, that I will not do so now; but I can say it will be very soon, if the old regiments are filled up.



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