From: Dictionary of American Fighting Ships

General Burnside

General Ambrose Everett Burnside, U.S. Army, was born 1824 at Liberty, Ind. He graduated from West Point in 1847. In the Civil War he commanded a brigade in the First Battle of Bull Run; led troops in Army-Navy expeditions against Roanoke Island, New Bern, Beaufort, and Fort Macon. He next commanded the Army of the Potomac through the Battle of Fredericksburg. After that defeat, he was replaced by General Hooker. Thereafter, he was commander of the Department of Ohio (March-December 1963 [sic; 1863]) . He occupied East Tennessee, took Knoxville, and repulsed Longstreet's attempt to recapture the town. In 1864 he served under Meade and Grant in Virginia. General Burnside was governor of Rhode Island (1866-68). From 1875 to his death in 1881, he served in the United States Senate.


(SwGbt: t. 201; l. 171'; b. 26'; dph. 4'9"; a. 2 20-pdrs., 3 24-pdrs. how.)

General Burnside, built in 1862 at Wilmington, Del., was sold to the War Department 1863; chartered by the Navy, commissioned 8 August 1864 at Bridgeport, Ala., Acting Volunteer Lt. H. A. Glassford in command.

General Burnside became flagship of the upper Tennessee River Fleet, Mississippi Squadron, 16 October 1864. Based at Bridgeport, she patrolled the river to Whitesburg, Decatur, and Chattanooga. On 27 December 1864 she helped repulse Confederate attacks at Decatur. She was hulled several times while exchanging gunfire with Confederate sharpshooters. This gunboat action in concert with Union land forces brought about the evacuation of Decatur by the Confederates and left the upper Tennessee region under firm Union control. The gunboat continued river patrol until 1 June 1865 when she was returned to the War Department at Bridgeport, Ala.

Transcribed by Yves HUBERT (