General Ambrose Burnside: The New Commander of the Army of the Potomac

The Life and Public Service of Ambrose E. Burnside 1882

Newly assigned to lead the Union’s Army of the Potomac following the relief of General George McClellan on November 7, 1862, General Ambrose Burnside had a workable plan to turn the tide of the war. He meant to march the Army of the Potomac (which included Erasmus Corwin Gilbreath’s regiment) across the Rappahannock River to attack Fredericksburg, Virginia. At Fredericksburg, they would overpower its garrison and attack Richmond, Virginia before General Robert E. Lee could arrive to save the Confederate capital. President Lincoln thought the plan could work if Burnside moved quickly.

Illustration of General Ambrose Burnside