Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Burnside” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  13 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Ambrose Burnside, the Union general, was a major player on the Civil War stage from the first clash at Bull Run until the final summer of the war. He led a corps or army during most of this time and played important roles in various theaters of the war. But until now, he has been remembered mostly for his distinctive side-whiskers that gave us the term "sideburns" and as ...more
Hardcover, 552 pages
Published November 1st 1991 by University of North Carolina Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Burnside, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Burnside

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-35)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Christopher Saunders
Sympathetic biography of the much-maligned Civil War General comes off as an egregious case of special pleading. Marvel shows convincingly that Burnside was a nice guy who was often manipulated by ambitious colleagues. His descriptions of Burnside's victories in the Outer Banks and Knoxville make good reading, even if (especially with the latter) he's inclined to overrate their importance. When it comes to Burnside's more famous blunders though he really reaches. Like any defender of incompetent ...more
'Aussie Rick'
Nov 28, 2009 'Aussie Rick' rated it really liked it

Ambrose Burnside may not be many people's favourite Civil War Commander but in this 1991 biography, the author, William Marvel, presents Burnside in a light previously not seen before. The Federal general comes across as a man who cared deeply for his men and was honest in his dealings with other commanders and his subordinates. The author presents his case that Burnside's reputation was tarnished by other Federal commanders who wished to pass on the blame of their failures to this man who would
Sep 18, 2012 Frank rated it it was ok
It was fine, but it comes off as an apology for Burnside, rather than an actual biography. I realize that a biographer often has to present an argument about his subject, especially when his conclusions run counter to the general verdict that other historians have landed on, but there's a fine line between argument and pure advocacy. The whole story seems to boil down to: "Burnside was a capable general, and a good man. Everything bad that happened to him was the result of misunderstandings or ...more
Craig Pearson
Aug 30, 2015 Craig Pearson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Most historians have relegated Ambrose Burnside to the scrap heap of failed Civil War generals. That label could not be further from the truth. His method of leadership was more apt to be considered modern than those surrounding him were capable of understanding. He led by example and was inclined to let his subordinates make tactical decisions without looking over their shoulders. He also expected his superiors and peers to be equally capable of carrying out whatever was needed for the current ...more
Glen Bickhart
Glen Bickhart rated it really liked it
Dec 27, 2014
Joey rated it really liked it
Feb 23, 2014
Jtsuruoka rated it really liked it
May 16, 2015
Joe rated it liked it
Jan 22, 2012
Mike Carpenter
Mike Carpenter rated it liked it
May 17, 2016
Nancy rated it liked it
Sep 05, 2012
Dwight rated it really liked it
Jan 05, 2015
James Frazier
James Frazier rated it liked it
Mar 08, 2015
John rated it really liked it
Aug 20, 2012
Josh Liller
Josh Liller marked it as to-read
Jun 15, 2011
an8828 added it
Jun 22, 2011
Joel Manuel
Joel Manuel marked it as to-read
Aug 03, 2011
Eric marked it as to-read
Aug 16, 2011
William B
William B marked it as to-read
Dec 28, 2011
Paul Hartley
Paul Hartley marked it as to-read
Feb 12, 2012
Paula marked it as to-read
Dec 13, 2012
Gill Eastland
Gill Eastland marked it as to-read
Jan 11, 2014
Jim marked it as to-read
May 12, 2014
Bill added it
Oct 04, 2014
Rachel Brummet
Rachel Brummet marked it as to-read
Feb 26, 2015
David Duprey
David Duprey marked it as to-read
Feb 07, 2015
Mike marked it as to-read
Jun 26, 2016
Erick added it
Feb 23, 2016
Jerome marked it as to-read
Jan 25, 2016
TL marked it as to-read
Jun 13, 2016
Todd marked it as to-read
Jul 18, 2016 marked it as to-read
Nov 27, 2016
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »