The Burnside Family of Union County, Indiana
The Burnsides were natives of Scotland. During the great up-rising in Scotland when "Bonnie Prince Charlie", Robert and Joseph Burnside followed Prince Charles all the way to his bloody defeat at Calladen in 1746.
To avoid disgrace and possible execution, the brothers fled to the "backwaters" of the American Colonies where they could begin their life anew. Robert settled in Laurens District, South Carolina along the banks of the Saluda River. There he met and married Rebecca Dodson, daughter of Henry and Mary Dodson from Huddersfield, England. She was born 9 August 1731. The Burnsides owned several acres and became a successful planter or farmer. There were at least three children born to this union:
1. James Born 11 November 1753 on the Saluda River, Burnside Plantation
2. Robert Christened 4 September 1757 Chesterfield Old Friendship Church
3. Joseph Christened 23 March 1755 Chesterfield Old Friendship Church
At the beginning of the revolutionary war, Robert declared his loyalty to the King and Crown and vowed to fight on the side of the British. Although Robert was too advanced in years to take of arms for "The King, The Church and the Constitution" his eldest son, James commanded a company of Tory Soldiers.
Robert Sr.'s two youngest sons, Robert Jr. and Joseph sided with the rebels and served under the command of General Frances 'The Swamp Fox' Marion. They later served in the "Light Horse Legion" commanded by Col. Harry Lee (cousin to General Robert E. Lee of Civil War fame).
Joseph was wounded in the shoulder at the battle of Guilford Court House. After the war he relocated to Nicholsville, Kentucky. In the spring of 1790 he was killed in an Indian attack.
Robert Jr. settled in Kentucky in 1789 and became a successful farmer and ardent in politics. He crossed the Alleghenies on horseback to witness the inauguration of Andrew 'Old Hickory' Jackson in 1829.
Robert Burnside Sr. died before the Revolutionary War was over, leaving James to fill his shoes.
James Burnside married Anna Margaret Edghill 8 February 1777 in Laurens District, South Carolina. James Burnside was a Captain under Col. Edghill. In the latter days of the war both father and son-in-law assessed the futility of their efforts and declared the war was lost for the British. Taking their families and belongings they fled to the island of Jamaica, there the British government compensated their losses by giving them small indigo plantations.
The Burnsides were not content in Jamaica. James appealed to his brothers to receive amnesty for him and his family. In 1786, James, Margaret and their three daughters returned to South Carolina. There four sons were born to them. James died in 1798 of complications attributed to diseased contracted in Jamaica.
The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research
Pp. 179-180: Will of James Burnside Senr of the County of Laurens: to my daughter Gennet Anderson, £ 3 sterling in money; to my son James Burnside the plantation where I now live, and that out of the same he is to pay to his sisters £ 30 sterling; to my son Andrew Burnside the plantation whereon he now lives, and he is to pay his sisters £ 20 sterling; to my son William Burnside, all my land on the south side of Little River including the new survey & part of the old; to my son Thomas Burnside the plantation where I now live including all the land on the east side of Little River, reserving to my daughters Margaret, Elizabeth, Martha, Ann, Jane & Hannah the free previledge of my dwelling house; remainder to be equally divided amongst children vizt. William, Thomas, Margaret, Elizabeth, Martha, Ann Jane & Hanna …William Burnside, Thomas Burnside and Margaret Burnside executors… 17 August 1797.
After Margaret's husband died, the family remained in South Carolina, however at the onset of the war of 1812 and as protest to the slavery issue, the widow Burnside decided to move her family North to the Indiana Territory. They began their journey by crossing the mountains into Pennsylvania. There they boarded flat boats at Pittsburgh and floated down the Ohio River to Cincinnati and then into Indiana.
Their Children include:
1. William T. Burnside was born 1780.
2. James Burnside Jr. was born 1784 in Laurens Co., South Carolina.
3. Andrew Burnside was born 24 March1789 in Laurens Co., South Carolina,
and died 1868 in Illinois.
4. Edghill Burnside was born 7 November 1792 in Laurens Co., South Carolina,
and died 28 March 1859 in Liberty, Union Co., Indiana.
5. Thomas E. Burnside was born 1794.
JAMES Burnside Jr.
James Burnside Jr. visited the Indiana territory in 1815, a year before the family moved. He had pre-selected the area to which the family would settle. James was born in Laurens South Carolina in 1788. He married Jane Crossan.
James was a land surveyor by trade. He had found employment surveying for land warrants in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. He eventually moved from Indiana to Freeport, Illinois and then settled in Wisconsin for the remainder of his life. James died in 1868. His son, James Oliver Perry Burnside was a gallant officer in the Union army during the war between the states.
Anna Margaret Burnside was also accompanied to Indiana by her sons Andrew, Edghill and the youngest, Thomas. Mrs. Burnside found that life in early Indiana was far too primitive for a decent lifestyle. After two years she, along with her son Thomas and daughter left Indiana to return to South Carolina. James and Edghill opted to remain. Not long after, James moved on into the Illinois territory leaving his brother in Indiana.
Edghill was born in Laurens, South Carolina 7 November 1797. His father gave him is mother's maiden name on a baptismal appellation. The area where he grew up had a large settlement of Quakers and he became greatly influenced those that lived around him. This influence gave him the desire to move to where there was "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude".
Edghill was a large, heavy framed man with a strong intellect and the stubborn nature of his Scottish heritage. On 14 July 1814 he married Pemela Brown, daughter of John and Sarah (Weeks) Brown. Pemela was born 15 September 1795 and had fair skin, brown hair and hazel eyes.
Once the Burnside family reached the Indiana territory, Edghill selected a quarter Section of land near a town that was just staked out. The town was to become Liberty. It was the first Monday of September 1836 that Edghill Burnside participated in a meeting of forty-three men and cast his vote to incorporate Liberty. He made is living by teaching school and assisting land surveyors. In 1821 Union County was officially formed from Wayne, Franklin and Fayette counties. The county seat was changed from Brownsville to the more centrally located Liberty.
Edghill Burnside was elected an associate judge of the circuit court. These courts were composed of a President judge and two associates. The President Judge was learned in law and elected by the legislature. The two associates were elected by a popular vote in the county. These "side judges" did not have to have any formal law training, but they could still overrule the President Judge and give the opinion of the court.
"Judge" Burnside became noted for his successful reconciliation of judicial problems. He was persuaded to accept the office of Clerk of the County Courts, and office he held four twenty-eight years.
Children of Edghill and Pemela Burnside:
1. Cynthia Ann Born 4 June 1815 and died 10 July 1879
She married Benjamin Gould, a tailor in Liberty 20 November 1832.
Benjamin was born 17August 1810 and died 23 November 1837.
Cynthia remarried 24 October 1854 to Thomas Morrow, a local merchant.
2. Henrietta Born 21 May 1817 and Died 7 March 1847 Franklin County Indiana
She married Norman M. Ross 26 November 1840. She is buried in Drook Cemetery with her parents
3. Henry Middleton Born 15 September 1819 Died 9 August 1847 Boggstown, Shelby County Indiana
He married Carmilla Cornwell 18 November 1854. He was a farmer near Laurel Indiana in Franklin
County. He later resided in Indianapolis and died in Shelby County.
4. Ambrose Everts was born 23 May 1824 and died 13 September 1881 (see following)
5. Benjamin Franklin was born 30 May 1826 and died 16 November 1881. He married Lydia Ann Zoudst.
He was a mechanic. During the Civil War he furnished mules and horses to the Army of Tennessee.
He died in Indianapolis.
6. Ellen W. was born 30 October 1829 and lived all her life in Liberty. She never married.
7. Thomas Brown was born 11 July 1832 and died 9 April 1833
8. Harrison E. was born 28 May 1834 and died 12 April 1835
9. William Brown was born 24 May 1838 and died 7 September 1838
Pamela Burnside died at age 45 on May 19, 1841. She was laid to rest not far from her home in East or Drook Cemetery. Edghill married again, this time to Jane Dill, daughter of Joseph Dill. They were married 27 February 1844. Jane Burnside died 13 April 1891 and is buried in West Point Cemetery.
They had one son, Thomas C. Burnside; he was only 15 when his father Edghill died on the 25 March 1859. Thomas secured a position as a brakeman on the Pennsylvania Railroad and worked in the business for fifteen years. He married Olive "Jennie" Kelly 5 March 1874, daughter of Seth Kelly. To this union was born three daughters, Clara, Margaret and Jennie.
Myers - Brunside Tailor Shop 2004 as a residence.
Ambrose Everts Burnside
Ambrose Burnside was born in the log home on his father's farm. A Dr. Sylvanus Everts was called to deliver the child. It was decided that the Burnside baby would be named after the Doctor's young son who had recently died.
Ambrose proved to be a good scholar. He was enrolled in a one room school that later became the Beech Grove Academy. Ambrose was influenced by the Quaker people in the community and the basic beliefs at home so he developed strict honesty and kindness.
By the year 1840 Ambrose had apprenticed himself to a tailor in Centerville, Wayne County Indiana. He returned two years later and opened a tailor ship in Liberty with a partner name Myers. Burnside was not satisfied with his life, he wanted more.
While Edghill was serving in the State Legislature in 1842, he took advantage of his position and asked the Governor to write a letter on his behalf to Senator Albert White on the subject of an appointment to West Point for his son. Since Edghill could not afford the tuition for the education a petition was need to achieve the appointment. Forty-five members of the state legislature and the two state senators signed a petition to recommend Ambrose for appointment. It arrived March of 1843.
With twenty-five dollars to his name Ambrose Burnside arrived at West Point 1 June 1843. His training would begin in July. All West Point cadets or plebes were warned that life was going to be difficult and rigorous. Infractions of the rules, no matter how minor, would cost a young man a demerit. The accumulation of 200 demerits in a single year would assure the man he was no longer welcome at the Academy.
Ambrose earned his first demerit on his third morning at West Point. He seated himself for breakfast before the command was given. Soon it was 5 demerits for unauthorized visiting, 4 for talking while on guard duty, 11 for taking the day off to celebrate his birthday...by the time June came around he had accumulated 198 demerits. Of the 211 cadets at the academy he ranked 207th in general conduct: 208-211 were dismissed. Academically he was in the upper 1/3 of his class.
During his second year, he improved. Advancing to the upper 1/4 of his class in academics and earning only 133 demerits.
In his third year he became a Cadet Lieutenant, stood twelfth in general merit in class of forty and accumulated sixty-nine demerits.
He almost jeopardized his career in his last year. First he cavorted with his roommate an slipped away to Benny Havens's notorious Groggery. He was absent at breakfast, tried to get snacks from the kitchen and disappeared form his post one afternoon and did not return to his room before the following night. He was caught out of barracks after taps and smoking on post and numerous violations of the uncomfortable uniform code.
Because he showed great promise in fields such as tactics and physics the superintendent excused a coupe of violations and Ambrose Burnside graduated with a demerit load of 190 and 18th in a class of 38. On 1 July 1847 his middle name was changed permanently by an administrative error. Thus he became Ambrose Everett Burnside.
He accepted a commission in the 3rd U.S. Artillery. He got his first taste of battle as he fought the Mexican Army in the final days of the Mexican-American War.
During a furlough around Christmas in 1850 he met and fell in love with a young woman from Oxford Ohio named Charlotte "Lottie" Moon. She was visiting a relative in Brownsville, Union County Indiana when the couple met. She was highly educated, popular and beautiful. Ambrose pursued her until she finally set a date for marriage. At the appointed time the wedding guests and the minister were there. Lottie and Ambrose stood before them The minister asked Lottie if she promised to love and cherish Ambrose as long as they both should live, she replied "No siree, Bob, I won't" and fled from the room leaving an astonished Burnside in her wake.
She convinced Ambrose that it was all a mad prank, summed up to nuptial jitters and wanted the courtship to continue. However she surprised everyone when she set a date to marry James Clark. The bridegroom was ready for her "practical jokes". He met Charlotte in the hallway and pulled a small pistol from his pocket and announced to her quietly. "There will be a wedding here today or a funeral tomorrow". The wedding went through without any interruptions.
During the Civil War, Lottie, her sister Virginia and their Mother were accused and eventually caught aiding and abiding the confederate enemy. Virginia asked to see General Burnside and the three women were eventually paroled for their crimes.
Ambrose recovered from his brush with Charlotte Moon and in 1852 married Mary Richmond of Providence Rhode Island, daughter of Nathaniel Bishop. He resigned his commission in the United States Army and began supervising the manufacturing of the breech load rifle he had invented. Although the army looked favorably upon the Burnside Breech-loader, Burnside refused to pay his way among the underlings of the war department. The company went Bankrupt. Burnside sought employment under George B. McClellan, vice president of the Illinois Central Railroad. George B. McClellan (right) became General of the Army of the Potomac.
15 April 1861 Governor Sprague of Rhode Island telegraphed Burnside to take command of the first regiment of detached militia. They arrived in Washington on the 26th of April. He received a commission as a Brigadier General of Volunteers 6 August 1861.
He commanded a brigade at the First Battle of Bull Run in August 1861, led a successful amphibious landing on the North Carolina Coast, but did not fair well commanding McClellan's left wing in Antietam and thus the story of "Burnside's Bridge". Burnside, like his superior McClellan, was a procrastinator, wasting many opportunities to overtake the enemy. At Antietam, his bullheaded decision to cross a bridge heavily defended by Rebels over the Antietam Creek, later known as "Burnside's Bridge," delayed his arrival on the battlefield. This delay cost him the chance to overrun the weak enemy positions on the other side of the bridge, and defeat the Confederates. Although his men eventually crossed the bridge, it was too late to do any damage to the enemy.
He was appointed Commander of the Army of the Potomac 7 November 1862, relieving his friend McClellan and thwarting the ambition of General Joseph Hooker, whom he disliked greatly. “Those of us who were well acquainted with Burnside knew that he was a brave, loyal man,” wrote Gen. Darius Couch, “but we did not think that had the military ability to command the Army of the Potomac. Gen. George Meade voiced a similar opinion about the likeable General: “He had some very positive qualifications, such as determination and nerve, but he wanted knowledge and judgment, and was deficient in that enlarged mental capacity which is essential in a commander.”
As Commander, he led that force to a terrible defeat at Fredericksburg Virginia December 1862. After the disastrous, humiliating January 1863 "Mud March," the army was taken from Burnside and he was assigned to the command of the Department of the Ohio. Burnside is also credited with the capture of elusive Rebel raider Gen. John Hunt Morgan. In September Burnside took to the field and captured Knoxville and the Cumberland Gap, and then successfully defended Knoxville from a Confederate siege.
Upon returning to civilian life he was elected governor of Rhode Island in April 1866 and re-elected in '67 and '68.
He went to Europe on business during the Franco-Prussian War where he was called on to act as an envoy between the two forces.
In January 1875 he was elected United States Senator from Rhode Island and re-elected in 1880.
Ambrose Burnside died suddenly of a heart ailment in his home in Bristol, Rhode Island 13 September 1881. His wife proceeded him in death. There were no children born to this union.
A note of trivia. Ambrose Burnside is credited with being the father of "sideburns" after sporting this particular facial hair style.
The Story Of Lottie Moon
George B. McClellan
Bio Ambrose Burnside
Burnside - Indiana in the Civil War
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