A Civil War Biography

Stephen Gano Burbridge

Burbridge was born 19 August 1831 in Scott County, Kentucky. He attended Georgetown College and the Kentucky Military Institute, then studied the law and set up a practice in his home state. He also did some farming.

On 27 August 1861 with the war already raging in the east, Burbridge help raise and was commissioned colonel of the 26th Kentucky (Union) infantry. The 26th with Burbridge in command saw action at Shiloh. He was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers to rank from 9 June 1862. He commanded a brigade in the XIII Corps during the storming of Fort Hindman, Arkansas and the Vicksburg campaign. In 1864 he succeeded Jeremiah T. Boyle in command of the District of Kentucky and was brevetted major general of volunteers on 4 July 1864 for repulsing John H. Morgan's abortive invasion of Kentucky. His administrative skills and his caring out retributive executions of Rebel guerrillas, however, earned him the ire of the civil authorities and the populace. He was relieved of his command in January 1865 and resigned his commission in December.

Following the war Burbridge found it difficult to live in Kentucky. He and his family were socially and financially ostracized. He moved to Brooklyn, New York shortly after the war and died there a forgotten man on 2 December 1894. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

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