Sidney Burbank

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Sidney Burbank
Born October 1807
Lexington, Massachusetts
Died December 7, 1882 (aged 74–75)
Newport, Kentucky
Place of burial Spring Grove Cemetery
Cincinnati, Ohio
Allegiance United StatesUnited States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1829 – 1870
Rank Union Army colonel rank insignia.png Colonel
Union Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brevet Brigadier General
Commands held 13th Infantry Regiment
2nd Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars Second Seminole War
American Civil War

Sidney Burbank (October 1807 – December 7, 1882) served as an officer in the regular army before and during the American Civil War. For a time he led a brigade in the Army of the Potomac.

Pre-war service[edit]

Burbank was born in Lexington, Massachusetts in October 1807, the son of Lt. Col. Sullivan Burbank, an officer in the US Army since the War of 1812.[1] Sidney Burbank attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, graduating 17th in a class of 46 in 1829. Burbank was assigned to the 1st Infantry Regiment, serving in Indian wars, including the Seminole War. As a captain he established Fort Duncan near Eagle Pass, Texas in 1849.[citation needed]

Early Civil War service[edit]

Burbank was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the 13th Infantry Regiment on May 14, 1861 and to colonel of the 2nd Infantry Regiment on September 16, 1862. Burbank succeeded to command of the 2nd Infantry following the death of Dixon Miles.[2]

Service with the Army of the Potomac[edit]

Colonel Burbank joined the Army of the Potomac in 1863. He served as a brigade commander in the second division of V Corps under Maj. Gen. George Sykes at the Battle of Chancellorsville. His brigade was composed of regiments of regular infantry. Burbank led the same brigade under Brig. Gen. Romeyn B. Ayres at the Battle of Gettysburg. Burbank's brigade lost heavily when it was attacked on the flank while deploying in the Wheatfield on July 2, 1863. The attack was executed by the brigade of Brig. Gen. William T. Wofford, and it cost Burbank's brigade 447 casualties.[3] Afterwards, his regular brigade was combined with that of Col. Hannibal Day, serving under Burbank in the Bristoe Campaign and the Mine Run Campaign. He was nominated by Meade for Brigadier general but not promoted.[4]

Service in Kentucky[edit]

Burbank's health was poor, and in the winter of 1863-1864 his eyesight was failing. Burbank left the Army of the Potomac for less demanding assignments.[5] (The regulars were made part of a brigade under Ayers in General Charles Griffin's first division V Corps.) Thereafter Burbank commanded a draft rendezvous in Columbus, Ohio and the headquarters of the 2nd Infantry in Kentucky until the end of the war, as well as the Newport Barracks in the Department of Kentucky.[6]

On April 10, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Burbank to the rank of brevet brigadier general, U.S.A. to rank from March 13, 1865 and the U.S. Senate confirmed the award on May 4, 1866 [7] He rebuilt his regiment, as well as serving on boards and commissions, until he retired in May 1870. Burbank lived in Newport, Kentucky until he died on December 7, 1882, of an intestinal blockage.[8] He is interred in Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati.[9]

Burbank's son, Capt. Sullivan Wayne Burbank, died of wounds received in the Battle of the Wilderness.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hudson, Charles (1913), History of the town of Lexington, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, from its first settlement to 1868, Houghton Mifflin, p. 80, retrieved January 31, 2012 
  2. ^ Reese, Sykes' Regular Infantry, p. 206.
  3. ^ Pfanz, Gettysburg - the Second Day, pp. 297-301. Map 12-2 on p. 292.
  4. ^ OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 1, Page 97.
  5. ^ Reese, Sykes' Regular Infantry, p. 206.
  6. ^ War of the Rebellion, part II, vol. 49, p. 546.
  7. ^ Eicher, John H. and Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands p. 732. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
  8. ^ Reese, Sykes' Regular Infantry, p. 355.
  9. ^ "Judge Civil War Generals" (PDF). The Spring Grove Family. Retrieved July 17, 2014. 
  10. ^ Reese, Sykes' Regular Infantry, p. 310.


  • Boatner, Mark M., Civil War Dictionary, New York, D. McKay Co. [1959]. ISBN 0-8071-0822-7
  • Eicher, John H. and Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
  • Pfanz, Harry W., Gettysburg – The Second Day, University of North Carolina Press, 1987, ISBN 0-8078-1749-X.
  • Reese, Timothy J., Sykes' Regular Division 1861-1864, Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1990. ISBN 0-89950-447-7
  • The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies