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THE FIRST COMMANDER OF THE NINTH CORPS.
Y a singular good fortune, not paralleled by any other corps in the Army of the United States, the relations of the Ninth Corps with its leading officers were unchanged during the continuance of the War of the Rebellion. General Ambrose Everett Burnside was its first commander, and from the date of the organization of the Corps until his retirement from the service, General Burnside's history was identified with its own. Many of the officers and men who composed it were those who fought the battles of Roanoke Island and Newbern. They were with their General at South Mountain and Antietam. They were a part of the Army of the Potomac when the heights of Fredericksburg were assailed. They followed their leader to the deliverance of East Tennessee. They again became a portion of the Army of the Potomac in the closing campaign of the war, and the ensanguined fields of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg bore witness to their united valor. The career of the Corps and its story are inseparable from those
of him who, in the early days of the war, led the First Rhode Island Regiment to the relief of Washington. Several of the privates and officers of that regiment were afterwards officers in the Corps. They followed the fortunes of the man whom they had learned to love, from the first to the last, and with undeviating fidelity. It becomes necessary, therefore, before entering upon the history of the Ninth Corps, as a distinct organization, to sketch, in the preliminary chapters of this volume, the early life of General Burnside, and to give some account of the operations which he conducted in Virginia and North Carolina.
In the year 1813, a party of friends from South Carolina joined the great caravan of emigrants that were rapidly filling the great fields of the west. Belonging to this party were a Mr. Edgehill Burnside and Miss Pamelia Brown, with others of their acquaintances and neighbors. The emigrants settled in what was then Indiana Territory, in that section which afterwards became Union County. In the veins of Mr. Burnside flowed the blood of those heroic men who, at Bannockburn and Flodden Field and on many a well fought field in both hemispheres, have proved that the Scotch are among the best soldiers in the world. His parents were born in Scotland, and, removing to America in the latter part of the last century, settled in South Carolina. Here their son was born and educated. Here he remained until the tide of emigration bore him away upon its surface to the West. Having decided to fix his residence in Indiana, he selected a fine place near what is now the town of Liberty, and there proceeded to establish his home. There, soon after his arrival, he was married to Miss Brown. His subsequent success in gaining the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens, attests a character industrious, faithful and trustworthy. Following the profession of the law, he acquired a respectable reputation as a counsellor, was largely employed in the administration of estates, and enjoyed an extensive and lucrative practice. He is found afterwards and for several years, honorably and creditably