General Burnside’s Sword to be Displayed
Exhibit Begins on Nov.10, the 150th Anniversary of Burnside’s Appointment to Command of the Army of the Potomac
Over the transom Friday from historian Donald C. Pfanz:
On Saturday, Nov. 10, the 150th anniversary of Ambrose Burnside’s ill-fated appointment to command the Army of the Potomac, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park will put his sword on display.
On loan from Alan Genetti of Pennsylvania, the sword is likely the one Burnside carried at the Battle of Fredericksburg.
The exhibit will be at the national park’s Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center, at 1013 Lafayette Blvd. in Fredericksburg.
Presented to him by members and friends of Company F, 1st Rhode Island Infantry, just a few weeks after the First Battle of Bull Run, the sword was clearly one of Burnside’s favorites. It appears in several wartime photographs and a later portrait of the general.
A sketch made on Dec. 14, 1862, also appears to portray the sword, strongly suggesting it was his accoutrement of choice at Fredericksburg.
The public display of Burnside’s sword is the first event in what will be more than a month of activities commemorating the 150th anniversary of the 1862 campaign and the Battle of Fredericksburg.
For a complete schedule of the park’s 150th anniversary Battle of Fredericksburg activities, click here.