Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Butcher Of Kentucky

Stephen Gano Burbridge, also known as the Butcher of Kentucky was born August 19th 1831 in Scott County Kentucky. He started college at Georgetown College and finished at the Kentucky Military Institute. He became a lawyer after graduating.

When the Civil War started Burbridge raised a Union Regiment, and was made a Colonel of the 26th Kentucky Infantry. He raised to the rank of Brigadier General on June 9th 1862, and saw action at Shiloh, Vicksburg and was successful against John Hunt Morgan during the Battle of Cynthiana. Burbridge took over the problem in June 1864 of Kentucky’s growing Confederate guerrillas from General Jeremiah T Boyle. On July 16th 1864 Burbridge issued his Order Number 59, "Whenever an unarmed Union citizen is murdered, four guerrillas will be selected from the prison and publicly shot to death at the most convenient place near the scene of the outrages." In October 1864 he led African American Union troops at the Battle of Saltville, the wounded were left behind and killed by Confederate soldiers. After trying to take control of the military from Kentucky Governor Thomas E Bramlette in February 1865, he was dismissed and resigned from the army.

Burbridge found himself and his family shut out socially after the war, and they moved to Brooklyn New York. He died there December 2nd 1894. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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