Friday, September 3, 2010
The Chief Commissary
In the opening months of the Civil War he was Chief Commissary in the West Virginia Campaign under General George B McClellan. Burns received an appointment to Brigadier General in September 1861, and the next spring he was in command of a Brigade in General John Sedgwick’s Division of the Second Corps during the Peninsular Campaign. He rose to command of the First Division of the Ninth Corps during the Battle of Fredericksburg. Burns must have preferred commissary, as he resigned his commission in March 1863 and took the rank of Major, serving as the Chief of Commissary in the Department of the Northwest until the end of the war.
After the war Burns stayed with the Commissary Service on duty in Washington Territory and was promoted to Colonel in 1884. He received a brevet to Brigadier General for meritorious service in the Civil War. Burns retired September 1890. He died April 19th 1892 at Beaufort, South Carolina, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.