Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Have you ever stopped to wonder where the word sideburn comes from? Chances are, you probably don't care, but I am going to tell you anyways. The very handsome man pictured above is none other than Ambrose Burnside, a Union general in the American Civil War. He was obvioulsy blessed with the ability to grow volumous amounts of hair on the side of his face and as a result, his name was used to label the very distinctive style.
Unfortunatley for good old Ambrose, his contribution to society is limited to his facial hair. It is quite possible that he focused too much of his attention on grooming his hair and not quite enough on leading the army. His strategy at the battle of Fredericksburg went a little something like this:
Soldier: Great job on taking over the town General! We sure showed those Confederate scoundrels whose boss.
Burnside: Thanks soldier, but I would really love to give those dirty southerners another kick in the pants. Why don't we go chase them as they retreat up that hill?
Soldier: Great idea! I am sure they won't be able to mow us down in their advantageous position on top of the hill. It is unlikely that waves of Confederates will rush down the hill and decimate our army.
Burnside's brilliant strategy led to a massive defeat for his army, but maybe it was all for the best. We wouldn't want his military accomplishments outshining his contribution as a style icon.