If there’s one thing to be learned from Ambrose Everett Burnside, it’s that you can be dubbed “the most incompetent general of the Civil War” and still be feted in style blogs 150 years later. In the Battle of the Crater in 1864, Burnside succeeded in digging an explosive mine under a fort in the Confederate entrenchment, but failed to brief his own soldiers on the existence of said mine—into which they crammed, by the hundreds, figuring the massive crater to be an ideal bunker. Confederates surrounded the mine and, well, you’ve seen how this one turned out.

But we’re here not to revisit Burnside’s humiliating miscues on the field of battle, but rather to honor the glorious muttonchops on the general’s face—so glorious, in fact, that the term “sideburn” was dubbed in his (fittingly inverted) honor.

To that end, we offer five of the finest muttonchop specimens of all time…

Duane Allman

Chester Arthur

John Lennon

Henrik Ibsen

Wolverine

—C.B.S.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • C. Brian Smith