Sidney Burbank of Massachusetts was admitted to West Point in July 1825, just three months from his 18th birthday.  At his graduation in 1829, he ranked 17th in a class of 46, though he ranked 2nd on the Conduct Roll.  Among his classmates were a young Robert E. Lee, Caleb Sibley and Joseph E. Johnston.  


In 1836, 2nd Lt. Burbank, 1st Infantry, joined the West Point faculty as an assistant instructor of tactics.  In 1845, Captain Sidney Burbank commanded Fort Scott in Kansas.  Lieutenant Colonel Sidney Burbank assumed command of the 13th U.S. Infantry regiment on July 23, 1861.  With the opening of Alton Federal Military Prison on February 9th, 1862, members of the 13th U.S. Infantry were assigned as guards with Colonel Sidney Burbank Commanding.  


After Antietam, Burbank took command of 2nd Infantry when Col. Dixon Miles was mortally wounded by a piece of shell at Harper's Ferry during September and died shortly afterwards.  At Gettysburg, Burbank commanded the Second Brigade of the Second Division, V Corps.  The Second Brigade was made up of 2nd U.S., 7th U.S., 10th U.S., 1lth U.S. and 17th U.S. When the brigade was discontinued in New York City, Burbank returned to his regimental depot to supervise rebuilding of the 2nd Infantry.