In 1856 Edmund Burke enlisted in U.S. service at Mobile AL, a resident of Tuscaloosa AL. In 1850 he appears on the census with his mother Sarah F. Burke in the city of Tuscaloosa AL. She wrote the request for his appointment as signal officer. The company Burke joined, the "Warrior Rangers", Co. "D", 2nd Alabama Cavalry, was composed of young men from Tuscaloosa.
Records of the 2nd Alabama Cavalry (M311, reel 4) show that Burke received pay from Nov. 5, 1862. A company roll dated June 30, 1863, reports his appointment as 1st Lieutenant, Signal Corps, but does not state when he left the company. A hospital record for Wilmington NC, Sept. 1864, lists Burke as a resident of Tuscaloosa.
Burke's appointment as signal officer dates from Oct. 13, 1862, to rank from Oct. 10th. His acceptance is dated May 25, 1863, with an assignment to A. P. Hill's Corps on June 19, 1863. He was ordered to report to General Heth's staff on July 8, 1863. Evidently Burke remained with his company until accepting this appointment.
I would not be surprised to see this pattern of service on most signal officers.
Heth's endorsement on the resignation states, "Burke's habits are such as to disqualify him from the position of comm. officer." Burke's hospitalization for syphilis primitiva during September 1864 may suggest exactly what habits troubled General Heth.
Burke's sad situation reminds me of 'Lucky' Ned Pepper from the movie, "True Grit". At one point Rooster Cogburn (played by John Wayne) reports the following --
"Ned was sighted at McAllister's Store about three days ago. He goes there from time to time to pay attention to a lewd woman."