Battle of the Crater (Civil War Campaigns and Commanders) by Jeff Kinard

By Jeff Kinard

July 1864. Grant's siege of Petersburg is at a standstill. A Federal regiment made up usually of Pennsylvania coal miners, below the command of Lt. Colonel Henry Pleasants, secures the reluctant approval of Generals Meade and, finally, supply to pursue an outrageous technique: tunnel lower than the accomplice trenches, and blow up the accomplice troops. The 586-foot tunnel is done in a month. 4 a whole bunch powder explode in a devastating shock assault, killing enormous quantities of accomplice squaddies. Fearing undesirable exposure, white squaddies are substituted for the department of black troops in particular expert for the attack. ailing ready, and with no management, they cost via accomplice strains and swarm round and quite, into the 170-foot crater, simply to be trapped and slaughtered in a livid counter charge.An soaking up tale of outstanding bravery and incompetent management according to first-person money owed.

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Two eastern tracks, the eight-mile route to City Point and the Norfolk line, were cut by Grant's forces in June, but three vital lines remained open. The Southside Railroad to Burkesville and Lynchburg and the Weldon and Wilmington Railroad to North Carolina still connected the city to major supply sources in the lower South. These lines poured food, supplies, and troops into the city where they were transferred to the Richmond-Petersburg Railroad and on to Richmond and Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.

Although the thousands of Union troops seemed Page 57 "greatly disordered," Mahone quickly sent back to his division for another brigade, Colonel John Caldwell Calhoun Sanders's Alabamians. In the teeming mass of Federals before the Confederate general, Colonel Henry Thomas gamely tried to rally his stalled Second Brigade of Ferrero's Division.

As his troops milled about aimlessly in the distant Confederate works, General Ledlie was nowhere to be found. P. Chubb's improvised operating room in a converted bombproof. There, sick with fright, he cajoled the physician out of a bottle of medicinal rum under the unlikely pretext of having been painfully bruised by a spent bullet. For good measure he also added that he was feeling quite ill. While the skeptical doctor prepared his field dressings, the division commander huddled in the corner with his bottle.

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