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Crater (1864)
 
War:   American Civil War
 
Also known as:   The Mine
 
Date(s):   30 Jul 1864
 
Location:   Petersburg, Virginia, US
 
Outcome:   Confederate victory
 
Principal   Commanders:   Confederate: Robert E. Lee
Union: Ambrose E. Burnside
 
Description:   Brig. Gen. William Mahone, CSA

Union IX Corps attacked elements of the Army of Northern Virginia.

There were about 5,300 casualties.

After weeks of preparation, on July 30 the Federals exploded a mine in Burnside’s IX Corps sector beneath Pegram’s Salient, blowing a gap in the Confederate defenses of Petersburg. From this propitious beginning, everything deteriorated rapidly for the Union attackers. Unit after unit charged into and around the crater, but soldiers milled in confusion rather than exploiting the gap.

The Confederates quickly recovered and Mahone launched several counterattacks. The breach was sealed, and the Federals were repulsed with severe casualties. Ferrarro’s division of black soldiers was badly mauled. This may have been Grant’s best chance to end the Siege of Petersburg. Instead, the soldiers settled in for another eight months of trench warfare. Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside was relieved of command for his role in the debacle, pending a Court of Inquiry that pointed more blame at others, but some at him.


Content provided by:
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Selected sources:
American Battlefield Protection Program, Heritage Preservation Services, National Park Service.



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THESE ARE ARCHIVED PAGES OF THE OLD EHISTORY SITE
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