By Jeff Kinard
July 1864. Grant's siege of Petersburg is at a standstill. A Federal regiment made up normally of Pennsylvania coal miners, less than the command of Lt. Colonel Henry Pleasants, secures the reluctant approval of Generals Meade and, finally, furnish to pursue an outrageous process: tunnel lower than the accomplice trenches, and blow up the accomplice troops. The 586-foot tunnel is finished in a month. 4 hundreds 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. sick ready, and with no management, they cost via accomplice traces and swarm round and tremendously, into the 170-foot crater, merely to be trapped and slaughtered in a livid counter charge.An soaking up tale of amazing bravery and incompetent management in keeping with first-person bills.
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July 1864. Grant's siege of Petersburg is at a standstill. A Federal regiment made up often of Pennsylvania coal miners, lower than the command of Lt. Colonel Henry Pleasants, secures the reluctant approval of Generals Meade and, eventually, furnish to pursue an outrageous process: tunnel lower than the accomplice trenches, and blow up the accomplice troops.
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Extra info for Battle of the Crater (Civil War Campaigns and Commanders)
The plan called for a night assault and dawn was little more than an hour away. , Pleasants allowed Sergeant Henry Reese into the shaft to check the fuses. Nervously scurrying down the silent tunnel, the veteran miner was only too aware that the defective fuse could merely be smoldering and could Page 47 burst into flame at any moment. Deep within the earth, he would be buried alive if the charge ignited. At last, over halfway to the four tons of powder, Sergeant Reese discovered that the fuse had indeed gone out at one of the splices.
According to the prevailing attitude, black troops were deemed able to perform rear-echelon chores such as guard Page 39 duty or manual labor, but incapable of "standing up" under fire. Consequently, ever since its arrival at Petersburg, the Fourth Division had been parceled out to other, white divisions to perform these necessary though menial tasks. Burnside, however, unlike many of his fellow officers, had faith in his black troops, and they, in turn, were eager to prove themselves in combat.
As more Federal troops crowded into the narrow front, communications began to fall apart. In the Crater, Ledlie's subordinate officers tried desperately to untangle the increasingly vague orders from their distant commander. Burnside further added to the Page 54 confusion by failing to keep Meade informed of his whereabouts. The resulting flurry of misdirected telegraph messages fueled the animosity between the two generals. Finally, despite the chaotic situation on his front, Burnside acquiesced to Meade's prodding and issued orders for Ferrero to advance his black division.