Union Flag Carrier U. S. CIVIL WAR
Confederate Flag 

(PAGE 2 OF 5)

  Petersburg, July 30, 1864
Estimated Casualties: 5,300 total

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.

South Carolina Monument
South Carolina Monument at the Crater - 2006.
The Crater
South Carolina Monument Plaque.

From this propitious beginning, everything deteriorated rapidly for the Union attackers. Unit after unit charged into and around the crater, where soldiers milled in confusion. The Confederates quickly recovered and launched several counterattacks led by Maj. Gen. William Mahone. The break was sealed off, and the Federals were repulsed with severe casualties. Ferrarro's division of black soldiers was badly mauled.

Mahone's Monument - 2006
General Mahone's Monument (at the Crater) - 2006.

Mahone's Monument Plaque - 2006
Plaque on General Mahone's Monument - 2006.

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.
(Text Source: U.S. Gov't, National Park Service)

The Crater Tunnel Entrance - Jan 98
Crater Tunnel, January, 1998.
The Crater Tunnel Entrance
Crater Tunnel Entrance - 2002.

  Until December of 1997, the entrance to the tunnel, which the Union army dug in order to blow up the Confederate line, was blocked by an iron gate. Visitors could go down steps and peer into its darkness, noting that it was low enough to be hidden from Confederate view.

One night vandals entered the tunnel and started a fire. Wooden supports burned and the tunnel collapsed in several places. A reward has been offered in order to catch the culprits.

In January 1998, access to the area around the tunnel was blocked by a temporary fence. Plywood covered the tunnel entrance and the several places where the roof collapsed. Now, the entrance has been restored and appears almost identical to its previous condition.


Home > Civil War Photos > Petersburg > Page 2 > 3 > 4 > 5


19th Century Photographs Notes

USA Civil War Site contains 1,428 Photos, 506 Pages, 113 Maps, 30 Prints.
Photo Info    What's New    FAQ   Civil War Definitions    Site Search    Privacy Statement    Contact Us

Except for the items provided with permission to the author of this Site, this complete Site is Copyright Copyright; 2000 - 2017. All Rights are Reserved. No portion of this site, including this index page and any of the separate pages, may be copied, retransmitted, reposted, duplicated or otherwise used without the express written permission of USA Civil War.com.