Friday, 30 July 2010
Battle of the Crater 1864
Image; Alfred Rudolph Waud (1828–91)
The advance to the "crater" after the explosion of the mine. In the middle distance are the mounds of earth thrown up by the explosion: beyond upon the high ground cemetery hill the Confederates inner line of works, which if they had carried, would have given the Union Army Petersburg and Richmond. In the foreground troops are seen advancing to and beyond Burnsides outer intrenched line and moving upon the Confederate defences. These were—on the left Bartletts Massachusetts brigade, and on the right, the Negro troops—this sketch was made about 8 AM July 30th 1864. / A point in the Rebel works known as Elliots Salient over this part was held by the 18th and 23rd S. Carolina infantry and a battery of artillery blown up in the explosion.
Today is the anniversary of this event that took place during the siege of St Petersburg involving Pennsylvanian miners making a huge crater in the CSA fortfications. This is the opening scene of the movie Cold Mountain. There is an interesting original painting at the American Museum Bath that shows a kind of log tunnel that sat above ground reaching up to the Confederate siege lines.