|Battle of the Crater|
|Part of the American Civil War,|
|United States||Confederate States|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Robert E. Lee
After weeks of preparation, on July 30, Union forces exploded a mine in Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside's IX Corps sector, 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, where soldiers milled in confusion. Grant considered the assault "the saddest affair I have witnessed in the war." The Confederates quickly recovered and launched several counterattacks led by Brig. Gen. William Mahone. The breach was sealed off, and Union forces were repulsed with severe casualties. Brig. Gen. Edward Ferrero'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. Burnside was relieved of command for the last time for his role in the debacle, and he was never again returned to command.
Battle of the Crater in The Guns of the SouthEdit
Due to the Rivington Men's time traveling interference, the Battle of the Crater never happened. However, the story of how it would have played out was recorded in the smuggled chronicle of the original history which CS President Robert E. Lee consulted. From this, he learned that a man named Henry Pleasants had come up with the strategy of digging a long mine shaft underneath enemy lines and planting explosive charges directly underneath a fort. When Lee saw that Pleasants was now in the CS force besieging Rivington, he ordered that Pleasants' name be omitted from all communications, lest the Rivington Men anticipate Pleasants' use of the Crater plan.