Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Battle of the Crater

Saturday, July 30, 1864

The Thirteenth New Hampshire arrived at their new position in the rear of the Ninth Corps as support at 3:00 A.M. A mine underneath the Confederate position exploded at 4:40 A.M., leaving a wide crater, and the Ninth Corps charged into the thirty-foot deep crater to overtake the Confederates. The Eighteenth Corps remained along the front lines in support. The attack ended in massive failure for the Union, as the Confederates charged to the defense of their men by lining along the rim of the gaping hole and firing into the men of the Ninth Corps inside the crater. Massive losses from death or capture for the Ninth Corps were the tragic result of the catastrophic episode. Casualties mounted to nearly 5,000 for the Union and 1,000 for the Confederacy. 1

1S. Millett Thompson, Thirteenth Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865 : A Diary Covering Three Years and a Day (Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1888), 431-432.

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