CWSAC Battle Summaries


Other Names: The Mine

Location: Petersburg

Campaign: Richmond-Petersburg Campaign (June
1864-March 1865)

Date(s): July 30, 1864

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside
[US]; Gen. Robert E. Lee [CS]

Forces Engaged: IX Corps [US]; elements of the Army of
Northern Virginia [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 5,300 total

Description: 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. 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. 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.

Result(s): Confederate victory

CWSAC Reference #: VA070

Preservation Priority: III.1 (Class A)

Courtesy of the National Park Service

Petersburg Public Library
Digital Maps Collection

Exploring the Ring




Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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Part 5

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