Explosion of the Petersburg mine
"From a sketch made at the time"

The 6th NYHA was present at the Petersburg mine assault on July 30, 1864. Union troops had previously planted a mine beneath a Confederate battery; the plan was to fire the bomb and then charge into the resulting breach as the Confederates were blown into the air.

The mine itself was a success, going off basically as planned and creating a huge crater. Union troops were slow to seize the offensive, however, while Confederate troops responded quickly. When the Union troops did occupy the crater, they were easy targets for the Confederates lining the perimeter. Union troops, including the Colored Division of the 9th Corps, were decimated. Following are Gedney's and Thiselton's records of the event:

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