Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Battle of Vicksburg Crater

Yesterday, while writing about Joseph beavers and the 56th Illinois, I mentioned that they were at the Battle of Vicksburg Crater.  At first, I didn't recognize the name,but then it came to me that there was also a mine exploded under Confederate lines at Vicksburg (as well as the better known Battle of the Crater at Petersburg).

A quick look at Wikipedia provided this information.

The section of the Confederate lines at Vicksburg referred to as the 3rd Louisiana Redan had a mine dug out to and under it.  Some 2,200 pounds of gunpowder was placed under it and on June 25, 1863, it blew a mighty hole in the Confederate defenses at that point.

Infantry from Gen. Logan's XVII Corps poured into the hole.  The 45th Illinois, called the "Lead Mine Regiment under Col. Jasper A. Maltby charged into the 40-foot diameter, 12 foot deep crater, but stopped and were pinned down by Confederates above them who also rolled artillery shells with fuses lit.  They were forced to retreat

A second tunnel was dug nearby and the powder ignited, but no infantry attack was risked.

Pioneers then worked July 2-3 to expand the initial crater for a future attack, but was called off with Vicksburg's surrender on July 4th.

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