While Confederate defenders at Petersburg manned their lines in the predawn hours of July 30, 1864, a long fuse sputtered in the earth beneath them.

Battle of the Crater

Bloody Fiasco at the Crater

By Arnold Blumberg

In the summer of 1864, after six weeks of virtually constant combat in the Wilderness area of northern Virginia, the Union and Confederate armies of Ulysses S. Read more

Battle of the Crater

Rolling the Dice: Robert E. Lee at Petersburg

By Joseph E. Lowry

By the early spring of 1865, the Southern Confederacy was on the cusp of extinction. In every theater of the four-year-old Civil War, the gray-clad Rebels were getting the worst of things. Read more

Battle of the Crater

The Crater: Explosion of Death

By John Walker

It was just after 3 am on Saturday, July 30, 1864. A month of relative quiet along a two-mile stretch of Union and Confederate trench lines immediately east of Petersburg, Virginia, was about to come to an explosive end. Read more