Petersburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Prelude to the Crater
- Col. Stephen M. Weld, 50th Massachusetts July 28, 1864
The predawn darkness of July 30, 1864, shrouded intense Union preparations on this ridge. Thousands of troops filed quietly into the ravine and trenches in front. More than 160 cannon crowded the earthworks to your right and left. Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside, commander of the attacking force, took his place in the 14-gun battery (Fort Morton) behind you. By 3:30 a.m. all was ready. Only one detail remained: the explosion of the mine.
Erected by Petersburg National Battlefield - National Park Service - Dept. of the Interior.
Location. 37° 13.105′ N, 77° 22.306′ W. Marker is in Petersburg, Virginia. Marker is on Siege Road, on the right when traveling south. Marker is in Petersburg National Battlefield on the Auto Tour Road at Tour Stop 7. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Petersburg VA 23803, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers A Fatal Error (here, next to this marker); Waiting Their Turn (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Dash into the Crater (approx. 0.2 miles away); Digging the Mine (approx. ¼ mile away); Ventilation Shaft (approx. ¼ mile away); Joshua L. Chamberlain Promoted “On The Spot” (approx. 0.3 miles away); “A Stupendous Failure” (approx. 0.3 miles away); Confederate Counterattack (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Petersburg.
More about this marker. The background of the marker is a picture of artillery fighting along the lines. The marker also contains a map of the fortifications in the area. It has the caption The Federals massed nearly 15,000 men and more than 160 cannons for the attack. Most of the earthworks that protected them were plowed over by the Taylor family after the war.
The bottom of the marker features a Petersburg Time Line, and indicates the Battle of the Crater.
Also see . . .
1. Crater. CWSAC Battle Summaries. (Submitted on April 12, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. Petersburg National Battlefield. National Park Service. (Submitted on April 12, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
3. Battle of the Crater. The Civil War Siege of Petersburg. (Submitted on April 12, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
More. Search the internet for Prelude to the Crater.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 12, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 992 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 12, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 6. submitted on October 31, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.