Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Petersburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

“A Stupendous Failure”

 
 
"A Stupendous Failure" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 23, 2007
1. "A Stupendous Failure" Marker
This marker is located on the walking trail at "The Crater" Tour Stop.
Inscription. “It is agreed that the thing was a perfect success, except that it did not succeed.”
- Major Charles F. Adams, Jr., USA

The explosion cleared the Union path to Petersburg. But instead of pushing through, the first waves of Union attackers simply stood at the Crater, gawking at the incredible scene.

Union hesitation allowed the Confederates to regroup. Southern batteries fired from right and left; the Federals crowded into the Crater for protection. A thin line of Confederate survivors formed in the depression beyond the Crater. Though the Federals seized 150 yards of works on each side of the Crater, they advanced no farther. Dazed, confused, and leaderless, for hours they huddled in and around “the horrid pit.” Meanwhile, Confederate reinforcements prepared to counterattack.
 
Erected by Petersburg National Battlefield - National Park Service - Dept. of the Interior.
 
Location. 37° 13.114′ N, 77° 22.65′ W. Marker is in Petersburg, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Siege Road. Touch for map. Marker is in Petersburg National Battlefield. It is located on a walking trail that starts at Tour Stop 8. Marker is in this post office area: Petersburg VA 23803, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Marker at the Crater image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 23, 2007
2. Marker at the Crater
Evidence of the Crater is still visible behind the marker.
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Confederate Counterattack (here, next to this marker); The Crater (here, next to this marker); Crater of Mine (here, next to this marker); Confederate Countermine (a few steps from this marker); Mahone (within shouting distance of this marker); Second Pennsylvania Veteran Heavy Artillery (within shouting distance of this marker); South Carolina (within shouting distance of this marker); Mahone’s Brigade (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Petersburg.
 
More about this marker. The left portion of the marker contains a picture of the Battle of the Crater, with the caption:Left: The brutal fighting in the Crater during the Confederate counterattacks – hours after the explosion.

The lower right portion of the marker features a map of the battle with the caption: Map: The 15,000 Union attackers – including 4,300 African-American troops – never reached their immediate objective, the heights of Cemetery Hill (upper right). Through the Confederates’ morning counterattacks forced the Federals back into the Crater, it took four more hours to drive the Federals away altogether. General Grant called the episode “a stupendous failure.”
 
Also see . . .
Site of the Crater image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 23, 2007
3. Site of the Crater
Although the Union troops were initially successful, a Confederate counterattack pushed them back to their own lines.

1. Crater. CWSAC Battle Summaries. (Submitted on April 13, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. Petersburg National Battlefield. National Park Service. (Submitted on April 13, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

3. The Siege of Petersburg. (Submitted on April 13, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Battle of the Crater Map image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 23, 2007
4. Battle of the Crater Map
Blandford Church and Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
5. Blandford Church and Cemetery
The high ground around the nearby Blandford Church was the objective of the Union attack at the Battle of the Crater.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 13, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,293 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 13, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement