The attack on Petersburg began here at Battery 5 on the Dimmock Line. This battery was overrun and the Yankee advance continued until it met stiff opposition then faltered and died due to bickering leadership.
DAY 26: MAY 17, 2013
Bloody Hell. A calamity has occurred. My little laptop has imploded right here in Petersburg, VA and it has brought a sudden and unexpected end to the Hysterical Journey to Historic Places. I was having difficulty connecting with the personal wi-fi device I use for internet connection. I ran diagnostics on it to see what the problem was and in due course a window popped open suggesting that “Refresh my PC” would fix the problem and I would not lose any photos or files. With one click of the mouse I launched the refresh function, but what it didn’t tell me in the pop up window was that all of the applications that make my computer function would be removed. I lost connection to my internet security software, I lost all of the Google Earth bookmarks to the sites I want to visit, and I lost connection to Windows. In order to restore Windows a 25 character code is needed and I do not have that code with me. A place like Best Buy could probably restore some of my functionality, but they would need that code to get me back
This was not a long tunnel. The distance between the Yankee skirmish line and the Confederate skirmish line was less than a hundred yards at Elliott's Salient. The tunnel had to be ventilated not only to provide the miners with fresh air to breath, but also to provide oxygen to the blast.
up and running. My little bride, Charel, has been having neck pain that is worrisome to me because when that pain flares up, and it has, she really should not be driving around. Between the computer implosion and the worrisome neck problem an early return home seems to be the appropriate course of action, but not before visiting sites in Petersburg. Petersburg
General Beauregard, who snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory at Shiloh, found himself in command of the Confederate forces protecting the railroad junction in Petersburg. The Yankee commander, General Grant, knew that rail junction was crucial to the South, and that if he could control it the Confederacy could be starved into submission. After the costly fight at Cold Harbor Grant moved on Petersburg early in June of 1864. He found it undermanned but strongly fortified and his initial attack failed. General Lee quickly sent reinforcements that resulted in a desperate nine month long siege. Lee eventually broke out of Petersburg with his scarecrow army but only made it as far as Appomattox. The Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, was forced to abandon his capitol in Richmond and head
It looks peaceful now, but the smoking crater looked much different than this. Some of the Yankees were buried in it right where they were slaughtered like fish in a barrel, The hole later became part of the Confederate defensive position.
into exile. He set fire to some warehouses on his way out of town and the fire consumed nearly the entire city. Trench warfare was not perfected until the First World War, but it began during the siege of Petersburg and it brought about a new tactic. Experienced underground coal miners made up one of Grant’s regiments, the 48th
Pennsylvania. Their commander envisioned a plan where he could tunnel beneath a Confederate artillery position in their front, excavate a room, pack it with gunpowder and blow it to smithereens. Waiting infantry could charge through the breached line in a flanking movement and destroy the enemy. Union generals were willing to give it a try; what the heck. The tunnel was completed in less than a month and ignited just at daybreak. The explosion caused massive destruction, and hundreds of Confederate soldiers were killed instantly. Heavy artillery pieces were thrown high into the morning sky. The advancing Yankee infantry was stunned by the carnage and stalled at the smoking crater. The Confederates rallied, caught the Yankees taking cover inside the crater, and launched a massive bloodbath of their own. Everyone agreed that the plan was “a complete success except it didn’t succeed”. General Grant thought it was the saddest thing he had ever seen in that terrible war.
From Petersburg I drove to Wytheville, VA to spend the night. It happened to be the evening before commencement festivities at Virginia Tech. Every motel room between Lynchburg and Wytheville was booked. I finally located a vacancy at the Holiday Express, but those bastards had their gouge out and it was sharp. Nobody told the manager there that he would go to hell for stealing just like for telling lies. He was an utterly despicable man that thought glass earrings were a fashion statement; the silly thumping ass. I had good Kung Pao Chicken at a Chinese joint next door though.
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