Burnside's mine, his corps was, without discussion, allowed to furnish the column of assault.
His inspecting officer had reported that, of its four divisions, that composed of Blacks was fittest for this perilous service; but Grant, discrediting this, had directed that one of the three White divisions should be chosen.
Thereupon, the leaders of these divisions were allowed to cast lots to see which of them should go in — or rather, which two of them should stay out — and the lot fell on the 1st, Brig.-Gen. Ledlie--and no man in the army believed this other than the worst choice of the three.
It need hardly be added that no preparation had been made during the night preceding the explosion, by quietly removing (or opening paths through) the abatis, &c., which protected our front from sudden dashes of the enemy, for the instant advance in force of our column of assault.
The explosion had occurred; the Rebel fort had been hoisted 200 feet, and had fallen in fragments; our guns had