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The defenders' counter-mine the sinister burrow opens within the Confederate Fort Mahone, seen more fully at the top of the preceding page. Fort Sedgwick, directly opposite Fort Mahone, had been originally captured from the Confederates and its defenses greatly strengthened. So galling did its fire become, and so important was its position to the Confederates, that early in the siege they planned to lay a mine in order to regain it and perhaps break through the Federal lines and raise the siege. The distance across the intervening plain was but fifteen hundred feet. The Confederates ran their main gallery somewhat more than a third of this distance before finally abandoning it, the difficulties of the undertaking having proved too great. This Fort was named after General William Mahone, who was conspicuously engaged in the defense of Petersburg, and whose gallant conduct at the explosion of the Federal mine under Elliott's salient saved the day to the Confederates. Weak as were the defenses of Petersburg in comparison with the strong investing works of the Federals, they withstood all assaults during nine months except when Elliott's salient was captured during the battle of the Crater.

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