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The Crater fight.

Burnside held an advanced position, carried in the assaults of the 17th and 18th of June by his own troops and Griffin's division of Warren's corps, and had succeeded in constructing a heavy line of rifle-pits scarcely more than 100 yards distant from what was then known as the Elliott Salient.1 Immediately in rear of this advanced line the ground dipped suddenly and broadening out into a meadow of considerable extent, afforded an admirable position for massing a large body of troops, while working parties would be effectually screened from the observation of the Confederates holding the crest beyond.2

Now, it happened that the Second division of the Ninth corps guarded this portion of the Federal front, and as early as the 24th3 of June, Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Pleasants, commanding the First brigade of that division, a man of resolute energy and an accomplished mining engineer, proposed to his division commander that he be allowed to run a gallery from this hollow,

1 Burnside's report, August 13th, 1864.--Report on the Conduct of the War (1865), vol. i, p. 151.

2 Ib., p. 211.

3 Lieutenant-Colonel Pleasants' testimony.--Ib., p. 112.

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