Appendix to chapter XXXVIII.
Major-General B. R. Johnson's statement of the explosion of the mine at Petersburg, July 30th, 1864.on the 27th of July, 1864, the enemy was observed to be moving large forces to the north side of the James—to be showing much activity in that direction, leading us to anticipate some active operations there. This was, no doubt, a piece of strategy or a trick to deceive us; and it had, to a certain extent, that effect, for movements were made on our side correspondingly. General Field's division, which had been holding the part of our line of defences on the right of my division, was taken out of the trenches, and Colquitt's brigade, of Hoke's division, was temporarily transferred to my command, in exchange of Gracie's brigade, and I was left to hold, with less force, defences double the length, or more, of that which I had previously defended. Indeed, my understanding is that my command was all the troops in our trenches when the mine was exploded; all of the rest of the army having been moved or held ready to meet any demonstration the enemy might make on the north side of the James River. About five minutes before five o'clock on the morning of the 30th of July the enemy sprung a large mine under that portion of my breastworks, about two hundred yards north of the Baxter road, known as Pegram's salient. In this salient there were four guns of Captain Pegram's battery, and the 18th and 22d South Carolina regiments of Elliott's brigade occupied the parapet in the battery and adjacent to it. The 22d extended from a point some seventy yards to the right of the right gun to a point beyond, but near the left gun of the battery. The 18th was posted on the left of the 22d South Carolina regiment. The regiments of Elliott's brigade were distributed along the parapet from left to right as follows: the 26th, 17th, 18th, 22d, and 23d South Carolina regiments. Wise's brigade was next to the right, and Colquitt's brigade our very extreme right; Ransom's brigade on my left, extending to the Appomattox River, and my whole line was extended to an extreme and insecure attenuation, without any reserve under my command, or that I am aware of. We had suspicions that the enemy was running a mine under our works, and, under direction of our Engineers, a trenchcavalier was made in the rear of the salient, but terminating on the south, just to the right of Pegram's battery. It should have been run farther to the south. The mining gallery was run along two wings extending to the right and left of the main shaft, parallel to the interior crest of our work, nearly under the foot of the slope of the banquette, and it destroyed a portion of the front or main line of our fortification and a little part of the right of the trenchcava-lier at its junction with the main line. The crater measured 135 feet in length, 97 feet in breadth, and 30 feet deep. It was estimated that more than one hundred thousand tons of earth were thrown out. The two right guns of Pegram's battery were not disturbed. The two left guns were thrown out in front of our works and the carriages destroyed,