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[360] left. The news soon reached our lines that the enemy had exploded a mine under a fort then known as ‘Elliot's Salient,’ subsequently named the ‘Crater,’ from its resemblance in shape to the crater of a volcano, and during the terrible struggle one in active operation, caused by the smoke and dust which ascended therefrom.

Mahone's division was the ‘supporting division’ of the army while in front of Petersburg, and consequently whenever the enemy were making serious attacks, this command, or a part of it, was, when reinforcements were needed, sent to the point assailed. Hence it was in many hard fought battles while the army was in front of Petersburg.

Of the many battles in which this command was engaged none will equal or ever approximate in such bloody and stubborn fighting as occurred at the battle of the Crater, where the loss on the Federal side was 5,000 and on the Confederate side 1,800, out of the small number engaged, and all on about two acres of land. For quite a while after the explosion all was quiet, but then commenced a severe cannonade by the Yankees, which was promptly replied to by the Confederate artillery.

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