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The battle of the Petersburg crater. by William H. Powell, Major, U. S. A. By the assaults of June 17th and 18th, 1864, on the Confederate works at Petersburg, the Ninth Corps, under General Burnside, gained an advanced position beyond a deep cut in the railroad, within 130 yards of the enemy's main line and confronting a strong work called by the Confederates Elliott's Salient, and sometimes Pegram's Salient. In rear of that advanced position was a deep hollow. [See map, p. 538.] A few days after gaining this position Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Pleasants, who had been a mining engineer and who belonged to the 48th Pennsylvania Volunteers, composed for the most part of miners from the upper Schuylkill coal region, suggested to his division commander, General Robert B. Potter, the possibility of running a mine under one of the enemy's forts in front of the deep hollow. This proposition was submitted to General Burnside, who approved of the measure, and work was commenced on the 2