Beyond the Crater (BTC for short) is a web site dedicated to the digitization of the Siege of Petersburg, but also including the Bermuda Hundred Campaign and the Appomattox Campaign. This site would not exist without the twin inspirations provided by Harry Smeltzer’s Bull Runnings and Jim Epperson’s Siege of Petersburg site.
This site is FAR from complete and perhaps may never be considered complete due to the immense amount of material available on the Siege of Petersburg. Since this is the case, Beyond the Crater will operate much like Bull Runnings. Information will slowly be uploaded over a period of years, both by me (Brett Schulte) and hopefully by future contributors. I went with a WordPress hosting solution because it lends itself easily to allowing others to help add to, edit, and otherwise monitor this site.
What kind of information can you find at Beyond the Crater? For starters, you will see reports and correspondence contained in the Petersburg-specific volumes of The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Battle summaries will be written for all of the major, and many of the not so major, battles and actions which occurred during the Siege. Orders of Battle for each side in the nine Petersburg offensives will be as detailed as I can make them, with individual pages for every regiment, battalion, company, battery, or other unit which participated in the Siege. The Today in the Petersburg Campaign series gives a detailed chronology of the day to day events happening in and around Petersburg and Richmond. Lastly, pages dedicated to the leaders down to the regimental level will eventually give brief (and sometimes not so brief) information on each man, with a heavy focus on the higher ranks first with the Brigadier Generals and lesser ranks to be filled in many miles down the road. I hope to include numerous maps of the Richmond-Petersburg area as well, though obtaining permission to use some of these may be difficult. Look for those after the site is more established. I am a bibliophile, and this will come out clearly in the pages of Beyond the Crater. Look for bibliographies on many unit, leader, and battle pages throughout the site. Many pages will also contain a source or sources from which the material was prepared.
As the site grows, so will my ideas as far as future expansion goes. Feel free to suggest things which you would like to see at Beyond the Crater on the Contact page.
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