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BTC Sources: Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder

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Remembering The Battle of the Crater: War as Murder (New Directions in Southern History) by Kevin M. LevinTitle: Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder

Author: Levin, Kevin M.

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

Year: 2012

BTC’s Take: A look at how competing groups fought to have the Battle of the Crater remembered during Reconstruction and beyond. This is a good companion to any of the books which are strictly military histories of the Battle of the Crater.

Siege of Petersburg Sources Found In This Book:

Government Documents

The Civil War Centennial in Petersburg. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, 1961.

Conway, Martin R. A History of Petersburg National Battlefield: 1857-1982. Washington, D.C.: Department of the Interior, 1983.

Lykes, Richard W. Petersburg Battlefields. National Park Service Handbook Series no. 13. Washington, D.C.: Department of the Interior, 1950.

Wallace, Lee. A History of Petersburg National Battlefield to 1956. Washington, D. C.: Department of the Interior, 1983.


Primary Sources

Bartlett, William Francis. Memoir of William Francis Bartlett. Edited by Francis W. Palfrey. Boston: Houghton, Osgood, 1878.

Bowley, Freeman S. “The Petersburg Mine.” In Papers Prepared and Read before the California Commandery of the Loyal Legion of the United States. Wilmington: Broadfoot, 1995.

Carroll, Andrew, ed. War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars. New York: Scribner’s, 2001.

Chambers, H. A. Diary of Captain Henry A. Chambers. Edited by T. H. Pearce. Wendell, NC: Broadfoot’s Bookmark, 1983

Embick, Milton A., ed. Military History of the Third Division. Harrisburg, Pa.: C. E. Aughinbaugh, 1913.

Evans, Robert G., ed. The 16th Mississippi Infantry: Civil War Letters and Reminiscences. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2002.

Featherston, John C. Battle of the Crater. 1906. Reprint, Birmingham: Birmingham Public Library Press, 1987.

Gould, Joseph. The Story of the Forty-Eighth. Philadelphia: Frank H. Taylor, 1908.

Holt, David. A Mississippi Rebel in the Army of Northern Virginia: The Civil War Memoirs of Private David Holt. Edited by Thomas D. Cockrell and Michael Ballard. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1995.

McCallister, Robert. The Civil War Letters of General Robert McCallister. Edited by James I. Robertson. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1998.

Moseley, Ronald, ed. The Stilwell Letters: A Georgian in Longstreet’s Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. Macon: Mercer University Press, 2002.

Petersburg National Battlefield: Educator’s Guide, 2006-2007. Petersburg: Petersburg National Battlefield’s Division of Interpretation, 2006. Available at PNB.

Petersburg National Battlefield: Final General Management Plan. Petersburg: National Park Service, 2004. Available at PNB.

Shaver, Lewellyn A. A History of the Sixtieth Alabama Regiment, Gracie’s Alabama Brigade. Montgomery: Barrett and Brown, 1867.

Silliker, Ruth L., ed. The Rebel Yell and the Yankee Hurrah: The Civil War Journal of a Maine Volunteer. Camden, Maine: Down East Books, 1985.

Stewart, William H. Description of the Battle of the Crater. Norfolk: Landmark Book and Job Office, 1876.

Taylor, Walter Herron. Lee’s Adjutant: The Wartime Letters of Colonel Walter Herron Taylor, 1862-1865. Edited by R. Lockwood Tower. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1995.

Voris, Alvin C. A Citizen-Soldier’s Civil War: The Letters of Brevet Major General Alvin C. Voris. Edited by Jerome Mushkat. De Kalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2002.

Watson, Keith, ed. Honor in Command: Lt. Freeman S. Bowley’s Civil War Services in the 30th United States Colored Infantry. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2006.

Weld,Stephen W. War Diary and Letters of Stephen M. Weld, 1861-1865. 2nd ed. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1979.

Wightman, Edward. “The Roughest Kind of Campaigning: Letters of Sergeant Edward Wightman, Third New York Volunteers, May-July 1864.” Edited by Edward Longacre. Civil War History 28 (December 1982): 324-51.


Secondary Works

Blake, Nelson M. William Mahone of Virginia: Soldier and Political Insurgent. Richmond: Garrett and Massie, 1935.

Carmichael Peter S. Lee’s Young Artillerist: William R. J. Pegram. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1995.

A Guide to the Fortifications and Battlefields around Petersburg. Reprint, N. p., Eastern National, 2003.

Henderson, William D. Petersburg in the Civil War: War at the Door. Lynchburg: H. E. Howard, 1998.

Marvel, William. “And Fire Shall Devour Them: The 9th New Hampshre in the Crater.” Civil War Regiments Volume 2 (1992): 124-33

Marvel, William. Burnside. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991.

McWhiney, Grady, and Jenkins, Jack J., eds. “The Union’s Worst General.” CWTI, June 1995, 30-39.

Miller, Edward A. The Black Civil War Soldiers of Illinois: The Story of the Twenty-Ninth U.S. Colored Infantry. Columbia: The University of South Carolina Press, 1998.

Noe, Kenneth W. “‘Damned North Carolinians’ and ‘Brave Virginians’: The Lane-Mahone Controversy, Honor, and Civil War Memory.” Journal of Military History Volume 72, No. 4 (2008): 1089-1116.

Osborne, Charles C. Jubal: The Life and Times of General Jubal A. Early, CSA, Defender of the Lost Cause. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, 1992.

Piston, William G. Lee’s Tarnished Lieutenant: James Longstreet and His Place in Southern History. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1987.

Robertson, James I., ed. “English Views of the Civil War: A Unique Excursion to Virginia, April 2-8, 1865.” Virginia Quarterly Volume 44 (Spring 1968): 201-12.

Scott, James G., and Wyatt, Edward A., eds. Petersburg’s Story: A History. Richmond: Deitz, 1960.

Stephens, Travis J. L. “Participation of Negro Troops in ‘the Battle of the Crater,’ July 30, 1864.” M. A. thesis, Virginia State College, 1967.

Stone, Dewitt B., Jr., ed. Wandering to Glory: Confederate Veterans Remember Evans’ Brigade. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2002.

Suderow, Bryce A. “The Battle of the Crater: The Civil War’s Worst Massacre.” Civil War History Volume 43 (September 1997): 219-24.

Suderow, Bryce A. “Confederate Casualties at the Crater” Kepi Volume 3 (June-July 1985): 24-33.

Trudeau, Noah A. “A Stranger in the Club: The Army of the Potomac’s Black Division.” In Slavery, Resistance, Freedom, edited by Gabor Boritt and Scott Hancock, 96-102. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.


Archival Sources

A Correspondence between Generals Early and Mahone, in Regards to the Military Memoir of the Latter, DU

Carter R. Bishop, “The Cockade City of the Union: Petersburg, Virginia”, 1907, UVA

“The ‘Crater’ and Battlefield Museum,” UNCC

Sergeant William Russell, Co. H, 26th Va Diary, PNB

Matthew N. Love Letters, PNB

Letters of Charles J. Mills, Historical Society of Schuylkill County.

Dorsey Binion Letters, HSSC

Hamilton R. Dunlap Diary, HSSC

Henry Family Letters, HSSC

Cleveland Fisher letter(s) HSSC

Alonzo Rich letter(s), PNB

Edward L. Cook letter(s), HSSC

Edward K. Whitman letter(s), Emory University

John F. Sale letters, Library of Virginia

Thomas A. Smith Letters, UVA

Laban Odom Letters, Microfilm Library, Georgia Department of Archives and History

Eugene and James Paul Verdery Papers, Duke University

Dorsey Binion letter(s), HSSC

Lee Barfield, “Confederate Letters Written by Mr. Lee Barfield of Dooly County, Georgia, 1861-1865”, GDAH

A.T. Fleming letter(s), HSSC

Edmund Lockett Womack letter(s), HSSC

J. Bailey Thompson Collection, Special Collections, University of Alabama

J. Edward Peterson Papers, Moravian Music Foundation

Susie R. Griffith Papers, VHS

“Second Re-union of Mahone’s Brigade Held on the Anniversary of the Battle of the Crater”, box 2, Museum of the Confederacy

Papers of McGill-Mahone Families, UVA

William Mahone Papers, DU

Mahone Family Papers, Mahone Family Papers, UVA

“Gen. Mahone and the Crater”, Harrison Southworth Scrapbook, UVA

Alfred Lewis Scott Memoir, Special Collections, Virginia Historical Society

Ella Merritt File, SCL

“Battle of the Crater Dialogue”, Douglas Southall Freeman Papers, box 5, UVA

“Afro-American History Interpretation at Selected National Parks”, Department of History, Howard University, 1978

Cullen, “A Report on the Physical History of the Crater”, 1975, PNB

Jackson, “Report on Artillery Operations in the Battle of the Crater”, 1934, PNB

William H. Stewart, ed. “The Charge of the Crater: Personal Statements by Participants”, MC



“Battlefield Park Map is Prized Possession”, Trevvet Matthews, Unknown Newspaper and Date, PNB

“Interest in Park Dates from 1865”, Unknown Newspaper and Date, PNB

Baltimore Sun August 2, 1864

Century Magazine:

Christian Recorder (Newspaper?):

  • June 18, 1864
  • August 6, 1864
  • November 4, 1865

Confederate Veteran:

  • Volume 3 (January 1895: “The Crater Battle, 30th July, 1864.”)
  • Volume 3 (February 1895: “Alabamians in the Crater Battle.”)
  • Volume 7 (August 1899: “Gen. David A. Weisiger, of Virginia”)
  • Volume 11 (August 1903: “Battle of the Crater”)
  • Volume 11 (December 1903: “Crater Legion of Mahone’s Brigade.”)
  • Volume 12 (April 1904: “North Carolina and Virginia in the Civil War”)
  • Volume 14 (April 1906: “Incidents of the Crater Battle”)
  • Volume 15 (November 1907: “Wilcox’s Alabamians in Virginia”)
  • Volume 16 (January 1908: “Mahone’s Men at the Crater.”)
  • Volume 31 (May 1923: “The Bloody Crater.”)

Daily Evening Bulletin August 1, 1864

Enterprise July 27, 1883 (“Gen. Mahone and the Third Georgia Re-union”)

Harper’s Weekly August 20, 1864

National Republican August 1882 (“William Mahone: One of His Old Brigade Speaks”)

National Tribune

  • June 25, 1903 (J.Q. Adams, “Battle of the Crater”)
  • October 19, 1905 (Frank Holsinger, “The Colored Troops at the Crater”)
  • October 17, 1907 (D.E. Proctor, “The Massacre in the Crater”)
  • January 30, 1908 (Delavan Bates, “A Day with the Colored Troops”)

New York Herald September 6, 1880 (“Sympathizing with Mahone”)

New York Historical Magazine July 1870 (“A Military Memoir of William Mahone, a Major General in the Confederate Army”)

New York Times

  • July 30, 1895 (“Famous Fight at the Crater”)
  • March 1, 1896 (“To Buy the Crater Farm”)
  • November 15, 1903
  • April 24, 1916 (“The Famous Crater and Other Landmarks May Soon Disappear”)
  • August 23, 1925 (“Tragic Petersburg Crater Draws Civil War Pilgrims”)
  • March 6, 1928 (“Fuller Receives Flags of North and South in Boston Ceremony”)
  • April 22, 1928 (“Civil War Field for Golf Course”)
  • April 9, 1931 (“To Honor Union Soldiers”)
  • April 25, 1937 (“Will Re-enact Battle of Crater in Virginia”)

Norfolk Landmark October 9, 1895

Portsmouth Star October 9, 1865

Petersburg Daily Express August 1, 1864

Petersburg Daily Index-Appeal

  • May 11, 1875
  • October 15, 1885
  • May 4, 1887
  • November 7, 1903 (“The Battle of the Crater”)

Petersburg Daily Times November 19, 1869 (clipping in scrapbook 1, William Mahone Papers, DU)

Petersburg Progress-Index

  • May 15, 1934 (“Educational Value of Battlefield Parks Stressed”)
  • July 29, 1964 (“The Event Deserves Attendance”)
  • July 9, 1974 (“New Historical Markers at Park to Cite Blacks”)
  • July 16, 1974 (“Battlefield Park Named As Site of Black History”)

Richmond Afro-American March 16, 1963 (“Colored Troops in Forefront on Day that Richmond Fell”)

Richmond Commonwealth August 21, 1880 (“The Crater!”)

Richmond Dispatch August 2, 1864

Richmond Examiner August 2, 1864

Richmond Times-Dispatch

  • November 7, 1903 (“Cannon Flash and Roar“)
  • July 14, 1975 (LeeNora Everett, “Petersburg Battlefield Stressing Black Soldier”)

Richmond Whig May 30, 1872 (“A Soldier from Bethel to Appomattox”)

Seminary November 1869 (“The Battle of the Crater”)

Southern Historical Society Papers

Troy Messenger April 1881 (“Mahone as a Soldier”)

Victorians Institute Journal Volume 30 (2002: “John Nichols Visit to Virginia, 1865: ‘The James River.'”)

Washington Times September 19, 1998 (“Flawed Look at How Artists Painted the Conflict”)

Book Summary/Review:

    BTC Siege of Petersburg Book Notes:

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