Many people are familiar with the Bermuda Hundred Campaign of May 1864. What fewer know is that the Bermuda Hundred front was “contested” throughout the entire Siege of Petersburg. I placed the word contested in quotes because that front was not an area of focus in Grant’s major offensives against Richmond and Petersburg. It was instead a quiet right-center for the Union, and left-center for the Confederates. I have admittedly not spent much time covering events on Bermuda Hundred from June 1864 to April 1865.
This short intro leads to my main point today. Craig Swain has a nice article up at To the Sound of the Guns today which focuses on one rare Sawyer gun as well as two mortars used at one of the locations referred to as the Crow’s Nest, situated behind the right flank of the Union line along the James river. Craig has some nice maps up as well to help readers orient themselves to the location he is discussing. Work on this battery started 150 years ago today, on June 25, 1864. In keeping with the June 25 theme, Craig also offers up a post on Union Ninth Corps commander Ambrose Burnside’s request for 7,000 sandbags. Why was Burnside requesting the sandbags? He needed them for a mine…which would eventually be used to blow up Elliott’s Salient at the famous Battle of the Crater, 150 years ago next month. Events were already in motion leading up to that memorable day.