Monday, June 25, 2012

Members of the 23rd U.S.C.T.s Visit Petersburg Battlefield - June 23, 2012

     Members of the 23rd Regiment, United States Colored Troops toured the Eastern Front portion of the Petersburg National Battlefield on Saturday, June 23, 2012. Guiding the group were National Park Service historians Emmanuel Dabney and Chris Bryce.
     From left to right, members of the 23rd, Hashmel Turner, Steward Henderson, John Cummings, and historian Emmanuel Dabney at the U.S.C.T. Memorial near Battery Number 8. Confederate Battery 8 was captured by the 1st and 22nd Regiments of United States Colored Troops and renamed Fort Friend for the nearby Friend House, on June 15, 1864.
     The tour visited the site of the Crater, which was exploded on July 30, 1864, and later attacked by members of the Union 9th Corps, including the 4th Division under General Edward Ferrero, which sustained heavy casualties. Left to right, Hashmel Turner, Chris Bryce, Steward Henderson, Emmanuel Dabney, and John Cummings, your blog host.
     A view looking into the remains of The Crater, originally 170 feet long, 100 to 120 feet wide, and at least 30 feet deep. Casualties from both sides during the engagement here totaled 5,289, killed, wounded, missing and captured, nearly three quarters of which were suffered by the Union attackers.
     Outside the Eastern Front Visitor Center, the group hears an introduction from historian Emmanuel Dabney. Left to right are James Anderson, Hashmel Turner, Chris Bryce, Emmanuel Dabney, and Steward Henderson. 
     A view toward Confederate Battery Number 5.  It was the first to fall on June 15, 1864 during the opening engagement at Petersburg, along the Dimmock Line, the ten-mile Confederate defensive work around the city, built by slave labor in 1862 to protect the backdoor to Richmond. U.S.C.T.s played a significant role in its capture.

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