"As a sufficient pile of clay accumulated around their feet the miners would back out and allow the shovel crew to dig out and bag the clay for removal to the shaft. At first the clay was removed in sandbags, then in hand barrows and finally wheelbarrows had been removed or left off to make filling them easier. Every beam, plank, piece of rope, sand bag, wheel barrow, wrench, bucket, candles; had to carry in at night, by hand through the muddy zigzags of the covered ways, a distance of over one mile."
- 1st Regiment Engineer Troops
While mining operations were not new to soldiers fighting in the Civil War, digging mines was common among soldiers from both armies during the Siege of Petersburg.