Introduction to Petersburg (Alt + 1)
Map of Petersburg (Alt + 2)
Grant's Headquarters at City Point (Alt + 3)
The Eastern Front (Alt + 4)
The Western Front (Alt + 5)
The Battle of Five Forks (Alt + 6)
Poplar Grove National Cemetery (Alt + 7)
Challenge Your Understanding (Alt + U)
Help and Information Center (Alt + H)
The Siege of Petersburg Main Index (Alt + I)
Views Visitor Center (Alt + V)
Glossary (Alt + G)
Text-only versions (Alt + T)
Teacher Resource Center for Petersburg (Alt + R)

In late June 1864, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Pleasants submitted an idea to the Ninth Corps leader, General Burnside, to tunnel under the enemy position and blow it up with gunpowder. The proposal was to dig a mine to the opposing Confederate trenches, a distance of about 511 feet.

Burnside submitted the plan to his superiors, and Grant and Meade allowed the construction of the tunnel to begin, though they were skeptical whether the plan would work. Despite Grant and Meade's reservations, coal miners in Burnside's corps began work immediately.

Return to the Mining section