A Monstrous Tongue of Flame

In Season 2, Episode 2, of Not Even Past, host Brendan Wolfe remembers one of the strangest and most heartbreaking of Civil War battles: the Battle of the Crater. It began with the largest explosion to date in the Western Hemisphere and ended with a massacre. Wolfe and producer Miranda Bennett also interview Emmanuel Dabney, of the National Park Service, who talks about what happened at the battle’s anniversary reunion.

IMAGE: The Battle of the Crater, Petersburg, Va. (Digital Commonwealth)


4 thoughts

  1. In 1957, my teacher took our class to Jamestown, VA as part of our commemoration of the 350th anniversary of the founding of the first permanent settlement in North America. On our way back the bus driver pointed in the general direction of Petersburg and told us that was where the Battle of the Crater was. He gave us no further explanation. We were 6th graders from Portsmouth, VA and had not heard about the Crater battle. Too tired to ask questions, we had to learn about it later from other sources. In my own case, it took me 50 years of thinking the Petersburg people fought over a meteorite. Then one night I picked up a joke book at my parents’ house and got the answer. Odd way to learn the truth.


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