Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Horrid Pit: The Battle of the Crater, the Civil War's Cruelest Mission” as Want to Read:
The Horrid Pit: The Battle of the Crater, the Civil War's Cruelest Mission
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Horrid Pit: The Battle of the Crater, the Civil War's Cruelest Mission

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  25 ratings  ·  7 reviews
The story of one of the most violent yet least-known episodes of the Civil War — the daring excavation of the longest military tunnel in history.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 20th 2007 by Basic Books (first published July 19th 2007)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Horrid Pit, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Horrid Pit

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 54)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Damon Lively
This is another focused part of the Civil War (in this case Petersburg) that might be geared more towards developed interest or “buff’s” to a degree. The story is intriguing and well worth reading – as this a part of history less told compared to others during the war. You can almost see it being a movie (actually the start of cold mountain gave some insight – but then a terrible movie commenced – I digress). The idea, engineering, risks involved, tragic execution – it has all the components. Th ...more
Ken
At the seige of Petersburg the Union had a chance to end the war one year earlier than it actualy ended according to author Alan Alexrod. This could of been accomplished by blowing a mine under a part of the Confederate line and this would have enabled the Union troops to pour in and route the defenders. Although only 2/3rds of the powder needed was used, the mine worked and blew a gap in the lines. The troops were poised to flood in. BUT there was one problem, the general, Lindle, who was to se ...more
Brian

The Horrid Pit covers the story of the Battle of the Crater and one of the most interesting failures of the Union Army in the history of the Civil War. The idea was conceived by a group of Pennsylvanian Coal Miners who proposed a plan of building a mine underneath the defensive works of Petersburg and blowing up the area underneath creating a path for the Union forces to go through. General Burnside who was desperate to avoid a long siege took the plan to his superiors who not so much blessed it
...more
Alex Yepiz
As a graduate student, I recently wrote a research paper on this battle. Axelrod’s book is a good start to the topic. He is very detailed, yet not too analytical. More importantly, he’s very clear on how he feels about the characters involved. The most fun thing about reading this book is how Axelrod is so blunt about the stupidity of the leaders that caused this military blunder.

The gist of the book details how such a great opportunity to win Petersburg, and in all the war, was a result of poor
...more
John
I think the subject was well researched and the book well written. I don't recall that the battle was mentioned in the history classes I took. I read the book because my great-great grandfather was killed there. If things had gone according to Burnside's original plan, it might have been the last battle of the Civil War - 8 months and thousands of casualties earlier than April 1865.
Robert
The book focuses on the Civil War. I usually like these history time of books, but parts of this I felt were a little over my head. There were some good historical quotes in it, and overall I thought the 2nd half of this book got a bit better, as this botched plan by the Union came to fruition and you saw the effect it had.
Andy Anderson
The battle of the crater was a tragedy. Good history on the battle.
Mike
Mike marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2015
Savannah
Savannah marked it as to-read
Feb 14, 2015
Erin
Erin marked it as to-read
Feb 13, 2015
Pete Skillman
Pete Skillman marked it as to-read
Jun 18, 2014
Kristie Corcoran
Kristie Corcoran marked it as to-read
Mar 24, 2014
David
David marked it as to-read
Mar 15, 2014
Nate
Nate marked it as to-read
Jan 21, 2014
Diana
Diana marked it as to-read
Jan 18, 2014
Sarrah
Sarrah marked it as to-read
Jan 17, 2014
Lee Ogilvie
Lee Ogilvie marked it as to-read
Jan 02, 2014
Lee Murray
Lee Murray marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2013
Jenn M
Jenn M marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2013
Jerome
Jerome marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2013
Steve
Steve marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2013
Alexander
Alexander marked it as to-read
Jun 01, 2013
David Handley
David Handley marked it as to-read
Jan 14, 2013
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Elizabeth I CEO: Strategic Lessons from the Leader Who Built an Empire Patton on Leadership Patton: A Biography The Real History of the American Revolution: A New Look at the Past Miracle at Belleau Wood: The Birth of the Modern U.S. Marine Corps

Share This Book