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No Quarter: The Battle of the Crater, 1864
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No Quarter: The Battle of the Crater, 1864

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  59 ratings  ·  15 reviews
In this richly researched and dramatic work of military history, eminent historian Richard Slotkin recounts one of the Civil War’s most pivotal events: the Battle of the Crater on July 30, 1864. At first glance, the Union’s plan seemed brilliant: A regiment of miners would burrow beneath a Confederate fort, pack the tunnel with explosives, and blow a hole in the enemy line ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published July 21st 2009 by Random House (first published January 1st 2009)
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This book is hard on the nerves. Its action is the slow dreadful unfolding of an intricate disaster--Ulysses S. Grant called it “the saddest affair I have witnessed in this war”--most of whose details speak of breakdown and betrayal.

It begins after Grant has bashed Robert E. Lee back into Virginia during a meatgrinding spring campaign that cost the Union armies 70,000 men and got Grant renamed “The Butcher.” The armies stalemated at the town of Petersburg, Virginia, and suffered the subterranea
James Murphy
The Battle of the Crater in 1864 near Petersburg, Virginia began when a mine dug beneath Confederate works was exploded to create a breach in their line, followed by an immediate attack of Union forces into the shattered fortifications. The attack was mismanaged and failed. One of the most interesting elements of the battle as well as the hinge on which much of Slotkin's history swings is that one of the Federal divisions used in the attack was composed of African American soldiers recruited fro ...more
A story of the battle of the Crater a small part of Grant’s siege of Petersburg. It follows the digging of the shaft by former coal miners to blow a hole in the Confederate lines the training of US Colored Troopers to spearhead the attack and the subsequent changing of them to fulfill political ends. It follows the battle which starts as a potential huge Union victory and ends with a Confederate victory and the unwanted killing of troops by bothh sides specifically black troops by Confederates. ...more
Bill S.
Mr. Slotkin does a masterful job in detailing the actual fighting at the Battle of the Crater and an even better job placing it in the context of the political and racial climate that existed in the country at that time. Very detailed but worth occasionally slogging through some of the more confusing troop movements.

The author concludes the book with the almost hard to believe fact that of all the monuments erected in and around Petersburg commemorating the fighting at the Crater not a single on
This is a well-researched book about a fascinating Civil War battle: The Battle of the Crater. Having visited the battle site and learning a little about the Union's battle plans that went terribly wrong, I hungered for more detailed information. Slotkin includes great detail that is doled out in an agonizingly slow pace. This is not a quick read. But if you want to read a very thorough book about a lesser known battle, this could be the one for you.
I didn't enjoy Mister Slotkin's novel but oh my this non-fiction was good. I love the incorporation of social history into a straight up play by play of the battle. The discussion of racism and classism in this book was stellar. The dismissal of the USCT to the winning of the war remains disgraceful.
William McDuff
A great listen. Dion Graham delivered a wonderful performance. The only thing I felt was missing from Richard Slotkin's work is the fallout to Burnside, Meade, Warren and Leadlie, but I suppose that's several other books. Still, one more chapter on the fallout of this battle would have been nice.
Very well told, engaging and illuminating . . . One comes away feeling shame for the atrocities that were committed and for the racism that fostered them. And yet I now feel great respect for the Black troops who fought for honor and country.
Michael Wynn
Excellent book

A very detailed book on the Battle of the Crater. One thing is missing. It is a good Order of Battle. Normally I would not even buy a book like this without one, but it was solid book.
One book to cover one battle of the Civil War. Well-written, so not boring, it covers this battle in incredible detail from every possible angle.
Del Simmons
An awesome story of the history of blacks in the Union Army and a tragedy that set back the status of black soldiers for generations to come.
A very interesting book on a Civil War battle that is often forgotten.
Snooze. Great idea, boring book
Excellent examination of one of the less-known incidents of the Civil War, the "battle of the crater" during the siege of Petersburg. Very good both from the military strategy standpoint and in examining the personal and cultural significance of the battle. Highly recommended.
More maps, please.
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Richard Slotkin (1942-) is a cultural critic, historian, and novelist
More about Richard Slotkin...
The Long Road to Antietam: How the Civil War Became a Revolution Gunfighter Nation: The Myth of the Frontier in Twentieth-Century America Regeneration Through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600–1860 Abe: A Novel of the Young Lincoln The Fatal Environment: The Myth of the Frontier in the Age of Industrialization, 1800–1890

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