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

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  77 Ratings  ·  17 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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Nov 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
A balanced, vivid military and social history of the tragic Battle of the Crater. While the battle is often presented as a chaotic melee where nobody had any real plan in mind, Slotkin suggests that there were some individuals who were thinking clearly. Slotkin clearly describes how the war affected slavery and the racial prejudices of both sides.

The battle is also infamous for the Confederate massacre of black troops. Slotkin covers this incident in detail, noting that the green USCT soldiers w
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book sets out to clarify some of the many myths surrounding the Battle of the Crater during the Petersburg campaign of the American Civil War. As such, it is tremendously informative and well-researched.
Basically the battle was a failure of leadership on many levels, ranging from low levels all the way up to generals Grant and Meade, who both share in the strategic decisions which helped make the battle plan fail. Some of the most egregious errors fall on the shoulders of General Burnside,
Nov 21, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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. As usual, the politicians and powers that be made one stupid decision after another and it was the men on the ground who paid the ultimate price for it, both black and white. Amazing story and well told. Check it out.

Listened to the unabridged audiobook on
Jul 09, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Nov 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Michael Wynn
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
William McDuff
May 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 01, 2010 rated it liked it
More maps, please.
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
A very interesting book on a Civil War battle that is often forgotten.
Rob Williams
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Dec 07, 2012
Katherine Homrok
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Brett Dalton
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Sep 17, 2011
Robert Summers
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Jul 30, 2013
William Sullivan
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Dec 31, 2014
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Feb 08, 2011
Fergus Bordewich
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Jan 18, 2016
Herbert Leon
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Nov 08, 2010
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Richard Slotkin (1942-) is a cultural critic, historian, and novelist
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