In this most detailed account ever produced of the unusual July, 1864, battle at Petersburg, Virginia, Hess challenges several traditional beliefs. This is a must-have book for anyone who studies Civil War military history in depth.
James I. Robertson, Jr., Alumni Distinguished Professor in History, Virginia Tech
With impressive research and persuasive interpretation, Earl J. Hess paints a comprehensive picture of one of the most intriguing episodes of the Civil War. This book cuts through the confusion in the Crater with poignant clarity, surpassing all previous renditions of that fascinating story.
William Marvel, author of Lincoln’s Darkest Year: The War in 1862
Hess has produced yet another Civil War classica compelling narrative and astute analysis of one of its most dramatic and most confusing battles. Using a vast array of unpublished and published accounts by combatants to craft a masterful moment-by-moment examination of the Battle of the Crater and its immediate aftermath, this is the clearest picture yet of how a Federal mine was built underneath the Confederate lines at Petersburg, how the assault against those lines was planned and executed, and why it ultimately failed. . . . Into The Crater is everything we have come to expect and appreciate from Hess’s previous landmark studies: authoritative, persuasive, accessible, and simply indispensable.
J. Tracy Power, author of Lee’s Miserables: Life in the Army of Northern Virginia from the Wilderness to Appomattox
Hess applies his many gifts as a historian to one of the Civil War's remarkable military incidents. The battle of the Crater combined impressive engineering, inept leadership, the first appearance of black soldiers on a large scale in the Virginia theater, and bitter combatall of which Hess handles beautifully. Both enjoyable and instructive, the narrative amply rewards a careful reading.
Gary W Gallagher, author of The Confederate War