July 30th. Started at 2am and struck the Petersburg and Norfolk RR, marched up in the rear of the 9th Army Corps and layed down on the tracks at dawn. We were all startled by a terrific explosion and convulsive heaving of the Earth and, on looking over to the Enemy's position, we beheld one of the Enemy forts blown into the air. The sight was horrid; men, cannon and sticks of timber shooting in the air in all directions and these descending again to the earth. The shock was so terrific that it rolled our men off the bank of the RR down on the tracks [at] a distance of 3/4 of a mile from the mine. Immediately after the explosion our forces charged the enemy's position and all of the Artillery on both sides was opened. The noise was so great that you could not hear a man by your side speak. The fight lasted until noon when our forces withdrew from the contest and we returned to our camp.
(Pages 41, 42)



At 4am the mine was sprung and at that instant the whole of our Artillery some 300 guns ranging in caliber from 12 to 100 Pounders opened fire. The noise was absolutely deafening and the concussion so great that the vibrations of the earth were communicated to our bodies and it was barely possible to open our mouths to speak without biting our tongues. After a short delay which without doubt caused our failure to carry the works the colored troops charged into the breach with what result is well known. It has been asserted by both military and civilians that negroes will not fight having neither the courage nor endurance. Every man who witnessed the charge of the colored troops on the 30th of July 1864 at Petersburg can truly testify that no body of men, what-ever color or race, could have fought more valiantly or desperately or done better under circumstances than did the colored troops of the 9th Corps.
(Page 68, 69)
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