Thursday, September 13, 2012

History Book Review: Remembering The Battle of the Crater

This examination of a single battle by Civil War historian and teacher Kevin M. Levin illuminates the roles of race and politics in shaping our collective history of the war.

The battle occurred during the Union Army's seige of Petersburg, Virginia at the end of July, 1964.  The "Crater" was created by a huge explosion set off by Union forces beneath the Confederate front line. A subsequent advance by Union troops into the gap ended disastrously.

This book focuses on the United States Colored Troops (USCTs) who were massacred during and after the battle and how the story of their demise has been shrouded from public memory.

"That is the subject of this book," Levin points out. "This process of preserving a certain kind of memory that moves to minimize or ignore the participation of USCTs in one ofthe bloodiest battles of the Civil War."

War as Murder
by Kevin M. Levin
The University Press of Kentucky, 2012