"There was utmost consternation. Some men scampered out of the lines; some, paralyzed with fear, vaguely scratched at the counterscarp as if trying to escape. Smoke and dust filled the air."
- Col. William McMaster, 17th South Carolina Infantry
At 4:40 a.m. on July 30, 1864, the men of Captain Richard Pegram's battery and two South Carolina regiments lay sleeping here at Elliot's Salient. A moment later, this place turned into a smoking hole 170 feet long, 80 feet wide, and 30 feet deep. Two hundred and seventy-eight Confederates died in the blast. Two 1,700-pound cannons were hurled completely out of the works.
The depressions of four of the magazines (rooms that held the powder) exploded by Colonel Pleasants's men are still visible inside the Crater.