America's Buried History: Landmines in the Civil War | American Battlefield Trust
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America's Buried History: Landmines in the Civil War

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Partner Event
October 1, 2020

The CWRT Congress proudly presents a new series of Civil War lectures called Historian Thursdays. We will see you in the zoom lecture hall!

Despite all that has been published on the American Civil War, one aspect that has never received the in-depth attention it deserves is the widespread use of landmines across the Confederacy. These “infernal devices” dealt death and injury in nearly every Confederate state and influenced the course of the war. Kenneth R. Rutherford rectifies this oversight with America’s Buried History: Landmines in the Civil War, the first book devoted to a comprehensive analysis and history of the fascinating and important topic. The controversial weapon was the brainchild of Confederate General Gabriel J. Rains (who had experimented with explosive booby traps in Florida two decades earlier during the Seminole Wars), and other Confederates soldiers developed a sundry of landmine varieties, including commandcontrolled and victim-activated. The devices saw extensive use in Virginia, at Port Hudson in Louisiana, in Georgia, the Trans-Mississippi Theater, during the closing weeks of the war in the Carolinas, and in harbors and rivers in multiple states. Debates over the ethics of using mine warfare did not end in 1865 and are still being waged to this day.