Tuesday, November 25, 2014

150th Anniversary Battle of Sandersville Ga. In Pictures.

On Friday, 7th of November, I drove up to Sandersville, Georgia for the 150th Anniversary reenactment of Sherman's Capture of Sandersville. The town was just one of many to fall in the path of the invading Union Army on its way to the sea.
For me, and everyone else who participated in the next 20 hours, this was as close to the actual real life experience as we could get.
After arriving on the grounds of Forest Grove Plantation, the property where the camps and Sundays reenactment where to be held, I quickly found my unit and got dressed out. This was my first time portraying Federal Soldiers and it was a very memorable experience.
We had supper and drew our gear, after we had accountability of who was going to participate in the next portion of the event he stepped off. The camp site we were at was on the west side of town. For the mornings battle we had to be coming from the east side. So, that night we caught a shuttle ride over to a small field with a grove of pines and camped the night on our rifles braving the fall weather. We had brought blankets and made some small fires. This was as bare bones as it could possibly be. After a very cold and uncomfortable night we formed up just as the sun broke the morning sky at around 6am. We went straight into battle line and right into the battle.
We were approximately two miles from the city limits and marched and fought all the way to the courthouse square. I was told that we followed the exact route that Shermans Army took as they entered the town 150 years ago. We fought down streets and suburbs shooting at the retreating rebels as they went much to the suprise of the towns folk. One instances we fought right through someones back yard and captured an artillery battery.
By 10am we were inside the city limits and less than a half mile from the courthouse. After a small break we were on the march again. The majority of the spectators were at the courthouse waiting for the final push. They were not disappointed. The Union Army came into the courthouse square thick as Georgia mud. It looked as if the river itself had broke the banks and washed down the street because of the amount of blue that was present. The stalwart Confederates held their lines as best as they could, but the rush of union blue was too much. Slowly but surely they were beaten back and one by one the defenders died a heroic death. by 10:30am it was over. General William T. Sherman read his address to the town of Sandersville placing it under martial law. It was truly a unique event.

Sundays event was at the Forest Grove Plantation. It involved a more balanced force on force demonstration. There were Artillery, Cavalry, and Infantry on the field. Sundays battle saw me wearing the gray again. I believe that the spectators enjoyed the show. Many people who were present have never been to a Civil War Reenactment. Most people who would like to come are turned off by the fact that most events are held further up north. Events like Sandersville, and the Old Clinton War Days from earlier this year, are a perfect opportunity for local people to witness something truly spectacular.

Two miles out from the city limits and already in battle.
Fighting through someones pack yard.

Infantry skirmishing with Confederate Cavalry.

"Captured" Reenactors taking it easy in the cold early morning.

Members of an artillery battery.

Taking a water break on the march to Sandersville.

Me in Union impression.

General William T. Sherman reads his address to the town of Sandersville.

General Sherman.

A small "hurry up and wait" moment before Saturdays battle.

 These last few pictures were provided from fellow reenactors facebook pages and image search of the event.

A very "sore" me stepping out my tent. I don't do well with cold weather.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Battle of Adrian Fork

I figured it was high time to post a battle report. Why have a blog for war gaming and not do actual war game?

This was a quick little battle put together one afternoon.
The Federal Brigade is set up in ambush on the right side of the creek.
The Confederate Brigade is in march column on the left side of the creek.

 At the beginning of each turn, the Confederate general rolls dice to see if they discover the ambush.
Needless to say they did not.

"Steady, men. Just a little further and we'll slam the door shut."

Singing a few choruses of "Bonnie Blue Flag" as they march beside the peaceful creek. Such a nice day for a march. Would be a shame if something bad happened.........

The Federal General waited til the leading Confederate Regiment started to cross the creek before springing the trap.

The General continues to move his troops forward

The Federal Artillery opens up near the middle of the column. At the same time the Regiments fire a volley into the rear of the formation.

Seeing the treeline come alive with musketry, The leading Confederate regiments finish crossing the creek and come into line of battle. The Artillery Battery quickly races to the top of the hill to deploy. The trailing Confederate regiments come into line and return fire from the opposite side of the creek.

The Rebel Battery fires across the creek hoping to supress the Federal Battery.

"Forward South Carolina!"

"Pennsylvania, fix bayonets. Forward, March!"

One of the Pennsylvania Regiments surge from the treeline onto the hill. They adjust fire down the hill onto the Rebs below

After a few exchanges of musketry, a South Carolina regiment breaks and withdraws across the creek. The other two regiments hold there line as they take the murderous fire from the Federals in the treeline to their front, and the Artillery battery to their left on the hill.

The Confederate Brigade commander crossed the creek hoping his presence would rally his troops.
The routed regiment continues to withdraw from the table. Another Regiment breaks and retreats to the creek.

Steadfast and forty rounds. The South Carolinians defy the odds. Southern stubbornness bolstered by their general's presence continues the contest. In the end, faced with certain death and mounting casualties, The lone regiment is forced to surrender. The upside to their capitulation is that the opposing Federal regiments suffered severe casualties.

With two regiments broken and another surrendered. The rest of the brigade falls back to lick their wounds. They may be scuffed up, but they are not defeated.

This ended as a Federal victory. It was difficult continuing to move troops forward as if you didn't see the ambush. I was glad when the trap was sprung. It allowed for some interesting challenges. The lesson learned here is that it is hard to fight a battle when you have a creek or river dividing your army. It's best to be on either one side or the other as a whole.
Lesson learned from the Federal side is. "Divide your enemy and defeat him in detail." This principle seemed to work.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

More Zouave Madness

Here is my recently completed 5th New York Infantry "Duryee's Zouaves."

The 5th was formed in Manhattan in April of 1861. Colonel Abram Duryee was there first Regimental Commander. They saw action at Battle of Big Bethel, Ball's Bluff, Gaines Mill during the Peninsula Campaign, Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredricksburg, and Chancellorsville. Duryee was of French Huguenot ancestry. His grandfather served in the American Revolution. In 1833 he joined the New York State Militia and rose through the ranks to Colonel of 27th Regiment. When the American Civil War started he raised the 5th New York Regiment.

Abram Duryee photographed as a Brigadier General sometime after December 1861.

B company 1st Louisiana Special Battalion. "Wheat's Tigers" The nickname was originally given to the company and then later the Battalion was referred to as "Louisiana Tigers." The unit was raised in New Orleans by Major Chatham Roberdeau Wheat. The battalion contained Irish, Germans, Americans, and French Creoles. The unit was as colorful as their commander. Wheat had spent time overseas as a mercenary fighting everywhere from Cuba and Mexico, and ending up in Italy fighting for Garibaldi when he heard Louisiana seceded.
Major Chatham Roberdeau Wheat
B Company 1st Louisiana Special Battalion

The Zouave company in line with the rest of the battalion.