Friday, May 29, 2015

Battle of Hilltop Farm Part 1

This was a Brigade level engagement with artillery support.

Turn 1.  Federal Initiative. Artillery runs forward followed by the Infantry in column. Maj. General Sebastian
smokes on his pipe as the men move by. Brig General S. Elliott has the brigade.

The Federal Brigade in column on the march. They are heading to the base of the hill.

Maj. General Duncan fails to order the march. Brig General Caleb Moves his command up
behind the hill.

The fife and drum play "The Campbell's Are Coming" along with other
marches. The troops are in high spirits.

The farm on the top of the hill. The Confederate brigade can be seen coming up.

The Confederate troops are equally in good spirits. The regimental band plays
"Palmetto Quickstep" and "White Cockade." Nothing like a good march to get the blood up.

Turn 2. Confederate Initiative. Gen. Duncan wonders where his messenger went to.
Brig. Gen. Caleb wonders why His general hasn't sent any orders. He takes matters into his own hands and
calls his men into line of battle at the base of the hill. The artillery makes for the other hill.

General Sebastian deploys the artillery on his side of the hill. The infantry regiments go into line and make ready to ascend the hill.


Turn 3. Confederate Initiative. Both brigades move to the crest of the hill.
The soldiers move up as fast as they can.

Federal Artillery Battery sets up.

The Confederate Battery on the hill opens fire with canister into the oncoming infantry.

General Sebastian looks on as his troops move up.

Brig General Caleb moves his brigade at the double quick and then halts just below the crest of the hill.

Turn 4. Confederate Initiative. Having a "Stonewall" moment, Duncan halts his brigade below the crest of the hill.
This protects his troops from the artillery. Confederate Artillery open up with canister on the infantry again. Federal artillery respond with counter battery fire. A casson his hit and explodes killing a few artillerists.
The Federal Brigade pushes to the top of the hill into the awaiting Confederates.
General Caleb yells at the top of his lungs. "Hold your fire boys, not yet!" Slowly the Union troops come into view.

General Caleb waits for what seems like an eternity. From his horse he yells.
"Okay, let them have it! FIRE BY BRIGADE, FIRE!" The Colonels repeat the order to their regiments and the
hill side rattles with the sound of musketry and the puff of smoke.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

General John Bell Hood and the Texas Brigade

John Bell Hood was born in Owingsville, Kentucky on June 1st or 29th 1831, and died August 30th 1879. He was a cousin of Future Confederate General G. W. Smith and was a nephew of U.S. Representative Richard French. French managed to obtain an appointment for his nephew to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Hood's father was a doctor and reluctantly supported his sons decision on a military care Hood graduated West Point in 1853. He ranked 44th in a class of 52. The class originally numbered 96 but four years took its toll.. At West Point and later in his Army career he was known this friends as "Sam." Classmates at The Point included James B. McPherson and  John Schofield. He was instructed on artillery by George H. Thomas. These three men would become Union Generals that would oppose him in the western theatre. The Superintendent from 1852-55 was a Colonel Robert E. Lee.

He served in California and in Texas.
While in Texas he received his first of what would be many wounds in his military service. He took an arrow through his left hand fighting Comanches at Devil's River.
Hood resigned from the U.S. Army immediately after the bombing of Fort Sumter. Dissatisfied with the neutrality of his native state of Kentucky he decided to serve his adopted state of Texas.
He joined the Confederate Army as a cavalry captain but in Sept 1861, was promoted to Colonel of the 4th Texas Infantry Regiment. This was followed by his promotion to lead the Brigade and It was thereafter known as Hood's Texas Brigade.
General John B Hood on left with General Wade Hampton.
Hood and his Brigade fought through the Peninsula Campaign and every campaign afterward in the Army of Northern Virginia. Hood earned a reputation as a aggressive commander and his Texans were considered elite troops in the army. As a division commander during the Battle of Second Manassas, His assault on John Popes left flank nearly destroyed the Union Army.
In pursuit of Union forces, Hood was involved in a dispute over captured ambulances with his superior, Brig Gen Nathan "Shanks" Evans. Evens had Hood arrested, but General Lee intervened and retained Hood in service. During the Battle of South Mountain Hood's Texas boys cried out to general Lee. "Give us Hood!" Lee restored Hood to command despite Hood's refusal to apologize for his conduct to Evans.
At Gettysburg, He was wounded by an artillery burst. Although he didn't have it amputated, he lost the use of his left arm for the rest of his life.
In the Western Theater, Braxton Bragg was attempting to mount a massive assault. Lee dispatched two divisions of General James Longstreet's Corp to Tennessee. Hood, newly recovered from his Gettysburg wounds lead his division on the field and helped saved Bragg's army from defeat. Once again Hood was severely wounded. This time his right femur was fractured and his leg was amputated 4" below the hip. Hood's condition was so grave that the surgeon sent the severed leg along with the general in the ambulance assuming that they would be buried together. He once again survived and recuperated in Richmond Virginia. Members of his old Texas Brigade collected over $3,100 dollars in a single day and purchased an artificial leg made of cork for their beloved commander.
Later he was appointed by Jefferson Davis to replace Joseph Johnston in Atlanta. He lost Atlanta and lead what was left of the Army of Tennessee to its destruction at Franklin and Nashville Tennessee in December of 1864. Hood proved his value and worth as a brigade and division commander, but became less effective in higher command positions.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Old Clinton War Days 2015 Reenactment

On the first weekend of May I had the privilege of taking part in Old Clinton War Days in Clinton Georgia. The town is more of a community than anything else. Located right outside of Gray Georgia on Hwy 129.
The event is held every year to commemorate the Battles of Griswoldville Nov 22nd 1864 and Sunshine Church Nov 20th 1864. Both battles were Union victories and resulted in the destruction of both towns.
Griswoldville was founded in 1850 and was located on the railway linking Macon to Savannah.They also had a factory that was originally a cotton gin. During the war it was retooled to manufacture pistols. This made the town a prime target.
Clinton was the county seat for Jones county and was founded in 1808. In the mid 1800's the town was one of the most populace cities in the state. It was the center of commerce and the cotton trade in the area.

The final charge.... This represented the final charge at the battle of Griswoldville.

Members of the 53rd Georgia Volunteer Infantry Reenactment group

Newly Minted Corporal Harris.