Friday, August 28, 2015

Vicksburg Battlefield Park

Grant attacked Stockade Redan on May 19th 1863 which was a strong point in the defensive line. The Union Forces were pushed back. A second attack on May 22nd over a three mile front from Stockade Redan to Fort Garrott was also repelled. With these two failures and the possibility of more lives lost, Grant began formal siege operations. The siege ended 45 days later on July 4th 1863.

Vicksburg Battlefield Map. 

General John C. Pemberton. Confederate Commander for the defense of Vicksburg

Monument and Cannons for Yost's Battery from Ohio.

Michigan Soldiers monument with Battery De Golyer.

These are the cannons that were placed here at battery De Golyer. The Union army concentrated their artillery at points on the line. The Confederates scattered their guns all along the line. When a lone Confederate gun opened up it was promptly silenced by counter battery fire.

In the distance, between the Union and Confederate Trench lines, stands a house. This house is where the surrender was negotiated.

A very elaborate monument to the State of Illinois Soldiers that participated in the siege. Dedicated in the early 1900's. The inside is lined with plaques that display the names of Regiments and soldiers from the state of Illinois. As I drive along the path I can't help but notice that a majority of the Northern Monuments are very elaborately decorated in comparison to the Confederate monuments.

Here is an equestrian statue of General U. S. Grant. This statue sits in the location of where his headquarters were located. The drive up was lined on either side by the Bust Statues of Union Generals that served under his command at Vicksburg.

Starting with my visit to Manassas back in 2011, I have had my picture taken with a General. At Manassas it was Stonewall Jackson, this time it was Grant.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Battle of Anna Station; a cavalry raid part 2

The conclusion of last weeks battle.

Brig General Miles attempts to rally the regiment.

Turn 4. federal Initiative. The battle continues for the Mill Bridge. The Federal Regiment attempts to adjust their facing so they can counter the Flanking fire that will some come.

Meanwhile, at the Lone Bridge, The fire intensifies. General Toby comes to a crossroad with his assault.

Turn 5 Confederate Initiative. Covering fire.

Brig Gen Brandbury moves the Infantry forward after a rough go the turn before. It seems that no one understood what to do when the first shots were heard.

Turn 6. finds both confederate regiments at the Mill Bridge routed. For the moment the Mill Bridge seems to be safe in Federal hands. General Miles shakes his head in disappointment at the fact he could not rally his men.

The Confederates withdraw to the back side of the hill.

General Toby's adjutant pleads with him to withdraw. the cavalrymen on the bridge cannot force a breakthrough and are bottle necked on the bridge.

Advancing at the double quick.

Turn 7.The assault on the Lone Bridge is concluded. The Confederate Regiment reaches its breaking point and retires. General Toby hangs his head as he yields to the situation. The Supporting regiment covers the withdrawal and makes preparations to follow the retreat.

General Brandbury, fashionably late with his Infantry support. The battle was a completely One sided victory for the defending Federal Forces. Although the Infantry played no real active part in the battle, Their presence was a constant threat to the time table of the Confederate force. The Confederates should have used their mobility and their size to their advantage. The force should have focused their numbers on one objective and went with it.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Battle of Anna Station; a cavalry raid part 1

This was a cavalry raid involving mixed units. The Confederates had a Brigade of 4 Cavalry Regiments. The objective was for the Cavalry to force a crossing at either bridge and capture/burn the train station. This was a daunting task considering what was against them.

Confederate Cavalry Brigade                                      Union Mixed Command
Maj Gen Toby (Commanding)                                    Brig Gen Witcliff (Commanding)
Brig Gen Miles (Brig Cmdr)                                       Brig Gen Brandbury (Brig Cmdr)
x4  Cavalry Regt.                                                         x2 Cavalry Regts.
                                                                                     x2 Infantry Regts.

The Confederate Force is the attacker
Union only activates when Cavalry Force make contact with enemy.

Turn 1. Confederate Initiative. Maj Gen Toby commanding the Confederate raiding force sets his temporary HQ at the
Widow Dingus's Farm. Scouts report that the bridges are unprotected and if they seize the moment they can make good distance. Gen Toby decides to break his force into two separate forces. Each Force will make for a separate Bridge and force a crossing.

Brig Gen. Witcliff scratches his head while reading the report. He knows that the Rebs are in the area, but he don't know where. His orders are to Only send the Infantry out when they cavalry has made contact. 

The cavalry is ordered to advance to the bridges. One regiment will take the bridge by the mill while the other regiment makes for the far bridge.

Maj Gen. Toby at his Headquarters. The Widow Dingus furnished The General and his staff with sweet tea and a hearty breakfast.

"Forward.... Yooooo!"

Turn 2. Confederate Initiative. using the cover of trees, the confederate force moves forward. It is slow going where there are no roads. General Toby finishes his breakfast, thanks the Widow and mounts his horse, "Dogfood." With a wave of his hand  his detachment moves for the Lone Bridge.

The Federal Cavalry make good progress during the short march. being on the home field,  The bridges are closer to the Federals. One Cavalry Regt. forces the crossing at the mill and decides to advance.

General Miles Cavalry moving through the woods towards the Mill bridge.

Turn 3. Union Initiative The cavalry regt. at the Mill Bridge makes contact with the advancing Rebel force. The Federals dismount and form a firing line to hold the bridge. Further down the river the Confederate Force under General Toby seizes the bridge and begins to advance over their newly won prize. However, on the other side General Witcliff and one of the cavalry regiments is waiting.

General Granbury and his troopers. "We have them now!" He says.

Turn 4. Union Initiative. The Federal carbines open up on the rebs crossing the bridge. This brash move by the Confederates is costly as casualties begin to mount. The second Confederate Regiment returns fire as they support the advance.

The crack of the carbines are heard throughout the valley. The federal defenders put up a strong defiant stand in the face of two Confederate regiments. The opening barrage was too much for one southern regiment who in turn breaks and withdraws from the field. The Union regimental commander knows that he will need to adjust his line or else he will be flanked.

And so sets the scene for Turn 4.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Siege Mortars

This is my 10" and 13" siege mortars. These are made by GHQ Miniatures. The crew are also from GHQ.

Model 1861 13" Seacoast Mortar. The barrel weighed in at 17,120 lbs and fired a 197 lb shell. All of the Confederate 13" mortars were seized from Federal Arsenals. They were used primarily for defense of forts and other fixed positions. 

10" Siege Mortars

13" Siege Mortars.

The Army of the Potomac had dedicated siege train assigned to them when they invaded the Virginia Peninsula in 1862. General George McClellan attempted to lay siege to the city of Yorktown which was in Confederate hands and held by General John Magruder. Before all the mortars were in place, Magruder evacuated the city.

Model 1841 10"  Sea Coast Siege Mortars. the barrel weighed in at 5,775 lbs and it fired a 88 lb shell.

13" Siege Mortars