Sunday, September 20, 2015

Battle of Cow Run part 2

Conclusion of this horrific battle.

Turn 4. Federal Initiative. General Carl Gives the order to cease fire and advance, However the order is not heard and the regiments in the front are hotly engaged with the Confederates behind the rail road embankment.

Turn 5. Confederate Initiative. General Jenkins reserves come into line on the left of the original formation.  General Leroy's Regiment side shifts its position to fill the gap made earlier by the broken regiment. This gives the defenders a three regiment front behind a defensive position. 

General Leroy sits in the saddle. content with the deployment of his men. he orders his Regimental Commanders to replenish their ammunition and water. General Jenkins quickly writes his dispatches to his superiors as he looks across the field. He nods at Leroy. Leroy nods a silent acknowledge at Jenkins.

General Carl is concerned. The time has passed. His moment to "bag the whole lot" has left his grasp. He watches in disgust and contempt as the holes in the enemies line are filled. What should he do? One regiment has already broken and left the field. He is so close. Carl decides to continue to press the attack. Asking himself. "What would Grant do?

Turn 7. Federal Initiative. This turn finds another Indiana regiment retiring from the field. At this point the Federal advance has ground to a halt. The entire left flank of their advance has broken.

The Confederates continue to hold the line. Buying precious time with the blood of their enemy.

The lead Regiment in the Federal right flank has taken many casualties. Soon they will retire from the field as well.

Turn 8. Federal Initiative. Despite having the initiative for the past few turns the Confederate force seems content with their position and holding their ground. General Carl begins to realize the futility of this assault only too late. The Lead Indiana Regiment on the Brigades right fails its moral test due to casualties. They break and retire from the filed.

"There were bodies piled like cord wood in front of our positions. The groans of the dying and wounded filled the afternoon air. The silence of the dead was the loudest." ~ Pvt Marly, Leroys Brigade.

"Some of us would shoot while others would load for us. We would aim and fire, then pass the empty musket back to be loaded while a loaded one was passed to us. It was simple murder."  ~ Pvt Bordeaux  Leroy's Brigade

"We advanced as far as we could. When we stopped we followed our orders and engaged the rebels. Many proud Prussians died doing their duty." ~ Cpl Schell  General Carl's Brigade.  

Despite the loss of three regiments, General Carl managed to keep his men in the field. He attempted to make an orderly withdrawal however, The combined musketry of two Rebel regiments forced another die hard unit from the field. With this last measure, General Carl's Brigade shatters and is forced to retire.   

The view from the Confederate lines. The Federal troops begin to withdraw Sporadic shots are heard as the contest comes to a close. General Leroy notices the figure of General Carl on his horse in the distance. The two men see each other and General Carl nods to his prewar friend before turning his horse and following his men.

General Jenkins breaths a sigh of relief as he watches the mob in blue concede the field.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Battle of Cow Run part 1

This time we find the Confederates defending a clearing along a railroad track. One brigade under Brigadier General Leroy takes the position along the track Two regiments under Major General Jenkins are in reserve. Facing the Confederate force is a Brigade commanded by Brigadier General Carl. The objective is for the Federal troops to drive off the Confederates and destroy the railroad line..

Turn 1. Federal Initiative. General Carl moves his brigade forward. General Leroy waits for his aggressor to come into range and then he lets him have it.

Louisiana Troops on the line.

Federal Troops advancing. 

Major General Jenkins with the reserve.

Brigadier General Leroy surveys the situation as the Indiana troops advance.

Brigadier General Carl with his men advancing forward.

Turn 2. Confederate Initiative. The Confederate regiments along the rail road cut let loose with a withering fire.
Still the Indiana Regiments hold their own and advance on into the storm of lead.

The Indiana regiments stop in their tracks to exchange volleys with the Louisiana men behind the railroad cut. The price is high for this small patch of ground as each side pays with their blood.

The exchange of volleys all along the line produces dire results.  The Indiana regiment on the Federal Left flank breaks and retires from the field.

General Jenkins yells over the rattle of the muskets. "General Leroy? Leroy! do you need the reserves?"

Turn 3. Confederate Initiative. The beginning of this turn finds one regiment from both brigades in retreat. A hole has opened in the Louisiana line. General Leroy moves the flanking regiment forward. General Carl and his Indiana Brigade continue to push forward.

Now is the time for General Jenkins to move the reserves forward.

General Carl waves his sword in the air and yells at the top of his lungs. "Forward men! Drive them from their defences!" General Carl knows  that if they can make the embankment before the enemies reserves can come into line, He has a chance to break  through. The next few turns will be critical.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

General John B. Gordon and his Georgia Brigade

John Brown Gordon was born Jan 6, 1832 on a farm in Upson County Georgia. He was the fourth of twelve siblings. He went to the University of Georgia but left before he graduated. He studied Law in Atlanta and passed the bar exam. John and his father Zachariah invested in a series of coal mines in Tennessee and Georgia.
At the outbreak of the war, Gordon was elected Captain of a company of mountaineers. He presented himself and his company to the Governor of Georgia for service in the war. At the time Georgia hadn't issued a call for men yet. Discouraged, but not defeated, Gordon marched his Company to Montgomery Alabama where they were formed up with the 6th Alabama Infantry Regiment.
Gordon saw action at the head of his regiment under then, Brigadier General Robert Rodes During the battle of Seven Pines in May/ June 1862. When Rodes was wounded, Gordon was advanced to lead the Brigade. He showed fearless zeal in the face of the enemy during the Seven Days Battles. He would pace fearlessly among his men shouting orders and firing his pistol. Enemy bullets shattered the handle of his pistol, pierced his canteen, and ripped away part of his uniform coat front. The men of the brigade claimed that he had a charmed life with the amount of danger he was exposed to and had come away unscathed. The first test to this belief came at the Battle of Malvern Hill. He was temporarily blinded as dirt was kicked up in his face.

A impressive list of wounds sustained from the war.
Gordon's good fortune ran out at the  Battle of Sharpsburg in September  1862. Gordon, back in command of his regiment, was assigned by General D.H. Hill to protect the center line from the Union advance. The Brigade placed themselves on an old road that had been eroded from years of use. This "Sunken Road" was an ready made fortified position. The "Bloody Lane" saw some of the worst fighting of the battle. As the Union Soldiers advanced toward the sunken road Gordon gave the order for his men to hold their fire until the last moment. This would insure the maximum effect their first volley being fired. As the Federal Regiments crossed the crest of the hill and started their descent towards the Confederates in the road, Gordon gave the order to fire. During the course of the battle, Gordon had a minie ball pass through his calf, a second ball hit him higher in the same leg. Later a third ball passed through his left arm. During this time he continued to give orders and maintain the line. Several aides pleaded with him to go to the rear but he refused.  Soon a fourth ball hit him in the shoulder. The loss of blood started to take its toll and Gordon rested himself against a fence post. He was finally put down by a minie ball to the face. This last bullet passed through his cheek and out his jaw. Gordon pitched forward and laid face forward in his own cap. He would have drowned in his own blood if it had not drained out through a bullet hole in the cap. A Confederate Surgeon treated his multiple wounds and thought that he would not survive. He was returned to Richmond where he was nursed back to health by his wife.
After several months of recuperation, Gordon returned to duty in June  1863. This time in the lead of a Brigade under General Jubal Early's Division.  Gordon continued to serve throughout the war, participating in The Gettysburg Campaign, The Battle of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Courthouse, The Valley Campaign of 1864, The Siege of Petersburg. He was a Corps Commander with General Lee at Appomattox. After the war, Gordon returned home to Georgia and went into politics serving as State Senator and as Governor.

Brig Gen. John B. Gordon and his Georgia Brigade