Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Situation Report: Richmond May 29, 1862

General Joseph E. Johnston  meets with Confederate President Jefferson Davis' Military advisor, General Robert E. Lee. They discuss the situation with the Federal Army outside of Richmond. They know that McClellan outnumbers them. General Johnston devises a plan to attack the Army of the Potomac as it sits divided by the Chickahominy River.

May 30, 1862 brings a thunderstorm that swells the Chickahominy River. Johnston orders his Generals to attack on the 31st. Longstreet, Magruder, and D.H. Hill

General George B. McClellan  has a meeting with his Corps Commanders outside of White House, Virginia. The main suply depot for the Peninsula campaign.

Erasmus Keys 4th Corps  is positioned south of the Chickahominy River, while Samuel Heintzelman's 3rd Corps and Edwin Sumner's 2nd Corps are on the North Side of the river.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Battle of Hanover Courthouse May 27, 1862 Part 2

44th NY Infantry in action.

"At the double Quick, MARCH!"

BG Martindale Rushing up and down the line giving orders to his Regimental commanders.

Turn 4. Federal Initiative. The 44th NY fires into the advancing 7th NC. Their aim was a little high and the balls passed without effect. The 25th NY attempts to oblique left fire on the 18th NC in line of battle. They are out of range and have no effect. the 2nd ME opens fire on 33rd NC causing high casualties and they rout from the field Basically the whole Confederate Left flank falls apart. 
Turn 5. Confederate Initiative. The 7th NC opens fire on the 44th NY and rakes their line with devastating effect. The 44th routs and retreats.Latham's Battery finally lands some shots into the 25th NY causing them to rout as well. The First of the Federal reinforcements comes onto the field by way of the Courthouse road.

Latham's Battery fires on the 25th NY and hits the mark. The 7th NC goes into line of battle on the flank of the 44th NY.

The 9th Mass Infantry comes onto the table passing by the temporary headquarters.

The 7th NC Infantry lets loose with musketry.

Turn 6. Federal Initiative. The 9th Mass Infantry moves at the double quick into line. The 2nd ME Holds it's position as they resupply and straighten their lines. The North Carolina Brigades straightens their lines and begins their advance across the field. Latham's Battery adjusts their fire onto the 2nd ME Infantry with no effect. The 52nd Penn Inf arrives on the field as well.

"Forward, March!"

"Straighten up boys, here they come."

Turn 7. Federal Initiative. The 9th Mass Inf holds position. The 62nd Penn Inf, moves at the double quick. Latham's Battery fires on the 2nd ME and they rout. The North Carolina Brigade makes slow progress as they move through the field towards the Federal positions.

Turn 8. Federal Initiative. The Federal force continues to get into position and wait for the enemy to close the distance. Latham's Battery fires into the 9th Mass Inf and causes some casualties.  the 62nd Penn Inf moves into line on the right of the 9th Mass extending the line.  This places two relatively fresh regiments in a good defensive position waiting on the advancing North Carolina Brigade.

The Confederate force closes slowly with the enemy.

BG Martindale directs the Pennsylvania Regiment to form up on the right of the Massachusetts Regiment.

Ever closer to the enemy. The Confederate Colonel knows he has to get in close to make the most of his volley. The closer he is the more deadly his fire will be. The downside is it works the same way for the Federal Line. The next turn will be a toss up on who will be faster at bringing their guns to bear on the enemy.

".................Steady....... Steady....."

The Confederate Colonel Halts his men. he rushes up and down the line with his sword straightening the line. He yells at the top of his lung. "READY!"

Turn 9. Confederate Initiative.  Right before the storm.

"AIM!!  FIRE!!" The Confederate line opens up and the musketry is deadly. Casualties fall all along the Federal lines. The Massachusetts and Pennsylvania respond in kind with their own volley. 

The fire fight is hot all along the long.

Turn 10. Confederate Initiative. They continue to go back and forth with the musketry. Most of the men begin to fire at will. Finally, and inevitably, someone had to blink. The 7th NC takes heavy casualties and pays a heavy price for the advance they made. They fail their cohesion check and quit the field. The 18th NC Inf being the only regiment left now faces heavy odds.

Turn 11. Confederate Initiative. With the Confederate force in the wind. The order is given for the 18th NC Inf to withdrawal. They begin to fire and retreat by rank. Latham's Battery hitches up their artillery pieces and follow suit. This battle was hard fought and the carnage on the field shows the price paid by both armies.
~AFTER ACTION REPORT~ This battle was fought mostly the same way as it was on the table. McClellan's plan to secure the route for which his reinforcements where to arrive was shelved. He did however manage to claim Hanover Courthouse as a "Major Victory" over "Overwhelming Forces." Once again his inner demons allowed him to believe that he was facing a much larger force. MG Irwin McDowell's I Corps reinforcements from the direction of Fredericksburg never came.  Confederate MG Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson soundly whipped MG Nathaniel Banks force at First Battle of Winchester and threatened the approach to Washington D.C. Because of Jackson's action, 40,000 Federal troops remained in Northern Virginia away from McClellan and his Army outside of Richmond.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Battle of Hanover Courthouse May 27, 1862 Part 1

~Orders of Battle~
Union Forces
approximate 2,800 men

BG. John Martindale's Brigade

2nd ME Inf                        4 stands
25th NY Inf                        4stands

BG Daniel Butterfield's Brigade

44th NY Inf                      5 stands


Col. James McQuade

9th MAS Inf                     9 stands
62nd PEN Inf                   6 stands


Confederate Forces

Col. Lawrence O'Bryan Branch's Brigade
approximate 1,900 men

37th NC Inf                   5 stands
18th NC Inf                   4 stands
7th NC Inf                    6 stands
33rd NC Inf                  4 stands

Latham's Battery          2 stands   12 lb Napoleons

On May 27, elements of BG Fitz John Porter's V Corps extended north to protect the right flank of MG George B. McClellan's Union Army of the Potomac. Porter's objective was to deal with the Confederate forces near Hanover Courthouse, which threatened the avenue of approach for Union reinforcements that were marching south from Fredericksburg. Col. Branch's Brigade departed Gordonsville where it was guarding the Virginia Central Railroad. In the afternoon of the 27th, Branch's Brigade took up a position in the wood line just west of the Hill Road. and approximately 4 miles south of the Courthouse. It is here that Branch's Brigade engages the rear guard of BG General John H. Martindale.

Turn 1. Confederate Initiative. We see the Brigade of Col. Lawrence O'Bryan Branch in the edge of the woods. Hill Road runs the length of the map until it turns north east into the road leading to Hanover Courthouse.Latham's Battery opens up on the 25th NY Infantry on the road. The shots have no effect. Branch's Infantry move out of the treeline onto the field. The 7th NC Infantry in column moves to the right flank. BG John Martindale's Brigade upon being fired on, reacts and goes into line on the road.

The 2nd ME Infantry on the road.

BG John Martindale with his brigade.

Col. Branch's Brigade with Latham's Battery deployed.

The view from the Confederate side.

Turn 2. Federal Initiative. Martindale's Brigade holds their fire and waits. Latham's Battery continues to fire  on the 25th NY Infantry and still cause no damage. The 2nd ME Infantry which was in the lead, counter column marches and then double time march onto the side road along the Confederate Left Flank.

7th NC Infantry in column formation attempting to gain position on the Federals on the road.

Branch's Brigade moves forward into the field.

44th NY Infantry on the Federal Left Flank hold there position waiting for the 7th NC Infantry.

A View from the Federal Lines looking toward Latham's Battery.

BG Martindale steadies his men in the ranks.

The 2nd ME Infantry deploy on the access road on the Confederate Left flank.

Turn 3. Confederate Initiative.Latham's Battery Adjusts their line of fire to the regiment closer to them as the 25th NY are no longer in line of sight. They open fire on the 44th NY Infantry and cause a few casualties. The 33rd NC infantry opens fire on the 2nd ME Infantry with a rattle of musketry. the 2nd ME is shaken as they take heavy losses. Then the 37th NC Also fires on them. They manage to hold despite sever losses. In return, the 44th NY fires on the 37th NC and cause severe losses. All along the Federal Line they open fire. The 37th NC being the closest Regiment gains the attention of the musketry. After taking three volleys the 37th NC routs and leaves the field. the 18th NC Infantry continues moving forward as Col. Branch leads them on. The 7th NC in column continues on its route through the farm.

The 7th NC continues forward.

The Captain of the Battery keeps yelling orders to the crews. "Keep firing! Keep firing!!"