Monday, March 28, 2016

First Battle of Kernstown March 23, 1862 Part 1 Morning Action: Pritchards Hill

The Shenandoah valley rests between the Blue Ridge Mtns to the east and the Shenandoah Mountains to the west. The valley was considered the "Breadbasket" of the state. It was accessible  by passes in between the mountains. The Valley  served as a Highway for the armies. The Blue Ridge Mtns hid troop movements.
~Orders of Battle~
Union Forces

BG. James Shields

Col. Jeremiah Sullivan Brigade

13th IN Inf                        6 stands
62nd OH Inf                      8 stands
39th IL Inf                        5 stands

Col. Nathan Kimball Brigade

5th OH Inf                        8 stands
84th PA Inf                       4 stands
67th OH Inf                       6 stands
8th OH Inf                         5 stands  


Confederate Forces

Maj. Gen Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson

Brig Gen Samuel Fulkerson

23rd VA Inf                          3 stands
37th VA Inf                          4 stands

Brig Gen Richard Garnett  "Stonewall Brigade"

2nd VA Inf                        3 stands
4th VA Inf                         3 stands
27th Va Inf                        2 stands

Danville Va Artillery          2 stands ( 12lb Napoleons)


Turn 1. Confederate Iniaitive. Kernstown can be seen represented by the buildings at the crossroad. to the north of town is Hog Run. The Federal Brigade Under Col. Nathan Kimball is deployed on Pritchards Hill directly in front of Garrett and Fulkerson's Brigades. I deployed the Danville Artillery Battery directly behind them in support.

Col. Turner Ashby's 7th VA Cav riding into Kernstown.

Maj General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson directing the engagement.

5th Ohio Infantry forms the Federal left on Pritchards hill. the 84th PA and 67th OH Infantrys complete the line.

General James Shields positions himself between his brigades so he can lend a hand with his pressence if needed. Generals have stats that allow brigade commanders to pass cohesion checks to perform manouvers.

The artillery battery cannot make out any targets in the woods ahead of them, they remain silent as the assault begins.  The Brigade of Richard Garnett "Stonewall Brigade" moves forward. the 2nd 4th, and 27th VA Infantry regts move forward.

Turn 2. Confederate Iniaitive. Garnett and Fulkerson manage to cross Hog run with their forces and they continue to advance. Ashby's cavalry cross the bridge and move north of town.

Samuel Fulkerson with the 23rd and 37th VA Infantry Regts.

Col. Nathan Kimball can be seen in the center. "Here they come, men. Make ready."

Turn 3. Federal Iniaitive. Kimballs Brigade opens fire all along the line. The 37th VA melts away under the opening volley. The 27th VA in Garnetts brigade follows suit.

As the action heats up on the Confederate Left, Ashby's Cavaly moves off the road and deploys north of the field. Shields orders Col. Sullivans Brigade to move south in force.

Ashby's Cavalry deployed.

A soldier files past General Jackson and says. "We're out of ammo, sir." Jackson's replied. "Then go back and give them the bayonet."

Turn 4. Confederate Iniaitive. The Brigades of Garnett and Fulkerson have closed into the enemy and opened fire. Casualties begin to mount on both sides. The Danville Artillery Battery opens fire at the hole in the front line.

Turn 5. Confederate Iniaitive. The smoke fills the field as the casualties continue to rise.

Turn 6. Federal Iniaitive. The advance of Sullivans Brigade forces the outnumbered cavalry to fall back across Hog Run.The 23rd VA breaks and falls back. with this, Garnett is left unsupported on the extreme left. The 8th Ohio Infantry who was held in reserve is now ordered to move to the Federal right in an attempt to extend the federal line and also take pressure off the 6th Ohio who is holding the flank.

Garnett behind the 4th VA as they continue to lay down a devestating rate of fire against the Federals on the hill.

Ashby's 7th VA Cav redeploys just on this side of the bridge.

Turn 7. With Fulkerson's brigade gone, and Garnett down to two regts and unsuported, He decides to fall back. This decision is hastened by the appearance of  the 8th Ohio Infantry coming into line and advancing.
Jackson decides that the day is not lost yet. After consulting his maps he decides to take his force to the left in a flanking movement. If he can get behind this force before him and possibly the high ground, he can possible cut Shields off from Winchester..............  be continued.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Army of the Potomac: Command Stands and Flags

 I remodeled my command stands for my Union Army. I placed Generals with an aide on one stand and the HQ Guidon and an escort on another stand. Army, Corps, and Division Generals are represented by two stands. Here are a few of the modified Generals.

General Irwin McDowell and his I Corps HQ.

General George B. McClellan and his distinctive Army of the Potomac HQ Flag. a red color banner with a eagle surrounded by a wreath.

McClellan with General Sumner II Corps and Heintzelman III Corps.

It was not easy painting with a tooth pick.

Generals Erasmus Keyes' IV Corps and Fitz John Porter's V Corps.

General Alfred Pleasonton's Cavalry HQ Flag for the Army of the Potomac.

General Sumner's II Corps and his two division commanders, General Israel Richardson and John Sedgwick.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Battle of Big Bethal, June 10,1861 Part 2

The stage is set for the opening shots of the battle.

Turn 2. Confederate Initiative  The combined forces in the redoubt open fire on the brave federal battery on the road.  The  Federal Artillery begins to take casualties. They rout and fall back.

Forced to advance with no artillery support. The Infantry emerge from the tree line

Turn 3. Federal Initiative. The Union Troops elect to close the distance with the redoubt. The closer they are, the more deadly their opening volley will be. The defending Confederates are considered to be in Heavy cover.

The Confederates continue to pour on the fire. They know that they need to make every shot count if they are to hold this position.

Turn 4. Federal Initiative. The Union Left flank consolidates outside of the treeline and advance.

The 3rd NY and the 1st NY on the left flank advancing up to the redoubt. The Richmond Artillery Battery in the redoubt kept up such a heavy fire that they ran out of ammo for a second time. The first time, they managed to be resupplied.

The 1st NY takes heavy casualties and becomes shaken.

The 5th NY surges from the woods and takes a position forward. They ready their muskets for a volley.

During the beginning of the 4th Turn, the Richmond Artillery gets resupplied. and they continue to fire.

The 3rd NY gives up the field. The advance is halted. With the 3rd NY gone, they have a hole in the line.

Turn 5. Federal Initiative.  The 5th NY and the 1st NY open fire with their first volleys. The redoubt takes casualties. The Whyth Rifles routs and retreats across the creek.

Turn 6. Confederate Initiative. The Confederates on the opposite side of the creek open fire on the 5th NY. They take severe casualties from the combined fire. They retire from the field.

Turn 7. General Peirce is wounded slightly. He attempts to hurry  the 7th NY and the 1st VT Infantry Regts.

Turn 8. Confederate Initiative. The Redoubt holds. The 1st NY Inf are driven from the field. The attack on the Confederate redoubt is stopped cold. General Perice calls off the attack. Without a consolidated front line, he will be throwing away the remainder of his men.
~After Action Report~ General Peirce should have maintained better control of his brigade. Instead the regiments committed themselves piecemeal and were defeated in detail. If all the regiments emerged from the wood line at the same time, they would have overwhelmed the Confederate defenders at the redoubt.
~Historical Outcome~ The surprise was blown on the march inland, when the 3rd NY Inf got lost and backtracked into the German speaking 7th NY. It did not help that they were wearing Gray uniforms as well. The 7th NY opened fire on the 3rd NY and caused a few casualties before a cease fire was ordered. I reflected this in the battle by giving the 3rd NY a slightly lower Cohesion level then the rest of the regiments. Historically they were shaken up by the friendly fire incident. Strangely enough, this battle had the same result as the historical counterpart. A Confederate victory.

A few weeks later, 20 miles outside of Washington D.C., The Federal Army under Irwin McDowell is stopped by Generals Joseph Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard at what would be called The First Battle of Bull Run. (First Manassas in the south.)