Sunday, July 31, 2016

Battle of Eltham's Landing May 7, 1862 Part 1

Battle of Eltham's Landing on the banks of the Pamunkey River.

~Orders of Battle~
Union Forces

BG William Franklin Division
approx 5,000 men

BG. John Newton

18th NY Inf                        7 stands
31st NY Inf                        6 stands
32nd NY Inf                         6 stands
95th PA Inf (Gosline's Zouaves)     7 stands

BG Henry W. Slocum
5th ME Inf                                      6 stands
16th NY Inf                                 7 stands

BG Philip Kearny
15th NJ Inf                                  6 stands
2nd NJ Inf                                   5 stands


Confederate Forces

BG William H. C. Whiting  Division
approx 2,700 men

BG John B. Hood

1st TX Inf                   5 stands
4th TX Inf                   5 stands
5th TX Inf                   4 stands
18th GA Inf                 6 stands

Hampton Legion         7 stands

 General  Joseph Johnston's forces abandoned the Warick Line and retreated up the peninsula. As soon as MG George B McClellan realized this he sent his cavalry under BG George Stoneman to attack Johnston's rearguard. The half of the Army of the Potomac under BG Edwin V. Sumner followed. The result was the Battle of Williamsburg. During this time, McClellan order a division under BG William B. Franklin to board transports and travel up the York River and attempt to land in force behind the Confederate lines on the south bank of the Pamunkey River across from West Point, Virginia. The Landing was 5 miles north of a small town called Barhamsville.
On the afternoon of May 6th, Franklin's men came ashore on pontoon boats. a 400ft floating wharf was built in order to handle the offloading of artillery and supplies. The construction and landing where unopposed except for random shots fired by Confederate picketts from the bluff above the landing. This continued until 10 pm that night.
Johnston ordered MG G. W. Smith to protect the road to Barhamsville and Smith assigned the division of BG William H. C. Whiting and Hampton's Legion, under Colonel Wade Hampton to the Landing.

Eltham's Landing is seen on the bank of the Pamunkey River. BG Newton's brigade is deployed in the woods. the elements of Slocum's and Kearny's brigades are represented in column formation.   BG Hood's men are deployed opposite then in the woods with Hampton's Legion Infantry to their right. The object is simple. I added a wagon to represent the wagon trains of supplies moving in retreat. Confederate Objective is to hold the line  or drive the enemy back and keep the Federal force from breaking through and capturing the wagon train. The Federal Objective is to push through the Confederate line and capture the wagon train before it leaves the map. The Wagon Train moves a MAX range of 4" per turn.

Turn 1. Confederate Initiative  General Hood's brigade moves forward with Hampton's Legion on their right flank. Union BG Newton fails to order his brigade to advance. due to miscommunication and the messenger getting lost in the woods. The Regimental commanders take it upon themselves to advance. the 18th and 31st NY advance slowly. the 95th PA Zouaves move as well.  the 32nd NY decided to wait for orders and holds their position. The wagon moves along the road.

BG John B Hood with his Texas Brigade moving forward.

The 1st Texas Infantry can be seen with their State flag flying along side the Confederate Battle flag.

Colonel Wade Hampton of South Carolina and his legion

The 95th Pa Infantry "Goslines's Zouaves" as represented by regular infantry

The Wagon Train loaded with supplies on its way to Richmond.

18th NY Infantry moving forward through the woods.

Federal BG Kearny's and Slocum's brigades mustering at the landing.

BG John Newton  advancing his troops forward.

Leading elements of the Texas Brigade.

Turn 2. Confederate Initiative. Both brigades move towards each other in the thick Virginia woods. soon they will collide with each other. The sound of men in motion carries through the woods. The banging of bayonet scabbards against metal canteens and the footfalls on underbrush signal to each opposing force that they're are getting closer. 

The teamsters continue to drive their wagons at a quick rate. They understand that they need to get their cargo safely behind the lines. Most are uneasy knowing that the Union Army is close behind them. Union General Stoneman's Cavalry has been spotted in the area and Confederate Cavalry have been doing their work in return.

Turn 3. Federal Initiative. Both Armies continue to advance, 

The wagon train continues to make its way down the road. 

Turn 4. Confederate Initiative. The brigades finally come into contact after making their way through the woods. there is no shock or surprise. both brigades come to a halt and the orders are given to open fire.


with a quickness, deliberate in movement and purpose, both armies raise their weapons and take aim.........

"The band is in tune. the guests have arrived, time to open the ball."
To be continued........

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