Sunday, September 25, 2016

Situation Report: Jackson in Front Royal Va.

General Banks gets word that MG Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson has crossed the Shenandoah River north of Front Royal.  Banks decides to pull back to Winchester to keep Jackson from getting behind his lines.

Maj. Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and Maj. Gen. Richard Ewell confer on the road north of Front Royal.

"We shall harrass Those Philistines all the way back to Winchester."

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Battle of Front Royal May 20, 1862 Part 2

Turn 3. Confederate Initiative. Jackson continues to spur his soldiers forward. Taylor's Brigade on the left  moves at the double quick across the field to close the distance. Trimble's Brigade on the right makes slow progress due to the freshly plowed field they have to cross. The 16th MS Infantry lets loose with their first volley on the US 1st MD Infantry Regiment. there are some casualties. When the Federal turn to fire comes, Knapp's Guns of E Btty Pen Light Artillery fire on the 8th Louisiana causing some moderate casualties.  the 29th Pa also opens fire. Their target is the 7th La Infantry.  The 1st Md infantry returns fire on the 16th MS. 

The 1st Md Infantry (US) keeping the 16th Ms Infantry away from the town.

Turn 4. Confederate Initiative. The 16th Ms continues to go back and forth with the 1st Md Infantry. Many of the Infantry Brigades that were supposed to move either stalled out or their orders where lost.

We see the line of battle from the Confederate left side looking East.

MG Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson rides along the line motivating  he men with his very presence.

E Btty receives the order to switch to cannister shot.
Turn 5. Confederate Initiative. The Confederate Line opens with  a barrage of minnie balls along the front. The small force of Federals cannot hold out and they both fail their cohesion tests and are routed. the bridge at the other end of town has now become a popular place as it becomes bottle necked.

The smoke begins to clear and they realize there is no one there for them to shoot at.

Turn 6. Federal Initiative. Making an orderly retreat across the bridge. E Btty continues to fire into the upcoming Confederate force. The Confederate Cavalry has now moved to within striking distance of the bridge. They stand to bag the whole lot.

Soldiers of the 15th AL Infantry Regt. pause before jumping the fence and reforming to continue the advance.

The Federal Cavalry begins to deploy behind the Rail Road track in order to defend the retreat across the bridge.

Jackson's Troops continue to press onward. Not wanting to give the Federals a chance to regroup.

Turn 8. Confederate Initiative. The 6th Va Cav opens fire on the 5th NY Cav as they fight over the rail road track.  On the Confederate left flank Bg Richard Taylor's Louisiana brigade surges forward. The opening Volley on the Cannoneers either kills or wounds the entire battery. Th survivors abandon there guns and makes for the river in a panic. The 7th La Infantry comes to the bridge and opens fire on the panic stricken and routed soldiers causing even more casualties and panic.

The 1st Maryland Infantry Regt. (CS) and the 15th Alabama Infantry Regt. formed up on the road leading into town.

BG Richard Taylor with his Brigade advancing under the fire of the Federal battery.

The last shots of the Battle.
~Conclusion~ Much like the original battle, the Confederate Force take the town. We tried to do the battle a little differently with the Federal Deployment. Historically, it was more or less a running battle with the Union regiments firing and retreating. I wanted to see how they would do in a stand up fight. They almost managed to hold the Confederate Force out of town for the full 10 turn. They were close, but not close enough.
~VARIATION~ You can attempt to fight a "What if" scenario of the same battle. What if MG Banks in Strausburg was able to send Col. Kenly reinforcements? 
To play this what if battle add: 
Col. George H Gordon's Brigade.
3rd Wis Inf     6 stands
27th In Inf      5 stands
2nd  Ma Inf    6 stands
The 2th Pa Infantry of this battle was originally part of this brigade and when Banks finally got word of the battle from stragglers coming in, he considered sending the 3rd Wisconsin but changed his mind because of lack of information of the overall tactical situation. Instead, he ordered a general withdrawal towards Winchester further north.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Battle of Front Royal May 20, 1862 Part 1

~Orders of Battle~
Union Forces                            

Col. John Reese Kenly's Brigade          
 approx 1,200 men

1st MD Inf (US)                       5 stands
29th PA Inf                               5 stands
E Battery Penn Lt Arty             2 stands  (12lb Nap)

Confederate Forces                          

MG Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson
 approx 3,700 men

BG Richard Taylor's Brigade

6th LA Inf                                5 stands
7th LA Inf                                4 stands
8th LA Inf                                5 stands
9th LA Inf                                4 stands
1st LA Bn (Wheats's Tigers)    2stands

BG Isaac Trimble's Brigade

15th AL Inf                    6 stands
16th MS Inf                    6 stands

Independant Command

1st MD Inf (CS)             3 stands
6th VA Cav                     4 stands

On May 21, 1862, The Union Army under Maj General Nathaniel Banks was deployed at Strasburg, Virginia.Approximately 12 miles away a small force of 1,063 men under Colonel John Kenly were deployed at Front Royal. "Stonewall" Jackson Sent Col. Turner Ashby to the area of Strausburg and cut telegraph lines. he then returned to the main army by way of crossing the Massanutten Mountain at New Market Gap. On May 22, Jackson's Army of the Valley with 16,500 men reached just outside of Front Royal. Jackson Sent his other Cavalry Commander, Col Thomas T. Munford and his regiment east to close off the Manassas Gap and Cut telegraph lines between Front Royal and Washington D.C. With the lines of communication cut, the smal isolated brigade will either fight of run. If they run, Jackson will cross the South Bank of the Shenandoah River and be able to move at will towards any target he chooses. MG Nathaniel Banks cannot afford to have Jackson get behind him and his supply line.

Turn 1. Federal Initiative. Battery E opens fire on the advancing Confederates at long distance. the 6th LA infantry suffers casualties but holds. Jackson orders both brigades forward. In order to keep the brigades in formation you are only as fast as your slowest unit. Some Regiments are in plowed fields which is rated as rough terrain. The 6th Va Cav speeds up the Old Richmond Rd to the bend and leaves the road for the field. The South Bank of the Shenandoah River can be seen at the top of the table. the smal town of Front Royal is at the center.

MG Jackson with his brigades moving towards the town.

The 1st MD Inf (US) deployed at the southern end of the town.

The 29th PA Infantry deployed midway through the town

Two companies of the 5th NY Cav on the road north of town. the rail road line can be seen in the background.

Col. Kenly with the 1st MD Inf (US) in town.
The 6th Va Cav attempting to flank the defenders by going off the road and around the town.

BG Isaac Trimble and his brigade advancing.

"Load and come to the ready!"

1st Special Battalion Louisiana Infantry. Also known as "Wheat's Tigers."

Named for their bold commander, Major Chatham Roberdeau Wheat. The 6ft 4 inch Major was a giant amog men. Aveteran who loved to fight. He fought in the Mexican American War in 1848. Later becoming a Mercenary and fighing in Cuba and then again in Mexico against Santa Anna. He was fighting in Italy under Garibaldi but left when his state left the union. Only Company B wore the distinctive Zouave uniform.

Battery E Pennsylvania Light Artillery firing at the 6th Louisiana Infantry.

Louisianaians advancing across the field.

Turn 2. Confederate Initiative. The Confederate forces continue the advance towards the town. the regiments of BG Taylor make a slow go of it in the freshly plowed fields. BG Trimble has the same issue on his side. The closer they can get to the enemy before they let loose with their first volley the better chances they will have to do some real damage. The Federal Commander on the other hand has no intention of letting this happen and orders his men to open fire as soon as their targets are in range. E btty continues to fire on the advancing 6th LA infantry. the 29th PA fires on the 7th LA infantry and inflicts casualties. The US 1st MD Infantry opens fire on the advancing 16th MS causing light casualties. al units on the recieving end manage to pass cohesion and press on. The 6th Va Cav on the far right has advanced as far as the rail road line.

US 1st Maryland Infantry.

The 6th Va Cav on a flanking mission.

The situation is beginning to heat up. The opening shots have been fired. The situation is still managable for the Federal defenders. The Cavalry Regiment on the Federal Left Flank is a cause for concern.