Sunday, October 23, 2016

Battle of First Winchester May 25, 1862: Jackson's Attack Part 2.

Turn 3. Federal Initiative.  M Battery continues to fire into the advancing Confederate waves. Switching to Canister shot as holes are blown in the Confederate lines. The 42nd Virginia Infantry continue to push forward.  The Confederate Batteries cease fire  as the Infantry brigades pass them by and block their line of sight for firing.  Taliaferro, Campbell, and Winder's Brigades continue onward. Soon they will be in range of the Federal muskets.

The smoke still hangs in front of the guns as the Infantry passes.

BG William Taliaferro's brigade on the Confederate left flank.

Col. George H. Gordon at the Right Center of the Union line.

MG Nathaniel Banks watches as the Gray host comes ever closer to his line of defense

Turn 4. Confederate Initiative. Jackson knows the enemy is behind the stone fence. He hopes that the human wall of men will survive the assault and break the Federals. He hopes that by closing the distance he can open fire at a shorter more deadlier range. The problem is, General Banks knows that if he lets the enemy get in close he can also cause more damage with his volleys.

The Confederate Artillerists watch as their fellow Southerners advance to the wall, the Federal Cannons roar and soon the rattle of muskets is heard all along the line. The smoke fills the air as the Cannoneers look onward in hopeful interest.

Jackson moving up with the Campbell's Brigade. The "Stonewall" Brigade is to the right under the command of BG Charles Winder.

Col. J.A. Campbell advancing up the middle of the line. The Men let loose with the "Rebel Yell." as the sound begins to carry with each soldier who joins in it's chorus.

MG Banks sees the Confederate Line is close enough and orders a "Fire by Regiment." But its too late.

Turn 5. Confederate Initiative. The 48th Virginia and the 42nd Virginia of Campbell's Brigade open a volley on the Federal line. The 3rd Wisconsin is shaken by the ferocity of the musketry. M Battery managed to take cover and no one was hurt. The 4th and 5th Virginia Regiments open fire on the 29th Pennsylvania and the 27th Indiana. Both sustain losses but the Pennsylvania Regiment is shaken.
In return, The 3rd Wisconsin unleashes a devastating volley on the 48th Virginia. M battery quickly rises up and fires off their guns into the faces of the 42nd Virginia.  The 29th Pennsylvania return the exchange with the 5th Virginia. The result is serious casualties. General Winder who was nearby ordering his men to keep firing was shot off his saddle. a Bullet in his arm and his thigh. Seeing their Brigade Commander seriously wounded, the 5th Virginia retreats. The 4th Virginia fares no better off as the 27th Indiana pours it into them. they barely keep from routing and are shaken. Taliaferro's Brigade on the Confederate Left stalls. some regiments move forward and one stops. 

The battle in full effect. The sound of the "Rebel Yell" is slowly drowned out by the cannonade and musketry.


The 27th Indiana Hold the Extreme Left of the Federal Line. the smoke from the muskets makes the battlefield seem an unholy sight.

"Keep it up! Keep it on them!"

M Battery opens fire with their 10 lb parrot guns. The enemy literally melts away.

The Confederate Left Flank with BG William Taliaferro.

Turn 6. Confederate Initiative. The 37th Virginia of Taliaferro's Brigade fires on the 2nd Massachusetts Regiment. Casualties are light. Campbell's and Winder's Brigades continue to exchange volleys with the Union line. The Union line holds barely. the 29th Pennsylvania nearly routs from the line.  The Federal Regiments one by one open fire on the Confederate Aggressors. The 37th Virginia takes a sever beating and routs from the field. the 48th Virginia barely has a man left as they quit the field in turn. Both the 42nd and 2nd Virginia regiments pay in blood as they are routed as well. The 27th Indiana on the Federal right flank exhaust their ammunition into the 4th Virginia. the Volley being so sever that the 4th Virginia also retires from the field.  In the span of two turns we have 6 regiments routed. Each regiment also lost a stand of infantry which is the equivalent of 100 men per stand of infantry. 

General Jackson stares in disbelief as his division is repelled and falls back. Jackson looks over his shoulder and wonders where General Richard Taylor is?

The musketry slowly dies down as the Confederate withdrawal. Jackson suffering 60% casualties of his force decides to break off the engagement and retire from the field. 6 regiments routed, BG Winder severely wounded, 4 stands of infantry lost as well. the Losses on the Federal side are nowhere as severe. 
~AFTER ACTION REPORT~ Historically, Jackson and Ewell captured Winchester. I tried to set up the field and the soldiers positions relatively close to their real positions. I tended to group the regiments more closely to brigade formations. I have to say that the historical battle Had General Richard Taylor's Brigade move from the Valley Turnpike on the right through the woods and flank the Federals on the stone fence at the left. I didn't include Taylor's force into the battle because I thought that it would be "too easy" a battle to fight and I wanted a challenge. Well, I nailed it. The defense of the stone fence allowed the defenders to beat back a numerically superior force with little cost of life to the defenders.
The next time i attempt to fight this battle I will add Taylor's Brigade

BG Richard Taylor's  Brigade

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

for more historically authentic flavor add Scott's and Elzey's Brigades as well. Have them come onto the field by way of the Valley Turnpike starting at turn 2 or 3.

Col. William C. Scott's Brigade

54th VA Inf                   3 stands
52nd VA Inf                  3 stands
58th VA Inf                   3 stands

BG Arnold Elzey's Brigade

13th VA Inf                  3 stands
31st VA Inf                  3 stands
25th VA Inf                  3 stands
12th GA Inf                  3 stands

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Battle of First Winchester May 25, 1862: Jackson's Attack Part 1.

The First Battle of Winchester, Va. May 25, 1862.

~Orders of Battle~
Union Forces

MG Nathaniel Banks
approx 2,300 men

Col. George H. Gordon's Brigade

2nd MA Inf                        6 stands
29th PA Inf                        6 stands
27th IN Inf                        5 stands
3rd WI Inf                         6 stands
M btty 1st NY Lt Arty        3 stands        x3 10 lb parrott


Confederate Forces

MG Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson
approx 4,100 men

BG Charles Winder's  "Stonewall" Brigade

2nd VA Inf                   3 stands
4th VA Inf                   4 stands
5th VA Inf                   4 stands
27th VA Inf                 2 stands
33rd VA Inf                 3 stands

Col. J.A. Campbell's Brigade

21st VA Inf                   3 stands
42nd VA Inf                  4 stands
48th VA Inf                   4 stands
1st VA Bn Irish             2 stands

BG William Taliaferro's Brigade

10th VA Inf                  4 stands
23rd VA Inf                  3 stands
37th VA Inf                  4 stands

Poague's Battery          3 stands   x1 6 lb gun, x1 12 lb Howitzer, x1 10 lb parrot
Carpenter's Battery      2 stands   x2 3" ordnance
Cutshaw's Battery        2 stands   x1 10 lb parrot, x1 1 12lb Napoleon

After the defeat of Federal troops at Front Royal, MG. Nathaniel Banks ordered a withdrawal of his force at Staunton, Virginia. Stonewall Jackson's Cavalry harassed Bank's movement as he made his way to Winchester, Virgina. Major General Richard Ewell deployed the leading elements of his division on the Confederate right flank. and engaged Colonel Dudley Donnelly's small brigade. On the Confederate left, Major Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson deploys his division in the field south of Winchester just above the Abrams Creek.

Turn 1. Confederate Initiative. With Abrams Creek stretching from left to right just above the tree line. The Confederate force is deployed from left to right as follows. Taliaferro's Brigade, Campbell's Brigade, and Winder's Brigade. in advance of the Brigade battle line are the artillery. Carpenter's Battery, Poague's Battery, and Cutshaw's Battery. To the right of the Confederate deployment is the Valley Turnpike running into the town of Winchester which is seen at the top of the map. There is a stone fence that runs from the road on the left of the field to the Valley Turnpike on the right. The Union Deployment is from left to right, 2nd MA Inf, 3rd WI Inf, M Btty 1st Ny Artillery, 29th PA and 27th IN.
General Jackson doesn't waste time, During his phase of the turn he opens fire with his batteries along the Federal Line. The Confederate Batteries cause casualties in the Federal ranks. The Federal Battery returns fire but has no effect. Taliaferro advances his brigade on the Confederate left flank. Campbell and Winder also advance.

Winder's Brigade on the Confederate Right Flank behind Cutshaw's Battery.

MG Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson with his men.

The Federal Line deployed behind the stone fence.

MG Nathaniel P. Banks and his command
M Btty 1st NY Light Artillery

Confederate Battle line from the left flank. Taliaferro's Brigade.

Col George H. Gordon moves up and down the line encouraging his men.

MG Nathaniel Banks watches the oncoming storm.

Turn 2. Confederate Initiative.  Carpenter's Battery attempts to shell the 3rd WI. Their guns have a misfire and need to be cleared. Pogue's Battery fires on the Federal 1st NY Artillery, the shells fall short. Cutshaw's Battery fires on the 29th PA Infantry. An exploding shell sends a fragment into General Banks. He is knocked from his horse. His aide and several junior officers rush to his side. finding him unhurt, he slowly and sorely stands up reassuring everyone he is OK. he looks down and finds his sword belt buckle is dented. He climbs back on his horse slowly and resumes command. The "Near Miss" has no effect. During the Federal Phase The Federal Battery counter battery fires on Pogues Battery causing light casualties.  Taliaferro's Brigade stalls in it's advance. Campbell and Winder's Brigade moves forward.

M Btty 1st NY Light Artillery counter battery fire.

The advancing Confederate Line as seen from the Federal Line.
The Advancing Confederates have the numerical superiority. However the defending Union brigade has a solid deployment behind a stone fence. In the coming turns, there will be blood. At this point, it is still any ones game.