Sunday, May 14, 2017

Battle of Harrisonburg June 6, 1862 Good's Farm

~Orders of Battle~
Union Forces

Independent Units
approx 1,100 men

1st NJ Cav                          5 stands
42nd PA Inf                        6 stands


Confederate Forces

Col Turner Ashby
Rear Guard of T.J. Jackson's Army
approx 1,000 men

7th VA Cav                           4 stands
1st Maryland Inf (CS)          3 stands
58th VA Inf                           3 stands

Stonewall Jackson's army was in the process of withdrawing to a more suitable location for battle. Major General John C. Fremont's Army was moving to engage Jackson. In order to cover the retreat, Confederate Colonel Turner Ashby commanded the rear guard that deployed east of the town on a ridge close to Good's Farm. The 1st New Jersey Cavalry attacked Ashby's position.

Turn 1. Confederate Initiative. The  58th Va Inf and the 1st Maryland Inf (CS) are deployed on a ridge line east of Harrisonburg and across from Chestnut Ridge. The 7th VA Cav is deployed on the Port Republic Rd. The 1st NJ Cav and the 42nd PA Inf begin at the northern end of the town

7th VA Cavalry on the road heading into Harrisonburg.

The Maryland Infantry with the Virgina Infantry in line,

Colonel Turner Ashby with the  58th VA Inf.

Federal forces in Harrisonburg

Turn 2. Confederate Initiative.  Colonel Ashby and his rear guard hold the ridge line and wait. the 7th VA Cav presses forward and comes to the outskirts of Harrisonburg. The Federal forces decide to not separate and they move along the northern road out of town. 

Colonel Ashby watches and waits with his command as he sees the approaching Federal force in the distance.

The 42nd PA Inf moving forward.

Turn 3. Confederate Initiative. The 7th VA Cav enters the town. The New Jersey Cavalry and the Pennsylvania continue forward  The 42nd PA Inf move into line of battle.

Turn 4. Confederate Initiative. The Confederate Cavalry holds position in the town. both the Virginia and Maryland Regiments adjust their facing to meet the advance of the Pennsylvania Infantry. The 1st NJ Cavalry press onward past the Confederate position.

Turn 5 Federal Initiative. The 42nd PA advances up the hill. The New Jersey Cavalry go into line after flanking the Confederate position. Colonel Ashby orders his men to hold their fire.

Turn 6. Confederate Initiative. the 58th VA Inf open fire on the approaching Federal regiment. the close range of the engagement brings many casualties. The 42nd PA Inf return fire and the battle is on. The Federal Cavalry advance up the ridge to the Confederates rear.

Turn 7. Federal Initiative. The two regiments continue to exchange fire. the casualties mount up

The Virginia Regiment outnumbered by the Approaching Federals.

Turn 8. Confederate Initiative. The 58th VA Inf suffer too many casualties and break despite the presence of Col Ashby.

Turn 9. Federal Initiative. Both the federal infantry and the cavalry converge in the woods driving the Confederates backwards.

The Maryland Regiment awaits the enemy.

Turn 11. DRAW. The Federal force managed to defeat Colonel Ashby's force and drive them off the ridge. Colonel Ashby however, was able to delay the advance of MG Fremont's force. I enjoyed this battle. It was a small skirmish and moved very quickly due to the size of the forces involved. 

Historical Results~ The New Jersey Cavalry were defeated by Ashby's defense. Shortly afterward the 42nd Pen Infantry "Bucktails" attacked. During the attack, Colonel Ashby's horse was shot out from under him. As the Colonel attempted to rally  his men for a counter attack he was shot in the chest and killed.  A monument is present at the spot were he was killed. Just ten days earlier he was nominated for Brigadier General. He was promoted Posthumously. Stonewall Jackson took the death of the brave Cavalier hard. There was however little time to grieve. The Battle of Cross Keys is fought 2 days later.

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