The ACW Longstreet campaign starts wirth few but large units, 3 infantry, one cavalry, and a battery of artillery. As the unfolds the brigades have more and smaller infantry units and the number of artillery increases. So for the gamer the need arrises to add a few guns to the brigade.
Recently I had Dirk, a friend of mine, come over for a friendly wargame. As he is new to the hobby I chose the Longstreet rules. I think they are easy to learn and quick to grasp, if more difficult to master. I set up a crossroad in some part of the American Eastern theater of the Civil War. Both side got 5 units of 10 eager recruits and some guns, and off we went: Continue reading
The 1862 Peninsula campaign battles
#6 Defence of the stonewall at the Battle of Gaines’ Mill
5th Brigade (defender) 1st Brigade / 3rd Division (attacker)
Cocke’s Confederate brigade serves as the first line of defence against the main advance of the Union Army of Northeastern Virginia towards Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy. Hidden in the fields around Cartwright’s farm the Rebells await the Union forces who have been reported attacking along the Old Cold Harbour road towards Gain’s Mill.
The 1861 campaign battles
#3 Crossing the Young’s Branch at the Battle of Bull Run
3rd Brigade / 5th Division (attacker) 2nd Brigade (defender)
Union Colonel Blanker attempts to force a crossing of Young’s Branch at a ford near Stone House. The Confederates, waiting in partially entrenched positions, line the bank behind the river flanking the fords. The Federals attempt an attack on the centre.
Using the cover of the woods the Federals attack the Confederate centre. By pinning the Confederate regiments on the flanks they frustrate any attempty to reinforce the centre. The Union forces push over the ford in force and decimate the defenders, securing the river crossing.
Union Col. Blanker gets high recognition for his leadership (5 EP). Despite of this he is refused promotion and also receives only minimal replacements. There may be some resentment at high command for him, this German professional who just recently immigrated to the States. The brigade now comprises of 2.160 men and 5 guns (36 bases):
2nd Division, 2nd Brigade 8th New York Infantry (seasoned recruits, 7 bases) 29th New York Infantry (seasoned recruits, 7 bases) 39th New York Infantry (eager recruits, 6 bases) 27th Pennsilvania Infantry (eager recruits, 7 bases) US Cavalry Batallion, Companies A & B (eager recruits, 4 bases) US Artillery Battery, coy A (2x 6-pdr smouthbores, 1x 12-pdr howitzer) Brookwood'S New York Battery (2x light rifles)
Confederate Col. Rodes earns only little recognition (2 EP) for his unsuccessful defence of the fords. His brigade gets some replacements including an artillery battery. The new establishment is 2.340 men and 5 guns (39 bases):
2nd Brigade 5th Alabama Infantry (seasoned veterans, 7 bases, hero) 6th Alabama Infantry (seasoned recruits, 8 bases) 6th Louisiana Infantry (eager recruits, 6 bases, hero) 8th Louisiana Infantry (seasoned veterans, 7 bases) 11th North Carolina Infantry (eager recruits, 6 bases) 1st coy Washington LA artillery (2x 6-pdr smouthbores, 1x 12-pdr howitzer) 2nd coy Washington LA artillery (2x Napoleons)
The 1861 campaign battles
#2 Outflanking engagement at the Battle of the First Manassas
5th Brigade (attacker) 2nd Brigade / 2nd Division (defender)
Cocke’s Confederate brigade attacks the far left flank of the Union army. His orders are to carry the Union flank and thus to force the Union Army of Northeastern Virginia to retreat from the battle and fall back on the Union capital of Washington.
While the Federal brigade moves into a blocking position the Confederate attack is held up by difficult ground. And worse, the brigadiers staff is hit by enemy fire and looses an entire move.
While the attack of the Confederate right wing is fought to a stand still the main effort is made trough the woods. Shilded from artillery and volley fire the Confederate left wing makes good progress and repulses the opposing Union regiment.
Despite of being held up by bad going and a lucky rifle shot the Confederate brigade break through the Union centre and capture the artillery battery. This pushes the Federals past their breaking point. In the face of stiff Union opposition the Confederates earn a hard fought victory.
Confederate Col. Cocke earns his promotion to Brigadier General and receives priority for supplies in recognition (6 EP) of his relentless attack on the Union forces. His brigade receives some recruits and a fresh cavalry regiment. The new establishment now comprises of 2.220 men and 3 guns (37 bases):
5th Brigade 8th Virginia Infantry (eager recruits, 6 bases) 18th Virginia Infantry (eager recruits, 8 bases, hero) 19th Virginia Infantry (seasoned recruits, 5 bases) 28th Virginia Infantry (seasoned veterans, 7 bases) 2nd Virginia Cavalry, Companies B & D (eager recruits, 5 bases) 7th Virginia Cavalry (eager recruits, 3 bases) Loudoun Battery Virginia Artillery (2x 6-pdr smouthbores, 1x 12-pdr howitzers)
Union Col. Burnside put up a stubborn defence of the army’s left wing. Relying heavily upon his brigade’s artillery and infantry fire he preserved the fighting powerof his command. This is seen as not so much inspiring but rather professional approach to leadership (3 EP). For his competent leadership he is breveted Brigadier General.
His command gets minimal replacements and now can muster 2.160 men and 4 guns (36 bases):
2nd Division, 2nd Brigade 1st New Hampshire Infantry (seasoned recruits, 6 bases) 2nd New Hampshire Infantry (seasoned veterans, 6 bases) 71st New York Infantry (eager recruits, 4 bases) 1st Rhode Island Infantry (eager recruits, 7 bases, Old Reliables) 2nd Rhode Island Infantry (eager recruits, 7 bases) US Cavalry Batallion, Companies E & F (eager recruits, 4 bases) 2nd Rhode Island Artillery Battery (2x light rifles)
On to part 3
Since long I have fancied to play a American Civil War “Grand Campaign” using the LONGSTREET rules by Sam Mustaffa. When a small wargaming convention came along last weekend I took the opportunity and incented some of my fellow wargamers to take a side in the occasional face to face battle. Unawares, they were the protagonists of the first campaign battles of newly created brigades.
This “Grand Campaign” is set in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. The starting ORBAT is the same with all brigades:
4 regiments of infantry, 1 company of cavalry , aa artillery battery.
The 1861 campaign battles
#1 Engagement at the Manassas Gap Railroad at Battle of the First Manassas
1st Brigade / 3rd Division (attacker) 6th Brigade (defender)
Federal Col. William B. Franklin is to attack CSA Col. Holmes’ Confederates positioned behind the embankment of the Manassas Gap railroad. The Federal brigadier intends to pin the defenders frontally and carry the embankment by enveloping the right flank. This should make the position untenable for the Rebell defenders.
The Federal attack on the railroad embankment is met with heavy artillery and mini fire followed by a timely counterattack by the Confederate brigade. The Federal brigade suffers heavy casualties, espacially the 11th Massachusetts and the 4th Pennsilvania Infantry Regiments. Col. Franklin decides that his heavily struck brigade needs to break off the attack and to reform. The Confederates stay in possession of the railroad embankment and thus win the day. A close Confederate victory.
Confederate Col. Holmes earns a lot of praise (5 EP) for his gallant defence, earning him an appointment as a Brigadier General from Confederate President Jefferson Davies. His depleated command receives generous replacements including a new veteran unit. Now its establishment comprises 2.760 men and 6 guns (46 bases):
6th Brigade 1st Arkansas Infantry (eager veterans, 6 bases) 15th Arkansas Infantry (seasoned veterans, 9 bases) 1st Louisiana Battalion (eager recruits, 8 bases, hero) 2nd Tennessee Infantry (eager recruits, 10 bases) 4th South Carolina Infantry (eager recruits, 8 bases) 2nd Virginia Cavalry, Companies A & I (eager recruits, 2 bases) Purcell Battery Virginia Artillery (2x 6-pdr smouthbores, 1x 12-pdr howitzers)
Despite of the failed attack on the Rebell positions Union Col. Franklin receives quite a lot of recognition (4 EP) for his battlefield prowess. As the Union is wanting for commanding generals who carry the fight to the Rebells, the high casualty rate in his brigade is actually understood as an indication of a good fighting spirit. For this the newspapers give him much credit for his inspiring leadership (+5 EP) making him very popular in the public.
He is appointed brevet Brigadier General. His brigade receives some replacements and a unit of veteran infantry is transfered bringing the brigade’s establishment to 2.220 men and 6 guns (37 bases):
3rd Division / 1st Brigade 5th Massachusetts Vol. Infantry (seasoned veterans, 6 bases, Old Reliables) 11th Massachusetts Vol. Infantry (seasoned recruits, 7 bases, hero) 1st Minnesota Vol. Infantry (seasoned recruits, 5 bases) 4th Pennsilvania Vol. Infantry (eager recruits, 7 bases) 14th Pennsilvania Vol. Infantry (seasoned veterans, 6 bases) US Cavalry Battalion, Companies C to D (eager recruits, 3 bases) 1st US Artillery, Company I (2x 6-pdr smouthbores, 1x 12-pdr howitzers)