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 left flanking force.
The center regiment has strayed into rough going.
11th Mass. attacks the main Confederate position.
The main attack by 5th Mass. and 4th Penn.
1st Minnesota defends the Federal left flank.
The Federal final attack is repulsed.
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):
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)
On to part 2 the 1861 Battles
Back to the “Grand Campaign”