Saturday, June 29, 2013

Gettysburg Day 1.5

It very late and we start nice and early again tomorrow so just a quick report and a lot of pictures.

We jumbled up the formations so at R.E. Lee I had Pickett come on table first for the Rebs.  Facing us was Buford's cavalry and the rapidly moving V Corps.  A series of cavalry charges typically ended in defeat or destruction for the cavalry it allowed the Union infantry to press dangerously.  The arrival of Hood's division on another road took of some of the pressure and as Ewell put in an appearance threatening the town of Gettysburg the Confederates slowly drove the Union forces back and effectively destroyed a division.  More and more Union forces began coming on table and with no sign of A. P. Hill both sides welcomed nightfall to regroup, dig in and receive reinforcements.

With daylight and after an intense discussion among the senior Confederate commanders, we decided to continue the attack.  Ewell's three divisions would strike through captured Gettysburg and off Seminary Ridge to try and take Cemetery and Culp's Hill.  Longstreet, minus Hood, would hold the center, with all his corps artillery and the ANV artillery supporting Ewell's attack by pounding the mass of Yankee guns and infantry on the heights.  Meanwhile A. P. Hill with the attachment of Hood would strip for the ground from the Peach Orchard down to Big Round Top, or even the on table Black Cat Hill.

Enjoy the pictures for now, tomorrow morning we pick up halfway through day 2 of the battle.

End of Day One.  Starting positions for Day Two.

The heights of Cemetery Hill have changed hands three times so far.  A lucky charge has routed off several regiments and batteries, and the massed Confederate artillery has done good work, though the largest battalion has run out of ammunition.  There are still four Yankee corps uncommitted so this General Lee is not overly optimistic about the morrow.  And where is Stuart!? 

A finishing report in a couple of days after I decompress.  Thanks for viewing.


Friday, June 28, 2013

Gettysburg - Day Zero

Tonight we set up for our weekend Mega-Game of Gettysburg in 15mm using Johnny Reb III at the American Legion Hall in Appleton, WI.  A lot of planning and work has gone into this game with 14 players from two states participating.  Much of the credit goes to Dan Wideman for being the driving force behind getting it going and doing all the planning.  The pictures speak for themselves.  Hopefully another post tomorrow night after a day of gaming.


As Bobby Lee I shall attempt to rewrite history, but all of us will remember the gallants who came together in bloody conflict.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Battle of Dansville Ridge 1863

As the Union forces begin to move south in our late 1863 the "Battling Bishop" Polk must give battle once more against his nemesis George "Rock of Chickamagua" Thomas.  Polk has picked a good position to defend.  A high ridge line dominates the battlefield and he has dug in there with a series of hasty works.  On his right a chest deep stream will delay and disorder the enemy.  Only on his left is the ground less defensible so a significant portion of his troops are placed there.

The quiet before the storm of battle

General Thomas finds himself with a brigade of cavalry and a division forward and the other two divisions under his command trailing behind.  Giving short and vague orders, the battle develops that the lead division will pin the entrenched Rebs while the cavalry probes the Reb right (Union left) and the main body attacks to the right of the ridge.

It is always dangerous to assume that the enemy must sit on the defensive and so it was when a heavily support brigade of Rebs came screaming down the heights and quickly put to rout or destroyed in melee the better part of a Yankee brigade. 

On the Union right the attack was slow to develop because of the necessity of crossing many fields and fences.  However, unexpectedly the Rebs aided the attack by moving out to meet the Union forces.  Total numbers were 29 regiments and six batteries for the Rebs, with 36 regiments of infantry and 4 of cavalry with 9 batteries for the Yankees.

A spirited counter-attack on the Union left stabilized the front and sent the Reb packing back up the ridge.  Had things been a bit kinder for the Rebs they might have seriously compromised the Union position and ability to attack but fate (dice) intervened.

On the Union right the superior numbers of Yankees quickly made the Reb position difficult, but the local commander persevered with his attack, even though the Yankees were working onto his flank.  Both sides chose to largely group their guns in one position and engage in long range fire. 

Grand view of the table

The battle quickly came to an end as a charge by the 11th Michigan and 19th Illinois against the weakened Rebs to their front quickly broke through.  Had the roll of the dice been better the whole of the Reb left might have been rolled up but as it was, it was immediately apparent that Polk, with his left in chaos and his right being moved on by the Union cavalry that he must break off the engagement.  With the damage to the lead Union division and the tangling terrain still slowing the Union forces that he would be able to break off an affair with comparatively light casualties.  After the disasters in previous engagements the Union cavalry was not anxious to follow closely.  time to fall back to a new position and look for an opportunity to strike at an isolated Union division or two.

Charge results

Ending charge position

Discouraging view from the Rebel lines

This was a warm-up game for our group in anticipation of the mega-game of Gettysburg to be held on the weekend.  Rules used are Johnny Reb III with a couple of optional rules.  Watch for game reports on that 14 player extravaganza.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


I haven't had many gaming opportunities till recently, but in exchange I've done some historic reenacting.  First up with the Klash on the Kankakee in IL with the NorthWest Territorial Alliance (NWTA) in the 55th RoF.  Click to enlarge pictures.

Over the course of the weekend we drilled a great new with a new recruit in the ranks and still relatively new me; set a camp guard to interact with the public; dispersed malcontents and those who would spread sedition; and engaged the rebel mobs in pitched battle.

No "Common Sense" here

The interaction with the public became rather spirited at one point, with a non-reenactor from the crowd urging the assembled masses to rise up in revolt while the children pelted us with bread.  I was not amused...

Next up with the Days of Napoleon reenactment in Belvidere, IL.  It is supposed to be the "all up" event for the Brigade Napoleon and other like-minded individuals.  It turned out to be more of a Midwestern event, but my thanks to those who came long distances to support us, as we do when the event is held on the east coast.

We set up in a fine campsite with the French and Coalition troops separated by a wood line.  Out of sight but still close enough to make visiting after hours easy.  Over the weekend, despite being dogged by intermittent rain and heat, we set up a nice military camp; engaged in some serious drill with the larger numbers present; beat the Coalition in two out of three; and enjoyed our Regimental Fete where we observe the Emperor's birthday and remind our unit of how we got our battle motto.  After the private Fete we hosted a reception for the camp and period dance rounded out Saturday night.

About to sound "la Diane" and rouse the men

21eme Regiment de Ligne plus a Old Guardsman

3eme Cuirassiers

(Prussians not pictured)

Good times at the Ox Bow Tavern

All in all a splendid weekend with good work, good fun, good friends and a chance to honor and remember those whom we attempt to recreate.