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Monday, April 28, 2014


Hi Guys
The post sees me posting a continuation of the LONGSTREET CAMPAIGN Stan and I started last week.
Want to know more of the previous engagment?  YOU CAN SEE DETAILS HERE!
It's now June 1862 and following the Union's victory at Tamera Run Colonel Rawlin's brigade has received their replacements and reinforcements and have pursued the Confederates into some fertile farmland.
Thanks to the addition of the US 6th Cavalry to the Union brigade and some good intelligence work Colonel (COL) Rawlin has been able to chose the tactical stance for this engagement.
"Given the enemy's superiority in artillery and willingness to use the bayonet I've decided to take the initiative men".
The gathered council of war gathered in closer to COL Rawlin's table.
"With the superiority in horse we have I'm confident we will be able to position ourselves in a way to get a localised advantage and break the Reb's line. The numerous standing crops should enable us to close with the enemy without suffering too much from their small arms fire. I want the new men from the 1st Maine and the Marines to be the main effort. I know they have been the butt of a few jibes from some other men for not seeing any action at the Run in the case of the Leathernecks and the fact the Maine men joined us after the battle. Today they'll be able to show the rest of the brigade what they can do. The Fire Zouaves and the Red Legs will cover our right. and support the main assault.
I want the cavalry to mass on the left. If you see a chance to take out an isolated enemy battalion feel free to do so but I expect that you will ensure the left flank of the main effort goes in un-molested. The Battery will provide as much fire support for the attack as possible. Keep it hot and keep it pouring in. I need our boys supported as much as possible. They are Green, but the Rebs are pretty green also. I will not wish you luck men as I don't believe in luck. If God will's it we will be triumphant".

I probably should have fought this battle more defensively however the Confederate superiority in Artillery (3 bases to my two) and the fact he had a Rifle in the mix suggested he might be able to sit back and simply pepper me with is guns. I also wanted to close with the Rebs rather than have them close with me as the 'Rebel Yell' can be devastating to deal with.
I was pleased with my efforts on my right flank. The 11th New York really gave the Rebs hell, but I just couldn't catch a break elsewhere. At least a 'HERO' emerged in the ranks of the Marines so it will be fun painting a 'character' figure for the Brave Marine Junior Officer!
In short, this was my battle of Antietam.
From the Confederate perspective I'll let Stan explain:
The confederate plan was to wait behind the corn fields and fire on the union troops as they charged. All the while I just planed to hold on the left and right. This worked, but I was getting worried about the artillery losses and the 8th NC being shot up so charged in the middle and keep pushing until the Union forces reached break point.
Both my Commander (COL Rawlin) and Stan's commander COL Fransworth III were successful in gaining promotion. Now we both have Brigadier Generals leading our forces.
The UNION ORBAT now looks like this:
11th NY Fire Zouaves: seasoned Veterans 6 bases

14th Brooklyn: seasoned Recruits 4 bases

1st Marines: eager recruits 6 bases HERO!

1st Michigan Volunteer Cavalry: eager recruits 2 bases

5th US Artillery Company. 2 bases (1 6pdr gun & 1 Howitzer)

1st Maine Hvy Arty: eager recruits 7 bases

6th US Cavalry: eager recruits 5 bases

? Infantry: eager recruits 10 bases
? Infantry: eager recruits 6 base
? Artillery Company. 2 bases (2 x Howitzer)
(note) ? = still to be named.
Total EPs 6
Promoted to 2 Eagles (Brigadier General).
My man has 6 'EPIC' points  and Stan's chap has 7.
This Battle is also the first one where I posted the AAR using a COMIC BOOK style. I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts. Does it work? Does it look good? Is it better presented than my previous AARs?
Comments on this and anything else you might want to share welcomed.
ALL ARTWORK is by Don Troiani.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Longstreet Campaign Begins!

Finally I've got around to launching into a LONGSTREET Campaign.
My good friend Stan whom I've had many a MAURICE battle with (as you would have seen if you've followed the AARs on this blog) has agreed to be my opponent for the campaign.
I chose to be 'For The Union' and Stan obviously is the Confederate commander.
Before I begin an account of our first battle I'll list our ORBATS and some details on our respective 'Alter-Egos / Characters / Commanders.

Union Forces:
Rawlins's Brigade
Commanded By: Colonel Joseph Rawlin
11th New York Volunteers 'Fire Zouaves' 
14th Brooklyn 'Brooklyn Chasseurs' (Plus Two Companies from the 146th Zouaves)
Washington Marine Battalion (Plus Two Companies from the 74th Zouaves)
1st Michigan Volunteer Cavalry
5th United States Artillery 
All are EAGER RECRUITS with 10 BASES except for the Cavalry which have 8 BASES.
The ARTILLERY has 3 BASES; 2 Six Pounders and 1 Howitzer

Confederate Forces:
Detached 'North Carolina' Brigade from A.P.Hills Corp
Commanded By: ?
4th North Carolina
6th North Carolina
8th North Carolina
5th North Carolina Cavalry
Andrew's Maryland Battery.
All are EAGER RECRUITS with 10 BASES except for the Cavalry which have 8 BASES.
The ARTILLERY has 3 BASES; 2 Six Pounders and 1 Howitzer

July 20, 1861.
"The boys are holding up well. The march from Washington has been a good introduction to the rigors of war". Captain Puller commented to Major Richards, the commanding Officer of the U.S. Marine Battalion.
"Given how green they are they are doing better than I expected. None have fallen out and given all the dust we're chocking on its a small miracle. Being last in the line of march isn't what I expected either. Following in the wake of State amateurs! Who would have thought it"?
Ahead of the leathernecks trudged the Westerners of the 5th Michigan Volunteer Cavalry followed closely by the 11th New York 'Fire Zouaves' and the 5th Troop United States Artillery, the only other 'Regulars' in Rawlin's Brigade. 
Just in front of the Marines were the men of the 14th Brooklyn Infantry or the 'Red Legs' as they were being called.
The Brigade was under orders to cross the Tamera Run, a small easily fordable creek and seize and secure the Federal Armory at Harrysville before it fell into the Confederate's hands.
Unknown to them a Confederate Brigade of similar strength was heading directly for the same objective.

The Union Brigade was under command of Colonel Joseph Rawlin. Born in Virginia in 1816. The first born son into a family of  Cotton growers and slave owners he showed an interest in the Military and was accepted to VMI in 1835. He graduated 10th in his class and was appointed to be an Artillery Officer. He served in the Mexican American War where he gained a reputation as a very proficient gunner. He earned a brevet promotion to Captain at the Battle of Monterrey whilst serving in  Duncan's Battery. After the war with Mexico Joseph served in a number of posts as an Artillery officer.
In 1857 Joseph served under the command of Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, commander of the US expedition that was sent to confront the Mormons.
At the conclusion of that expedition Joseph remained in the Utah Territory after meeting the strikingly beautiful Miss Raechel Harrywards, the daughter of a local blacksmith. They married and his new bride convinced Joseph to converted to Mormonism. Joseph soon became an influential member of the Salt Lake community and became a very successful sheep grazier.
In 1859 Joseph joined the Narvoo Legion with the rank of Captain.
When war between the states appeared inevitable Joseph returned east and was initially offered a commission within the Virginian Militia as an Artillery Major but his loyalty was to the Union. He traveled to New York and due to connections he had in the statehouse was given the rank of Colonel and command of a Brigade of predominately New York troops. His efforts in arranging the mustering of a future 'Mormon' Battalion of at least 1000 men went some way in helping to secure the military appointment, as did his very public stance on abolition and reputation as a successful officer and war hero.

Now the Union forces were closing in on their objective.
As the splashed across the clear cool creek known at Tamera Run a scout road up to Colonel (COL) Rawli with a report that rebel Cavalry and Infantry were ahead and were aware of the Federal troops presence.
"We will deploy our artillery on the road ahead! Between the small hill and that standing crop of corn. All units will deploy to the left of the battery except for the Marines! They will deploy in line to the right. I expect it will take the Rebs some time to get through those trees over yonder and when they do the young Leathernecks will hold them long enough. The Red Legs will move around to our left and drive the enemy's flank in. I want the Cavalry to cover their movement and then provide fire support when the attack goes in! The Fire Zouaves will cover the battery! Questions? MOVE OUT"!
ABOVE: Both My forces and Stan's troops 'Off Table' preparing to enter the fray.
BELOW: Details on my 'Character' COL Joseph Rawlin

The Battle commenced with my troops hurrying onto the Battlefield. The 5th US Artillery are deploying on the Harrysville Turnpike. Along side the battery is the 11th NYVI. The 1st Michigan Cavalry are moving off to the left screening the 14th Brooklyn. The US Marines are still to arrive.

The Federal Artillery was soon in action and had the privilege of firing the first shot of the battle, and accurate they were. The Confederate cavalry suffering early losses from the Yankee gunner's fire.
The Rebs deployed their artillery almost directly opposite the Union battery and concentrated primarily on counter-battery fire. The union gunners however were determined to reduce the threat from the enemies cavalry.
The bulk of the 'Tar Heels' Infantry started to move through the woods, apparently to either 'claim them' or maybe attack the union Right flank.  

The US Marines deployed in a line to cover Rawlin's Right flank. 
Meanwhile the Michigan horsemen dismounted after discovering some very heavy swampy ground . The 11th NYVI (Fire Zouaves) advanced to threaten the dismounted Rebel Cavalry but halted just short of the boggy ground. The Union gunners ploughed shot and shell into both the Rebel cavalry and the Reb infantry on the right of the Confederate Battery. They did a fair deal of damage to both units but the Gunners from Andrew's Maryland Battery finally got the Yankees range and two 6 Pounders were reduce to trash.

Undeterred by the swamp, the Michigan Cavalrymen, now with the 'Red Legs' up in support on their left advanced on the enemies Right flank.
Suddenly a scream emanated from the Tar Heels as the Rebel infantry cam screaming forward to engage both the 1st Michigan and the 14th Brooklyn. The Michigan Cavalrymen held firm by the men from Brooklyn were pushed back.
The Reb infantry recoiled, and between staggering volleys from the Michigan and Brooklyn troops continued to launch attacks with the bayonet.  

With the Confederate Cavalry and Infantry on the left now heavily engaged the gunners from the 5th US Artillery now fired on their tormentors in Andrew's Maryland Battery and repaid their accurate gunnery with the same and destroyed two of the rebel guns (1 Base). 
The Rebs attempted two more assaults with the bayonet, but one of the charges failed to get going.

 A final charge did go in, but it was repelled and the survivors were shot down to the man by merciless fire into their rear from the Michigan cavalry. At the same tome the last of the Rebel cavalry was shot down.

At this point the Confederate commander ordered a general withdrawal.
First blood to the Union forces.
Both sides finished the battle with three Epic Points. The Union gained one for the Victory. The Confederates gained on for the suicidal bravery of the Reb Infantry ant their repeated charges on superior numbers.
At the conclusion of the Battle my ORBAT now looks like this (Due to Battle Losses, camp sickness and fevers and Reinforcements.
Union Forces:
Rawlins's Brigade
Commanded By: Colonel Joseph Rawlin
11th New York Volunteers 'Fire Zouaves' 7 BASES Seasoned Recruits
14th Brooklyn 'Brooklyn Chasseurs' 6 BASES Seasoned Veterans
Washington Marine Battalion 8 BASES Eager Recruits
1st Michigan Volunteer Cavalry 5 BASES Eager Recuits
5th United States Artillery 2 BASES 1 Howitzer, 1 6 Pounder
Due to the debacle at Bull Run, Washington has decided to send Artillerymen from the 1st Main Heavy Artillery to serve as Infantry
1st Maine Heavy Artillery 10 BASES Eager Recruits
6th US Cavalry 6 BASES Eager Recruits

We have managed to gain some intelligence on the enemy (Broken Code card) so will have a slight advantage in scouting the next engagement and Washington has made Rawlin's Brigade a supply priority (4 Dummy Cards next battle).

I'll add further details on Stan's force once he has emailed it to me.
The next battle should take place very soon!
Feel free to leave a comment.

Monday, April 14, 2014

US Marines for Longstreet

 Hi All
Sorry for the long break between posts, but 'real life' stuff keeps getting in the way.
Anyway, continuing on with the 'LONGSTEET' theme I thought I thoughts I'd share my latest completed unit. An eight based US MARINES battalion.
I'm quite taken with the Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) and having served on several occasions with the US Marines I was very interested in producing the unit for my LONGSTREET collection.
The Marines sometimes look upon First Bull Run as a blemish on a particularly impressive war record but I'm of the opinion they have been judged harshly in regards to this particular engagement.
You can find an interesting article of the Marines performance at First Bull Run HERE
 As for this particular unit I used PERRY MINIATURES codes ACW 30 and 31 which are actually Confederates in Frock Coats but these were the closest I could get to what the US Marine Battalion would have been wearing at the battle.
The Flag ( a single National Colour) is from THE FLAG DUDE whom I can't recommend highly enough. These flags are outstanding and well worth the money.
ABOVE AND BELOW: My US MARINES using Perry Miniatures. Behind them you will notices another Federal unit. They are the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery deployed as infantry. I'll post more about them later.

I've based them 3 or 4 to a 40mm square base.
Here is an excerpt from the link I've provided covering the Marines efforts at First Bull Run.

"When several of the Federal units that had been driven from the hill finally regained composure, an attack was launched to recover the captured artillery. The 14th Brooklyn took the lead, followed, as Col Porter later said, "in fine style" by the Marine battalion. Other regiments fell in behind. Gaining the crest of the hill near the wreckage of Ricketts' battery, the rejuvenated Union troops took the Confederates under fire, driving them back across the plateau and into the pinewoods beyond.
The attack swept toward the position held by the Virginia brigade commanded by BGen Thomas J. Jackson. As the swell of the assault neared the thicket of pines, the 4th and 27th Virginia Infantry Regiments opened fire. An instant before the Virginians fired, the 14th dropped to the ground, and the Marines took the full effect of the volley. They wavered for a moment, but quickly recovered.

Pressing forward with the Brooklyn troops, now on their feet, the Marines plunged into the pines. Rebel fire intensified, and the attack began to falter. Reynolds was quickly in their midst, raining expletives on all within earshot. Lieutenant Colonel Edward W. Fowler of the 14th recalled Reynolds using "language more forcible than pious," but his efforts to hold the Marines went in vain. The entire line collapsed, and the broken remnants of the second assault force ran back across the plateau and down the hill to safety.
As the Confederates took up the pursuit, Daniel M. Conrad, surgeon of the 2d Virginia Infantry, surveyed the bloody aftermath of the fight. His account, published in the Southern Historical Society Papers in 1891, proved the determination of the Marines to break the Confederate line. "The green pines were filled with the 79th Highlanders and the red-- breeched Brooklyn Zouaves, but the only men that were killed and wounded twenty or thirty yards behind and in the rear of our lines were the United States Marines."

The Marines again rallied at the crossroads and, after reforming, charged back up Henry Hill in support of an assault led by the 69th New York Infantry. After making some headway, the Marines and the New York Irishmen were driven back by the counterattack of the 8th and 18th Virginia".
Please feel free to leave any comments.