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Civil War Campaign: Union

Civil War Campaign: Union

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Project Blog by elessar2590

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About the Project

Welcome to the Union Side of my Sharp Practice Campaign! Here we'll follow the exploits of two New York Officers as they lead their men in an attempt to slow down the Rebel forces pursuing the Union army after the Battle of Bull Run (That's Manassas to you dirty Reb's sneaking around in here). Without further ado I take you to Virginia, The United States of America, Late July 1861.

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Recovering from the Setback

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One of our forces has suffered a minor setback but this is far from over.

Marshall’s men fell back into the town and began constructing defences hoping to deter rather than defeat the Confederates.

On the other Flank Lewis pulls back into a small farm where he prepares his men to receive the Confederate attack.

As he arrived at the farm dark clouds came over the horizon and all through the night the downpour continued.

As the first Confederates came into view the rain hadn’t slowed at all and both sides knew this battle would come down to cold steel rather than hot lead.

Marshall on the LeftMarshall on the Left
Marshall on the LeftMarshall on the Left

The Waiting Game: Part Two

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Full disclosure I'll have to split these reports in half due to the 12 component limit on Projects, I'm not trying to farm up votes or keep anyone in suspense. :) 

marshall’s men are in full retreat, Allen’s skirmishers are holding the Confederate line and the threat of flanking fire is keeping the Rebels where they are for the moment.

Marshall now gives the order for Burnett to move his men forward and hit the Confederate’s in the flank while he rallied his own men for a frontal attack of his own.

What could go wrong?

DISASTER. This was one round of shooting! 8 men killed plus Lieutenant Allen and a pile of shock.DISASTER. This was one round of shooting! 8 men killed plus Lieutenant Allen and a pile of shock.

The Confederate’s on the flank suddenly launched their attack. Leaping over the fence they delivered a crashing volley into Allen’s Skirmishers taking out two thirds of the men, wounding Allen and sending the rest in a total rout which, thanks to some help from the Confederate Skirmishers, sent them straight into Burnett’s men who took a giant pile of excess shock (units who are moved through by fleeing friendly units take any excess shock) leaving them essentially useless to their commander.

Turning PointTurning Point
No longer fearing enfilading fire the Confederates surge forward and send Marshall's men into a rout, the Skirmishers were particularly agile this game.No longer fearing enfilading fire the Confederates surge forward and send Marshall's men into a rout, the Skirmishers were particularly agile this game.

Seeing no hope of victory Burnett ordered his men to retreat. The Confederate’s allowed the Union troops to slink away content with the damage they’d already inflicted and not wanting to take further unnecessary casualties.

So the battle ended with:.

6 Union Skirmishers Fit for Duty

1 Union Skirmisher wounded

1 Union Skirmisher Dead

6 Union Men from Marshall’s Formation Fit for Duty

8 Union Men from Marshall’s Formation Wounded

4 Union Men from Marshall’s Formation Dead

Lieutenant Allen Wounded and Captured. His wounds were not life threatening

So that’s the Game play portion of the Campaign now we move on to the Role Playing Section.

Marshall is furious at Burnett. His men quit the field without firing a shot and Marshall blames Burnett for both his own and Allen’s losses.

As a consequence Burnett may not influence any men besides his own. He can’t take off shock, give orders or take over command. This ceases if Marshall is ever taken out of action during a Battle.

Also Burnett’s men are eager to prove that they aren’t cowards. If they are stationary for an activation and within line of sight of the enemy then they have to make a “Treasure Roll”. In Sharp Practice if a unit is near a pay chest, wagon of loot or some other “temptations” they have to make a “Treasure Roll” which represents the men’s propensity for looting. The better the men’s training the less likely they are to loot.

Burnett’s men will fail the test on a 1-3 and if they fail they must make a move 1d6 forwards. Burnett’s men also do not take the shock penalty to their movement when moving towards the an enemy. If they have 5 shock and roll a 6 for their movement they will move 6 inches rather than 1 inch like a normally unit would.

The Union troops fell back to the nearby town. Will the Confederate’s root them out of the town or attempt to bypass them and cut them off from the rest of the Union forces?

Competition Time

Let’s have a little fun. At the end of every Battle Report I’m gojng to include a little Trivia section. The first person to answer the question correctly will earn a point, who ever has the most points at the end of the campaign wins a certificate of accomplishment. Put it on your resume or something no one ever checks those things anyway. 🙂

First up a two part question. Two points up for grabs.

Who is the Confederate in this picture? Nickname/AKA/Real Name are all viable.

Which Battle is this picture depicting?

Hint: The actual event pictured here happened at night but the artist has depicted it during the day for artistic reasons.

Stone Wall, Confederate carrying multiple canteens, what’s that in the union soldier’s kepi?

Good Luck, and thanks for reading.

The Waiting Game: Part Two

The Waiting Game: Part One

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The Skirmish at the Bridge?

As Union troops filed into the three house village that lay on their side of the river they observed the Confederate positions. The Confederates were hastily searching for a viable ford by which they could cross the river, the bridge that was marked on their maps had been destroyed.

Captain Marshall observed their activity for the better part of the afternoon until at 4pm the Confederates abandoned their search for a crossing position elsewhere and opted to wade through the river and take his brave Union boys head on.

The battle after a few turns of maneuvering, the union got a raw deal and were forced to use flags for most of the activation's in the first four or so turns. The battle after a few turns of maneuvering, the union got a raw deal and were forced to use flags for most of the activation's in the first four or so turns.

Two things.

First these photo’s are staged but nothing in them is staged. I only had the idea to do this Campaign as a project in the last few turns and so we hadn’t taken any real pictures. These battles happened as you see them, luckily deaths, moments of bravery/cowardice and other meaningful events were all meticulously recorded for the campaign anyway so this isn’t a huge hurdle.

Secondly the table shown is only half the table, there was an extra two feet behind the Union players with fields and houses but it played no part in the game so was omitted for obvious reasons.

The Confederate Player had to cross the river but didn’t want to take on the Union troops dug into their positions in daylight. So I decided to give the Union player a choice, fight a defensive night battle or take the fight to the enemy by moving their deployment point forward the the sunken road. Wanting to get stuck in as soon as possible the Union player opted to make the crossing well and truly opposed.

The view that Captain Marshall had. The view that Captain Marshall had.

The Union skirmishers clambered up the sunken road and screened the rest of the company as Captain Marshall lead a force to oppose the main landing while Lieutenant Bernett held the second formation in reserve behind the sunken road and out of line of sight of the enemy. Bernett was ready to either oppose the Confederate Flankers or reinforce Marshall’s men if things turned sour.

Marshall's men on the Right, Burnett in the Centre while Allen took the Skirmishers forward. The Engineers were not used in this battle.Marshall's men on the Right, Burnett in the Centre while Allen took the Skirmishers forward. The Engineers were not used in this battle.

Allen’s men took up position on the “Rocky Knoll” and traded fire with the Confederate Skirmishers. Marshall’s men moved to take up position in front of the fence hoping to screen their flank with the rocky knoll and prevent the Confederate flankers from hitting them with enfilading fire.

Riflemen on the Knoll and Marshall's men on the marchRiflemen on the Knoll and Marshall's men on the march

As the Confederate’s started to cross the river Marshall began to deploy his men into a line. His men were not fast enough and a Confederate Volley inflicted both kills and shock on their unit.

Marshall rallied his men into a line and they fired their own volley at the Confederate’s who proceeded to charge them. With fewer numbers, lower moral and unloaded muskets Marshall’s men were thrown back.

Only Burnett could save the union now.

The Confederates then stormed the river with surprising speed and caught Marshall's men with a murderous volleyThe Confederates then stormed the river with surprising speed and caught Marshall's men with a murderous volley
Burnett's men in the formation they spent most of the battle in. To their Right Marshall leads his men forward.Burnett's men in the formation they spent most of the battle in. To their Right Marshall leads his men forward.

Contact!

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Our Brave Union Men continue onwards towards the rebel foe

Marshall on the LeftMarshall on the Left
Marshall on the LeftMarshall on the Left
Marshall on the LeftMarshall on the Left
Contact!

Marshall continues his trek along the road travelling through a nearby town much to the elation of the town’s residence.

Lewis meanwhile was was cut off from his line of retreat by a Confederate force who occupied a village that Union troops had quickly bypassed.

Not wanting to give the Confederates and breathing room Marshall seized the opportunity and deployed his troops on the far side of the river to oppose any Confederate crossing. The river didn’t turn out to be as significant an obstacle as was previously thought.

Where Did I Leave That Map?

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The First Three Moves of The Union Forces

Union Starting Positions. Marshall on the LeftUnion Starting Positions. Marshall on the Left

Both Forces decide to follow the roads rather than risk getting stuck in the woods or swamps that they saw during their retreat.

Union Turn Two. Marshall on the LeftUnion Turn Two. Marshall on the Left

The Players cannot see any more than I allow them to see and they don’t know where their allies are just to make it interesting.

There’s a “Fog of War” aspect where the players will not be able to actually see each other beyond a certain range.

Marshall’s Force consists of:

Leader Status III          (Marshall)

Four Groups of 8 Infantry, Rifled Muskets 

Leader Status II            (Bernett)                                    

Three Groups of 8 Infantry, Rifled Muskets 

Leader Status II            (Allen)                                       

Two Groups of 6 Skirmishers, Rifled Muskets 

Engineers with Cart

 

Lewis’ Force consists of:

Leader Status III     (Lewis)

Three Groups of 8 Infantry, Rifled Muskets 

Leader Status II       (Bellamy)                                        

Two Groups of 8 Infantry, Rifled Muskets  

Leader Status II       (Hungerford)

Two Groups of 8 Infantry, Rifled Muskets

Leader Status I            (O’Reilly)                                

Two Groups of 6 Skirmishers, Rifled Muskets  

Mule Train 

Union Third Turn. Marshall on the Left. The two forces came extremely close but just missed seeing each otherUnion Third Turn. Marshall on the Left. The two forces came extremely close but just missed seeing each other

Introducing the Forces

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Let's Meet Our Heroes Shall We?

Welcome!

It’s 1861 and following our Valiant Defeat at Bull Run the Army has some serious work to do.

Unfortunately they can’t do it while Jonny Reb is breathing down their necks so we’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Brothers Marshall and Lewis Rutherford each lead a Company of Men from the 69th Regiment and, unbeknownst to one another, are tasked with delaying the Confederates for as long as practicable.

They’re both the sons of an impoverished New York State Legislator who managed to get them both Commissioned as Captain’s in the 69th based on their Irish background (His Great-Great Grandfather was Irish he thinks).

Accompanying Captain Marshall T. Rutherford are his two trusted Lieutenants Elliot P. Barnett and William J. Allen.

Lieutenant Elliot P. BarnettLieutenant Elliot P. Barnett

Barnett is the son of a recently deceased bankrupt New York industrialist who joined the Army to give him an excuse to get of New York for a while, he’s a brilliant horseman, stunningly hansom and incredibly charming.

Back Left: Captain Marshall T. Rutherford, Lieutenant  William J. Allen Front Left: Captain Lewis H. Rutherford, Lieutenant Lawrence T. Bellamy, Lieutenant Howard D. HungerfordBack Left: Captain Marshall T. Rutherford, Lieutenant William J. Allen Front Left: Captain Lewis H. Rutherford, Lieutenant Lawrence T. Bellamy, Lieutenant Howard D. Hungerford

William J. Allen is the son of a career staff officer who encouraged him to enlist at West Point prior to the war. Before he could complete his training however war were declared and he left early to join the 69th.

 

Accompanying Lewis Rutherford are Lieutenants Lawrence T. Bellamy and Howard D. Hungerford.

Both were officers in the 69th prior to the war who’s careers took a hit when they sided with their Colonel during the infamous Prince of Wales affair.

Introducing the Forces

Accompanying them are Sergeants Eugene Thackery (Marshall) and Patrick O’Reilly.

Both men were in the Regiment pre-war, O’Rielly landed in New York two Years ago while Thackery liked to frequent a certain Irish pub and just woke up one day in a uniform.

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