Miniatures Antietam - The Miller Cornfield wargame

Hannover

Private
Joined
Jan 30, 2020
The Aftermath.

Antietam was described by many who took part as ‘Artillery Hell’ and to some extent the game showed why. Both sides suffered from off-table artillery fire that caused relatively minor casualties but had the effect of basically taking the edge off their combat ability as they moved into position. The Confederates found it exceedingly difficult to support any attack through the cornfield or into the East Woods with artillery.

How did the Union ‘guns of position’ target enemy units reliant solely on line of sight? Many of the hits must have been due to them overshooting the few visual targets they could see - S.D. Lee’s artillery line and the burning Mumma Farmhouse and barn. Overshooting S.D. Lee’s artillery would land shells amongst Confederate infantry forming up in the West Woods. Walker’s and Ripley’s brigade positioned in the Mumma swale would be hit if they overshot the burning farm.

Were the Confederates too aggressive in their approach? Attacking up the Hagerstown Pike would perhaps enable Lee to continue his Maryland campaign if there was a favourable outcome to the battle but it gave them little artillery support once their Horse Artillery had been forced off Nicodemus Hill by Federal counterbattery fire. Co-ordination by both sides was difficult partly as a result of brigades arriving separated by too long a period of time and so any success that was achieved could not be exploited as there was sufficient time for both sides to recover between assaults.

The cornfield as an objective took on an importance quite out character with its true significance.
The truly important objective was East Woods, yet this seemed to take second place and Miller’s cornfield came to dominate the thinking of both sides. Units going into the field had great difficult maintaining order or distinguishing friends or foe and this ultimately added to the slaughter.

The result was similar to what actually happened, largely both sides fighting until exhaustion set in. Whilst Hooker’s I Corps could take a break from the carnage , the Confederates had to ready themselves for a further assault by XII Corps.
 

Hannover

Private
Joined
Jan 30, 2020
Thanks to everyone for the comments, 'likes' and overall support. In these troubled Covid times can I say it was really appreciated.
I did have fun including 're-enacting' some of the famous scenes from the battle and the experience really does give you an insight into how difficult it was to coordinate the movement of regiments, brigades and divisions on the 1860s battlefield - and I had no one attempting to shoot me down whilst I was doing it!
Hopefully I will be able to do something similar in the future after a short rest! Dare I say I am open to suggestions as to what other battles people would like to see refought and perhaps a reason why. I am at present thinking of the Wilderness as recreating the conditions that the troops fought under would be challenging to say the least - it may also be why you do not see many scenarios for the Wilderness on ACW wargaming sites!
Stay Safe Everyone and Thanks Once Again.
 

Leigh Cole

Private
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
Monroe, MI
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