SIM Game Fictional After-Action Report: McClellan's Overland Campaign (Game: TC2M)

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TheKenoshaKid

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This game has been out for a long time now, but I'm still playing it...its pretty great. Only recently I discovered the massive modding community that released a whole bunch of new maps and stuff back around 2011, so I decided to try them out. I have the Peninsula/Valley Campaign order of battle, and I have the following maps:

- Wilderness
- Chancellorsville
- Spotsylvania
- Gaines Mill / Cold Harbor
- Savage's Station
- Glendale
- Malvern Hill

Basically I'm going to be playing as George B. McClellan in April 1862, and instead of moving up the Peninsula I'm going to try and do what Grant did. I'll be using the game to play out the battles as I inch my way south.

(I tried this about a year ago with Cedar Mountain, and the moderators said this was the proper subforum for stuff like this. If that's changed since then, I'll move it to the proper place.)
 

TheKenoshaKid

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APRIL 4, 1862

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Well, it took a lot of convincing, but Lincoln finally got McClellan to abandon his Peninsula plan and try a simpler, more conventional approach. The plan now is for the new Army of the Potomac to cross the Rapidan and separate Stonewall Jackson from the Johnston's Army of Northern Virginia. On March 23, the Battle of Kernstown kicked off Jackson's Valley Campaign, and ever since then Lincoln has changed his mind regarding McClellan's request for reenforcements. The entire V Corps under Banks will now stay in the valley, but since McClellan was willing to budge on the whole Peninsula thing, Lincoln will give McClellan the I Corps back if he proves he's willing to fight when needed.

Here's the situation: McClellan still has three Corps under his command (II, III, IV), or just shy of 54,000 men. He would love to secure Spotsylvania Courthouse and fight Johnston on the ground of his own choosing, but first he must cross the Rapidan and move into "The Wilderness". Hopefully the tangled mess of trees and thickets will negate Johnston's "superior numbers." I put that in quotes because McClellan only believes he's outnumbered, when in reality it's about a 50/50 chance he actually has the upper hand. (I set the Confederate OOB to definitely include Longstreet's and McLaws' Divisions, and maybe D.H. Hill's, Huger's, and Smith's) If all three of the optional divisions are included, then Johnston will have the advantage by about 5000 I think.



A little about McClellan, from the people who knew him:

"McClellan is to me one of the mysteries of the war. As a young man he was always a mystery."
- Ulysses S. Grant

"The most popular, if not most prominent, cadet in the corps during my four years at West Point"
- Orlando Willcox

"...I have always entertained a high opinion of his capacity, and have no reason to think that he omitted to do anything that was in his power."
- Robert E. Lee

"McClellan was too good a man to command an army in this country"
"McClellan had not enough of the devil in him"

- Joseph Hooker

(harsh, but fair)

"he lacks nerve"
- Stonewall Jackson

(hmm, that's troubling...)

"he was the most extraordinary man I ever saw"
- Samuel P. Heintzelman

(that's more like it!)

" 'great dissatisfaction.' No less than three generals report to me about it, and one of them this morning was afraid his name would have to changed to Porter before he could be able to do anything.”
- Samuel P. Heintzelman

(Oh come on!)

“I, Phillip Kearny, an old soldier, enter my solemn protest against this order for retreat I say to you all, such an order can only be prompted by cowardice or treason
- some crazy one-armed Jersey son-of-a-gun


So...pretty polarizing. Let's see how they all get along with each other.

(The first battle will be The Wilderness Map)
 

TheKenoshaKid

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April 12, 1862

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9:15 AM

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Samuel Heintzelman just left one of the most uncomfortable conversations of his life. He had arrived at the Lacy House to find that McClellan was already speaking to his two subordinates. And these weren't just any two officers...this was Joe Hooker and Phil Kearny. Two very big personalities that weren't shy about their problems with George McClellan.

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Joseph Hooker, from Massachusetts, graduated West Point in 1837. He has experience in the Seminole and Mexican Wars. In Mexico he became quite popular with the local girls, who nicknamed him "the handsome captain". In 1853 he left the military, moved to California, and gave farming a try. It didn't go very well, with habitual drinking and gambling putting further strain on his finances.

When the Civil War broke out, his application for a commission was rejected because of his bad relationship with Winfield Scott. Not taking "no" for an answer, he borrowed some money to make the trip east to watch the First Battle of Bull Run. Needless to say, he had a lot of constructive criticism, and once again offered his services. This time he got his way, and even helped McClellan organize and train the Army of the Potomac.

So what's the problem? He's charismatic, popular, talented, and driven...just the sort of leader we need. Well, to put it bluntly, he thinks McClellan is too soft. Sure, McClellan was a star cadet and is obviously brilliant, but does he have what it takes to order men to their deaths? Is he a fighter? Joe Hooker says "no, absolutely not". Never one to mince words, Hooker has very little respect for McClellan's abilities as a soldier and doesn't seem to care about hiding it.

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Which brings us to Phil Kearny. Born to an extremely wealthy New York City family (his dad founded the New York Stock exchange), he always wanted a military career. But his parents died when he was very young, and his grandfather insisted he enter a career in law. When he was 25, his grandfather died and Phil instantly joined his uncle's cavalry regiment and never looked back. He soon traveled to France, using his vast wealth to further his military education. (side note...was Phil Kearny secretly Batman? Has anyone ever seen the two in the same room?)

He lost his left arm in the Mexican War, and spent some time travelling the world, fighting Austrians with Napoleon III...pretty stereotypical 1800s rich person stuff. In 1861 he offered his services instantly, but like Hooker he was rejected. But also like Hooker he got himself a position after the disaster at Bull Run. He organized the "First Jersey Brigade" but was promoted to division command and had to leave his old brigade behind.

Even though he and Hooker come from different economic backgrounds, they are united in their dislike of McClellan. They both believe McClellan is very book-smart, but unfit to command an army of this size. They also both have very colorful reputations: Hooker as the hard-drinkin', hard-fightin' ladies man. Kearny as the aristocratic, passionate gentleman. If you've had your fill of the all-night card games, drinking, and rowdiness of Hooker's camp, you can head on over to Kearny's camp for a classier, more European experience. Tons of decadent food and novelties from across the Atlantic, all paid for out of Kearny's own pocket of course.

Yes, this is a very interesting and eccentric bunch of individuals, and poor Samuel Heintzelman is stuck in the middle of all of this.

THE PLAN

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As you can see, the Lacy House is near the intersection of the Orange Turnpike and the Germanna Plank Road. To the southeast lies Spotsylvania, our destination where hopefully we can meet up with the I Corps as Lincoln promised.

But first we have to deal with what's going on in The Wilderness. We know Longstreet and McLaws are somewhere west of us, possibly somewhere around either Saunders Field or the Higgerson House. Hooker will do a sweep west to try and gauge the position and size of the rebel force. Cause D.H. Hill, Huger, and Whiting might be out there as well...there's no way to say 100% who we are dealing with here.

Behind the first line, Kearny will support Hooker as needed. During the meeting, Kearny loudly suggested that he do a similar sweep to the south, but McClellan shot him down. Then Kearny loudly reminded McClellan of that cornfield just south of the Lacy House, and how the Rebs could sneak up on us, and McClellan shot him down again. Then Hooker quietly mentioned that his middle brigade could probably offer enough support, and that he didn't need Kearny's entire division to support him, and Kearny loudly agreed...

Like I said, it was a very uncomfortable time for poor Samuel Heintzelman.

While Hooker and Kearny do their sweep west, "Baldy" Smith's division of the IV Corps will work on securing that cornfield that Kearny was so worried about. The other two divisions of the IV Corps (Couch and Casey) will arrive within the hour. They, like Smith, will be in charge of defending the area around Lacy House and the crossroads. Sumner and his II Corps should be in the area around noon.

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9:43 AM

The 70th New York of "The Excelsior Brigade" is the first of Hooker's men to spot the enemy. They are on the left, on the road just south of the Orange Plank Road. The rest of the brigade is not far behind. They have been instructed to head towards the sound of firing, and to form behind the 70th as they fall back.

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As the 70th fires the first shots of the battle, Colonel Nelson Taylor comes racing up behind them to get a look at the situation.



("Hey! What happened to Dan Sickles? I thought the Excelsior Brigade was his!"

More on him later, because holy **** we need to talk about how interesting Dan Sickles' life has been so far)
 
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TheKenoshaKid

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10:00 AM
The 70th New York didn't do exactly what they were supposed to, but considering this is their first battle ever I think they did all right. Instead of slowly falling back when they spotted the enemy, about half the regiment fired a shot and then suddenly turned around and sprinted about 20 yards behind them. A couple minutes later they tried the "run up to rifle range, fire, then run away" strategy again, but it wasn't very effective. In the 15 minutes it took for the entire brigade to show up, they only managed to inflict one casualty (the game doesn't really differentiate between killed/wounded/missing, so for all I know some guy in the rebel unit may have just ran away and was counted as "missing")

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10:04 AM
Now this is interesting. Hooker has taken a bit of a gamble and brought up Osborne's battery maybe a couple hundred yards behind where Taylor is forming his line. McClellan did tell him to hold the open area around the Lacy House, and by blocking the road with artillery he is technically holding the area...but still. This seems risky as hell and I'm not 100% sure how I feel about that.

But right now McClellan is talking to Generals Couch & Casey, helping them get all set up behind Smith, so Osborne will set up his guns just as Hooker instructed.


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10:05 AM
The 74th New York, on my far left, is about to flank that rebel unit that was standing in the 70th's way.


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At the same time, the 73rd tries the same thing on Taylor's right flank. However, they find their path blocked by another rebel unit hidden in the woods. They must abandon the flanking plan and deal with this immediately.

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10:07 AM
The 7th New Jersey, Patterson's leftmost regiment, hears this happen and begins to close the gap between Patterson and Taylor. There has been no activity in Patterson's front, so slowly the rest of the brigade starts to follow the 7th's lead.


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10:10 AM
The 74th New York did a lot of damage on their flanking mission, but they're now paying dearly for it. Everyone seems to be underestimating the power of The Wilderness, because they've allowed themselves to be flanked by not one but two previously hidden rebel units. Taylor rushes over to make sure they get out of there safely.

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10:12 AM
Behind Taylor & Patterson, David Birney is the first of Kearny's brigade commanders to arrive on the scene. But he can't find Kearny in the tangled mess of trees, so he stops and checks in with Osborne to get some insight.

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10:13 AM
On Hooker's right, the 1st Massachusetts of Grover's Brigade finally makes contact. Now, this is about 30 minutes after Taylor first spotted them, so by this point Grover's entire brigade is just behind the Massachusetts regiment.

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10:15 AM
The 74th New York has finally broken and are running back to the Lacy House right now. Taylor decides to focus on his three regiments still engaged. But before he does, he stops for a bit of an epic stare-down with General Colston, his adversary this morning. Maybe it's cause this is a New York City brigade, but something tells me there's some pretty foul language coming from Taylor right about now.
 

TheKenoshaKid

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10:16 AM
On Taylor's right, the 73rd is in the process of breaking as well. Luckily Birney is beginning to form his lines right behind the New Yorkers.

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Patterson's 5th New Jersey bumps into a Virginia regiment as they make their way southwest. This becomes Patterson's right flank, and now there's a significant gap between Patterson and Grover.


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10:21 AM
Taylor is holding out as long as he can, but with relief in sight it becomes more and more tempting for his troops to finally fall back. No shame in that...in fact, I would really prefer them to fall back faster but Taylor is very green and I suppose he's doing his best.

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10:22 AM
the 3rd Maine is the first of Birney's regiments to fire off a good volley. Kearny's Division is now officially engaged.


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10:24 AM
The last of Taylor's regiments, the 72nd New York, finally starts to break. Taylor and his men are on their way to that cornfield now. Hopefully they can reform quickly and get back in there but I haven't had time to assess the damage yet.

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10:27 AM
On the right, Grover's men are getting pummeled, but are holding their ground. I know the 1st Massachusetts are veterans of Bull Run so that probably has something to do with it.

(On a related note, I'd just like to say the III Corps has gotta be the most consistent corps I have right now in terms of quality. They are the smallest, but even their weakest brigade is about as good as an average brigade in any of the other corps.)

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10:28 AM
Kearny excitedly rides up to Birney's men as they're starting to engage the enemy.


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10:30 AM
...and what's this? Kearny has told Jameston to attack?! Oh boy, when McClellan finds out about this, he is not going to be happy. Jameson is right behind Grover, and McClellan intended for him to act as a safety net for when Grover's men start to fall back. Up the road you can see the 11th Massachusetts and the 2nd New Hampshire already starting to move back. Hooker bringing Osborne's battery up was one thing, but this is a fundamental change to the plan that McClellan did not approve. But he is still getting the IV Corps where he wants them, so Hooker and Kearny will remain unsupervised for the time being. I really hope they know what they're doing...
 

TheKenoshaKid

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SITUATION: 10:30 AM


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(The in-game map is pretty hard to read, so I made my own. Each line should be a regiment and each little triangle is about 2 pieces of artillery. Far from perfect but should be good enough)

So here's what McClellan is dealing with now:

- On my right, Grover is heading towards the rear while Jameson is about to collide with Semmes.

- Patterson too is about to break, but Berry is right behind him

- Two of Taylor's regiments have routed, while the remaining two (the 72nd & 73rd New York) are frantically being rallied in the cornfield by both Taylor and Hooker.

- I didn't draw it on the map, but Couch's division is setting up on the northeast corner of the map near the Tannery House.

- Likewise, Casey's division has also set up their defenses. They are behind and to the left of Davidson and Brooks. Casey is deploying his artillery in that field east of the cornfield but his infantry will remain in reserve, just east of Wilderness Run.

- We knew McLaws' and Longstreet's divisions were out there, but the revelation that Pettigrew's brigade is here means that most likely Whiting's entire division isn't far behind. Which means that Hood's brigade is somewhere out there. A quick peek at the OOB tells me that Hood's men are either tied for best or simply the best unit that Johnston has, period.
 
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TheKenoshaKid

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10:32 AM
The 5th New Jersey is already routed, and now the rest of Patterson's brigade is retreating. He's in better shape than Taylor was though, so he should be OK.


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10:34 AM
On the far left, Birney is still plagued by especially poor visibility. His regiments keep running into each other, and one of them is about to slam into an Alabama unit.


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10:39 AM
I suppose I should have given Kearny more credit. Apparently, he only ordered Jameson to counterattack to give Grover time to re-form safely. He is now holding down the right flank nicely.


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10:40 AM
Berry, in the center, was having a tough time finding exactly where the rebels were, as he missed Patterson's men entirely. The 37th New York has finally found some of Pickett's men I believe, and the rest of Berry's men (all from Michigan) are heading towards this spot.


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10:41 AM
Grover was able to escape in time...thank god for Jameson. He is quickly reforming for another try.


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10:44 AM
Uh oh. Berry and Birney have ran into each other. This wasn't supposed to happen. Either Birney has drifted away from my left flank or Berry has created a huge gap in my center.

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10:45 AM
...which means nobody is covering Osborne's battery. And, oh my god, there's a group of South Carolinians just 26 yards away! Osborne needs to get the hell out of there now.


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10:50 AM
Grover is in good shape and is now heading back to the front to relieve Jameson.


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10:53 AM
Jameson sees Grover down the Orange Plank Road and starts to fall back. Behind him you can see a Zouave unit from Brooklyn using the thick forest to their advantage.


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10:57 AM
It's looking like the Birney/Berry problem was technically Berry's fault, as he has clearly drifted away from the center, leaving both Osborne's battery and Patterson's brigade wide open. Osborne himself has been captured, but his guns are safe for now. They are heading quickly to the rear. Meanwhile, Patterson is also reforming and is about to plug that gap in the center.


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But even though it was Berry who deviated from the plan, I'm not gonna hold it against him too much, as it's clear it was unintentional. I blame the confusing and claustrophobic battlefield. He's fought hard so far and is now forming on Patterson's left, trying to get untangled from Birney.


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10:59 AM
Birney too is forming on the left, but my god he's been beaten up. I'm not sure how much longer he can hold on.
 

TheKenoshaKid

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(Sorry for the long wait...it's finals week for me so I've been busy with that)


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11:00 AM
David Birney continues to have a miserable time in The Wilderness. Like I said before, his sector is definitely the one with the worst visibility, and getting all tangled up with Berry only made things worse. He's finally managed to locate one of his regiments, but standing in the way is a bunch of Patterson's men. Now that one regiment of his looks pretty isolated, so he's gotta get there quick and figure out what is going on and where the rest of his brigade is.




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11:05 AM
Now, Patterson's men aren't really interested in getting out of his way. But I don't blame them, because not only have they managed to recover in a very short amount of time, but they're solving the Berry/Birney problem with brute force. They have now organized a thin but surprisingly strong line that spans my center. Here you can see the 8th New Jersey waiting until the enemy gets close enough. They are seconds away from unleashing a terrible volley on some Louisiana boys.




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11:08 AM
Finally, Birney has made his way past Patterson's New Jersey men to the front...only to find the 4th Maine running to the rear. (Sigh) It's not even noon yet, and already Birney has had one hell of a bad day.



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ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
Yeah, right after I took that last screenshot, Birney was shot from the saddle. The 4th Maine has no idea...the few of them who caught a glimpse at him before probably think he's right behind them. The 6th and 7th New Jersey rush to where the 4th Maine broke, hoping to get to Birney's body before the enemy does.

Interesting note: That's those **** Palmetto Sharpshooters again. They were the ones stalking Osborne, and as soon as Berry left Osborne's sight, they snatched him up as a prisoner. Now they've shot David Birney!



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11:09 AM
Again, great work by Patterson's men as three entire Jersey regiments gang up on those pesky Palmetto Sharpshooters and force them to fall back. They reach Birney to find him badly wounded but alive. David Birney has had one miserable morning, but now at least he gets to sit the rest of the battle out and take a well-deserved rest.

(Author's note: because this game is mostly designed to take place over a single battle, the game again doesn't differentiate between a General being killed, wounded, or captured. To solve this problem, I went to random.org each time a leader became a casualty. I get a random number between 1 and 100, and that tells me whether they were killed or wounded, and the severity of the wound. I would then gauge the situation to determine if they were captured. For Birney I got a "50", which according to the scale I made myself tells me his wound isn't mortal, but he's definitely out for the battle. When the New Jersey boys recovered his body that told me he remained uncaptured and was quickly sent to one of my ambulances.

I'll be using this system for all future commander casualties. You're just gonna have to trust me on this, cause I have no way of proving which random number the website gave me.)



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11:10 AM
Taylor has rallied his two remaining regiments at the edge of the cornfield just east of Birney's wounding. They are now heading back in to try and restore some order.




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11:11 AM
But perhaps Taylor's two regiments are going to be too little, too late. Because the last of Berry's men are retreating now. If Patterson doesn't hold, then it's just going to be Jameson and Grover there on the right, with everyone to the left of them in a great amount of disorder.




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11:15 AM
On the right, Grover is doing well but needs support immediately. The 2nd New Hampshire has been beaten up quite a bit, but Grover is right behind them with the 1st Massachusetts. They are well covered as they move behind the Massachusetts boys.




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11:17 AM
Taylor's men have found the enemy again. Looks like they caught them a bit off-guard, which is good because we need all the little breaks to go our way from here on out...we've had enough bad luck so far.




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11:20 AM
Grover is starting to falter on the right, and strangely Jameson is nowhere to be found. I don't know how this happened but Jameson needs to find Grover quick.





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11:25 AM
Oh boy this is bad. Patterson was on a hell of a winning streak, and decided to lead the 6th and 7th New Jersey in an impromptu charge to finally rout a small rebel unit in their front. Unfortunately, he was shot pretty quick and snatched up by the South Carolinians even quicker. He'll be spending quite a bit of time in a rebel hospital. He will pull through, but needless to say he's done for the duration of the battle, maybe even the campaign. Bad bad luck for the New Jersey boys, who have put up one hell of a fight so far today.




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11:27 AM
Patterson's wounding and capture set off a chain reaction that collapsed almost my entire line. Taylor's Excelsior Brigade got quickly overwhelmed, and now they're running back across the cornfield to the safety of the Lacy House.




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11:29 AM
Oh, and there's Jameson thank god. Grover has made his way to the rear, but Jameson found him in time to establish a solid line on the right.

...except nobody told him that the rest of the corps is basically in full retreat, so now he's alone and probably doesn't even know it yet. I hate The Wilderness so much that, out of pure spite, I've decided that this battle is now going to be called The Battle of Lacy House. Cause screw The Wilderness, I can't see a **** thing, my brigade commanders are getting lost and shot and captured...the nice safe Lacy House gets the honor of the battle name, not you, Wilderness.
 

TheKenoshaKid

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1133a.jpg

11:33 AM
The 63rd Pennsylvania of Jameson's Brigade has gotten way too far ahead of the rest of the men. They quickly realize their mistake and get out of there before it's too late.




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11:34 AM
The 87th New York (also known as the 13th Brooklyn) is at the center of Jameson's line, and they're quickly about to be enveloped by multiple units from Virginia and (are you kidding me...) South Carolina. South Carolina AGAIN. COME ON!





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11:37 AM
Jameson has had enough. By now he's realized he's pretty much alone out there, and he quickly makes his way to the rear in an attempt to find anyone. The 13th Brooklyn and 57th Pennsylvania decide this is a very good idea and follow his lead.



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11:38 AM
Quickly, the firing stops and an eerie, unsettling calm washes over the fields around the Lacy House. The rebels have been relentless thus far, but now are just sitting and waiting as the last of the III Corps makes their way to safety.




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The 8th New Jersey in particular has had a very eventful day. They got separated from their brigade sometime between the woundings of Birney and Patterson. Lost and alone in the woods, they went on an absolute rampage, capturing most of the 5th South Carolina. They stumbled upon General Cadmus Wilcox in the confusion and captured him as well. Then just about a minute later, Colonel Micah Jenkins, the commander of all these demons from South Carolina, ran up to their lines and for a second tried to rally them. Jenkins realized his mistake too late as the 8th calmly raised their rifles, riddling Jenkins with minie balls and killing him instantly. This wasn't good enough apparently, because they then encountered another one of Jenkins' regiments, killed their colonel, routed them, then seriously wounded the colonel of yet another of of Jenkins' units. They got even more prisoners from these two regiments before they decided to call it a day.

I cannot emphasize enough how well the 8th New Jersey performed. They got separated, lost, beat up, and turned around and did more damage than almost the rest of their corps combined. In this universe, you'd better believe there's a statue of them somewhere in the woods just past that cornfield. Good lord they did an amazing job today.





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11:46 AM
No time for celebrations right now though, cause Hancock's brigade is the first of the IV Corps to see the enemy. They're coming from the west along the Orange Plank Road, swarming around the main entrance to The Wilderness.




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On Hancock's left, the brigade of John Davidson spots them too. And, boy, is there a lot of them. Well, Hooker and Kearny certainly did what they set out to do: we now know exactly where the enemy is concentrating, and how many of them there are. The bad news though? I'm pretty sure at this point we're facing all the divisions Johnston has at his disposal. That is: R.H. Anderson, McLaws, Whiting, Huger, and D.H. Hill. So we very likely are outnumbered. And we just made them mad. And they're coming.




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11:50 AM
The 5th Wisconsin of Hancock's Brigade is the first unit to open fire, as the rest of the brigade forms around them.




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11:54 AM
On Hancock's right, the 6th Maine takes a pretty big gamble. They get behind a fence and start to pour a deadly fire on the rebels trying to maintain their lines. They can't stay there long, as they're pretty far ahead of the rest of Hancock's men. But for now I like the initiative...let's see how long they can hold.



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11:59 AM
By this point, McClellan himself has ridden to a good spot behind Hancock and Davidson, hoping to get a good view of the action. Enough of the crappy visibility and confusion of The Wilderness...time to get a good look at what we're actually dealing with here.


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McClellan is struck by the sight of a particular rebel officer off in the distance, right in front of Hancock's line. He looks so familiar...


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Oh my god it's A.P. Hill. One of McClellan's old classmates and friends. Hill was once engaged to a woman named Ellen B. Marcy, but her parents wanted a more successful suitor for their daughter and eventually they pressured her into breaking off the engagement, leaving Hill heartbroken and rejected. Ellen did find another man, one that her parents approved of and they lived happily ever after etc.

That man was George B. McClellan.

This is bad.
 
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rebel brit

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Brilliant, I love this game and in the past have spent way, way too much time playing it, that was until a few years ago when my old computer crashed.
Looking forward to following .:thumbsup:
 

TheKenoshaKid

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SITUATION: 12:00 PM

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Well, the map has changed quite a bit. The III Corps has lost about 2000 men, a lot of them captured. The remaining men are mostly all safe back in the rear now. They're done for the day unless I absolutely 100% need them. But we've done about as much damage to the rebels...numbers-wise we're probably pretty even. Smith's Division of the IV Corps is now front and center, with Couch to his right and Casey behind him, guarding our left.

So Smith has 2 full brigades engaged and his artillery is in a good position to do some real damage. Casey and Couch have contributed some of their artillery to the cause as well. There's a lot of rebels out there (I'm guessing around 40,000), but trying to take those guns would be suicide. They simply can't get there fast enough, and my defensive position is too good.

Therefore I think they're just probing our lines, or maybe faking an attack. Either way, there's definitely something going on that we're just not aware of yet. I don't want to just sit back and let them plot, so that's why I've ordered Couch to try and turn their left flank. They're still in the woods, completely hidden. So Hancock and Davidson will slowly fall back, drawing the rebels farther and farther into a trap. Because eventually Hancock and Davidson will break, and that's when Peck's Brigade will smash into their flank, hopefully catching them by surprise. Adams and Devens will be behind Peck, and hopefully by that time the lead division of the II Corps will have arrived. So they'll have Couch hitting their left, Sumner behind Couch, and the guns of the IV Corps at the Lacy House to their front across a huge field.

If all goes right, I have a pretty realistic shot of a complete rout. They just need to take the bait. And, judging by how many rebels are in Hancock's front, they're absolutely taking the bait.
 

TheKenoshaKid

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12:00 PM

6B0FDD0E-C84F-0079-833F2D8804F9FD26.jpg

Winfield Scott Hancock was born in 1824 and grew up just outside Philadelphia in a city called Norristown. His father was a schoolteacher, then a lawyer. Somehow he also found time to work as a deacon in a Baptist church and also be very active in local government. I don't know how the hell a guy finds time to do all that and still raise a family, but this is the Hancock family after all. It must be in their blood or something.

He was accepted into West Point with the help of his local Congressman Joseph Fornance and graduated in 1844. Now this was news to me...he was apparently a "C" student with pretty average to below-average grades across the board, graduating 18th out of 25 cadets. I never would have guessed that.

A couple years after graduation, the Mexican War started and Hancock showed a special talent for recruiting. Just like McClellan's reputation for being cautious and Hooker's reputation as a wild, dashing ladies' man, Hancock remained well-liked and popular all his life. It's nice to see stuff like this isn't always negative.

He was so good at recruiting that it took him about a year before he was able to convince his superiors to let him join his unit in Mexico. He finally arrived in Mexico and served under Winfield Scott, the person he was named after. At the Battle of Churubusco he was wounded in the leg which later turned into a nasty fever. This illness meant he had to miss the final breakthrough at Chapultepec. This annoyed the hell out of him and was one of his biggest regrets. I think he was being to hard on himself since none of that was his fault, but I'd imagine he probably pushed himself extremely hard all his life, and any sort of perceived weakness like this was viewed as an absolute failure.

After Mexico, he married and spent some time in Florida and Kansas before being stationed in Southern California. While there, he served under Albert Sidney Johnston and famously became close friends with Lewis Armistead. We all know how that turned out.


1201a.jpg

So here he is, west of the Lacy House, guarding the main entrance to and from The Wilderness. I specifically put him here because while his troops aren't the best in the division (that honor goes to Brooks' Vermonters), his skills as a leader make him the best brigade commander I have. The only person that comes close is his good friend John Reynolds, but he and the rest of the Pennsylvania Reserves are still with the I Corps and not on the battlefield. Birney & Berry are also quite good and John Peck of Couch's Division shows some real promise. But statistically, right now, Hancock stands alone as the best.




1203a.jpg

12:03 PM
John Davidson, to Hancock's left, is also doing well so far. But like Hancock, he's got a bunch of rebels in front of him and can't last very long where he is. Peck should be emerging from the woods any second now, with Adams close behind. Devens has gotten a bit lost but has managed to find his bearings. He's the 3rd of 3 so that's not so bad.




1206a.jpg

12:06 PM
McClellan is starting to get frustrated. On the right, there is no sign of Couch at all. Nothing. Peck should have been here by now, and Adams should at least be close enough to be in view. I can't find either of them. Devens is still making his way to the front, but the guy that is last in lane and got delayed should not be the only brigade I can see. In the meantime, I've ordered Brooks and his Vermont Brigade to try and slow the rebel advance.



1207a.jpg

12:10 PM
Hancock's men have been overwhelmed, but are retreating in good order to safety. Davidson is also withdrawing, but not quite as smoothly. A couple of his regiments have panicked, but he's managed to get most of his men under control. I'm getting very very annoyed though...where the hell is Couch?! And, come to think of it, why haven't I heard from any of the II Corps? His first division, under Richardson, actually showed up a little bit early but now they seem to be missing as well. Are people getting lost in the Wilderness? Are my orders simply not getting to my generals? Is someone just blatantly ignoring them? What in the hell is going on?!





1212a.jpg

12:12 PM
This is not good. The rebels are now converging on the Lacy House at an alarming speed. My artillery is giving them hell, but there's just so many of them. With only Brooks now on my left, my guns are slowly withdrawing farther and farther east. Most are withdrawing gradually, maintaining their organization, but a couple are starting to panic and rout. Somebody has got a lot of explaining to do. I don't know if it's Keyes, Couch, Peck, Adams, Sumner, or Richardson, but somebody messed up bad. WHERE ARE THEY?!



1222a.jpg

12:22 PM
Some of Hooker's guns have rallied and are trying to help out as the IV Corps guns continue their withdrawal. By this point Brooks has been pushed back as well. I need to get my guns out of harm's way quickly cause the rebels just keep coming. They're relentless. McClellan is now investigation what could have happened to Couch's men himself. Enough guessing; I need to get to the bottom of this.



1230a.jpg

12:30 PM
Well, the Lacy House now belongs to the rebels. It appears to be Longstreet's and McLaws' Divisions (I don't know if I mentioned this, but Longstreet is commanding a "wing" or Corps and his division is under the command of Richard H. Anderson.

I did figure out what the hell happened on my right though. There was a rebel brigade hidden in the woods that killed two couriers that were supposed to inform Couch of the attack. Now, Keyes was supposed to tell Couch this already but for some ******* reason he's just hanging out with General Casey talking about god knows what. So now I have a scapegoat.

Couch, unaware of the plan, took initiative and told his men to hold their position and they've been around the Tannery house the whole time. Devens has also joined them so at some point Couch must have found them himself and recalled them to a position behind Peck and Adams. Technically this was the decision that caused the attack to fail but I put the blame on Keyes. I told him to relay the information to Couch, but apparently he just gave away most of his command to his Division commanders and went to the rear with Casey. This is unacceptable; Couch is a fine commander, sure, but I needed Keyes here to relay information to him and direct him. Couch is good but he's not a psychic! How was he supposed to know?! You can't just leave like that Keyes! Or if you do, at least do what I asked you to to so Couch at least knows what the hell is going on!

I'm so mad right now. I'll deal with Keyes after the battle. ******* it.

My casualties are up to about 2600 now and the rebels just aren't stopping. The attack has officially been called off. Couch instead will try and cover the retreat. Trying to re-take the Lacy House would be madness, and the rebels now have such a big spatial advantage I think we're going to have to withdraw and try again at Spotsylvania. Now, the rebels have lost a lot of men to my artillery so if this is technically going to be a victory for them I'd call it more of a draw. Cause, realistically, what have they "won"? I was planning on going to Spotsylvania anyway where I'll be reenforced by the I Corps, so we'll be in a good spot to try again.
 
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TheKenoshaKid

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OK, now that the holidays are all over I should be able to start updating this again. Apologies for the long delay again...I've been visiting family for the past couple weeks.


SITUATION: 12:30 PM

S
1230MAP.jpg


To recap:

- Couch's flank attack never developed because of poor communication, and so he remains near the Tannery House.

- Smith's division has been pushed back across Wilderness Run, with the rebels now controlling the Lacy House.

- Casey's division remains on my right but hasn't been engaged, apart from some artillery.

- The force in front of us remains mostly the same: the divisions of R.H. Anderson and McLaws. Anderson has been beaten up pretty bad, and McLaws only has half of his division on the field. As a result, they're starting to get tangled up with each other...just like what happened to Hooker and Kearny.

- Whiting's division has left the front and didn't appear to ever be heavily engaged. That may be them just to the west of Jenkins' brigade (R.I.P.)

- Another division seems to be coming down the Orange Turnpike. My guess is that's either Huger or D.H. Hill, but it's very hard to say.


Because of the horrible visibility and the failed flank attack, I've decided to withdraw from the field and start heading towards Spotsylvania. It'll be a tactical defeat, since I lost the Lacy House pretty quick, but since I'm doing the "Overland" plan I don't think it's a strategic defeat. Casualties are close to even and I escaped The Wilderness without being crippled.

The rebels have pretty much stopped advancing and seem to be heading back towards The Wilderness, so that lets my army withdraw in good order to the southeast. The III Corps will leave first, as they are by far the most bloodied. The IV Corps will follow them, and the II Corps will bring up the rear.

Here's a map of what my plan is going forward:
(black squares = battlefields)

04120415.jpg

Might be hard to read, so here's an overview:

- The II, III, and IV Corps will head southeast until they hit the Orange Plank Road. They'll take a left and start heading east.

- When they reach Chancellorsville, the III Corps will keep going east to meet up with the I Corps. Meanwhile, the II and IV Corps will head south toward Piney Branch Church.

- The III and I Corps will meet somewhere around Salem Church. From there, they'll head southwest towards the Harris Farm.

- The two halves of my army will converge in the Spotsylvania area the morning of April 15. My left flank (II, IV) will approach from the northwest near Laurel Hill, while my right (I, III) will come from the northeast near the Harris Farm.

- The plan will be to control the stretch of the Brock Road between Laurel Hill and Spotsylvania. If we hold that area, we'll be free to move south along the Telegraph Road towards Richmond. If things aren't looking good, we can always withdraw to Fredericksburg and try it from another angle.


(Overview of The Battle of Lacy House up next)
 

TheKenoshaKid

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BATTLE OF LACY HOUSE
April 12, 1862

RESULT: Minor defeat / Inconclusive

ENGAGED: 19000 USA, 20000 CSA (estimates)

CASUALTIES: 2581 USA, 2296 CSA

TOP PERFORMING UNITS: (note: the points system is basically 1 point for each 10 casualties inflicted, -1 for each 10 casualties lost. Units also get points for making units fall back, withdraw, and/or rout. There's a bunch of other little rules but that's the basics)
1. 8th New Jersey (60.0)
2. 5th Wisconsin (9.3)
3. Wheeler's Battery, IV Corps, 2nd Div (8.0)

MOST CASUALTIES INFLICTED:
1. 8th New Jersey (389)
2. Osborne's Battery, III Corps, 2nd Div (139)
3. 40th New York (104)

MOST CASUALTIES LOST:
1. 8th New Jersey (237)
2. 70th New York (175)
3. 37th New York (166)

HIGHEST CASUALTY PERCENTAGE:
1. 37th New York (34.4%)
2. 5th Michigan (28.3%)
3. 73rd New York (28.2%)

OFFICER CASUALTIES: (For each regimental commander, I assigned them a random number "n" between 1 and their total strangth. For example: John Smith is the captain of the 1st NY. It has 500 men, so Capt Smith's number "n" will be between 1 and 500. He will be the "n"th casualty, so if his random number is "1" he's the first casualty. If his random number is 100 he will be the 100th casualty.)

- Brig Gen Francis P. Patterson (Wounded, Captured)
- Brig Gen David B. Birney (Wounded)
- Col Stephen G. Champlin (Wounded, Captured)
- Col Robert Cowdin, 1st MA (Wounded)
- Col William Dwight Jr, 70th NY (Severely Wounded)
- Col Adolphus J. Johnson, 8th NJ (Captured)
- Col Orlando M. Poe, 2nd MI (Killed)
- Col Elijah Walker, 4th ME (Wounded)
- Capt Thomas W. Osborne (Captured)

Col Samuel Starr of the 5th NJ will command Patterson's brigade, and Col John H. H. Ward of the 38th New York will replace Birney.
 

TheKenoshaKid

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April 15, 1862
Spotsylvania County, VA


As I said in the last post, my army was split into two on the way from Lacy House to Spotsylvania. The II and IV Corps will enter the battlefield from the northwest and will be my right flank. The III Corps and the recently-added I Corps will come from the northeast and be my left flank.



8:45 AM
0845a.jpg

Israel B. Richardson's division of Sumner's II Corps will be on my extreme right. His artillery has a good view of the Trigg Farm, and he's got Howard and Meagher in the woods, along a road leading east. (Note: the mapmaker mistakenly calls it "Wrigg Farm"...I'm guessing that's just a typo.)


0845b.jpg

Follow that eastbound road and you'll find Sedgwick's division, next in line at the Shelton Farm. John Sedgwick, in real life, was killed not too far from here. This division is special for another reason however: these were the guys that were at Ball's Bluff, so they've definitely got a score to settle.


0845c.jpg

The road that the II Corps is on suddenly makes a hard right and starts heading south. "Baldy" Smith's division of the IV Corps occupies this area. Their right flank is on that road that leads to Sedgwick, and their front is facing a small branch of the Ny River.


0845d.jpg

A closer look at Smith's front. His division forms the right side of a salient, and I've hand-picked the 5th Wisconsin of Hancock's brigade to be the regiment in front. See those 3 green arrows above some of the regiments? The 5th is the leftmost one. You can see how the line starts to slope away from the tip of the salient along that road.


0845e.jpg

To Hancock's left is Brooks' Vermont brigade. I've also hand-picked the 2nd Vermont to form on the 5th Wisconsin's left. Those two regiments are front and center, and should probably see action first.


0845f.jpg

To Smith's left is the division of Darius Couch. Adams' brigade is right next to Brooks. Unlike Smith's men, they're protected from artillery fire by the forest around them. But that also means they won't get much artillery support either. Adams' front line is straddling that creek and is facing almost perfectly south.




0845g.jpg

Next in line is John Peck's brigade. This was the brigade that was supposed to kickstart the surprise flank attack that never happened and I'm still bitter about...but nothing I can do about that now. They have a good chance to make a big difference in this battle however, as their line follows a road that goes from east-west to northeast-southwest and forms the eastern slope of the salient.


0845h.jpg

If the rebels are tempted to turn Peck's left flank, they'll be annihilated by Couch's artillery. If I can get the rebels to get themselves stuck in this open area, they'll be in huge trouble. They'll have about 18 guns pointed right at their faces, Peck's men safely firing at them in the woods, and the only escape being up a steep clear hill that'll make them even more exposed. This could be a perfect killing field if I play my cards right.


0845i.jpg

Just to be safe, I've posted Keim's brigade of Casey's division to the left of Couch's guns. The rest of Casey's division is behind Smith and Couch in reserve.


0845j.jpg

McCall's division of Pennsylvania Reserves is on my extreme left, and WOW they've found themselves an awesome definsive position. There's tons of open, rolling hills before you hit the woods. Johnston would have to be insane to try and take this spot. He's been scouting the area off and on since about 6 AM, but obviously he's decided an attack on this front is a bad idea.


0415 0850.jpg

Here's an overview of what my line looks like. I was trying to avoid saying it before, but there's no way to hide it now: I've got a reverse-mule-shoe going on. It's pointing south instead of north though. For reference, Hancock is about where the real Emory Upton made his famous attack on May 10, 1864. The "bloody angle" is currently occupied by the extreme right of Palmer's brigade.

As far as the rebels go, I've just drawn the troops I can definitely see right now. I know R.H. Anderson is hanging out around Laurel Hill, but his intentions aren't clear yet. Also unclear is what Whiting wants to do. He's occupied Spotsylvania Court House but he keeps getting dangerously close to the Beverly House which is making me nervous. Around 8:00, my cavalry spotted D.R. Jones' division along the Brock Road just south of Bald Hill, but he hasn't been seen since. That leaves D.H. Hill and McClaws...I have no idea where they are.

Huger's division is on their way to the dead center of the salient, and sometime around 9:00 I'm expecting an attack. His lead brigade is under the command of Albert G. Blanchard. You may not recognize the name...that's because he never actually fought in a battle before he was replaced by Ambrose Wright after Seven Pines. Somewhere behind him are the brigades of William Mahone and Lewis Armistead. Which means Hancock and Armistead will have a reunion much, much earlier than they did in real life.

Huger's path seems to be leading them somewhere between the 65th and 67th New York of Adams' Brigade. Which means they'll be safe from my artillery. Smart, but I can't let that happen. Stoneman's Cavalry division has been scattered around the area since 6:30 AM, so I'll use a couple of his regiments to try and distract Huger before he reaches Adams' men. That way he'll have to attack Hancock and Brooks instead, leaving the rebels open to my artillery fire.
 
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TheKenoshaKid

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0902.jpg

9:02 AM
As expected, the 2nd Vermont is the first of my infantry regiments to engage the enemy. Two battalions of the 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry did a fine job skirmishing with Huger's men, and kept them in the open for about 15 minutes. That meant they were unable to make it to Adams' front in the woods, and now must attack Hancock and Brooks in the open.


0903.jpg

9:03 AM
The 5th Wisconsin too is about to become engaged, so Hancock sends the 43rd New York on their right to support them. Meanwhile, Smith has become impatient with all the obstacles in front of his artillery and has moved three of his batteries forward behind the first line of infantry. The remaining battery, under Ayres, will remain in the near the actual "bloody angle" since he was the only one that was able to get a good shot at the enemy from back there.


0905.jpg

9:05 AM
Down south, around Bald Hill and Spotsylvania Court House, the 1st US Cavalry just captured General Pettigrew of Whiting's Division and are slowly falling back to the woods behind them.


0907.jpg

9:07 AM
The 5th Vermont is now engaged. This seems to be the eastern edge of the Huger's advance, so the 3rd Vermont to their left will remain in the woods for now. We'll need them later.


0913.jpg

9:13 AM
On the right, near Laurel Hill, two battalions of the 8th Illinois Cavalry are also skirmishing with the enemy. This is Anderson's Division and I want to keep tabs on what he's doing. I don't want him heading east down the Brock Road to reinforce Huger, but I also don't want him to try and turn Richardson's flank at the Trigg Farm. I'm trying the best I can to keep Anderson disoriented and confused. My men are doing well, but they are very isolated on the western edge of the battlefield. They've gotta be extremely careful they don't engage for too long and get routed.


0915.jpg

9:15 AM
Down south, the 6th US Cavalry has caught Hood's Brigade off-guard, and are trying to prevent them from heading north and reinforcing Huger. They won't be able to stop them completely, but they can certainly slow them down.


0919.jpg

9:19 AM
The 43rd New York has gotten too far ahead of the line, leaving themselves exposed to fire from both sides as well as their front. Hancock quickly orders them to the rear...the 49th Pennsylvania has already formed on their right and the 6th Maine are right behind the New Yorkers ready to take their place. The 43rd will be fine, they just need to get out of danger now.


0922.jpg

9:22 AM
The 7th Maine has been following their comrades in the 6th, and they're about to be Davidson's first regiment sent in. They'll form to the right of the 49th Pennsylvania, who are already encountering some intense fire from Huger's men.


0922b.jpg

As the 7th Maine finishes forming their battle lines, the 49th breaks and heads for the rear just like the 43rd New York did. Again, they have plenty of support so Hancock's front line remains intact.


0926.jpg

9:26 AM
Huger is starting to withdraw. He tried to make a stand in that little dip there but Smith's artillery is just too overwhelming. We're only about a half hour into the battle, and already Baldy Smith has made a huge difference. His placement of artillery was crucial to stopping Huger's assault. McClellan should be very pleased, especially since Smith is very much in the "pro-McClellan" camp. A good performance today could go a long way in helping his career.


0929.jpg

9:29 AM
Huger's attack lasted barely a half an hour, and not an inch of ground was gained. On top of that, Huger lost an alarming 1317 men to Smith's 281. Smith's artillery accounted for about half of the Confederate casualties.


So my defensive line's first test was a smashing success. Huger has been repulsed, but we can't get too cocky just yet. Anderson pretty much owns Laurel Hill at this point, and Whiting's Division is finally making their way north. There's most likely another attack coming soon, and I'm sure Johnston has learned from his mistakes. I doubt the next assault will be as easy to drive back.
 
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TheKenoshaKid

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The remnants of Huger's attack have been shooed away by Smith's strong defense, and my center remains intact. The IV Corps will stay right where they are, as the rebels appear to be swarming the area between the Brock Road and the Harrison House. Even a little probe seems suicidal at this point; best to leave Smith and Couch where they're safe(er). Should one of them start to falter, Casey's Division is right behind them.

So my center is in decent shape for now...now my attention turns to my flanks:



0939.jpg

9:39 AM
Just north of Myers' Hill, part of the 6th US Cavalry catches some rebel artillery by surprise. They appear to be from D.R. Jones' division of Longstreet's command. This is perfect for me, because I they seem to be dead-set on getting to those woods on the right (NE) side of the frame. I want to delay them as long as possible.

From the safety of the trees it's just a short jaunt northeast before they reach the Beverly House, where McCall's division of Pennsylvania Reserves are waiting. I've ordered Franklin's guns to the area as well to support McCall, but his infantry will stay put for now. We've already got a big advantage should they choose to attack, and the more tired and battered they are the better. Hopefully I can break up their assault with artillery before they even reach us, but I'm getting ahead of myself. For now, Stoneman's cavalry will pester the rebels and keep them from consolidating.


0940.jpg

9:40 AM
On the left around Laurel Hill, the 8th Illinois Cavalry notices Anderson's division moving east down the Brock Road. Which means they're probably headed straight for Smith's right flank. Sedgwick's division is still to Smith's right at the Shelton Farm, but if Sedgwick leaves then Richardson is left high and dry at the Trigg Farm. That would severely weaken my right flank so again we're gonna try and get the rebels' attention and keep them occupied.


0946.jpg

9:46 AM
LEFT FLANK

Jones has brought up some infantry to chase away my cavalry, but I've already done a heck of a lot of damage in a very short time. The element of surprise is quickly wearing off though, so the 6th US is gonna have to get out of there soon.


0953.jpg

9:53 AM
ENEMY REAR

Another battalion of the 6th US has snuck behind enemy lines discovered Whiting's Division heading west along the Brock Road from Spotsylvania Courthouse to my center. There's quite a bit of them, but all I need to do is slow them down.


0955.jpg

9:55 AM
CENTER

Baldy Smith's artillery is falling back to a safer position with better visibility. They sure did a number on Huger's Division, but if I keep them right in the front I risk losing them entirely. I doubt Johnston will send his other divisions piecemeal like Huger's was, so my infantry is going to need some breathing room.

You can see Brooks' brigade on the left...that's the 2nd Vermont right up front there.


0955b.jpg

Another view of Smith's line, this one from his right flank where Hancock is stationed. Davidson is behind him as Smith's artillery continues to fall back slowly.


0958.jpg

9:58 AM
LAUREL HILL (RIGHT FLANK)

Anderson has finally had enough of my cavalry, and is sending a brigade to protect his artillery. I'd keep on ruining his day if I could, but sooner or later they're going to realize there's nobody at the Alsop Farm, which would be a great path to take should they want to turn my extreme right at the Trigg farm.


0959.jpg

9:59 AM
CENTER

Something's definitely brewing in front of Smith's Division again. Looks to be D.H. Hill's Division. Stoneman has done an excellent job so far of keeping the rebels on their toes, but he can only do so much. Looks like at least one brigade of Whiting's Division has made it safely north from the Brock Road, and possibly some of Anderson's as well.

Things should become more clear as the rebels make themselves more visible, but the IV Corps is bracing for another attack.


Since 9:30, casualties have been relatively light but still pretty one-sided in my favor. Current totals:

USA: 470
CSA: 1,641

A good number of those rebel casualties were stragglers from Huger's Division. They were snatched up in the aftermath of the assault. But still good lord it's nice to see things breaking our way this time.
 

TheKenoshaKid

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1004.jpg

10:04 AM
BEVERLY HOUSE

The 1st US Cavalry has fallen back to the field around the Beverly House. McCall's Division is still at the far north end of the field, and both his and Franklin's guns have a great view of D.R. Jones' slow-moving attack.


1009.jpg

10:09 AM
BEVERLY HOUSE

The 1st Battalion of the 6th US forms on their right to help with the delaying. They're lucky enough to spot some of Jones' artillery as it tries to cross that little creek there.


1010a.jpg

10:10 AM
BEVERLY HOUSE

Captain Kerns' Pennsylvania Light Artillery occupies the highest point on the field. That smoke off there in the distance is Jones skirmishing with my cavalry.


1010b.jpg

And the view from Franklin's sector. They're stationed to McCall's right (west), and a couple of their batteries actually have a better view of the enemy than Kerns does. Hexamer, Porter, and Upton are quickly unleashing an enfilading fire on Jones' men. Jones emerged from the woods less than 10 minutes ago and already it's looking like an absolute disaster.


1019.jpg

10:19 AM
MCCOULL HOUSE

Jones is stalled and pinned down near the Beverly House, so the action moves back to the center. D.H. Hill's entire division is coming north up that road and some of Huger's men have even reformed and are joining them. Hancock quickly sends forward the 5th Wisconsin and 43rd New York to meet them.


1019b.jpg

To their right, the 49th Pennsylvania is entering the woods, hoping to prevent Huger from rallying completely.


1020.jpg

10:20 AM
MCCOULL HOUSE

Brooks' Vermont Brigade is engaged again as well, but they are staying where they are. The 2nd and 5th Vermont have been able to keep a steady fire going in (relative) safety. The 5th Vermont is to the left of the 2nd. Farther left is the 3rd Vermont, but they've seen no rebels in their front yet. Same goes for Couch's entire division.


1024.jpg

10:24 AM
HARRISON HOUSE

(That creek is the border between the McCoull and Harrison Houses)
The 43rd New York is facing three whole brigades who are now converging on them. To their right, the 5th Wisconsin is in slightly better shape but without support these two regiments can't face an entire division.


1025.jpg

10:25 AM
HARRISON HOUSE

...and look who's back! Hancock's beloved friend Lewis Armistead. This is the first good look the two have gotten at each other, and I can't even imagine how jarring that must be.


1028b.jpg

10:28 AM
MCCOULL HOUSE

The 49th Pennsylvania was hoping to flank Huger's remaining men, but that's out the window at this point. In fact, they need to fall back or else their right flank is in danger of collapse. And they are Smith's right flank, so they need to hurry.


1028.jpg

However, Smith is prepared and orders Davidson's Brigade forward. So now even if Hancock is forced to retreat, we'll keep our original line.

But the first of Whiting's Division is approaching behind D.H. Hill, and R.H. Anderson is quickly moving to reinforce Huger. Baldy Smith has had a great day so far, but he's gonna need a lot of help to get out of this one.


10:30 CASUALTY UPDATE:
We've taken 258 additional casualties, but the Johnston has lost 469 so the battle is still going our way. That brings the total to:

USA: 728
CSA: 2,110
 
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77
1031.jpg

10:31 AM
Hancock quickly orders his men to the rear the second he spots Davidson. And not a moment too soon, because they were about to be obliterated by D.H. Hill's entire division. The 43rd New York got pretty banged up but overall Hancock is in good shape. Ironically, the designated safe rally point, just north of the McCoull House, is the real-life Bloody Angle. There's not much going on that far north, so Hancock should be able to establish a second defensive line there soon.


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10:32 AM
The 3rd Vermont is now engaged as the 2nd and 5th begin to fall back. So the Confederate attack is finally spreading east towards Couch's sector.


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Yep. Almost instantly, the 65th New York becomes the first of Couch's men to see the enemy. They're pretty far forward in relation to the rest of their brigade so they too begin to slowly fall back.



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10:37 AM
D.H. Hill is really zeroing in on the 2nd and 5th Vermont, and unfortunately for us it seems to be working. There's now a pretty decent-sized gap between Brooks and Davidson. Gabriel T. Rains' Alabama/Georgia brigade is the first to notice this and they start to rush us at an alarming pace.



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10:38 AM
This nasty surprise is too much for Davidson's men. They're running for their lives, and some units like the 49th New York are simply done for the day. Their morale is too low and they'll be inaccessible to me for the rest of the battle.



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10:41 AM
Julius Adams, commanding Couch's rightmost brigade, has somehow gotten himself turned 90 degrees and is now facing west. He seems to think he's got D.H. Hill in a trap, but he fails to notice Whiting's entire division coming his way from the south. That's the 61st Pennsylvania on the left with their flank wide open. And, oh my god, Adams has ordered another regiment (the 31st PA) into that field where the danger is even worse.



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10:42 AM
BEVERLY HOUSE

Time to check in on McCall on the left flank. D.R. Jones is in big trouble, there's no way this was supposed to happen. If I had to guess, I'd say they probably meant to sneak up on Franklin's guns from the woods at the top-right corner of the frame. But instead they took a wrong turn and mistakenly tried going for McCall's guns. So they're still pinned down at the Beverly House, which is just getting obliterated by the I Corps artillery.



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10:45 AM
The 4th Vermont, noticing one of Lieutenant Andrew Cowan's guns (RI Light Arty, Battery E) is in danger, decides to heroically take a stand and protect them. They're paying a heavy price for it, as they're facing Rains' entire brigade. Cowan notices this, dashes onto the scene, screams at his straggling men, and decides to take control of a gun himself. He is mad, and rightfully so. The Vermont Brigade is now getting pummeled mercilessly because his guns didn't fall back like he ordered them to.



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10:46 AM
Jesus Christ. See that ominous black smoke on the right? That's where the leftmost company of the 6th Georgia used to be. They were the unlucky victims of Cowan's wrath and got a face-full of canister fire from pretty much his entire battery. The lucky few who survived were routed. (Many of them sprinted west into the woods, encountered some skirmishers from Sedgwick's Division, and instantly surrendered)
 

TheKenoshaKid

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Jan 11, 2010
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77
Sumner.jpg

Edwin "Bull Head" Sumner was the first Union officer to be made General after South Carolina seceded. He's also got 30 years on McClellan, so it's safe to say being a subordinate to "Little Mac" wasn't his ideal scenario. Add him to the long list of officers that think McClellan is in over his head. McClellan, in response, is highly critical of Sumner's age and "old-timey" fighting style. No love lost between these two guys.

Sumner's II Corps arrived at the Battle of Lacy House just in time to see it come to a disappointing end. Instead of ending the rebellion right then and there, Sumner was instead ordered to be the rear-guard for the retreating III and IV Corps. Huge blow to morale there; he didn't even get to do any real fighting. Some regiments from Sedgwick's division skirmished with Johnston right at the end, but it was never more than a couple regiments at a time.

This morning his Corps has been on the right where relatively little has happened. It's almost 11 AM, and he's been bugging McClellan all morning. He keeps insisting that his men should sweep south and turn Johnston's left flank, but McClellan won't budge. Luckily Sumner has a secret weapon at his disposal:


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“If I was going to take Hell, I should want the 5th New Hampshire for skirmishers.”
- Israel B. Richardson


Around 10:45 AM, the 5th New Hampshire discovers some of McLaws' men in the woods between the Trigg/Shelton Farms and Laurel Hill. The official plan is to report on the enemy position if spotted and to withdraw ASAP to the main line. But the 5th New Hampshire decides to actively pick a fight with some Louisiana boys, and now nobody is backing down. This basically forces Sumner to "rescue" them, which he is more than happy to do. As soon as the first shots are fired, the rest of Oliver Howard's brigade comes to their aid, with Meagher's Irish Brigade on their left.

Sumner finally got his wish. The II Corps has officially entered the battle.



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10:50 AM
Meanwhile back in the center, Adams has noticed his predicament but now it's too late to escape. So Darius Couch sends Peck's Brigade to help Adams out of this jam.



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10:51 AM
The 61st Pennsylvania, from Pittsburgh, are the odd men out in a brigade full of kids from Philly and Brooklyn. But no time for friendly rivalries right now...they were about to follow up a successful counterattack when, to their horror, they see an entire division descending on the 31st PA right in front of them. They're now an emergency rally point as those foul-mouthed Eagles fans with the weird accent race to join them in the woods. The two regiments coordinate surprisingly well and the 61st successfully escorts the fleeing 31st back to safety.

(Note: in the last chapter, I mistakenly identified these rebels as Whiting's Division. They are actually R.H. Anderson's men. At some point, Whiting must have taken an abrupt u-turn that I completely missed. So now Hood's Texans are out there somewhere and I have no idea where. Fantastic.)



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10:54 AM
Adams' left flank is no longer in peril, and he can now get the heck out of there. The whole brigade is now running towards Peck's still-arriving brigade.



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10:56 AM
Luckily, Peck has prepared for the worst and is ready to engage the second Adams' Brigade is no longer in their way.



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10:58 AM
Back on the Union right, The Irish Brigade has found McLaws and is now joining Howard in line. As Meagher's troops start to form a line, Sumner orders Sedgwick send a couple brigades south from the Shelton Farm and form on Meagher's left.



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10:59 AM
The 5th New Hampshire finally starts to fall back, but only after Generals Howard and Richardson personally deliver the message to Colonel Cross. These guys are really something special.


CASUALTIES (10:30 - 11:00)
USA: 599
CSA: 1,421

CASUALTIES (Total)
USA: 1,327
CSA: 3,531
 
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