Trent war - possible timeline of events, battles, and outcome

Saphroneth

Captain
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Very informative thanks. That's actually more open than I thought it was although still a fair number of creeks/rivers and a few hills and forests to restrict maneuvers. Not sure how good the roads would be but the railways are likely to be very important.
I think the thing to remember is that south of the border is some of the coldest (most northerly) terrain in New York, a long way from any major cities; north of the border is some of the warmest land in Quebec, and the close hinterland of Montreal*. At that I'm using an 1830s map to estimate the Canadian tree cover; it could be considerably more open than that.

There are only a couple of "all weather" roads, but yes, the only major supply route options are the rail lines, the St. Lawrence river or the Chambly river.

* A city with about 90,000 people in it; if it were in the US it would rank 10th in size.
 
Last edited:

Saphroneth

Captain
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
@Tielhard will be pleased, I did another map. This one has gone into details on the number of inf regiments in each location, though it has NOT included the Confederate "surplus corps" which is hanging around like a 41-regiment thunderhead ready to strike...


planned_positoins.jpg


Naturally, the green numerals represent the number of Canadian militia battalions not directly brigaded with regulars. This is essentially the situation before any major campaigning happens.
 

67th Tigers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
What of Butler? Historically ISTR he was in New England organising the New Orleans expeditionary force. Is he now commanding along the Maine border?
 

steve59p

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
Saphroneth

Very interesting and many thanks. Give a clear idea of the basic strengths available. It looks like except on the road to Montreal, where they have a nearly 3-1 edge, the union is outnumbered in the north and also the western areas. In the main southern front while forces are scattered somewhat the south also has a numerical edge in the Virginia/Washington region although whether it's enough to be decisive is still to be unclear.

The unknown factors are the quality of a lot of the forces, included untested Canadian militia and union troops with often poorer weapons and cavalry than OTL. Plus that 41 regt additional possible forces you mentioned for the south.

Does Britain have forces that could support naval attacks on the south or could the union risk moving some of those units on the coast away? Mind you even if Britain isn't planning and landings and the US realised this that could be politically unpopular in those areas as well as creating further logistical problems.

Steve
 

Saphroneth

Captain
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
What of Butler? Historically ISTR he was in New England organising the New Orleans expeditionary force. Is he now commanding along the Maine border?
Butler's in command of the District of New England, which is basically everything east of NY.


Does Britain have forces that could support naval attacks on the south or could the union risk moving some of those units on the coast away? Mind you even if Britain isn't planning and landings and the US realised this that could be politically unpopular in those areas as well as creating further logistical problems.
There's about a brigade's worth available (Royal Marines plus a couple of battalions, basically), but the US doesn't know if there's that or three - and they absolutely need those defensive forces in place, without some kind of defences in Philadelphia (for example) a landing party could take out the main US powder mills.
Functionally speaking the forces shown are actually spread out a bit in forts etc., since many states don't have the militia to run their own forts (let alone defend them against infantry attack).


ED: I also missed off the Western Virginia stuff for the Union, I'll add that when I get a chance.


Something else to note is that this is the initial dispositions. It's quite possible for example that the British will start pulling in brigades from elsewhere to blunt a push on Montreal - i.e. a division from the Quebec line and a brigade each from the Sarnia and Niagara ones, plus some Canadian brigades.
 
Last edited:

67th Tigers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
Butler's in command of the District of New England, which is basically everything east of NY.
Independent of Sumner? Remembering Butler is the 3rd MG(V) and Sumner is a regular BG.

Could you fill in the senior officer's assignments here (in line of seniority)

Major-Generals in the Regular Army
McClellan
Fremont
Halleck
(2 open slots)

Major-Generals in the Volunteer Force
Banks
Dix
Butler
Hunter
Governor Morgan of NY
(historically Hitchcock appointed 28 Feb '62, McDowell 14th March with the idea he'd take the AoP etc.)

Brigadier-Generals in the Regular Army
Wool (Brevet MG, technically should be moved up)
Harney (NB: deliberately unassigned OTL)
Sumner
Mansfield
McDowell
Anderson (NB: sick and not available for service)
Rosecrans
St. Geo. Cooke
(1 open slot)

(BG(V) are as per here)
 

Saphroneth

Captain
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Independent of Sumner? Remembering Butler is the 3rd MG(V) and Sumner is a regular BG.

Could you fill in the senior officer's assignments here (in line of seniority)

Major-Generals in the Regular Army
McClellan
Fremont
Halleck
(2 open slots)

Major-Generals in the Volunteer Force
Banks
Dix
Butler
Hunter
Governor Morgan of NY
(historically Hitchcock appointed 28 Feb '62, McDowell 14th March with the idea he'd take the AoP etc.)

Brigadier-Generals in the Regular Army
Wool (Brevet MG, technically should be moved up)
Harney (NB: deliberately unassigned OTL)
Sumner
Mansfield
McDowell
Anderson (NB: sick and not available for service)
Rosecrans
St. Geo. Cooke
(1 open slot)

(BG(V) are as per here)
Well, filling that out has helped expose a few issues... which are best handled I think by a judicious promotion!


McClellan - AoP commander (and in command of Dept. East), GiC before then
Fremont - Dept. North commander
Halleck - GiC (once McClellan isn't), Dept. West commander before then
(Sumner - AoSL commander)

Banks - AoP corps commander
Dix - commanding Baltimore defences (as per PoD)
Butler - commanding Dept. of New England
Hunter - AotSL corps commander
Morgan - commanding New York defences

Wool - captured
Harney - not assigned on my chart
Sumner (promoted)
Mansfield - not assigned on my chart
McDowell - AoP corps commander
Anderson - not assigned on my chart
Rosecrans - commanding WV (2 divs)
St. Geo. Cooke - AotSL cavalry commander

Heintzelmann - commanding division, NY harbour defences
Keyes - commanding division, Maine
A Porter - AoP corps commander
FJ Porter - AoP division commander under McDowell
Franklin - AoSL corps commander
WT Sherman - not assigned on my chart
Stone - not assigned on my chart
Buell - commanding Army of the Ohio
TW Sherman - captured
Oakes - commanding division, Boston defences
Pope - commanding Army of the Mississippi
McCall - AoP division commander under Banks
W Montgomery - commanding Army of the Niagara (at Buffalo)
Kearny - AoP division commander under A Porter
Hooker - commanding division, Philadelphia defences
Phelps - commanding brigade under Oakes
Grant - commanding Army of the Tennessee
JJ Reynolds - commanding division under Rosecrans
Curtis - not assigned on my chart
CS Hamilton - not assigned on my chart
Couch - commanding brigade under Keyes
King - AoP division commander under McDowell
Cox - commanding division under Rosecrans
Hurlbut - AoT division commander under Grant
Sigel - not assigned on my chart
Schenck - commanding brigade under JJ Reynolds
Prentiss - AoT division commander under Grant
Lander - AoP division commander under Banks
Kelly - commanding brigade under JJ Reynolds
McClernand - commanding division, Ogdensburg
AS Williams - AoP division commander under Banks
Richardson - AoSL division commander under Hunter
Sprague - not assigned on my chart
Cooper - not assigned on my chart
Burnside - AoSL division commander under Hunter
Lockwood - not assigned on my chart
Blenker - AoSL division commander under Franklin
Slocum - AoSL division commander under Hunter
Wadsworth - commanding defences of Washington
Peck - commanding brigade under Keyes
Mitchel - AoO division commander under Buell
Morell - AoP division commander under A Porter
Martindale - commanding brigade under FJ Porter
Stoneman - commanding cavalry, AotP
Benham - not assigned on my chart
WF Smith - AoSL division commander under Franklin
Denver - commanding in Kansas
GH Thomas - AoO division commander under Buell
Viele- not assigned on my chart
Shields - AoP division commander under McDowell
JF Reynolds - commanding brigade under McCall
Barry- not assigned on my chart
Abercrombie - commanding brigade under AS Williams
CF Smith - commanding division, Portsmouth
Casey - AoP division commander under A Porter
Graham - commanding brigade under Keyes
Meade - commanding brigade under McCall
Biddle - not assigned on my chart
Duryea - commanding brigade in Wash Defences


DCs not mentioned on chart:
Pope's DCs Paine and Stanley
Grant's DC Schofield
Buell's DCs McCook, Nelson, GW Morgan
Lew Wallace (at Rhode Island)
Sumner's DC Sykes
Montgomery's DCs Crittenden, Wood
Schuyler Hamilton (at Detroit)

None of these have a subordinate over them, so they can go on the end of the BG(V) list without trouble - though some of them might be made BG(R) instead.



And even before this, by the way, the idea was that Butler is commanding the New England district which does not include NY (which is where Sumner is).
 

67th Tigers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
Well, filling that out has helped expose a few issues... which are best handled I think by a judicious promotion!

Sumner's promotion of regular MG will sail through approval I think. Sadly, the 1862 campaign showed him to be a disaster when not closely supervised...

Harney, Anderson, WT Sherman and Stone are out for various reasons.

Curtis was commanding the Army of SW Missouri OTL, and Sigel was his senior DC.

Hamilton was historically the 3rd brigadier in Banks' division until assigned to take over Heintzelman's.

Sprague was governor of RI, and turned down the Commission.

Cooper was in ill health and was placed in charge of Camp Chase in Ohio, a training and later prison camp.

Lockwood was historically assigned to the Delmarva Peninsula and supervised the occupation of Virginia's eastern shore.

Benham had been a brigade commander in WV, did a stint as supervising engineer at Boston, and then went down the Charleston in late March.

Viele is also with the Dept of the South, so captured.

Barry is the chief of artillery of the AoP.

Biddle declined the Commission.
 

Saphroneth

Captain
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
What that sounds like is that there's no actual problem with the ORBAT, then, assuming that promotion for Sumner (and making Mansfield CoS for McClellan, or just giving him command in the West). Might have to give Hamilton a DC command though - and split Pope's army into extra (smaller) divisions to fit Curtis/Sigel in there.
Perhaps having Pope with three divisions, under Curtis/Sigel/Paine, each of two brigades?
 

67th Tigers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
Regulations were that only the General-in-Chief or the President (and hence SECWAR if so directed by POTUS) could form brigades and divisions. Scott threw his teddy in the corner when McClellan created FJ Porter's division; he believed he alone should be allowed to do such. There was no regulation allowing for Corps to be created until July '62. POTUS of course can simply declare an organisation into corps. Both McClellan and Halleck created multi-divisional commands, but avoided naming them corps.

For the sake of realism, it might by best not to create Federal corps. The Army of the Potomac and the Army of the St. Lawrence might have six divisions each, and these might be organised into wings, but no Corps (even if the wings are Corps in all but name). Make Hunter, McDowell, Andrew Porter and Franklin division commanders.

Also, McDowell and Franklin are basically a double team, and are under the aegis of Secy of the Treasury Chase. I'd keep them together at Washington.
 

Saphroneth

Captain
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
The forming of "formal corps" is partly to facilitate GCACW simulation and partly because it's actually more efficient for the Union than double-hatting DCs. I could treat it as the shown org chart being the functional org chart though (i.e. showing who's actually commanding each formation and which BC jumps up to command the division the "wing commander" has vacated.

I might shift things around with McDowell and Franklin though - even though they ended up separated historically. Perhaps swap Franklin (and his division, which is the one here under Smith) with the division of:

Kearny if I wanted to be evil
or FJ Porter if I wanted to be kind
or otherwise probably Andrew Porter (going with presumably Morell's division).
 

67th Tigers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
What you could do is divide the AoSL into district commands, as Fremont did with Grant's command.

District of NE NY- the division at Ogdensburg, a division at Plattsburgh and another at Ft Montgomery
District of Vermont - the rest (Burlington, VT is better connected by the railroad for supply)

With Sumner's "Division of the St. Lawrence" having control of all. Then the corps would naturally be the two major district commanders, with the natural boundary being the Richelieu river. Montgomery could have the District of Niagara (aka NW NY, but includes upstate Pa so...).
 

steve59p

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
Sumner's promotion of regular MG will sail through approval I think. Sadly, the 1862 campaign showed him to be a disaster when not closely supervised...

Harney, Anderson, WT Sherman and Stone are out for various reasons.

Curtis was commanding the Army of SW Missouri OTL, and Sigel was his senior DC.

Hamilton was historically the 3rd brigadier in Banks' division until assigned to take over Heintzelman's.

Sprague was governor of RI, and turned down the Commission.

Cooper was in ill health and was placed in charge of Camp Chase in Ohio, a training and later prison camp.

Lockwood was historically assigned to the Delmarva Peninsula and supervised the occupation of Virginia's eastern shore.

Benham had been a brigade commander in WV, did a stint as supervising engineer at Boston, and then went down the Charleston in late March.

Viele is also with the Dept of the South, so captured.

Barry is the chief of artillery of the AoP.

Biddle declined the Commission.

67th Tigers

That doesn't bode well for the union then as he's in charge of the army that Lincoln is relying on to end the war with Britain in a victorious manner. Especially since will all the problems Lincoln's war with Britain will cause for the union economy and military infrastructure so their not likely to get another chance.

Steve
 

Saphroneth

Captain
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
What you could do is divide the AoSL into district commands, as Fremont did with Grant's command.

District of NE NY- the division at Ogdensburg, a division at Plattsburgh and another at Ft Montgomery
District of Vermont - the rest (Burlington, VT is better connected by the railroad for supply)

With Sumner's "Division of the St. Lawrence" having control of all. Then the corps would naturally be the two major district commanders, with the natural boundary being the Richelieu river. Montgomery could have the District of Niagara (aka NW NY, but includes upstate Pa so...).
The problem with that is that as far as I can tell the preferable approach for the Union is basically to fight up the rail lines from Rouses Point and Mooers Junction towards Montreal - there isn't a comparable supply line east of the Richelieu and the Richelieu itself is heavily fortified (and indeed they can't really rely on controlling it, nor on being able to cross as there'll be gunboats on it). So all or almost all the fighting is basically going to be west of the Richelieu, where there's manoeuvering room.

Burlington is well supplied but the rail line north of Burlington is not nearly as good, and by the time you're almost to Rouses Point the situation isn't very good. My effective assumption is that the primary route of Union supply is up Lake Champlain to Rouses Point and to Plattsburg, with guns in place to close the Richelieu to British ships (as a matter of priority, though fortunately they don't need to deal with serious ironclads) and that the rail line via Burlington to Rouses Point is a separate supply route.


What I might do is have Fremont accompany the Army of the St. Lawrence, just to provide the supervision that Sumner needs...
 
Top