SAS Wargames Club

SAS Wargames Club
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Friday, 7 December 2007

Union Situation Report - 21st June

Gen’l Hunter
You have been able to fall back in relatively good order to Winchester, arriving evening of 20th June.

If you are able to remain in position for 24 hours most of your missing will return to your lines. Additionally these units will be automatically re-supplied.

General Siegel’s Division had arrived in Winchester mid-day, 20th June, his division is now directly under your command.

Gen’l Crook
Having left a strong defensive screen at Cross Keys to avoid pursuit by the enemy, your division has marched to Front Royal by the morning of 21st June, force marching on the 20th.

Your options are now open, to the west lies Strasburg, where scouts inform you of the arrival yesterday evening of at least one rebel division and supporting cavalry.

To the east you would be able to take the railroad, via Alexandria, to Winchester, and able to arrive tomorrow afternoon.

It may however delay the rebels if they become aware of your presence on their flank, giving Hunter & Seigel time to fortify Winchester.

Gen’ls Averrel & Stahel
Are now in Kernstown, fighting rearguard actions against pursuing rebel cavalry and infantry force who are currently in Strasburg.

Stahel’s division are low on ammunition as they have now been in the saddle on active service continuously since Harrisburg.


Enemy Dispositions
Full details of Early’s location are not fully known.
It is believed that Early’s force at Strasburg consists of Gordon’s Infantry Division and Ransom’s Cavalry division, but possibly others.

At Harrisburg, at the time of Crook’s departure on the 19th June, it appeared that Beckinridge’s Corps had remained on the field, with fresh troops still arriving from the south. These may have been elements of Ramseur’s Division.

Confederate Situation Report - Morning 21st June

Gen’l Early
You have transferred your command post to be attached to that of Gen’l Echols and have accompanied his division and Ramson’s Cavalry in the pursuit of Hunter’s divisions north from Harrisburg.

The march north has been quick with numerous small skirmishes between your own and enemy cavalry, as the enemy make strong efforts to prevent your scouts learning too much, or your main force impeding their retreat. Keeping up a hot pace, Echol’s Infantry have now reached Strasburg (last night), whilst Ransom’s Cavalry are now reconnoitering Kernstown and it’s environs, it is
clear that the Yanks are willing to resist any further push north, and won’t give ground without a fight. It seems that their two cavalry divisions are prepared to make a stand.

Hunter’s Infantry division is not in evidence.

You are getting reports form locals that there is a large enemy force at Front Royal, a day’s march to the east this is possibly Hunter but could also be Crook, no other details are yet known A letter arrives at your headquarters from Gen’l Lee on the 21st June.

Gen’l Ransom
Your troops have been in the saddle for 12 days non-stop, having fought at Harrisburg and skirmished almost every other day. They are exhausted and need to have rest to re-coup and re-supply.

Maps of Kernstown area are being drawn-up, however, the enemy cavalry is not dug in, although they do out number you by 2:1.

24 hours rest off the front line will do them wonders!




Gen’l Beckinridge
Having remained at Harrisburg and held the field, you are now able to report that significant numbers of troops have rejoined your forces. Most of these had slight wounds or had gotten themselves ‘detached’ from their regiments during the heat of battle.

To re-organise and recover more seriously wounded you will need to travel to a supply depot and remain there for 48 hours. That said your forces have benefited from being able to scour the battlefield and collect dropped food, arms and ammunition.

Gen’l Johnson from Ramseur’s command arrived in Harrisburg on 20th June and is covering the Cross Keys road, however, there has been no activity from that direction since the battle, although a strong enemy skirmish screen remains in place. Two of your regiments have been added to the Confederate Roll of Honour.

Gen’l Ramseur
Your troops continue to build the fortifications at Staunton, Johnson’s brigade has arrived at Harrisburg.










Sunday, 18 November 2007

Union Situation Report - Morning 19th June

Gen’l Hunter
Following the unlucky defeat on the Harrisburg battlefield, your army is awaiting further orders. Whilst your 1st Infantry Division took a pounding after holding off two enemy divisions and throwing one back in confusion.

Casualties
All leaders should refer to the casualty reports posted separately by your admin staff, those listed as missing include dead and wounded not found on the field, those captured and those that skedaddled on the in the heat of battle and likely to return overnight. Missing troops will return to your active strength as soon as you spend 24hrs stationary in one location.

Wounded will remain reasonably close at hand as they are treated and can begin to be re-incorporated into your active strength as soon as you take 2 days break at a supply depot to refit and re-organise.

Those listed as killed are dead or too gravely injured to remain in service. Observers on the field of battle report back to you that despite your losses you were able to inflict a severe body blow to Gen’l Beckinridge’s forces at Harrisburg. His infantry divisions are believed to be badly mauled. However, Early’s Corps was largely untouched during the battle.

Supplies
All brigades actively engaged in the battle at Harrisburg will find that they have expended supplies (ammunition, water and food) in participating in the battle. Quartermasters are reporting that this is not yet a big problem, all infantry brigades have 2 days rations left, that plus what can be secured locally should see the troops through . Similar story for all cavalry brigades.
Quartermasters recommend that you fall back onto a supply base where you can re-supply, re-organise and recover your forces and prepare for the next rebel attack that is undoubtedly going to come.

Enemy Dispositions
Full details of Early’s location are as yet unknown, awaiting reports from Gen’l Averell’s & Stahel’s cavalry to confirm their actions. It is assumed that Early’s infantry divisions will be heading north – to press their current advantage. Ramsom’s Cavalry Division will likely be perusing you to collect information. It is likely that your Cavalry divisions can successfully screen / delay any enemy pursuit if so ordered.

Confederate Situation Report - Morning 19th June

Gen’l Early
Following the success of the day on the Harrisburg battlefield, Ol’ Jube issues orders as follows:

Gen’l Ransom – to pursue the Yankees, northwards, vigorously, if necessary as far as Winchester.
Gen’l Rodes – to lead his infantry division in support of Gen’l Ransom
Gen’l Beckinridge – to rest your Corps for 24 hours at Harrisburg and then to march north towards Winchester, behind Ransom & Rodes.
Gen’l Ramseur – to detach one brigade form your command and allow it to advance to Harrisburg where you are to hold and dig in. the balance of Ramseur’s division is to remain in current location.
Additionally approaches will be made to the Yankees to organize a prisoner exchange at first opportunity.


Casualties
All leaders should refer to the casualty reports posted separately by your admin staff, those listed as missing include dead and wounded not found on the field, those captured and those that skedaddled on the in the heat of battle and likely to return overnight.

Wounded will remain reasonably close at hand as they are treated and can begin to be re-incorporated into your active strength as soon as you take 2 days break at a supply depot to refit and re-organise.

Those listed as killed are dead or too gravely injured to remain in service.

Observers on the field of battle report back to you that despite your losses you were able to inflict a severe body blow to Gen’l Hunter’s forces at Harrisburg. His infantry division is believed to be crippled, and one of the two cavalry divisions present on the field has also taken significant casualties.

Supplies
All brigades actively engaged in the battle at Harrisburg will find that they have expended supplies (ammunition, water and food) in participating in the battle.

Quartermasters are reporting that this is not yet a big problem, Beckinridge’s brigades have 2 days rations left, that plus what can be secured locally should see the troops through . Similar story for Rodes’ brigades that force marched to Harrisburg from Staunton. Ramseur’s brigades at Staunton have also expended a day’s supplies, without the benefit of drawing fresh vitals from the
wrecked town.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Union Situation Report - Morning 18th June

Gen’l Hunter
Please refer to map of Harrisburg

The Enemy is upon you!

Enemy scouting & cavalry pickets encountered in some force in and around the Bridgewater area. When pressed by your own pickets then they are standing their ground and calling in re-enforcements to keep you away from that area.

However, of greater concern is the evidence of the arrival of an enemy infantry Corps to your direct south from Staunton. From their battle-flags you can determine that this is Beckinridge’s Corps, with Echol’s Division deployed on your left flank, between the forest area and the Staunton Road. Gordon’s division is deployed to your centre, more or less across the Staunton Road. As noted above you are unable to detect what is present on your right flank across the river at Bridgewater.

You do not appear to be in a position where flight is an option as dis-engaging from Harrisburg would likely leave you open to your supply lines and rearguard being ravaged.

In the city of Harrisburg you have Sullivan’s Infantry division, plus Weynkoop’s cavalry brigade. I will allow you to make hasty preparations overnight to provide cover for all your troops should you decide to stand and fight. At present you are out numbered about 2:1.

However, your advantage is that you have the option to call in re-enforcements quickly, something that the enemy is unlikely to be expecting Crook is half day’s forced march away in Cross Keys with his infantry division, beyond him is Tibbet’s cavalry brigade at Port Republic, again a half day’s forced march away. If there arrival is timed correctly then you could be able to deliver a crushing flank attack on the rebels outside Harrisburg.

You would also expect Averell and his cavalry division to be in Strasburg by now, if he were to force march south he could likely be in Harrisburg by nightfall. Please supply a deployment plan for the coming battle at Harrisburg as soon as you can.

Note: Infantry & Artillery can deploy anywhere in the top half of the map, along the line that includes the small settlement between Bridgewater and Harrisburg diagonally across to the lake on your left flank and then anywhere along the north border of the forest area.

Cavalry can deploy in Bridgewater if required or anywhere designated above for infantry or cavalry. 

Confederate Situation Report - Morning 18th June

Gen’l Ransom
Please refer to map of Harrisburg
Your forces are deployed south of the Bridgewater settlement, on the opposite side of the riverbank from Bridgewater its-self. You have been probing enemy positions in this area and are meeting stiff resistance, when pressed re-enforcements are being called up and your scouts and pickets are being forced back.

The enemy is determined that you do not get to collect detailed intelligence from this area – Capt Wellington J.Finch reports back.

“Gen’l, Sir, it’s hotter than heck there Sir. Ain’t seen those blue bellies fired up so much in months. They’s definitely expecting us and they don’t want to let us get a foothold across the river without a real fight”. 

Further along the line, on your extreme right flank reports are that again pickets are out in force and that preparations are being made to make a stand.

Maj. Caleb Early reports back.

“Sir, heavy infantry pickets encountered all along the northern edge of the forest on our right flank. Road to Cross Keys is unprotected as far as we can make out”.

Both sets of scouts also report back that they are still trying to figure out exact enemy numbers, however, they have not seen anything yet to indicate that Hunter has been re-enforced since he left Staunton.

See notes about supply below.

Gen’l Beckinridge
Please refer to map of Harrisburg
Your Corps is deployed on the southern edge of the map and is ready for battle. Deployement is as suggested by Gen’l Early, your artillery reached you over-night and their location is left for you to determine as is the alignment of your brigades / regiments.







Gen’l Early
Please refer to map of Harrisburg
As ordered Ramseur’s division has remained in Staunton to guard against attack from Jennings Gap, Rodes’ division will arrive in place to support Beckinridge’s right flank mid morning. General Early himself has ridden ahead and is sharing Gen’l Beckinridge’s facilities until such time as his lead division is deployed.

General Rodes will be required to determine an order of march for his division.

Note: It is now clear why there were no supplies left in Staunton by the retiring Yanks, the place has been ravaged, there is nothing to sustain a regiment in the area let alone a Corps. All your troops have had to consume a unit of supply to maintain their body & souls and be able to fight this coming day. 

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Confederate Situation report - Evening 17th June

Gen'l Ransom
Gen'l Beckinridge
Generals Ransom & Beckinridge - StauntonBobby Ranson sent out scouting parties west to Jennings Gap and north to Harrisburg, with a view to determining enemy intentions. Meanwhlie he ordered his command to prepare defensive positions and then where appropriate to rest.

Most of Ransom’s command was thus rested by the time that Beckinridge’s Corp marched into Staunton at about 10pm at night after a day’s march from Waynesboro.

By midnight first reports from scouts at Harrisburg had filtered back, a map of the Harrisburg area is available and it is clear that he Yanks are preparing to defend the town.

At present no defences have been prepared at Harrisburg, enemy strengths are consistent with the numbers that you expect to have moved north from Staunton.

Detailed examination of the railroad tracks east from Staunton to Rockfish Gap indicate severe damage in at least two places within an hour’s ride of the town.

You are shocked at the wanton damage and ruination caused to the town of Staunton, consensus of your officers is that this I no way to fight a war.

Major Caleb Early (No Relation), from the 37th Virginia Cavalry reports,

“Sir, best we can see, Hunter has move out of his prepared positions here at Staunton and retired back to Harrisburg, where there are no positions prepared. It don’t seem right to me sir. He has his supply wagons with him, but not as many as I’d expect to see for a full division.”

Meanwhile the reliable Capt Wellington J. Finch arrives back in camp at about midnight from Jennings Gap.

“Sir, just back from Jennings Gap. No enemy activity there Sir. Folks in the mountains there say the Yanks keep themselves to themselves, not been no enemy activity in the area for over two months. My uncle, old Rufus Merriweather lives up there and he said to me that story is that General Kelley is looking for a quiet war, he’s not interested in starting any fighting”.

General Early - Waynesboro
Your Corps is resting overnight at Waynesboro with the intention of marching on Staunton in the morning

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Union Situation Report - Morning,17th June 1864

Gen’l Hunter
As per orders issued on the morning of 16th June, General Sullivan prepared to break camp and marched his division north to Harrisburg during the morning, afternoon and evening of 16th June.

To cover this withdrawal General Stahel and Col. Weynkoop’s cavalry brigade screened the southern approaches to Staunton until nightfall and then too with drew to the north under cover of darkness.
These activities were completed successfully and without interference from any enemy activity.

Maps of Harrisburg are available online to prepare your defenses.

Gen’l Crook
Received his orders to prepare to move on Harrisburg mid afternoon on the 16th, this morning General Hunter received a note from him confirming that this division is ready to march, estimated time of arrival being end of day if normal movement is ordered or mid-day if forced marching requested.







Gen’l Averell
Deployed his 1st brigade at Winchester on the 16th, he is now in the process of preparing to move south, escorting supply wagons to Strasburg, where he will deploy his 2nd Brigade, likely morning of the 18th June and finally the same with the 3rd brigade on morning of the 19th at Mt. Jackson.





Gen’l Siegel
Reports to General Hunter that his troops in Martinsburg and Harpers Ferry are…

“mostly untrained greenhorns, not worth a dud nickel in combat but as long as the rebs don’t realize this they’re good to garrison our key supply depots”. 







Campaign Diaries -Morning 17th June 1864

Gen’l Ransom
You are finally able to carefully draw in you command to the south eastern approaches to Staunton mid morning on the 16th June, avoiding detection by the yanks, deploying your regiments along the crest line of the Fisherville ridge.

You are confronted by an unexpected sight, Yankee wagons rolling north followed first by one infantry brigade and then later in the day by a second. Late afternoon you see some of the artillery pulling out.

At nightfall there are many campfires to be seen but significant levels of activity remain in and around Staunton, after dark Capt. Wellinton J. Finch leads a scouting party down to the town and returns with more news.

"General, Sir, looks like the yanks have done skiddadled, there’s plenty of campfires down there but not more than a handful of blue-belly stragglers to be seen. One strange thing is that there’s not much in the way of supplies left behind, usually them blue-bellies leave all sorts lying around.”

Gen’l Beckinridge
As planned you march from Waynesboro to Staunton, arriving there after nightfall, nothing eventful happens on the way.

Gen’l Early
As planned you march from Lynchburg to Waynesboro, placing the artillery destined for Beckinridge’s corp at the lead of your column, to facilitate it’s rapid deployment when convenient, you arrive early evening on the 16th.

Information has come in from local sympathisers at Cross Keys that General Crook is located there, he has a strong division of 3 brigades but no artillery with him. Additionally a cavalry brigade was in the area on the 14th June.

Information has come in from local sympathisers at Jennings Gap, this indicates that there is a Yankee Corps based at McDowell under general John Kelley, 6 infantry brigades, one cavalry brigade and supporting artillery. These guys are mostly westerners and traitorous Virginians that have sided with the yanks.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Union Situation Report - Morning 16th June 1864

Gen’l Hunter
Fresh from the recent successful action at Waynesboro, Gen’l Stahel leads his brigade
into Staunton around mid-day on the 15th June.

As you were breaking camp around the town of Waynesboro an attack by rebel cavalrymen was beaten back, more casualties were inflicted than taken and Stahel, although hard pressed, was able to exit the field in an orderly manner.

Col. Weynkoop, Stahel’s brigade commander reports:

“Sir, I vos honoured to be able to strike a blow for mine country. Ve vos able to put our Sharps carbines to good use and gave the rebels a bloody nose. Da rebs vere over twice our number, but our men had ze guts to fight to to toe.”
(OK I can’t speak with a Dutch accent – let alone write in one – but you get the idea!)

Prisoners captured during the fight indicate that you were up against Gen’l Bobby Ransom’s Virgina cavalry brigade, they out numbered you 2:1 and had artillery support. Stahel made the right decision to evacuate the town when he did!

In Staunton the supply situation has not improved, however a message from Gen’l Averell has indicated that he is in Winchester with his cavalry division and he plans to escort the next supply column down to Staunton with his Cavalry division, dropping off a brigade at the major towns en route to deter further partisan activities.

You must expect an enemy attack in the next few days at Staunton, assuming that Ransom’s brigade is the vanguard of a larger force heading north. A map of Staunton is available for you to determine your defenses. As such you will be able to dig-in each of Sullivan’s two infantry brigades and each artillery batteries.

If you should send for help then Crook is at Cross keys and is a full two days march away, Tibbits at Port Republic is a day and a half’s march away, but would be held-up on the road by Crook’s division, unless Crook elected to wait for Tibbits to march through Cross Keys. Averell at Winchester is 3 and a half days march away. Force marches will obviously make these troops more readily available but will cost supply points.

In Harper’s Ferry and Martinsburg General Siegel is organising your 3rd(reserve) infantry division, about a dozen regiments, these are generally raw, 100 day militiamen but may be called upon if required. However their main function is to feed replacement regiments to you as replacements are needed and to guard the Federal Armoury at that location.



Confeerate Situation Report - Morning 16th June 1864

Gen’l Bobby Ransom
Fresh from your pursuit of the Federal cavalry from Waynesboro your forces are now in the vicinity of Staunton. As a matter of course you have sent out scouts to reconnoiter the area and these have reported back this morning.

Capt. Wellington Finch, reports the following;
“Sir, well we done gone hit payload on them darn Yanks this time General. Looks like we got us a whole infantry division dug in at Staunton, looks like three brigades as far as I can make out, and I counted at last three artillery batteries in their lines as well. Numbers wise my guess is about 5-6,000 men, that’s if your including the Blue-belly cavalry we just chased all the ways from Waynesboro”.

Locals in the area that are friendly to the southern cause confirm that Staunton is occupied by ‘Black Dave’ Hunter himself, with him is Jeremiah Sullivan’s 1st Infantry Division. They have had two or three days to dig in as they had been expecting a Confederate attack.

Prisoners from the action at Waynesboro, indicate that you were up against Colonel Weynkoop’s brigade, part of General Julius Stahel’s cavalry division. Stahel, was at Waynesboro directing operations. These same prisoners noted that there were 3 Yankee regiments at Waynesboro, 15th NY, 20th & 22nd PA each of about the same size as your cavalry regiments.

It also appears that the Federals were aware of your presence in the Waynesboro area and as they knew they were out-numbered and without artillery support, they were in the process of withdrawal when you attacked.

Scouts report back from Rockfish Gap that there are no enemy troops between Waynesboro and that place, however, there has been much damage done to the railroad between Staunton and Rockfish Gap.

Gen’l Beckinridge
Your Corps marches from Lynchburg to Waynesboro on the 15th June without undue events taking place. Arriving at Waynesboro you take charge of a few dejected enemy cavalrymen who were captured during the skirmish the previous night. You are still without artillery as your allocated batteries are still tied up with Early’s Corps a days march behind you. To obtain these guns you should either wait a day where you are in Waynesboro as Early sends these forward or you should ask for them to force march forwards tomorrow and they will be with you in Staunton tomorrow evening.




Gen’l Early
Your Corps marches from Charlottesville to Lynchburg on the 15th June, without any problems. See notes above about Beckinridge’s artillery that is still with your corps.










Sunday, 14 October 2007

A Sharp Cavalry action at Waynesboro

At dawn on the 15th June, union and confederate cavalry brigades clashed at Waynesboro.

Col. Weynkoop’s Union cavalry had occupied the town 2 days before and had set-up camp and patrols around the town to monitor for rebel activity in the south of the Shenandoah valley. In this aim Weynkoop was ably mentored by his divisional Commander, the Hungarian hero, general Julius Stahel.

Arrayed against the Federal forces were general ‘Bobby’ Ransom’s cavalry brigade, who had moved up to Waynesboro under cover of night on the evening of the 14th June. After much planning
the rebels launched an attack at first light, having ben able to advance to within one mile of the town via a little known tracks through local woods, which kept them under cover most of the way.

See attached map for initial dispositions.

It should be noted at this juncture that Col. Weynkoop had become aware of increased enemy activity in the area and had planned a strategic withdrawal from the town in the morning, the rebel attack, however, caught him a little off guard.

 Ransom’s force announced themselves with a bold sweep by the 14th, 16th & 17th VA to their right skirting the woods south east of Waynesboro and attacking the camp of the 22nd PA, this was all accompanied by a salvo of artillery crashing into the Federal encampments.

The Federal troops were, however, already awake, preparing to break camp and were therefore not totally caught ‘knapping’, however, their initial response to the onslaught was confused, with the 20th & 22nd PA regiments struggling to form firing lines before a second series of artillery rounds crashed in, causing quite some casualties.

As the Federal troops formed their firing lines the Confederate cavalry rode on, picking up speed as they went. Their yells and hurrahs! breaking the stillness of the morning. Finally as the rebels spurred on their mounts for the last hundred yards the union troopers opened up with an intense salvo of fire from their Sharps breach loaders, cutting down many a brave cavalryman. The rebels visibly shuddered and their horses stalled before they rallied back and pressed forward through a barrage of
lead.

In this time the 15th NY had managed to mount and rode in support of it’s Pennsylvanian cousins, this time the two brigades made contact and in the swirling mass of men, horses and smoke the higher numbers of rebels pressed their northern  counterparts back forcibly. The melee then pushed one way then another before both sides broke off to regroup.

Strahel and Weynkoop, took this opportunity to order a general with drawl to Staunton, the 20th PA & 15th NY regiments forming firing lines to cover the retreat and guard the withdrawal of their baggage.

On regrouping the rebels took stock of their casualties, and on seeing the Yankees move to with draw elected not to press the matter any further, for risk of taking unnecessary further losses.

It is estimated that the Federal troops will reach Staunton by lunchtime, Ransom would need to decide on an immediate pursuit or to wait for re-enforcements.

Outcome
Tactical: Draw
Strategic: Rebel Win

Losses
Union:                Killed 0    Wounded: 1     Missing: 2
Confederate:      Killed 1     Wounded: 1    Missing: 2

One Supply Point used by both sides.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Union Situation Report – Morning 15th June 1864,

Gen'l Hunter
Your command at Staunton (Sullivan’s division) continues to dig in and prepare for the expected rebel attack. No supply wagons have arrived from Winchester since the 12th June, the assumption is that there has been increased partisan activity along the turnpike.





General Crook
Has received orders early on the 13th June to march his division to Cross Keys, by nightfall he has reached Harrisburg, he reports that he fully expects his division to be at their posts in Cross Keys by nightfall on the 14th June.







General Stahel

Colonel Tibbets leads his brigade of Stahel’s cavalry division from Staunton to Cross keys, arriving there late afternoon. Tibbets completes his move to Port Republic the next day, arriving there just after lunchtime, he proceeds to encamp and set-outpickets, whilst awaiting new orders.

General Stahel remains with Colonel Weynkoop’s Brigade in Waynesboro, where they arrive early morning on the 13th, finding no enemy activity. Stahel encamps the men and set-out pickets and patrols in the area and is alert to enemy activity.

Other News
Word reaches you that the railroad lines between Staunton and Rock Fish Gap have been cut in several places and that explosives detonated in the railroad cuttings at the gap have closed the line.
No word has been heard from the railroad team since this initial success, there are concerns that they ran into a sizable rebel force at Gordonsville.

Notes
The issue with supplies being interdicted could become a potential problem for you. Commands will need to begin foraging for food / supplies, and it is suggested that a brigade per division should be set aside for such tasks on a daily basis. Where the command is a lone brigades then a single regiment should be allocated to foraging.

If you do not receive supplies from Winchester by the end of day on the 15th then units will start ‘eating’ into their 3 day’s supplies. Where units are set out to forage then they can feed themselves for the day and potentially bring in supplies for others from the surrounding countryside.

Decision Points
1). During night of 14/15th June, reports come in to Col. Weynkoop’s HQ that there appears to be some increased rebel activity in the area, numbers unknown but pickets have heard unusual noises and the rumble of horses hooves in the night.
2). Determine how you intend to supply your troops if wagons continue to be interdicted. (You can detach units to guard the turnpike if you wish).

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Confederate Correspondence

The following letter was discovered recently which details Union activity around the town of Waynesboro, presumably a scouting report from Finch to General Early. Sadly the map mentioned in the text of the letter is missing...


General Ransom

Sir,

Further to my initial verbal report and in answer to your questions I have been able to draw up the attached map to give you as best a plan of the Yankee layout as I can recall.

We saw no evidence of Artillery, yet we positively identified the company lines of  two Yankee cavalry regiments and could see the lines of at least one further regiment north of the town, there were camp fires burning in each and the fires extended beyond our clear vision as indicated on the map.

The final approach to the camps will be difficult in my opinion sir, as they seem to have had pickets and patrols set out by someone who has experience in soldiering. Yankee patrols are not moving more than about a mile from Waynesboro and certainly not into the woods.

We may be able to approach via the woods but that would then leave us about a mile to cross over open farming country. The ground is covered by a number of small streams – but none of these are large enough to cause us concern. Movement at night may create noise, movement at day will mean we are surely seen.

If you were to ask my advice sir, there are two risks, first that the Yanks may know we are hear and be preparing a hot welcome for us, second that we are too cautious and we let the Yanks slip out of our grasp.

Regarding the first – there is no signs of any breastworks or special preparations, regarding the second, with due respect sir, we have not yet come across any Yank cavalry that has the gits to stand up to us when we get stuck in – they’re as likely to run as to fight – either way we get to take Waynesboro back from the Yanks.

Capt. Wellington J. Finch


Sunday, 7 October 2007

Lynchburg

A Confederate scout has created this hastily drawn map of Lynchburg...



Whether this map was used to plan an attack, is at this time still unknown,more research is being conducted into this campaign.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Confederate Situation Report - Afternoon 13th June

'Ole Jube'
At ‘Ole Jube’ Early’s behest, General ‘Bobby’ Ransom leads his cavalry brigade out of the lines at Sexton’s Junction and moves them by railroad to Charlottesville on the 13th June 1864.

Gen'l Ransom
The next day Ransom completes his move to Waynesboro, arriving there
at dusk on the 14th, there are signs of considerable recent enemy activity in the area, so the cavalry are kept some miles out of town and only a few scouts are sent forward to reconnoiter.

Capt. Wellington J. Finch, 17th Virginia Cavalry leads one such scouting party and reports back to     the well respected Bobby Ransom sometime after 3:00am 15th June.

“…by my estimates, Sir, we’re looking at a full Yankee Cavalry Brigade, they looks to me like     Pennsylvania boys, their lines are well drawn up and they seems to be knowing their soldiering, they have some pickets out and they are patrolling out to about a mile from their camp.”

Meanwhile Early’s Corps spends an initially frustrating day waiting for enough locomotives and wagons to be requisitioned to transport them from Sexton’s Junction to Charlottesville. It seems that this issue is only resolved when the rolling stock used to transport Ransom’s cavalry brigade returns overnight to Sexton’s Junction. This was not over popular with the men who had to travel in the boxcars previously used to house the horses – especially for those who had no shoes!

Bobby Rhodes
So it is early on the morning of the 14th June that Rhodes’ division finally entrains and sets off for
Charlottesville – arriving there late afternoon. ‘Lil Dod’ Ramseur’s division benefited from some additional locos that were found and his division arrives in Charlottesville late on the night of the 14th June.

Gen'l Beckinridge
Beckinridge’s Corps remains in Lynchburg throughout the 13th & 14th, following orders to allow Ransom’s cavalry brigade to forge the way, they will be ready to move out on the morning of the 15th June.











Sunday, 30 September 2007

Confederate Situation Report - 13th June 1864

'Black Dave' Hunter
Disturbing news reaches you this morning, ‘Black Dave’ Hunter’s forces have burned the Virginia

Military Institute to the ground as a reprisal for the brave cadet’s valiant participation in the Battle of New Market last month.

Even more worrying is the opening of a whole new chapter in Yankee depravity, Hunter and his band of cut-throats have raised  destroyed Staunton as a viable population centre for eth foreseeable future. Houses, shops, arms and warehouses have all been burnt, the population has been driven out and a number of wounded veterans and soldiers on furlough have been rounded up and sent north as captives. This appears to be a new type of war that the Yankees are fighting – one against the civilian population.

Beckinridges’ Divisional commanders at Lynchburg report that all brigades are ready to march this morning.

Early’s Divisional Commanders at Sexton’s Junction confirm the same. All brigades are issued three days supplies of food, water and ammunition.

Reports from Rockfish Gap indicate that Federal Railroad engineers have blown-up key bridges and destroyed cuttings with explosives to block the railroad lines to Staunton.


Col. McMasters
Colonel Davy McMasters, Confederate Railroad Service has been dispatched to reconnoiter damage and report back.

There are rumours of Federal Cavalry activity in and around Waynesboro, C.S. Cavalry would need to be dispatched to determine enemy strength in this area.

Jacob Thompson
Major Jcob Thompson of the C.S. Secret Service has indicated that estimates of Hunters’ strengths and dispositions would be available in a few days.

Virginian Irregular Cavalry operating in the valley have had some success in restricting his supply lines and information from the local population has been submitted in a report that is en-route.






Wednesday, 15 August 2007

6mm Corner

Steve's views on 6mm Figures...

Turkish Columns prepare to advance, Battle of Alma, figures from Dave's collection“6 mil” corner is part of the “SAS” website for those of us in the club who are brave enough to dabble in the dark and un-trodden paths of 6mm wargaming. I say “brave” because as you can guess we suffer the slings and arrows of the other members in the club who ridicule and demean this rather neglected figure scale, well, neglected within our club at any rate. 

Why 6mm? 
For many years I was, and still am, a big fan of 25mm figures, having a rather large collection of them myself. However as time has progressed and the years have taken their toll on my patience I have become progressively more and more fed up with having to spend hour upon hour painting these rather detailed figures. I tried 15mm for a while but gave up on that idea, as they’re really a fiddlier and just as detailed version of 25mm.

“Now”, I hear you say, “surely 6mm figures are even more fiddly than 15mm”, well yes and no. 6mm don’t have the detail that a 15mm figure has so you don’t have to spend hours painting it on. 6mm can be fiddly in as much as they’re small to handle but if you glue them to a say a piece of wood or card before you paint them then this overcomes the problem.


1798 Government Command Stand, figures from Steve's collection

There are several reasons why I chose 6mm:

1. When you put 6mm figures on the wargames table en masse they look as if they’re playing the part of a big army rather than looking like a couple of blokes out on a re-enactment weekend which is the impression that some 25mm or 15mm games give.

2. They’re easy to store. I have 2,000 figures stored in two A4 box files. Each box has two layers holding 500 figures each and they’re sectioned off so that the figures don’t move around when I’m taking them to the club. With my 25mm collection I had to carry two large metal toolboxes and several large cardboard boxes around with me, and that became tiresome I can tell you.

3. When your 6mm figures are painted and based into units they look really good. I have 80 figure units with a frontage of 10 inches per unit and they look like regiments of foot or horse. In 25mm this would equate to about 10 figures, or your “10 blokes out on their re-enactment weekend”.


1798 North Cork Militia, figures from Steve's collection

4. You can make up all sorts of peripheral or “luxury” items that you may not have the time or inclination to do in the larger scales. I have a nice regimental camp scene that adds a bit of flavour to the battlefield. It’s made up of three 4” x 6” sections so it can be as big as 12” x 6” if need be. I have a baggage train consisting of 30 wagons and also a large collection, and still growing (48 so far) of 6mm buildings. These look really good when they’re all placed together giving a proper impression of a village rather than looking like a small hamlet comprising of half a dozen 25mm buildings.

5. I suppose one of the biggest attractions of 6mm figures is that the cost isn’t prohibitive. My two 1798 Irish rebellion armies, one United Irish and one Government, consists of the following: (Prices have been taken from the Baccus web site as at June 2007)



If you compare this to the cost of buying 15 or 25mm figures the cost would work out as follows: (Prices have been taken from the Essex Miniatures web site and the Ian weekly web site for the tents as at June 2007). Artillery numbers remain the same as I have assumed that the same amount of guns will still be required no matter what the scale. However, the tents and wagons I have reduced proportionately to the scale, as I feel space would dictate how many you could have on the tabletop.

Painting 
Painting 6mm figures is a not as off-putting as it may sound. At first it may seem a daunting task but once you knuckle under it’s not so bad. The beauty is that there’s no detail to speak of and a lot of the painting is done with ‘blobs’ of paint, examples being the face and hands. It takes me about five minutes to do 60 faces and 60 pairs of hands. When painting my figures I use No 1, ‘000’ and ‘0000’ brushes.


1798 United Irish Musketeers, figures from Steve's collection

The following guide is of course my method of painting “Baccus” figures and you may want to modify it to suite your own tastes but it’s a good guideline if nothing else.

1. First of all I glue my figures en-masse onto a 12 inch piece of wood, giving me 60 figures to paint.

a. For our younger viewers out there 12 inches equates to 300 of those foreign EU millimetres.

2. When they’re firmly stuck on I apply two white undercoats using a No 1 brush. Apart from being an undercoat it also serves another useful purpose, as I will explain a bit later on.

3. The next stage is to paint the hair. All of my men have brown hair and I use a ‘000’ brush for this.

Battle of Arklow: Government Troops anxiously awaiting the onslaught, figures from Steve's collection

4. Whilst you still have your brown colour out, paint any muskets or other weapons that your troops may have.

5. The next thing to do is to paint the coat. I use a ‘0000’ brush for this because if you’re painting troops that have white cross belts you can paint around these leaving them white meaning that there is one less job to do later on. If you find this technique too fiddly at first then paint the cross belts on during stage 8.

6. When the coat colour is dry you can, if you wish, paint on the regimental facings. (Go on, have a try!)

7. If your troops have white trousers, like a lot of Napoleonic troops do, this job was done for you in stage 2 when you applied your second under coat, so unless your troops have any other colour trousers there’s no need to paint them.

8. If your troops have black cross belts then it is at this stage that you will want to paint them. Use your ‘0000’ brush for this.

1798 Raay Fencibles, figures from Steve's collection

9. Hats are next. A ‘000’ brush is generally good for this.

10. Any sword scabbards can now be painted, use your ‘0000’ brush.

11. Hands, and faces next, use your ‘0000’ brush again for this.

12. The next activity is to paint on any metallic items such as sword hilts, pike heads etc with steel or gun metal, but leave any gold, brass or silver paint until after you have varnished your figures. I find that these kinds of paints tend to run when varnish is applied.

13. The second to last activity is to paint the bases. I use green for my figures but this is of course up to you.

14. Now leave your figures over night to completely dry.

15. This next stage will bring out the detail of the figure without too much effort and takes the “flat” effect away from them. Make yourself up a wash using matt varnish, I use Ronseal outdoor varnish, and “Payne’s Grey” oil paint. You will need very little oil paint so don’t over do it. I mix 1 teaspoon of varnish with a spot of oil paint, the wash shouldn’t be so dark as to darken the figures it should be a “Transparent” grey. This amount of wash will be enough to do all 60 figures. Apply the wash using a No 1 brush and leave to dry. You can then add any gold, brass or silver paint and then base your figures as you like.

Figure reviews 
This part of the site may grow over time but for the present the figure reviews will be limited to manufactures that club members have bought and the periods are also limited to those that we play at the club.

I have found that 6mm figure manufacturers all seem to have their own idea as to what 6mm actually is and because of this the figures aren’t very “mix and match” friendly. So when you’re choosing a manufacturer make sure that they have the ranges that you want and the figures that you will need to complete your period. Below is a table that may help and a few web links to other sites that give pictorial comparisons.

Links that may help you choose your figures
Jim Doty 6mm Figure Comparison

Bob Mackenzie figure comparison

Figure manufacturer reviews and links to their sites
Link to Adler Miniatures

I have put Adler at the top of the list, not because I use them but because they are particularly good. When I bought some late 18th century French I have to admit to being rather expectant about them but when they arrived I was sadly disappointed. I had brought them to compliment my Irish 1798 range that is entirely made up of Baccus figures but unfortunately the Adler ones didn’t fit in.

The detail that Adler deliver is exemplary and there is also a certain amount of animation and different poses to choose from that you don’t get with other 6mm manufacturers. However, there were three major drawbacks that thwarted my plan to integrate them into my 1798 army.

1. Adler figures are not true 6mm figures and are more of a 7mm to 8mm figure. This may seem insignificant but when you place an Adler figure against a Baccus figure there is a huge difference. Adler horses make Baccus horses look like ponies and the two don’t really mix. The infantry you can just about get away with but they would not mix well with figures from Irregular miniatures.

2. The detail, although being excellent, is for me off putting. I could see myself getting back into the 15mm syndrome again spending hours painting the detail that was begging to be painted.

3. The other thing with Adler figures is that there is a lot of “flash” on them when you first get them and this means quite a bit of cleaning up is needed before you can paint them.

However, even after saying all of this I would definitely recommend Adler if you wanted “large” 6mm figures with a lot of detail, they are truly excellent. I will eventually get round to painting the figures that I have brought and you never know it might just inspire me to buy some more.

Link to Baccus

These have to be my favourite all round figure. They fall in between Adler and Heroics and Ross (H&R), smaller than Adler but bigger than H&R and with a lot more detail. Baccus have quite a limited range but it’s growing all of the time. When you receive the figures they’re lovely and clean and “flash” free so they can go straight onto the painting stick. The detail is there if you want to paint it but the figures are small enough that it wouldn’t really matter if you didn’t. They’re easy to paint being manufactured in groups of 4 per base. Baccus figures even have their eye’s nose and mouth visible if you look close enough.

Link to NAVWAR (Heroics & Ross - H&R)

H&R are a kind of upgraded Irregular miniatures figure that look very good when placed en masses on the table. They’re all individual figures and as such have better animation than Baccus and Irregular but not as much detail as Baccus. H&R are now owned by “Navwar”.

Link to Irregular Minitures

Irregular Miniatures have a superb range to choose from and cover almost every period you can think of. For me they’re too small and rather blobby with very little detail and I’m not a great fan of them. However, my compadre Dave can’t understand why anyone doing 6mm would want to buy anything else, he loves them and I have to admit that when they’re sitting there on the table en-masse, they do look the part. Irregular come six figures to a base and are even easier to paint than Baccus and it’s really up to you to put on the detail where you want it.

So what have we done so far? 
If I look back to the time before I became interested in 6mm our club did quite a lot. In years gone by we did a lot of 6mm WWII and modern warfare. In recent years Phil Hardy embarked on his epic World War One adventure, Matthew Toy did some splendid 18th Century Burmese games and Dave Vallance did an epic Battle of Bull Run game (American Civil War) and the battle of Blenheim (Marlborough). Over the past two years we’ve also achieved:

1. The battle of Balaclava put on by Dave Vallance. A Crimean War game using 2,000 figures and fought on an 8’ X 6’ table.

Battle of Alma: Government Troops anxiously advancing, figures from Dave's collection

2. Several “What if James the II hadn’t fled to France Scenarios” Jacobite 1688 games put on by Dave again using some 1,500 figures and fought on an 8’ X 6’ table

French troops, figures from Dave's collection

3. The Battle of Sedgemoor 1685. A 1,200 figure game using a 12’ X 6’ table. Put on by Dave and myself

4. A couple of 1798 Irish rebellion battles put on by yours truly.

a. The battle of Ballynahinch. a 2,000 figure game fought on a 12’ X 6’ table.

b. The battle at Three Rocks. A 1,000 figure game fought on a 12’ X 6’ table.

In the pipeline we have the battle of the Alma another Crimean battle. This will consist of 3,500 figures and will be played over a two week period, and the battles of Arklow and New Ross, both of which are 1798 Irish rebellion games.

Another “what if” scenario that I’m working on is based on the Fashoda incident in 1898 between Great Britain and France, “What if Britain and France had gone to war over this insignificant little fort?” (See link for historic background)

Fashoda Incident - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This will take the form of a campaign with the two great powers mobilizing for a war in Europe and there’s plenty of scope for political upsets. Will the Boers decide to rebel against Britain a year earlier and join France? Will Germany join with Britain and help crush France in a pincer movement? Will the First World War come early, who knows?

Anyway that all for now, have a look at the photo’s section to see what we’ve been up to.

Cheers for now

Steve Cast