SAS Wargames Club

SAS Wargames Club
Welcome to our home on the Web! Well it's brighter and hopefully better than ever before - well it all works - which is better than before. Don't worry despite this new glossy professional feel we're still the same bunch of reprobates looking to play toy soldiers!

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.