Monday, July 2, 2012

Gaines' Mill 150th Anniversay

Gaines’ Mill was Lee’s first battle as commander of the Confederate Army.  His plan was to use Longstreet’s command to drive Porter’s troops into Jackson’s divisions on the Confederate left.  However, due to staff problems and lack of a map of the area, Confederate troops took the wrong roads and did not arrive when and where they were supposed to.  The battle was one of the bloodiest of the American Civil War lasting from mid-afternoon until the evening.

Since the South Bay game clubs meeting was taking place on June 23rd only four days before the 150th anniversary of the battle on June 27th we decided to re-fight the battle that day. 

The re-fight was also bloody with heavy casualties on both sides.  Jackson’s command drove the Union regulars back, but Longstreet’s became involved in a lengthy fight for control of the Union entrenchments.    Though the Confederates eventually gained control of them the Union troops did not flee the battlefield as they had historically.  The result was a draw.   The game was played using half hour turns stating at 2:30 in the afternoon and was scheduled to end at 8:00.  We made it to the 6:30 turn.  We started with three players and a fourth player joined late in the game.  If we had started with four it is quite likely that we would have been able to complete all the turns.  The following are some pictures from the game.

Start of battle view from Confederate side
 Start of battle view from Union side
 Confederates attack Union right
Union left under fire 
 Union right stabilized
 Confederates over run guns on Union right
 Confederates push Union left out of entrenchments
 End of game.  Union forces are holding and not running.


Bluebear Jeff said...

What rules were you using?

-- Jeff

Prufrock said...

It looks like an epic clash. I'd be interested in hearing what rules you were using as well.

William Butler said...

The rules used are Manassas to Appomattox. I originally wrote them back in 1984. Depending on the size of the battle units are either brigades or divisions. For Gaines' Mill each unit is a brigade. For Shiloh each unit was a division. My friend Dan, who commanded the Union forces in both battles, asked me to organize the games for the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.

William Butler said...

Aaron, I see that you did a re-fight of Ipsus yesterday. Looks good.

Prufrock said...

Thanks, Bill. Your rules make a good impression when seen on the table like that.