Wednesday, August 29, 2012

150th Anniversary Battle of Cedar Mountain

August 9, 1862.   Jackson is in the Shenandoah Valley facing Banks Corps near Cedar Mountain.  Historically Jackson drove Banks from the area inflicting more casualties on the Union troops.  Jackson had Ewell's, A.P. Hill's and Winder's divisions under his command.  A.P. Hill was marching to the battlefield, while most of Ewell's division was on Cedar Mountain.  Winder's division was deployed on a rise facing the Union army on another rise on the opposite side of a field.  A brigade each from Ewell's and Hill's divisions were attached to Winder's command.  I was only able to take a few pictures of the early stages of the battle due to loss of battery power  I had bought a new pack of batteries, but they were old and only lasted for one picture for each pair of batteries.

The battle started about 5:00 P.M. and would continue until 9:00 P,M, when darkness fell.  This gave a game length of 8 turns.  When Winder's division activated the Confederates launched an all out assault on the Union lines.  Union defensive fire caused the attack to falter.  As the battle progressed William's division advanced and drove the Confederate left flank back  Bayard's cavalry brigade moved to the Union left flank and dismounted to cover the end of the Union line.  Hill's division arrived and joined the attack on Auger's division and the Union guns.   By the 7:00 P.M. turn the Union conceded victory and withdrew.   Three brigades on Union infantry, most of the guns, and most of the Cavalry brigade were still on the field at that point.  The Confederates had lost 34 stands of infantry due to casualties or routs.  The Union had lost 18 stands of infantry, two stands of cavalry and two gun batteries.  This amounted to 8500 Confederate losses vs about 5000 Union losses.
Initial positions. Union on right Confederates on left.  Both on rises facing across an open field.
View from Confederate side
view from union side
 Battle in progress.  Initial confederate attack has been repulsed.  Union is preparing to launch an attack with its right flank division against the confederate left.  

Even if half the remaining Union infantry stands were counted as lost, there would also have been some additional stands of Confederates lost.   Though Jackson had driven Banks from the field, his losses were such that the game victory was awarded to the Union side.

I will be running this battle again at the upcoming Pacificon convention at the end of this month  Some additional hills will be made by then.  A couple of minor adjustments will also be made to reflect the surprise union attack at the start of the battle.  This scenario can accommodate up to 6 players with three on each side.  The Union side has Banks commanding the artillery reserve and the cavalry brigade and the one player for each of the Union divisions.  On the Confederate side there would be one player commanding Hill's division, one player commanding Winder's division and one player as Jackson and commanding Ewell's division .  Jackson can also take command of the two brigades attached to Winder's division.

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