US Support Teams take up positions in Chain of Command Wargame

Monday, September 26, 2011


A Fire and Fury game

Beginning Positions - terrain and unit placement by the Gamemaster

The third game in the series leading up to Antietam was Crampton's Gap. The forces deployed and their instructions were as follows:

C.S.A. General Howell Cobb
You must take command of our forces in and around Crampton's Gap. You must deny the enemy passage through the gap until nightfall. Only then can our army re-unite to meet the Federal's coming attack. I have information from Gen. Stuart that Harper's Ferry will fall and that he might be available to assist you if he can pass his cavalry through Pleasant Valley without meeting the Yankees.

You will have the advantage of choosing your defensive ground somewhere east toward Burkitsville. You will have at your assistance Gen. Semmes and Col. Patham with Col. Munford's cavalry. Munford will have his horse battery, and Semmes will have at least one battery to support your position. If Gen. Stuart or Robertson's cavalry becomes available, you will be notified.

You must hold Crampton's Gap and the lesser Brownsville Gap to the south. These are your forces:

Gen Semmes (E) Bde 4/2/1
2 guns
Gen. Parham's Bde.
2 Guns

Munfords Cavalry 5/3/2
2 Guns

Robertson (E) Cavalry 6/4/2

Victory Points: Crampton's Gap = 5Pts
Brownsville Pass = 1 Pt
Hold Gap past 6PM + 1 Pt/ turn

U.S.A. Gen. Franklin
You are to proceed with the 1st Corps to Burkittsville and pass through Crampton's Gap by nightfall. Our scouts confirm the Rebels forming down South Mountain to block the gaps. Push him back through the gap. If possible disrupt the enemy forces west of the mountain. Press hard and get through the gap by day's end.
Your Forces:
Gen. Slocum 1 sr Division
Bartlett (E) 8/6/4
Newton 8/6/3
Torbart 7/6/4
3 batteries

Gen. Smith
Brook 8/6/5
Hancock (E) 8/6/5
Irwin 7/6/4
3 batteries
Victory Points: Crampton's Gap = 5Pts
Brownsville Pass = 1 Pt
1 VP for every Bde through Gap by 6PM


The process of the battle
 Slocum(Dick Bryant) upon seeing the Rebel arty posted on South Mtn., immediately closed the 1st Div up to the center of Burkitsville to afford his men some protection from the town's buildings, while moving up his 3 batteries to take the nearest rebel guns under fire. Unfortunately Bartlett didn't get the word and marched his Bde. into the open where it was essentially decimated by the Rebel guns. Slocum's guns managed to silence Semmes' guns (Dick Messier) for a while then switched to Mumford's guns (Dick Messier)in the center. Meanwhile Smith's 2nd Div. (Rich Bryant) had arrived and deployed its guns behind the stone walls of the town to take Semmes' guns under fire as well. The first part of the battle was essentially an artillery duel with the Union getting the better part of the exchange, eventually damaging several of the Rebel batteries. But not before they fired a blast that required them to pull back to re-supply ammo.

Smith's guns take Rebels under fire - note decimated Union Bde near the ford!

Smith advanced against the Rebel right where they were busily building hasty works in the woods on the slope of South Mtn. Smith's volleys supported by his arty soon disorganized the Rebels and his attack into the works and up the hill pushed them out of those works. As the battle came to a close, Rebel Cavalry attacked Smith's 2 left most Bdes while in Rte column and paid the price.

Smith envelopes the rebel Right

On the Union right, The remaining 2 Bds of Slocum's Division moved into line and prepared to assault the weak Rebel unit near Crampton's gap. With 2 Bde's  and 3 batteries firing, it was expected that there was a very good chance of the Union taking the pass. Unfortunately, at this point, the Gamemaster called "time" and awarded all the VPs for holding the gaps to the Rebels. As he left the field General Slocum was heard muttering "this is no way to run a war".

Sloacum prepares the final attack

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