US Support Teams take up positions in Chain of Command Wargame

Sunday, December 11, 2011

PLEASANT VALLEY - A Regimental Fire and Fury Game

A Regimental Fire and Fury Game

Jack Breen has moderated several “what-if” battles based on the Union trying to force the passes through Stone Mountain which eventually will culminate in the battle of Antietam. The troops available as reinforcements in each game are a function of the result of the previous game in the series. In the original battle at Turner’s Gap, the Union was able to capture the gap and moved up troops to pass through it into Pleasant Valley. It’s this action that results in the present battle. The previous games were all played with Brigade Fire and Fury, this one was fought with Regimental.

The overall map and first moves

You have successfully pushed through Turner’s Gap. Reconnaissance confirms at least 1 Division of Longstreet’s Corps in the valley beyond supported by rebel cavalry. You are to push into the valley and hold the crossroads leading to Sharpsburg and Boonsboro.

Gen Hooker (able) Corps Commander

1st PA Light Btry
Section “A” 2 Hvy Smoothbores (veteran)
Section “B” 2 Light Rifles (veteran)
Section “C” 2 Hvy Smoothbores (veteran)

From 2nd US Horse Arty.
Section “A” 3 Hvy Smoothbores (veteran)
Gen. Doubleday (poor) Division Commander

Gen Phelps (able) Bde
22nd NY (green) 7/6/5
24nd NY (green) 7/6/5
30nd NY (green) 7/6/5
54nd NY (green) 7/6/5
2nd US Sharpshooters (crack) 6/4/2

Gen Pleasanton(able) Cavalry
Col Farnsworth (brave) Rgt. 17/13/9 (trained) enters turn 6
Btry B 3 Light Rifles (trained) Horse Arty.

We have held all but Turner’s Gap on South Mountain. The enemy has broken through with at least 1 Division and is near Pleasant Valley. You are to intercept him and push him back. Hold the crossroads to Sharpsburg and Boonsboro. Gen Stuart is in the valley, south. Kershaw and Cobb are on Fox road. Semmes and Barksdale are on Harper’s Ferry road. Use all haste.

Gen. Longstreet(gallant) Corps Commander
Gen. McLaws (able) Division Commander

Manley’s Artillery: LR – LR – LH (crack)
Pulaski’s Artillery: HR – LR - LR (trained)

Gen. Stuart (gallant) Cavalry Commander
Col Hampton (brave) Rgt. (veteran) 13/9/6
Horse Artillery
Pelham’s Horse (veteran) 2-LR
Virginia Howitzers (veteran) 2-LH


The game started with Seymour(Union) marching through Turner’s gap with the brigades of Magliton, Anderson and General Doubleday’s Division (Rich Bryant) in column behind him. (See map at beginning of report). Hooker’s Division guns were between Seymour(Dick White) and Magliton (Rick Bryant). Pleasanton’s Btry A of 3 Heavy Smoothbores had been attached to Hookers artillery. A faulty survey of the field by the Union engineering staff suggested that the wet area to the left of the Turner’s Gap road was impassible when it only would have slowed the movement of the troops. Also the area on the mountain to the immediate left of the road exit into the valley could not take an artillery position as first supposed.

Moves 3-7
The Confederate cavalry under Stuart (Spencer Clough)was moving quickly along the road toward Turner’s Knoll and Kershaw (Dick Messier) moved to flank the Union position in the field before Turner’s Farm. Seymour properly decided to drop Gen Hooker’s (Dick Bryant) plan to provide a strong position on the left flank while Magliton attacked the farm and the knoll and instead provided a weak flank guard and assaulted the Farm driving the rebels off the hill. He was helped by Sections A and B of the artillery (Dick Bryant) who silenced all the Confederate guns in the vicinity of the knoll.
Union Infantry moves through Turner's Gap toward Turner's Gap. Note onfederate Cavalry and Horse Artillery racing for the other side
Union holds desperately to Turner's Farm and Knoll

Seymour was sorely pressed on his left as the Rebels brought up several guns but Magliton could make little progress to help as the entry roads were blocked, not by terrain or troops or rough ground, but by the Union engineers misreading of the ground to the right!
Rebel guns and infantry assail the Union Left.

Magliton pushed on down Turner’s Gap road with one Rgt and worked to get the rest of his units up. The rebel Brigades under Cobb (Messier) and those of Semmes and Barksdale under Clough) were all pressing the left flank of the Union army, struggling to get more troops through the gap. The Bdes under Semmes and Barksdale moved to support what was left of Stuart on the knoll while Cobb and Kershaw and all the Confederate guns moved to attack Seymour’s left.

Union Reinforcements Await Their Turn - Rich Bryant
The old saying “ here comes the cavalry” is no more a-propos than it was at this battle. When things looked bleakest for the Union, Col Farnsworth’s (Dick Bryant) Cavalry Rgt with 3 Light Rifle Horse guns appeared on the Rebel rear having managed to ride from Harper’s Ferry without the enemy detecting them – of course, Stuart was attacking the knoll!
Union Cavalry and Guns arrive into a "Target Rich Environment"

The Union cavalry immediately caused havoc in the long columns of Confederate infantry on the road towards Seymour’s flank. With the loss of the 3 artillery, the Union Cavalry rolled up Cobb’s Brigade and some of Kershaw’s. This put them in position to the rear of the Rebel guns without infantry support. One more turn would have destroyed those guns – but a Union victory (1 Bgde and 1 Rgt against the Rebels' 3 Bde’s and 1 Rgt) was called and the game ended.

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