Apologies for the smaller than usual photographs, for some reason I am unable to enlarge them as I normally can on the blog?
Having not had a battle on the table for a number of weeks, I decided to set up a fictional ACW battle. The table size is 3 x 3 feet and each side will have a division consisting of two infantry brigades of four regiments each, plus three batteries of artillery and a brigade of cavalry containing two regiments, each side will have two brigadier generals and one major general as the divisional commander.
Back story: It is the Spring of 1862, McClellan in charge of a now 80,000 strong Union army has his final parade through the streets of Washington and finally decides to use the force at his disposal. The young Napoleon, surprises everyone with his speed of movement, not least the Confederacy. He crosses the Potomac in two places, dividing his army equally and forces back the rebels on both fronts. The Confederate army, numbering some 35,000 men are also caught in two main groups, again roughly equal in size and so both forces are faced by Union armies that outnumber them 2:1. To maintain this unequal balance and allow him to destroy both rebel armies, McClellan having consulted his maps, sent troops to block any routes Confederate reinforcements rushing to help their comrades may take.
Which brings us to Blackwater Creek and bridge. The creek is not particularly wide, but it is deep and fast flowing, even more so with the icy waters from the Winter thaw coursing along between its banks. The only bridge for some 15 miles in either direction is located close to Henry Morgan's farmstead and any rebel troops hurrying North would have to cross that bridge.
The Union general had chosen his deployment carefully, the rebels would have to cross a narrow, well defended stone bridge, he could hold that bridge with a single regiment let alone a full division. He had questioned the Morgan family and they had confirmed that it was indeed the only bridge for many miles, they of course being proud Southerners, omitted to mention the location of a ford less than a mile down river, that would only be ankle deep! Well the Yankees had only asked about bridges hadn't they? The Union general commandeered the farm as his HQ and the Morgan's loaded some belongings into a wagon and headed out to stay with neighbours.
The battlefield looking North, a ridge line runs parallel with the road running South East - North West.
The road beside the wood that the Confederates would arrive down with the bridge, (unpainted in white) crossing Blackwater Creek.
The Union forces await in full readiness, two regiments of infantry blocking the bridge supported by artillery batteries on either side, a further brigade of infantry wait in reserve behind a ridge.
The Morgan farmstead, with the wagon carrying the farmer and his family moving away.
The ford (again unpainted in white) straddles the creek hidden by a wood.
The ridge running parallel to the road, this should play an important part in the battle.
Union artillery on the ridge overlooking the bridge.
Looking from South East to North West along the road with the stone bridge in the foreground, protected by Union troops and the Morgan farmstead in the distance.
The left flank of the Union force.
Once again apologies for the smaller than normal photographs, I cannot alter the size for some reason.
So the table is laid, the Union forces are deployed and we await the arrival of the Confederate division. I shall play the game over the coming week, probably a couple of turns or so each evening. It is the joy and reward of spending so many hours painting, that you eventually get to put all those troops on a table, create a story and than fight the battle. What a great hobby.