Just to recap on my first post, here’s the battlefield as the meeting engagement between Schotz’s brigade of Wisconsin volunteers and Crutch’s brigade of Zollicoffer’s division develops. As Miss MacGillicuddy and her maid watch from the yard of their farmhouse, the rebs’ superior initiative has seem them win the crossroads. In the Confederate centre, the Kentucky Rangers have dismounted and gone into line while the 31st MS hustles up behind them, and Snedden’s Battery, just visible bottom right, heads for the hill to the right of the 31st MS. On the Union side, the Pabst Blue Rifles top centre head for the woods while the Schlitz Jaegers hustle down the road with Engel’s Milwaukee Brewers Battery behind them. On the extreme left, the US cavalry, the Kansas Liberty Jayhawkers, ride around the side of the MacGillicuddy farmhouse.
A sneaky card. At the beginning of the US Movement Phase, the CSA plays the Old Rivals card, which halts the Brewers Battery for this turn. Since they block the road which is the entrance space for the Union, the third US infantry regiment, McCleary’s Navvies, cannot enter this turn. Presumably, given the bad blood between the two families, the battery commander, Ernst Engel, didn’t like Schotz’s order to pull off the road to his left and go into battery on the hill. “Damn his eyes”, Engels tells his aid, “What does that Prussian pig know about how to site a battery. Ride over there and check the position for yourself, and report back. Schotz will have to wait."
The Kansan cavalry don’t like the force stacking up in front of them and decide this fencerail will do just fine as a position to hold. They dismount, safely out of range of the rebel horse, who are moving by their left flank to give the Mississippi infantry space to deploy.
The Schlitz Jaegers go into line. In Longstreet during a movement phase a unit can either move or make a formation change, but not both, unless certain special cards are played.
Col. Schotz’s nephew Max rides over to the Pabst Blue Rifles and tells Major Vogelsang to have his regiment go into line and advance to the woods on the top of the hill. The excited and greenhorn unit sorts itself out into line.
On the CSA turn, Snedden’s battery unlimbers on a two-level elevation hill, their view blocked by the woods to their right, but with a commanding view of the battlefield to the left of the hills. Meanwhile, the 19th Texas (Galveston Rifles) are sent on a flanking move to the CS right. The CS player (me, rather cleverly) uses the Quickstep Card (the bugle icon indicates that it modifies a movement) to give the column two extra Base Widths movement, for a title of 8 BWs, or 16”. This was the point in the game where I realized that according to the rules, a column was a unit of bases in single file. My previous formations, which I thought were columns, were actually two BW wide lines of three ranks.
The situation thus far.
On the CS side, the Kentucky Rangers have moved by their left flank into the barnyard and hold the fence, while the 31st MS are going into line with the 5th Kentucky (“The Lincoln Killers”) hustling up in column behind them. Snedden’s battery is unlimbered on a prominent hill, while the 19th TX, the Galveston Rifles, marches by column to extend the Rebel line and protect Snedden’s guns should the Yankees get ideas.
By now the Schlitz Jaegers are in line and have come up, their right tied in with the dismounted Kansan troopers, their left not far from the Pabst Blue Rifles. Col. Schotz has ridden forward and placed himself behind the Schlitz Jaegers, while Engel’s Brewers’ Battery finally gets to its assigned position after some frantic gesticulating by Col. Schotz, which Engels has politely ignored. But where are the Irishmen of McCleary’s regiment?.
McCleary’s regiment finally arrives now that the artillery isn’t blocking the road, but the CS plays the Confusion card, which allows the CS to pick one US unit and move it as long as the move is to the front or flank. For some reason, McCleary things he has to leave the road and cross the fence line into the pasture on his right. Schotz watches in dismay. “Damn that fellow, what is he doing?” When red banded cards are used in Longstreet to interrupt or sabotage the other player’s turn, they are removed from the deck for the rest of the game, they are not reshuffled. Hopefully Schotz’s frustrations will abate, but the CS player has now been able to confuse the US deployment for two consecutive turns.
At least something is going right for Schotz. Engel’s battery is now in position. Next turn it can unlimber.
“Give ‘em hell, boys!” Abner Crutch decides he isn’t going to wait until the blue bellies are all nice and positioned. He’s going to do some shooting! The CS opts to start their next turn with a fire phase. Longstreet asks that cotton balls or some similar indicator be used to show firing units, which are ineligible to move that turn. Four bases of the 21st MS and all three sections of Snedden’s battery have a line of sight to the Schlitz Jaegers in the centre. Infantry range in Longstreet is 6 BWs maximum. Artillery at ranges 6BWs or less fire canister, and at longer ranges do what’s called Bombardment fire, which is less deadly.
Artillery in Longstreet, if on an elevation, can fire over the heads of friendlies provided they are more than 6BWs from the guns and more than 6BWs away from the target. In this case, while the 31st MS are slightly less than 6BWs away from Snedden’s battery, the rebel gunners are on a level two elevation, so I gave them the shot.
Mississippi boys fire their first shots of the war in anger. The dismounted cavalry in the foreground have no targets within 6BWs
A bad few moments for the German boys from Milwaukee as the first Confederate shells crash around them. Col. Schotz watches grimly just to their rear. It looks like a deadly fire. Will the Schlitz Jaegers be decimated?
More to follow.
Before I sign off, there was a comment in my first post about the fence rails and who made them and how. The ones visible in this shot were made by hand by my friend Mike I’m not sure how but he painstakingly glues them together and bases them on pieces of cardboard, which I flocked. Since he’s retired and has a lot of time, Mike makes them in massive amounts and I buy them, rather cheaply, by the foot. I just bought another four feet off him since a good ACW tabletop needs a lot of fences. The much larger, chunkier fencerails were made by me, some years ago, when I was using a wood stove to heat my house at the time. I bought a huge back of cedar shims from a hardware store and split with my axe and glued them together on MDF bases. To my mind they now look crude and far too big compared to Mike’s fences, but maybe there is a place for both? What do you think?
Blessngs to your die rolls! MP+