Sunday, October 18, 2015

Another Longstreet Game: Seizing Ebeneezer Part One

Since I have some more ACW figures finished, and some encouragement from blog readers to play with them, I thought I’d revisit Sam Mustafa’s Longstreet rules.  I randomly chose Scenario 9 (p. 129), The Walled Farm.   A further random roll had the Confederates defending and the Union attacking.  Varying the scenario slightly, the objective is the walled church, Ebeneezer Missionary Baptist Church.   

For the Union side, I decided to revisit the force I created for my first Longstreet game, a brigade formed largely of German and Irish immigrants from Milwaukee under Col. Heinrich Schotz, a former officer in the Prussian army.   It’s now1862 and the volunteers who fought at MacGillicuddy’s Corners have largely reformed under three year enlistments.   The working class Catholics of the Pabst Blue Rifles are now the 31st Wisconsin (6 stands Eager Recruits); the Lutherans of the Schlitz Jaegers are now the 32nd Wisconsin (3 stands Seasoned Recruits), and the Irish of “MacCleary’s Navvies” are (of course) the 33rd Wisconsin (6 stands Eager Recruits).  The Liberty Jayhawkers are now the 5th Kansas Cavalry (5 stands Eager Recruits), and remain attached.   For artillery Schotz has the former Milwaukee Brewers, now the 9th Wisconsin Volunteer Artillery, with 2 Light Rifles and 1 Howitzer, commanded by Captain Ernst Engel, whose family has little love for Schotz from their rivalry in the restaurant and tavern business.  Since they got roughed up at MacGillicuddy’s Corners, Schotz’s brigade has been reinforced as per the Longstreet campaign rules.   It received two 10 stand regiments of infantry, all Eager Recruits, the 11th Ohio and the 23rd Michigan.  Schotz’ command, now known as the 3rd Brigade of Stephan Braunfel’s 2nd Division of the Army of the Tennessee, will be involved in the spring offensives in the Western Theatre.

The Confederate position.   Brigadier Abner C. Pinckney has been tasked with holding the church on the right flank of the line, guarding the lines of communication with expected reinforcements.  For Pinckney I drew the Biography Card “Fire and Brimstone Preacher”.  This fiery fellow gives the ability that “One foot unit may add two dice when defending in combat” which is useful for the defender. 

In his centre, Pinckney has placed the 39th Mississippi, a large regiment of quality troops.   Their left flank is protected by a section of Graber’s Little Rock artillery.   The 42nd Mississippi is placed in column in reserve.

Pinckney places the 14th Arkansas on his right flank, and guards the crossroads with the other section of the Little Rock artillery.

As per the scenario, the Confederates have to designate one unit from their order of battle as a reinforcement, arriving turn 6.   The unit picked is a six stand unit of Confederate cavalry, the hope being that their speed will allow them to get where their needed fast.


Braunfel’s attack plan requires that the Confederate right wing be threatened.  At 6am, he orders Schotz to attack and seize the church and cut the Confederate LOC.   Schotz and his command team climb a hill overlooking the rebel positions.   Schotz explains his plan with much hat waving, as seen in a  rare colour daguerreotype.

“Achtung, mein Herren, and hear my orders.  I intend to fix ze rebels in their centre, mit ze new regiments.  Zey are green, ja, but today, maybe, they vill chust half to hold ze enemy in place.   On our left, I vill move ze brave Irish, the 33rd, followed by the 31st, against the enemy’s right flank and push him back.  Once zey start, Capitan Engel, two of your sections, one rifle and one howitzer, will move forward and unlimber on ze ridge, and zen you vill enfilade the enemy centre.  Very hot for them if you do this, too hot, gentleman, ja?  Vile zis is happening, Major Morris, your cavalry will ride around the enemy’s left flank and threaten him.   Now, gentlemen, all is clar?  Gutt.  Gentlemen, ein, zwei, drei cheers for President Lincoln!”  (Hat waving follows).

Below you can see, at bottom of pic, the Irish of the 33rd Wisc, followed by the 31st (second rank still not yet on the table because they don’t fit in the deployment zone).  In the wheat field, a light rifle and howitzer section are limbered and ready to move on the road running along the ridge.  Behind them, the sad remnant of the 32nd Wisc in support.   The other light rifle section of the 9th WVA is positioned to shoot up the crossroads.  Below the gun are the green troops of the 11th OH and above the gun are the equally unblooded 23rd MI.

A view from the other end of the line, with the 5th Kansas ready to ride out and maybe raise some hell on the Confederate flank.

First turn.  Union advance seems to be going according to plan, with the Kansas cavalry moving to seize the laptop, perhaps to check their emails.   Both sides exchange artillery fire, ineffectively.

End of Union second turn.  Engel’s light rifle section in the road still banging away at the Confederate Napoleon, without success.

The rest of Engel’s guns, limbered, have moved onto the hill above the crossroad, ready to rain down death on the Confederate line holding the fence, while the greenhorns of the 11th OH come up in support.

33rd and 31st WI pushing through the woods in line, burning an extra card for the disordering move.

And the Kansans still doing their flank ride, hoping to pin the CS infantry reserve on their side of the table.

Those are all the moves I have time for tonight.  If you were Brigadier Pinckney right now, what would you do to respond to the Union moves?

Blessings to your die rolls! 




  1. This is an excellent puzzle for Pinckney!

    If I stood in Pinckney's shoes, I would send the 42nd MIS to support the 14th AR on the right while redeploying the second section of Little Rock Artillery from the left to the road to join its sister section. The 39th MIS will retire to the second fence line and then ultimately take up defensive positions among the walls of the church.

    1. Thank you Jonathan! Since Col. Pinckney had a few too many pulls of his flask last night and is not in peak condition, I shall pass your suggestions on to his chief of staff.
      One of the pleasures of solo gaming is that it does give you time to appreciate these tactical puzzles.

  2. An excellent report, Michael.
    Thanks for sharing it.

    1. Thanks Stefan. Glad you're enjoying it. I can only imagine how painful my attempt at rendering Col. Schotz' German accent was to you. Sorry. :)

  3. Great report Michael it looks fabtastic!

  4. Nicely presented, and great looking table

  5. Thanks Simon and Roy, glad you like the table. I've worked at this period for a long time, it's very pleasing to see the fruits of my labour all laid in the same game.

  6. So now you are the Pabst Blue Ribbon Brigadier! Does that mean you have to get the beer? Jolly good show Padre and a lovely game set up.

  7. Hat waving indeed.

    I have no tactical genius and so can only offer.. o wait, you've already posted the next part.


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