Tuesday, July 23, 2013

ACW Campaign Battle: Antietam Creek

Our ACW campaign produced an unexpected battle on the north end of the actual Antietam battlefield.   The Confederate force that took Harpers Ferry had rested up, gathered the loot and was marching NW when they were caught up with by a Union Corps marching up the road behind them.  The Rebs had a good defensive position on Antietam Creek and deployed to fight.  The Reb force is one of their weaker divisions further reduced by the fights at harpers Ferry.  The Union force was one of the Union veteran Corps and outnumbered the Rebs almost 2:1.  The Rebs had to hold on for 12 turns until nightfall.  Their only ace was the creek.  The creeks runs through a scrubby valley and every 3" length had to diced for when a unit reached it ... 4+ = fordable.  The Rebs were allowed to use hidden deployment behind the scarp on their side of the creek.
The Reb army is mostly out of sight beyond the crest on their side of the creek.  The Union cavalry has been sent to the right, the infantry have begun deploying out of their road column.
 On the right the Union cavalry have dismounted to attack the Reb flank.  Infantry has begun crossing the valley in the centre where the Rebs have popped into view to open skirmish fire.  The artillery of both sides are firing at targets of opportunity.  The Union infantry is still deploying on the left.
The Rebs are all in view now - lining the crest of the valley so their sharpshooters can weaken the Union advance.  The Union cavalry has broken a Reb unit and caused the Reb left to curl back.  The Union found an adequate number of fords on the right, but so far none on their left of the bridge.
The lone Reb general on the right takes on the three stooges from the North.
The Union struggles to find their way over across the valley in the centre while the Union cavalry are still being held off.  The Reb artillery makes forcing the bridge too unattractive to even try.
The Union have finally found a ford on the left, but it's too late & too far back.  The Rebs begin to withdraw on this flank.  In the centre the Union finally get to grips with the Reb line.
The Reb line was finally pushed back off the escarpment in the centre, but it was too late in the day for the Union to exploit it.  The Rebs make an orderly withdrawal as night falls.

This was a fine example of the sort of interesting uneven scenarios that campaigns can throw up.  In the end both sides were happy with their night's work.  The Union have carried the position with light losses (1 unit broken, 5 shaken).  The Rebs held on long enough to make an orderly withdrawal also with light losses (1 unit broken, 5 shaken) and live to fight another day.

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