Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Shenandoah 1862 Campaign - May 23: Battle of Strasburg

The first action in our Shenandoah 1862 campaigns happened just south of Strasburg.   Bank's cavalry reported a large Confederate force marching up the turnpike from Mt Jackson.  He deployed the 4 infantry brigades he had at Strasburg just south of the town with his left flank on the North Fork River & a chain of wooded hills to aid his defence.  Jackson deployed & was ready to attack in the early afternoon with a force of about equal size.  The battlefield was set up by the umpire based on the actual ground from Google Earth.
The CSA is on the right.   At this stage some of the Union force is out of sight of the Rebs so is not on the table.
Jackson is attacking down the pike on his right while trying to pin down as much Union as possible on his left.  The Reb cavalry has galloped around the wooded hill to see a whole brigade covering the Union right flank.

The Union don't know it, but Jackson has Ewell's division coming down a back road just out of shot on this side of the battlefield.  Jackson doesn't know when Ewell will arrive - the earliest is 1/2 an hour playing time after the battle starts, but the actual time of arrival has been pre-determined by the umpire & kept secret. 
The CSA cavalry had run of bad command dice, missed the chance to take out the Union artillery & got shot up by the infantry in the woods.  Some hot shooting by the Reb gunners on the far flank forced the Union guns on the pike to retreat & the Union left is under pressure.
The Rebs pushed a way down the pike, but the attack on the hill has stalled.
It's still hard pounding on the far flank, but in the centre the Union rifles are taking their toll in a long range fire fire with the less well equipped Rebs.  Still no sign of Ewell. 
The head of Ewell's column has finally arrived on the Back Road.  But too late to save the Rebel left which broke under a sudden hail of Union sixes & CSA ones. 
With Ewell's arrival the Union are now making an orderly retreat.  Jackson's division is too battered to stop them.  The CSA have lost more casualties, but the bells will be ringing in Richmond.  As they hold the battlefield, the Rebs will recover more missing & wounded so the final butcher's bill will probably be pretty equal after the umpire's spreadsheet has done it's work.

We now go back to email campaign mode to work out what happens next.


Gonsalvo said...

Very nice! Tell us more about the campaign itself!

Jim Gandy said...

I can't say too much about the campaign yet because I'm umpiring with limited intel & hidden movement. I don't want either side to learn stuff they shouldn't know. I will provide a history of the campaign later when the players know it all anyway.