Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Shenandoah 1862: Battle of Leesburg

After the battle of Winchester, Ewell's infantry & Ashby's cavalry chased Banks' Union army all the way to Harpers Ferry where it crossed the Potomac to safety.  Banks has stayed there rallying & reorganising his fatigued & battered army. Meanwhile, Jackson's division had a days rest in Winchester before marching east through Snickers Gap to Leesburg - an objective thought to be close enough to Washington to put the wind up Lincoln & make him withdraw more troops from the Richmond front (so worth a campaign Victory Point).  However Lincoln had sent orders to McDowell at Manassas Junction allowing him to move to the Shenandoah to help deal with Jackson.  McDowell moved north & his advance guard of cavalry found Jackson on the road to Leesburg.  McDowell hurried his infantry north to give battle late in the day.

The head of Jackson's column is coming out of the pass through the hills on the far side of the table.  The Union advance guard of cavalry is in front of the town.  The Union force is coming up the road on the left (after a delay).  The rest of the pics are taken from the other end of the table.

Before the Fed infantry arrived, the Fed cav retreated through the town. The Rebs sent a brigade forward to disrupt the Union deployment & occupied the town.
The Feds deployed a brigade to meet the Reb van & pushed it back while their other 3 brigades deployed to their right.  The Fed cav made a pest of themselves as skirmishers on the far flank.
The Union deployment to the right was painfully slow with inexperienced troops, but the Rebs did a pretty poor job of deploying & did not take advantage to make a sound defensive line.
The Rebs arguably moved too many troops to their centre & left their right too weak & the Union left is gradually pushing their right back.
The Union right has finally got into action & although the pesky dismounted Fed cav has been blown away the Reb left is suffering from a ring of Union fire.   However, they have stabilised their right by bringing some troops back from the centre.
At nightfall the Rebs still hold the town.  No brigades of either side have been broken.  The Rebs have 3 inf units broken, the Feds have had 2 inf & their cav broken.  But casualty count is well to the advantage of the Union & the Union players feel they have done well in pushing back both flanks of the enemy & they appear very confident of finishing the job tomorrow. 

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