Monday, July 18, 2016

The Second Day at Gettysburg

Today was the first day of our wargame based on the second day at Gettysburg.  14 players, seven on each side, would be commanding literally hundreds of figures in our simulation.  I also had the good fortune of having three older students helping out which makes things so much better!  We are using Regimental Fire and Fury rules.  Things are fairly historically accurate in the center and Union right, but we had to take some liberties on the Union left due to the size of the table.

Looking North down the Emmitsburg Road

The Union players preparing to defend.

Hood's division ready to assault

Historically, the battle began with perhaps the fiercest exchange of artillery fire of the entire war.  That was not the case today.  The Confederates decided to charge straight away as they felt they had a huge numerical advantage.  On the rebel right, Law's brigade stepped off only to be greeted by a hail of fire from the Union line.  Five stands, representing 200 men historically, were knocked out of the line.  That was more than the rookie commander could endure, so he decided to pull back on the next turn.  On his right, our lone female player was a bit more cautious and had the only artillery battery on this end of the table at her disposal.  She was able to disorder two Union regiments at no cost to herself.

Law's losses, prompting a retrograde movement.

In the center, the Confederate batteries tore their Union counterparts apart, throwing nines and tens almost exclusively.  The consequence, however, was that several artillery caissons were quickly emptied and ammunition would be scarce for the remainder of the game.  On turn two, Barksdale's men would attempt to charge the peach orchard, only to be thrown back with heavy losses from blasts of canister from the remaining Union batteries.

McLaws' men before the attack

Barksdale attacking the peach orchard

The Union center
On the Rebel left, DH Hill's two small brigades attempted to close with the more numerous Yankees facing them and were decimated.

From DH Hill's position

Looking south down the Emmitsburg Road
DH HIll's Florida brigade taking losses in their ill fated attack
As the day came to a close, the young Confederate commanders came to appreciate how difficult it is to advance over open ground against a determined enemy.  Rebel casualty markers littered the field in solemn testimony to the hard lesson that was learned this day.

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