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MP Scenario1: The attack on Iuka (5th may)

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Re: MP Scenario1: The attack on Iuka (5th may)

Post  Uncle Billy on Tue May 08, 2012 4:28 pm

I really had no idea what the Confederate orders were or that they even had wagons to plunder. To their credit, Martin and Jeff never gave anything away. In fact I didn't realize that this scenario had been previously played. But Stefan, writing for Grant, captured his talent for writing orders any fool commander could understand... even me. They simply said; destroy the enemy cavalry and sack the town.

My assumption was that Martin knew that and would shield both with his infantry. I didn't know they would have so much artillery to boot. So I initially developed a simple plan to draw the rebels off the hill and out of the paddocks and into the open. Imagine my shock to find them already in the open and looking for a fight. With the hard work done, I only had to wait till the enemy brigades committed themselves to a battle in a location I wouldn't even have dared dream of. I didn't know the Confederates were also tasked with defending the Hagerstown Rd. so the push into Spangler's woods was seen as an attack on their LOC rather than just my attempt to destroy the cavalry and draw the infantry away from the strong points near town.

Once in town, I was again surprised that two enemy brigade were attempting to enter. Fighting in town is not for the faint of heart. With two of my own brigades already there, along with part of a battery, I was very happy to see this. I had planned to allow them to come within canister range and then bring the cavalry into their rear.

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Re: MP Scenario1: The attack on Iuka (5th may)

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue May 08, 2012 5:47 pm

Blaugrana wrote:
Martin wrote:At 10 am I received a report that Brig Gen Armstrong, our cavalry commander, had been found intoxicated. He was immediately relieved. Luckily Colonel Slemmons was on hand to take over. We have since discovered that Armstrong was later found by Union troops giving a loud rendition of Dixie to the good ladies of Iuka, which I suppose avoids a court-martial.
Before I crashed I was tempted to try and get some of my boys to pick him off as he was bravely scouting very near my troops. The drink would explain it ...
I too met the Roving Brigadier near the Wentz farm. I saw a red flag in the peach orchard to the south behind my lines and turned an infantry regiment to face it, expecting more cavalry when the good general, smelling strangely of the local brew, jumped his horse over the fence my men were guarding, pushed right through them, tipped his hat and smiled and went gaily on his way.

It was most odd to see a general push right through a unit, they usually get shot. I guess Armstrong was so smashed on sippin' whiskey that he didn't feel the bullets.

Blaugrana wrote:
Martin wrote:I spotted the commander of the missing Union division well to the west of the Peach Orchard. Quite wrongly, I concluded from this that his troops had been sent west too.
Not me - I never got further west than the environs of Trostle Farm. This will remain a mystery ...
Dun-dun-dun-dun, Dun-dun-dun-dun, cue Twilight Zone music. Its the Ghost General of Iuka. Those who see him are never seen online again because their internet widows throw a fit and take away their computers.

By the way Jeff, what's it like being disconnected near the Trostles?

P.S. On a serious note - Martin, where did you get the cool military unit markers used on your maps?
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Re: MP Scenario1: The attack on Iuka (5th may)

Post  Martin on Tue May 08, 2012 8:41 pm

Uncle Billy wrote:I really had no idea what the Confederate orders were or that they even had wagons to plunder. To their credit, Martin and Jeff never gave anything away.
That just sums up the glories of the scenario approach. Often assymetrical objectives, unknown to both sides. How like real war, and how unlike a game with known geographical objectives worth X number of points.

That your subordinates behaved as they did is also a tribute to the spirit in which our group plays the game. Long may it continue.

Bravo.

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Re: MP Scenario1: The attack on Iuka (5th may)

Post  Martin on Tue May 08, 2012 8:53 pm

Blaugrana wrote:Not me - I never got further west than the environs of Trostle Farm. This will remain a mystery ...
Mr. Digby wrote:Dun-dun-dun-dun, Dun-dun-dun-dun, cue Twilight Zone music. Its the Ghost General of Iuka. Those who see him are never seen online again because their internet widows throw a fit and take away their computers.
Err......perhaps Armstrong wasn't the only one sozzled drunken

Mr. Digby wrote:P.S. On a serious note - Martin, where did you get the cool military unit markers used on your maps?
The Union infantry and cavalry symbols are military fonts by Tom Mouat's. Google and you'll find his website, which has various neat stuff, including WW2 and Nato symbols. The ones I used are from the Napoleonic set.

The Confederate red blocks and artillery were created by me in MS Paint.

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Re: MP Scenario1: The attack on Iuka (5th may)

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed May 23, 2012 9:51 pm

Corinth Road
In camp west of Iuka, Miss.
May 5, 1862

Maj. General W.S. Rosecrans

Sir, if it may please you I herewith append my report of the action of yesterday.

Following your issuance of the day's orders in camp at half-past the hour of seven a.m., we commenced our march north towards Iuka up the road from Jacinto. I placed my division to the front, Col Mizner's cavalry were slightly ahead of me and Gen'l Stanley's division and the corps artillery were to my rear.

Being advised that the speed of our march was of the essence I bade the troops to march at the quickstep and take ten minute rests on each hour and by noon we had passed, on our left hand, a steep-sided conical hill crowned with thick woodland. Beyond this a rocky hill led to a creek barring our path which was crossed by a timber bridge. I ordered my two brigades to cross this and take the westwards leading road, Captain Spoor's battery marching between the brigades. Brig Gen'l Sanborn's brigade leading, Brig Gen'l Sullivan's men at the rear.

Upon marching up this westerly-oriented road what had a wheatfield on it's left side, I noted it climbed a low ridge at the end which was crowned by a peach orchard to the left and a cluster of farm buildings to the right where the Wentz family lived. I was riding at the head of my column and saw red flags ahead, on the crest of the ridge and moving swiftly from south to north across my front.

Urging Gen'l Sanborn to deploy his battalions and move north-west, the sounds of shouting and clashing steel told me that Col Mizner had also found the enemy which proved to be a body of horsemen. A lively melee ensued but as Gen'l Sanborn's men hastened forwards, the whirling mounted battle would sweep away from us, preventing me from engaging them and giving Col Mizner as much assistance as I would have desired.

Beyond the Wentz Farm which crowns a ridge along which the Jacinto Road runs, the ground fell away towards a further farm which I have since learned is owned by the family Spangler. Here the cavalry fight was proceeding with unabated ferocity and I must regretfully report that one of our mounted regiments was seen to surrender to the rebels during this fight.

I ordered Capt. Spoor to deploy his battery in a field of corn on the crest of the ridge and they opened fire on the rebel horsemen who appeared now to be in flight to the west and north-west.

I directed Gen'l Sullivan's brigade to my right flank and gave him orders to chase after the enemy cavalry, however he soon reported sighting enemy infantry who appeared from the north and threatened his right flank. He requested clarification on whether he was to press on or face this new threat. I ordered him without hesitation to push on, assuring him that Gen'l Stanley's division was coming up the trail by way of Arthur Trostle's farm and would protect his right flank. I was at that time unaware that Gen'l Stanley had been struck down by a spent minie ball in the Trostles area and that the progress of his march was delayed. Nevertheless Gen'l Sullivan briskly pressed the enemy to the west and took his brigade past the Staub and Spangler Farms.

Here, in woodlands owned by the Spangler family, he got into a firefight with both the dismounted cavalry and some rebel infantry which was not my desire and riding up I ordered him to disengage and move away south, where I could see some of our cavalry making progress up a shallow draw beyond a creek which I believe is the creek that runs across land owned by the Pitzer family.

By now your guns had drawn up near my own first battery position somewhat north of the Wentz farm and I ordered Capt Spoor to bring his battery forwards to an orchard from which he could put down a brisk fire into Spangler's woods. We came across some rebel men at this stage wounded and more hiding about the Straub Farm and on being questioned they said they were from the 40th Mississippi regiment of Hebert's brigade from Gen'l Little's division.

I ordered up Gen'l Sanborn to then make an attack on the southern extremity of Spangler's Woods and soon the firefight became general and grew in intensity. This combat lasted twenty minutes and it allowed Gen'l Sullivan to disengage to the south, get across Pitzer's Run and continue on north west after Slemon's cavalry who had yet again, like a d----d cake of soap in a bathhouse, slipped away. Gen'l Sanborn pushed his boys on into the trees and I then ordered Capt Spoor's cannons right up close to push the enemy back by canister shot, but seeing this the enemy General, disengaged his brigade which melted away from sight north into the woods.

I ordered a pursuit and we came out of the trees some ten minutes later to see Gen'l Hebert's men withdrawing in march columns across a shallow wide valley, past Pitzer's Farm. Capt Spoor unlimbered his guns a fourth time and fired into the retiring columns with effect, which obliged the enemy to break into a run.

From this stage of the action I advise that I entirely lost communication with all our forces to the east around the farm of Mr. Bliss and on the Jacinto Road axis, I did however send several riders to yourself advising of my progress, though I do not know how many got through: the disjointed nature of the fighting with units moving among the ridges and woodlands and wheatfields led to a good number of staff officers bearing messages for both sides to not get to their destinations. I myself saw many dead aides-de-camp scattered about the lanes and fields.

My division was now somewhat separated with Genl Sullivan about three-quarters of a mile ahead and across Willoughby Run. I therefore rode to the crest of the ridge of high ground between Pitzer's and Willoughby's Run and had Gen'l Sanborn's brigade and Capt Spoor's battery again deploy, Spoor's guns shooting across a half-mile of open ground at Hebert's men who were fighting Sullivan's.

At this stage darkness began to fall and the fighting faded out. I was in contact with the rebel cavalry which was by this time in the dead ground of Willoughby Run near the Corinth Road.

The results of the combat were disappointing. Gen'l Sanborn's losses were light, about a hundred men across all four of his regiments and he advises that he caused a comparable number of casualties to the enemy. He took fifteen men prisoner from Hebert's brigade. We also have a large number of wounded prisoners which fell to us upon the enemy leaving the field. Gen'l Sullivan lost many more men and was unfortunately, due to the speed of the enemy cavalry's retreat, out of contact with me for the last thirty minutes or more of the fighting. We were unable to bring the enemy cavalry to battle but we did cause great pressure on them and they were unable to hold position for any length of time and were constantly on the run.

I wish to commend Gen'l Sullivan whose desire to get at the enemy and keep the pressure up knew no limits. Capt. Spoor handled his battery expertly, bringing his guns forwards promptly and placing them in such a way that Sanborn's brigade was at all times well supported. It was the threat of these guns what drove the enemy brigade from Spangler's woods.

I am, and earnestly remain, sir, your humble servant,

Charles Hamilton, Brigadier-General, 2nd Division, Army of the Mississippi.

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