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Battle of Gaines and Mill – 27th June 1862

Yesterday afternoon and three strapping lads and I from the club got together and played a great American Civil War (ACW) game based on the Battle of Graines’s Mill on 27th June 1862. When I mean based I mean that after some extensive research I could not quite get the lay of the land, so in order to make the battlefield a little more scenic I place it in the fence line and a building. However, I hope I have replicated the remainder of the battlefield. On one side, playing the Confederates was myself and Terry Moran, with seven brigades. Then on the Federal side were Dave Lowe and Graham Semple, with only four brigades, but only three were allowed to be activated.

Warren’s Elite Brigade of the 5th and 10th New York.

The placement of brigades was kept as it was during the actual battle however minor adjustments were allowed to be made on the initial set up, but once the dice were rolling then it was up to the generals. Our battle went for about four hours all told and even though the Federals were outnumbered almost two to one they were very hard to defeat. The heavily wooded terrain and the Boatswain’s Swamp proved to be a major obstacle for the assaulting Confederates. This terrain slowed the attack so much that it was not until the third last turn that the ‘Reds’ were able to partially turn the first Union line and reach the open ground beyond.

The 5th New York was never defeated and held their ground the whole afternoon.

In the opening moves I and Terry deployed four brigades of Gregg Lawton, Winder, and Ripley, twenty battalions all told against two brigades of Union (six battalions). The Federals held for four turns breaking one Confederate Brigade (Lawton) and holding the others in check until we finally brought on the remaining three Confederate Brigades of Branch, Seymour, and Trimble another fifteen battalions.

With the full force Confederates and overwhelming numbers, we were able to break the Union right flank and forced back two battalions from Lovell’s US Regular Brigade and finally on battalion for Buchanan US Regular Brigade. This allowed the Confederate forces a foothold at the base of the high ground. But alas this was only achieved on the last turn…so only a minor victory was granted to the victorious ‘Reds’.

Union troops from Griffin’s Brigade guard the Federal left flank. These lads were not allowed to make any tactical moves throughout the game.

A Union six gun battery supports the Union battle line.

The two Regular US Infantry Brigades, Buchanan and Chapman, deployed in support of each other.

Gregg’s Brigade advances towards the Elite Zouaves of General Warren.

The 10th New York hold delivers a steady rain of musket balls towards the Rebel lines.

The Confederate Brigades of Winder and Ripley advance towards the overstretch Union line.

Gregg charges the Union line.

There is fierce hand-to-hand fighting.

But the thin Union line holds and General Warren’s elite troops repel the Rebels back across the Boatswain’s Swamp.

Winders large brigade of six regiments crosses Boatswain’s Swamp.

Another Rebel charge on Warren’s Boys…and they hold.

The whole Federal first line is under constant attack from overwhelming numbers…will they hold…they must hold.

Gregg’s Brigade is defeated losing 40% casualties and flees from the battlefield. However Confederate reinforcements arrive, Branch and Seymour’s Brigades, and keep the pressure on the Union line.

Winder’s boys charge the line Union line

With Rebels streaming through the woods all around the Union lines start to buckle.

A thin skirmish line fires on advancing Confederate troops from Branch’s Brigade.

US Regulars from the 2nd line fire in support of their fellow Regulars in Lovell’s Brigade.

The Rebel break through the first Union line and advance towards Buchanan’s Regulars on the 2nd line

Too many Rebels to hold

Union troops manoeuvre to stop another Rebel charge.

The rebels from Ripleys’ Brigade fire a volley, staggering the US Regulars, and then charge home with the bayonet.

Warren’s Brigade defeats yet another Rebel assault…the sixth for the afternoon….these boys have balls of steal.

Again fierce hand to hand fighting erupts on the Union right flank as the Rebels try to break through.

Finally after four hours of battle and hand-to-hand combat the Rebels break through the Union right flank..but they have suffered too many casualties to follow up on this hard-won victory.

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11 thoughts on “Battle of Gaines and Mill – 27th June 1862”

  1. I look forward to the report but the pictures are fantastic. Mostly Redbout figures by the look of them, lovely figures to see en masse and well painted. A wonderful looking table – bravo!
    Michael

  2. I realize this is a bit late, but very beautiful figures and layout.

    One thing, in some of the pictures of Union troops, you seem to have the regimental colours to the right of the National Colours (from the unit's perspective). This is incorrect, The US flag is always to the right of the regimental flag. Just thought you might want to know.

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