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The Cornfield – The Battle of Antietam 17 September 1862


Last Sunday Myself and a few of the lads put out forces together and played ‘The Cornfield’ scenario from the fantastic Regimental Fire & Fire supplement. However many years ago I had read ‘A Landscape Turned Red’ by Stephen Sears and then the next day I was fortunate enough to visit the battlefield with my good friend Larry Cassidy. That was fours years ago now and it has taken that long to collect enough terrain and figures to make this game happen. So after three hours of setting up we finally to roll the dice and make it happen.

Our part of the battlefield was only small as I still do not have quite enough room to expand the table so when setting the table I had to reduce the eastern and western side of the map plus in order to make room for the regiments we had to double their lines. It still looked good though to see long lines of troops as they might have on the day would have made the game look just that little bit better.

The figures supplied were from the collections of Myself, John Maguire, Dave Lowe, Brian Buskell and Terry Moran with the terrain all from my collection. All the images were taken with my IPhone which always seems to impress me the quality of the images it takes. Anyway the battle started much the same as it did on the day with Hookers’ Corps making the first move with the brigades of Seymour, Duryee and Gibbon making the first attacks through the cornfield and East Woods. These three waves of attack were soon stopped dead by Douglass’s Georgian Brigade and Walkers mixed brigade. 

Pressure soon mounted on the Confederates with three more Federal brigades coming into the fight under Patrick, Christian and Harsuff. But again in our game the Confederates proved again to hard a nut to crack as they also brought re-enforcements forward to plug gaps in their lines. So in the end as it was on the day, both side suffered mass casualties and remained close to where they started that morning. We however only played for four hours and still had a number of brigades to bring in the battle but due to time restraints we were unable to conclude the battle.

Confederate prisoners are marched past the Millers Farmhouse

A section of Campbell’s battery provides close fire support for the Iron Brigade as it moves forward.

Hooker and his staff direct the battle

A section of Poagues Confederate battery provides support for rebel left flank.

The masters of the battlefield on this day were S.D. Lee’s artillery battalion. These lads provided some devastating fire support for the rebels during the game.

Not quite looking like the Dunker Church however it was representing the church, J.R Jones division moves up in support of the Confederate right flank.

The Confederate frontline behind some hasty works of pile fencing rails.

The 5th Pennsylvania Reserves of Seymour’s Brigade

And the 13th Reserves of Seymour’s Brigade move through the East Woods

A nice view from the rear of the Confederate position with Lee’s Artillery battalion in a dominating position of fire support for the Confederate line.

Duryee’s Brigade moves up through the Cornfield.

With Duryee’s Gibbon’s Brigade engaged to the front Patrick’s all New York Brigade soon moves up in support.

The ‘Iron Brigade’ moves up through the Cornfeild….”those damned black hats’

Another image of Campbell’s artillery section near the Miller’s farmhouse

The 2nd US Sharpshooters from Phelps Brigade enter the fray in support of Gibbons attack

Here they come those damn men in the black hats..Gibbon’s Iron Brigade

Ah my 14th Brooklyn or more correctly the 84th NY made it to the battlefield as part of Phelps Brigade.

Duryee’s Brigade makes their attack on the Confederate line with the Iron Brigade in close support.

After forcing back the 31st Georgia the 105th NY prepare to charge the rebel line.

Yet another Union brigade enters the field, this time troops from Patricks all New York Brigade and these fine lads represent the 23rd NY.

With Duryee’s attack at a standstill and half of his brigade lying dead or wounded on the battlefield the Iron Brigade now moves forward to attack the strong rebel line.

And Phelp’s Brigade moves up in support of Gibbon on the Federal right flank

The battle lines meet, musket fire, artillery fire, dust and smoke soon obscure the battlefield

Just as on the day our battle for the Cornfield was just as hard fought, with both Union and Confederate regiments taking heavy casualties.

Supporting lines of Blue move up in support, these lads are from Patrick’s Brigade.

Combined batteries of Matthews, Thompson and Campbell offer support to the Union attack. But in the end it was not enough. Counter battery fire was becoming more effective and soon silence one section of Matthews battery and our Union troops were running out of reinforcements.

The last of our Union attacks goes in but as you can see the Confederates had strengthen their lines and proved too hard a nut to crack.

With three Federal Brigades taking over 50% casualties and forced from the field, victory went to the Confederates…..if only we had more time.


22 thoughts on “The Cornfield – The Battle of Antietam 17 September 1862”

  1. Awesome – truly inspiring. I was going to watch the Gettysburg movie for some inspiration before tonight's game (my first Fire and Fury game in more years than I care to remember), however, having seen this post I don't need to watch that movie.

    I can't fault the photos and your figures and terrain – wow!

  2. If I had to choose only one word to describe your game, it would be breathtaking! And epic. I cannot use only one word when I need at least two!

    This makes me wish we played ACW in 28mm locally.

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