Last night the guys and myself played another of those great Gettysburg scenarios we have been playing over the last couple of years. This game focused on one of the lesser known battlefields from the 3 July 1863 – ‘The South Cavalry Field’. Back on the 3rd July 1863 there were three separate small battles which occurred in this area and we picked Brig. Gen Merritt’s attack up the Emmitsburg Road and along the Warfield Ridge for our game. Each side had only small forces compared to the grand battle of the previous two days with Merritt’s veteran bridge consisting of only four regiments of cavalry and a battery of guns. The Confederates also fielded a veteran from Longstreet’s’ Corps, Brig. Gen George T Anderson’s all Georgian brigade of five battle weary regiments, a detachment from the 1st South Carolina Cavalry and two batteries of artillery.
I decided on this scenario after I had just finished reading the recently released ‘Gettysburg Forgotten Cavalry Actions’ by Eric J Wittenberg, which provides some fantastic details for the battle, including a number of detailed maps. However I designed the table from the ‘Maps of Gettysburg’ series on page 274 for the placement of fences and units involved. Rules used were Regimental Fire and Fury. Our game played basically as the day with Merritts’ cavalry at first advancing aggressively against the lightly held Currens’ farm but the veteran Georgians seems to still have plenty of fire in the bellies and forced the dismounted cavalry back for most of the game. Eventually after being re-enforced by three more regiments did the Confederates finally advance against the Federal line, taking numerous casualties as they advance. By the last turn the Union troops had been forced back to their starting line and the Confederate still held Lee’s south right flank.
The 8th & 7th Georgia hold a line below Curren’s farm
Hart’s single section of South Carolina Horse Artillery offered limited support to the Georgians until they were forced to withdraw due to counter battery fire.
A detachment of 100 troopers of the 1st South Carolina Cavalry assist against the advancing Federal cavalry.
Dismounted troopers of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry advance to contest the cornfield
1st U.S. Cavalry
Reilly’s North Carolina Battery and the 9th Georgia hold position to the rear of Warfield Ridge
Dismounted the 1st U.S Cavalry advance through the cornfield and exchange fire with the 7th Georgia
And on the extreme Confederate right flank the 1st SC and 5th U.S. Cavalry exchange carbine fire
With the storm of fire to much for the veteran U.S. cavalry they are forced to withdraw to the protective cover of a rail fence and the 8th Georgia advances to clear the cornfield.
The 2nd U.S. Cavalry holds their fire as friendly troops withdraw through their lines.
An overview of the battle sees Federal troopers withdrawing from the advancing Confederate infantry.
The main battle of our game will now be for the ownership of the cornfield. This little cornfield would later see the Confederates lose the majority of their casualties (320 killed & wounded) for it’s possession.
The thin blue line
A birds’ eyes view sees the Confederates advance against the lightly held Federal line.
Members of 1st Vermont of Farnsworth’s Brigade hold the right of the Federal battle line. They did not make a major contribution on the day or in matter of fact in our game either. Nether less they did deter the any rebel advances on that side of the tabs.
Charging through the cornfield the 8th GA receives staggering casualties from the 2nd U.S. hold the fence line.
But the 59th GA manages to push back the 5th U.S. in a number of short but sharp charges
Brig. Gen “Tige” Anderson encourages his tiered troops to fight on.
After the repel of Farnsworth Union cavalry brigade the six gun battery of Reilly’s NC Battery provide long awaited added fire support to Anderson’s attack.
The final turn of the game saw Confederate attacks all along the Federal line, forces two Union regiments to rapidly withdraw and leave the battlefield in possession of the victorious Georgians.
The charge of the 9th GA against the 6th PA (Rush’s Lancers)