Last Sunday about six members of the ‘Lonely Gamers Club’ (I guess with six players we are not really lonely anymore?) got together at my place and play a supreme American Civil War game focusing on the Battle for Fox’s Gap September 1862. Fox’s Gap was one of three major battles fought that day for South Mountain and resulted in one of the Army of The Potomac’s first major victory and some say helped bring victory for the Union a few days later at Antietam by installing a certain amount of pride into the boy’s in blue…Our battle would change all that with better battlefield awareness and some lucky and unlucky dice rolling on both sides.
The scenario we used was the one straight from the Regimental Fire & Fury website, which provided us with a great start to the battle. It listed all the required units for the morning battle, we however progressed a little more and continued the fight from 4:00pm onwards with the introduction of a further two more Union Brigades, under the commands of Christ and Welsh. On the Confederate side Drayton’s veteran Brigade was brought on to help boost Confederate numbers.
During the actual battle Union commanders were the more aggressive, however it was the Confederate commanders during our battle who took the initiative and preformed an impressive aggressive defence of Fox’s Gap, eventually forcing two of the four Union Brigades to break and rout of the table..impressive. However the Union boys did put up a good fight and managed to cause some considerable casualties on the more adventurous Confederate regiments.
The 12th Ohio pushes forward towards the crest during the early morning assaults
The 23rd Ohio struggles through the corn field only to suffer numerous casualties from Rebel artillery shells and flanking fire from the 5th Virginia Cavalry.
The battlefield at about 10:00am the 23rd Ohio in the foreground advances through the cornfield on the Union left flank. In the distance is the 12th Ohio.
With restricted view of the battlefield the commander of the 23rd North Carolina moves his battalion forward and into a strong position behind one of the many stone walls criss crossing the battlefield.
Union re-enforcements arrive (Crook’s Brigade) and advances in support of Scammon’s Brigade
The 30th Ohio hold on the fence line just a few yards from the Martz’s house to their rear. (Master painter Leroy Simpson of Townsville also pictured)
The 13th North Carolina holds firm on the Confederate left flank
Two battalions of G.B Anderson arrive (2nd & 4th North Carolina Regiments) as the only re enforcements the Confederates received for the morning battle.
The 20th North Carolina fires a devastating volley into the 36th Ohio
The 12th Ohio make it to one of the many stone walls cresting the spur line. In front of the wall they found piles of dead from the 23rd North Carolina.
With slow progress being made by Union forces the Confederate commander decides to go on the offensive and hits the Union right flank hard for the next couple of hours.
The 30th Ohio is hit hard on both the front and flank. They hold their own for about 15mins but are soon pushed back again
The Confederates attack surges forward with the 28th Ohio breaking and the 30th Ohio just holding the line, however they too fall back on the pressure.
The last stand of the gallant 28th Ohio as they try to stop the relentless Confederate attacks. They soon break but rally after fleeing almost to the rear of the table. This final attack basically finished the morning battle and there would be a long lull for a few yours…we stopped for a lunch break and re set the table for the afternoon fight.
The second half of the game commenced after we had all had our fill of lunch with another two fresh brigades of Union and one Confederate brigade marching onto the field of battle. This is where you will see a few green flags of the Irish Brigade, they were not present but we were shot of units for the Union so they entered the table.
The fresh Union regiments soon took the offensive and push back one or two Confederate regiments but only in turn to be again hit by well place Confederate counter attacks on the Union right flank. This added pressure basically stalled the Union attack and forced them onto the defensive for the remainder of the game.
Confederate regiments under Garland push forward to the crest and hold the Union troops in check as their flank attack hits the Union right.
The 13th North Carolina charges another Union regiment and forces it back. But their gallant charge soon forms a small salient in the Union line. This salient then becomes a focus point for Union attacks and the 13th NC are soon sent streaming to the rear with 65% casualties.
The high watermark for the Union at Fox’s Gap Welsh’s & Christ’s Brigades hold ground as the Union right crumbles.
The next few images above and below show the Confederate counter attack on the Union’s right flank. After the 30th Ohio was sent telling back in much disorder, never again to reform, the Confederate commanders pressed their soldiers hard and were soon rolling up the Union flank. We stopped the game here as victory was surely in the Confederates hands and Fox’s Gap was secure.
The 50th & 51st Georgia roll up the Union flank