The Battle for Spotsylvania Court House, and the Struggle for The Mule Shoe 12th May 1864

Last Sunday afternoon we managed to fit in a fantastic game of ACW. The scenario was based on the Union 2nd Corps attack on the Mule Shoe on the 12th of May 1864, as part of the epic battle for Spotsylvania Court House. On the Union side, the 2nd Corps was represented by three divisions of two brigades each, with four regiments, a total of 24 Regiments, and one artillery battery. In the trenches, the Confederates had five smaller brigades totalling 17 seventeen regiments and three batteries of artillery. Both sides also fielded two units of skirmisher.

I tried to make the game reflect the actual battle as close as I could so all the Union brigades were massed pretty much regiment behind regiment and attacked on a close frontage. I also allowed the Union brigades to advance within close range before the Confederates were allowed to open fire. This was done as the attack went in a 0430am and after a night of rain, the ground was covered in mist/fog.

I also placed down some twigs to represent the fallen trees across the front of the Confederate position. The trees would also disorder the attackers as they charged the defensive works.

Union Brigades form up for attack

A skirmish screen of Union sharpshooters protect the Union right flank

Confederate troops man the trenches.

The Confederate reserve Brigade

An other Union Division prepares to advance

The Union 2nd Corps finally advances and immediately hits the Confederate picket line

The Confederate pickets get one staggered volley off before the stream back to the main defensive works

Still all quiet in the Mule Shoe

They hear a few shots out on the picket line and are called to arms

A Confederate battery is called forward.

Still unseen by the Rebels both Union Divisions quietly advance

The Confederate Commander is an old hand and ensures his defences are fully manned

Confederate artillery load their guns in preparation for dawn attack

Finally the Union troops are in front of the Mule Shoe and charge the defences.

Three Union Brigade, 12 regiments hit the Confederate line

The third Union Division awaits to advance

Confederate pickets are pushed back into the works

Here they come boys

The Union troops charge the works

The artillery piece is overrun

Union troops from the first Brigade storm the trenches and push the first Confederate units out, capturing not only a gun but a whole battalion of Rebel infantry are also caught in the flank and surrender.

The first Union Brigade pushes past the Rebel trenches and soon run into stiffer Rebel resistance

The 2nd Union Brigade also charges upon the Confederate works. There is fierce hand to hand fighting all across the line

Half the Confederate works are taken…it looks like an easy victory for the Union

But the Confederates counter attack and take back some of the trenches, pushing the Union 2nd Brigade back

But the Union have the numbers and fresh troops are pushed into attack retaking the first line of Rebel works again

All across the line Union troops are pushing the Rebels out of the trenches and back into their reserve works

The Confederate reserve battery deploys and fire double canister into the ranks of the Union advancing troops

Within a few hours the works are completely in Union hands, which finally seals a victory for the Union 2nd Corps.

14 thoughts on “The Battle for Spotsylvania Court House, and the Struggle for The Mule Shoe 12th May 1864”

  1. Tremendous looking setup. A very challenging battle to replay where the fighting was mainly hand to hand. Interesting to see how it plays out ?

  2. By juno you put on some impressive and magnificent games! Expertly photographed too. Jaw-dropping and inspiring!

  3. Well now, that is just one OUTSTANDING looking game! Big fat units, beautifully painted, excellent terrain and trenchworks! Great job!

  4. Thanks must go to everyone for the fantastic comments. I am happy to read that you liked the game and the images I have put up. This period is a great period to photograph.

    Thank you again



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