The First Battle of Our Shenandoah Valley Campaign – Harper's Ferry


Just over a week ago myself Victor Perry (Adventure Miniatures) and Brian Buskell decided to play an American Civil War campaign . So looking through the armies we already had painted in the cupboards our best campaign to play was Jackson’s Valley Campaign of 1862 and also after recently visiting the Valley, last year with Larry, I thought it would be a great place to start.
Our campaign kicks off a little later the then the actual one only so that I could work out the army lists on both sides. Victor is playing for the Union and Brian is Jackson. Already after one week of campaign we had our first battle – ‘Harper’s Ferry’. At this town Victor had placed a brigade of infantry (four regiments) and two batteries of guns. The town held over 4000 rifled muskets and other supplies so would be a prime target for Jackson and a must for the Union to hold. However that was not to be…Jackson (Brian) with two brigades of infantry and three batteries of guns headed straight there. After eight hours of battle (only eight turns in the game) Harper’s Ferry fell to the ‘Reds’ and Jackson captured the entire garrison which consisted of the First Brigade under the command of Col Nathan Kimbell and the following units:
14th Indiana
8th Ohio
67th Ohio
84th Pennsylvania
…only the Army Commander (Victor) managed to escape.

However down in Winchester Victor had almost surrounded with the remainder of Jacksons forces (one brigades of infantry and the 7th Virginia under Col Turner Ashby)…Jackson will have to think quick before he is cut off and his troops trapped…but that is another story.

Union troops man sturdy entrenchments on top of the Bolivar Heights. The hasty works are from Architects of War ACW terrain.

One of the two gun batteries Victor placed up on the heights. Hasty works are again from AoW and have been painted by Andrew Parr.

Manning the centre of the Union line is the 8th Ohio.

Two of the Confederate batteries – one Adventure Miniatures and the other Elite Miniatures.

More Elite Miniatures painted by Brian Buskell. They are from Garnetts’ Brigade of Jacksons Division.

The 67th Ohio bore the brunt of Brian’s attack on the heights

The birds eye view of the battlefield during the second turn. Garnett’s brigade can just be seen advancing at the top right of the picture.

The 67th Ohio supported by the 84th Pennsylvania

There’s that birds eye view again

Garnett’s Brigade advances up towards Bolivar Heights

Jackson directs the assaults from close to the front lines.

Just a random picture of the terrain. The fields were made by me, fences by Brian and the buildings are all from AoW

Two batteries of artillery supported the attack on the heights.

The last Union unit on the field was my Iron Bde who in this game played the 14th Indiana.

The next few images are of the Confederate flank attack which signalled the end of Union resistance.

While the Union flank is attacked Bolivar Heights was also attacked in force. This fixed in place any chance for Victor to send troops to his left flank.

A nice little causality figure painted by Andrew Parr

Turn six and the Union left flank crumbles

Turn seven and Victor starts to withdraw..but too late

Confederate troops cut off the withdrawing Union troops and forcing them to surrender.

In the end all but the Union commander Maj Gen Shields are captured…. Jackson later paroles the Union troops but takes all the supplies, rifles and artillery pieces.

12 thoughts on “The First Battle of Our Shenandoah Valley Campaign – Harper's Ferry”

  1. Hello Guys thanks for the great comments and great to hear from you Larry. I should be able..if time permits, do a battle report this weekend. It was a great little game for the boys to play and it would be a shame if I did not write a report up.

    Thanks again


  2. Great scenery, figures and photos. I hope the campaign to preserve Virginian and other East coast battlefield sites and memorials is successful. Like some of your photos show, its a unique military heritage. Its been over 20 years, but I fondly remember traipsing around many ACW battlefields just like (and including) the Harpers Ferry one. Love your recreation of the Bolivar Heights position!


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