Battle of 15th August
Arrived at George and Evelyn’s on Saturday morning, just as the PO was due to close. George had as usual set up an aesthetically pleasing table, which was 6 or 7 feet by 5. We had previously agreed to field 4 brigades each. I chose not to muck about and quickly settled on 3 brigades from McLaw’s division, that of Kershaw, Barksdale and rather stupidly Semmes small brigade along with the Texans of Robertson’s brigade from the 3rd Division of Longstreet’s Corp of the Army of Northern Virginia.
Semmes' small brigade was more or less isolated on my right as Kershaw was covering my left with Barksdale starting to its immediate right. Robertson coming on behind Barksdale. My initial set up was not that bad for an attack down what I perceived as a weakly held Union right, only trouble was my biggest unit from Kershaw was started in the wrong position and spent most of the game bringing up the rear as it turned out.
On the Confederate left as expected the Union rolled forwards and engaged Semmes who ended up in a dog leg however these units were formed in line and the two covering the far right of the Confederate line thought they spotted an opportunity and waited until the union force had wandered close enough, these units were mostly in skirmish and extended line, the Confederate general (me) fortified with a measure of Drambuie believed he could make a mess of this larger Union force, however as the skirmishers took a pot shot at 50th Georgia causing 1 casualty the resulting morale roll of double one saw the brave Georgians head towards the rear, damn and drat. However not to be put off and bearing in mind that this left the 10th Georgia on its own facing 4 -5 enemy units Semmes decided death or glory and announced a charge, this caught the Federal units moving and forced a number to stop their forward move. Alas the brave 10th were in no mood to face the enemy and decided on a roll of 3 to stand shaken before the enemy. This basically heralded the fall of my right flank. By this time the Federals had managed to bring 2 Napoleon batteries into the line against the other 2 units of Semmes brigade and these were quickly shredded.
Even though there had been a minor success on my left as some counter battery fire frightened off some Federal gunners who without taking any casualties decided to leg it. George being most impressed with his gunners.
It was around this stage of battle that we called a halt for some chow and off we headed to local pub for some excellent steak pie. Oh yes and yet more refreshment. I had to say at this point it looked like a walk over to the Yankees.
Upon return from the pub I quickly realised that if I was to get anything from this game I would need to do something with my left, my recollections of actual events now start to become hazy as George and I had been enjoying the pleasures of Drambuie for a number of hours as we played at a leisurely pace both enjoying the chat and game. Kershaw did manage to break individual parts of the Union right mostly on his extreme right flank, but other units of Kershaw’s brigade that managed to get through further over found themselves quickly isolated which resulted in their rout or complete destruction as they were fired upon from their flanks etc.
The centre ground had become mostly stalemate with elements of Barksdale engaging the union Iron Brigade which I must say seemed to perform as well as my own Semmes brigade and appeared to try and commit suicide by deciding not to fire effective volleys with one unit rolling out of ammo as it tried to fire at a charging unit of Robertson’s brigade.
One thing the Confederates can take from this battle is that whenever there was contact of the bayonet this was invariably won by Confederate troops.
All in all a good game though to be honest although both armies were messed up the Union was the winning side, they were in the process of rolling up the Confederate right, Kershaw’s attack although fairly successful had more or less run its course and at the end there was only the 15th South Carolina and the small 3rd south Carolina and 2 gun batteries left as effective units on my left.
I had decided to bring a 15 year old bottle of Drambuie down with me, be warned this tastes nothing like the usual Drambuie and both George and I managed one glass before deciding to fall back on the Drambuie George had stashed in the fridge, from there on both commanders were a tad under the influence but this only added to our enjoyment.
Thanks George, let’s not wait for years before doing this again!
(what a gent... ed)