Steve Miller has produced a fascinating illustrated story of the Battle for Fort Phil Kearny set in the Plains Indians Wars. Here is the first installment of this series.
What follows is a battle scenario that I will be creating as I go along. It may be thought of as “Alternative History” in that everything is as it was as the start of the “Deer Rutting Moon” to the Sioux, or November 1866 as we would know it. It is not a war game in the sense that it has no rules and right now I do not know how it will end; I will be making it up as it flows. I would expect it to have some seven to eight scenes or “episodes”, each of which will be accompanied by one or more photographs although it may turn out to have somewhat more. I hope you will enjoy following along.
Setting the Stage
The scene of the “battle” is Ft Phil Kearny, Dakota Territory (currently in northern Wyoming. The date is November 3, 1866. Four companies of the 18th US Infantry Regiment arrived at this site and began construction of the fort in mid-July of this year, its purpose to guard the Bozeman Trail which ran from southeast Wyoming at Fort Laramie to the gold fields in western Montana. Almost from the start, Sioux under Chief Red Cloud (who had vowed to close the Bozeman Trail) began harassment attacks on details assigned at the various “satellite” sites, the pinery (located about 5 miles west of the fort and the hayfield site, about 4 miles east of the fort. In addition, the Sioux launched frequent raids on the herds of cattle, horses and mules that grazed daily in the fields surrounding the fort. When raids succeeded in driving off livestock, a patrol of mounted infantry (since no cavalry troops had been assigned to Ft Phil Kearny to this point) would pursue, usually unsuccessfully. Until this day, however, Red Cloud had elected to avoid making any major attack on the fort itself, husbanding his strength as he gathered more bands to his banner.Now with over 2000 warriors nearby, that is about to change.
At 0900 hours that morning, the wood train had departed the fort for the pinery; the train consisted of 25 wagons, each driven by a civilian teamster, and was escorted by a platoon of roughly 20 soldiers. Already at the pinery was the weekly work party of 20 timber cutters, also escorted by a 20-man platoon. Remaining at the fort were 9 officers, 3 surgeons and the remainder of the 4 infantry companies and the regimental band, altogether about 320 men. In addition there were about 100 civilians, some of them quartermaster employees, some contractor personnel and some just en route either up or down the Bozeman Trail. Continue reading
Pennsylvania-based wargamer and e-publisher Stephen M. Huckaby has released the second issue of his new e-zine for American Civil War miniature wargaming, ACW Gamer.
- Review: Trident Miniatures’ “Nation Divided” 40mm ACW Range
- Battle Report: Crossroads at Seven Pines
- Weapons: Weird Weapons of the Civil War
- Scenario: The Morning After
- Battle Report: Return to Castleman’s Ferry, Part 1
- Review: Infantry Flags, Longstreet’s Corps, Gettysburg 1863
For more information, or to subscribe to this excellent new addition to the Civil War gaming hobby, please contact Stephen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pascal Toupy from Bordeaux (France) was kind enough to send me the attached file with labels for the scenario for the December 1862 battle of Salem Cemetery which was published in a past issue of Charge!, the now defunct newsletter of the Johnny Reb Gaming Society. The rather small battle was fought near Jackson, Tennessee, but the tactical situation makes for a nice tabletop two player game.
He writes, “As we play Regimental Fire & Fury we’ve designed the labels for the units, and I thought it could be useful for other players. I’ve attached the labels for the Salem Cemetery battle scenario published in Charge! #2.”
Click here to call up the .pdf file with the Salem Cemetery labels
Map is from the Salem Cemetery Battlefield Association. They are seeking copies of letters and documents from the battles, as well as artifacts or relics.
Salem Cemetery Battlefield Association:
367 White Fern Road
Beech Bluff, TN 38313
Among Osprey Publishing’s recent releases in the autumn of 2013 are these four new titles of interest not only to wargamers, but also to general military history buffs. All contain Osprey’s usual excellent custom-drawn graphics, as we have become used to seeing over the years, as well as an excellent selection of vintage and period photographs and drawings. Each paperback book is printed on high quality, coated-two-sides enamel paper using fine offset lithography printing.
The two books at the top of the photograph are both part of Osprey’s popular “Combat” series, which examine opposing warriors across a wide variety of periods and armies.
David Greentree has written an interesting account of the opponents in the Mediterranean 1942-43 theater: British Paratrooper Versus Fallschirmjager. His book details three key encounters between the airborne forces in Tunisia and Sicily. The new book contrasts their organization, training, tactics used on the battlefield, experience, and weaponry. Greentree has drawn from first-person accounts, military records, old photographs, and contemporary strategic and tactical maps to give a useful look at the opposing units. Tennessee freelance artist Johnny Shumate nicely drew the modern illustrations. Chapters include The Opposing Sides; Pont du Fahs, Depiene, and Oudna; Green Hill, Primosole Bridge, and an analysis and conclusion. He also includes a useful look at unit organizations and a selected bibliography. $18.95. ISBN: 978170969244.
Stephen Huckaby’s new digital wargaming magazine (an “ezine”) is debuting this month.
“ACW Gamer: The Ezine” will be available on the 4th of October 2013. The cost for a 4 issue subscription is $12 and can be sent by Paypal at Ravenbannergames@yahoo.com
. Please include the email address where you wish the PDF to be sent to.
The Fall Issue features:
- An interview with Chris Hughes of Sash and Saber Castings
- A history of the 83rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry
- Pohick Church: An early war scenario
- Crucible of Valor: An American Civil War Ruleset for Warlord Games’ “Black Powder”
After 10 years of publication, Debi and I have printed the final issue of Charge!, the official newsletter of the Johnny Reb Gaming Society. We published more than 100 American Civil War scenarios over the years, terrain tips, painting guides, and articles of interest to the ACW gamer.
It was a great run, but after 40 issues, it was time to stop and move on to other things. I will be focusing on writing more ACW books (I have 10 in print, with 3 more in various stages of pre-publication).
On Friday, July 26, 2013, I presented a demonstration of a wargame layout to the attendees of the Chambersburg Civil War Seminar at Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA. Many people stopped to comment on the terrain, figures, and structures, and several expressed a desire to learn more about the hobby of miniature wargaming.
Here are a few more photographs of my 15mm ACW game.
The Confederate Soldiers Home in Richmond was established after the Civil War through the efforts of the Robert E. Lee Camp #1 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and others, including a letter of endorsement from an ailing ex-president U. S. Grant. According to the society’s website, “On April 18, 1883 a group of concerned Confederate Veterans met in Richmond, Virginia, to form the Camp Lee Soldiers’ Home (also called Confederate Soldiers’ Home, Confederate Veterans Soldiers’ Home, R. E. Lee Camp Soldiers’ Home, Lee Camp Soldiers’ Home, or Old Soldiers’ Home) as a benevolent society to aid their needy former comrades. The Robert E. Lee Camp, No. 1, Confederate Veterans was incorporated March 13, 1884. In the year that followed, the camp raised funds and acquired land in Western Richmond for a home. The Home opened on January 1, 1885, and it was located in the corner of Grove Ave. and the Boulevard in Richmond, Virginia. Plagued by financial difficulties, they sought money from the state. In 1886, the General Assembly authorized a small annual appropriation which was increased in 1892 in return for the deed to the property. The home was under the Dept. of Public Welfare until it closed in 1941, upon the death of the last resident.”
Here are some more photos of the diorama, which is located in one of the two surviving buildings, the Confederate War Memorial Chapel (also known as the Pelham Chapel). The other building is the Robinson Building. The rest of the old soldiers home is gone, and now the Virginia Fine Arts Museum and the Virginia Historical Society sit on the old site.
Ed McKie has graciously allowed the Johnny Reb Gaming Society to publish here on our website his new rules for miniature wargames for the American Civil War (ACW) period. He maintains a support site which has more details on these new rules. It is a Yahoo site http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/GiveThemtheColdSteel/ where quick play sheets and game counters can be found.
Give Them the Cold Steel is an interesting addition to the pantheon of published rules for ACW wargaming, and are worth a look, especially since Ed has provided them as a FREE service to the wargaming community.
Here are the rules and supporting files:
Please try out these rules when you get a chance, and report your likes and dislikes by adding comments to this blog post. Feel free to suggest any improvements or house rules, or any after-action reports!
Thanks Ed for your generous contribution to the JRGS and our CHARGE! website!
I attended the Friday night sessions of the 2013 Cold Wars miniature wargaming convention in Lancaster, Pa. The above photo is a section of a 25mm game of the Battle of Groveton, presented by Ohio gamemaster Jim Kopchak. The fighting resulted in a Union victory when the Rebel commanders retired. Jim used his own home-grown set of rules, Civil War Commander II.
Another shot of Jim’s 25mm layout. Jim’s rules include a unique “capture the flag” system of determining victory points. When a unit ir eliminated, that player who lost the unit must give 1 or 2 flags (depending upon the unit) to his opponent as trophies of war.
Here are more photos of Jim’s game, as well as Regimental Fire & Fury games by Lowell Hamilton and Rich Hasenauer, and a skirmish game by John Michael Priest.