Belgian wargamer and long-time The Miniatures Page member Patrick Roovers stopped by my 15mm Johnny Reb 3 miniature wargame last Friday morning at Fall In! as I was explaining the scenario prior to the commencement of the die-rolling barrage. He snapped the photo below. It captures many of the players, several of whom are long-time members of the Johnny Reb Gaming Society. The table is temporarily devoid of incoming troops (Cemetery Hill in the distance is crowned with Orland Smith’s brigade of the Union XI Corps and a New York artillery battery). Soon, the borough of Gettysburg (at the lower part of the photo) will be crammed with a morass of retreating Union soldiers, fleeing in two columns down Baltimore and Washington streets).
My thanks to Patrick for granting permission to the Johnny Reb Gaming Society to use his photo (I had forgotten my camera)!
A friend of mine posted this on a website, and I thought I’d share the information with Charge readers. As you are making out your Christmas cards this year, why not add a card or two addressed to one of the injured soldiers recovering in the army hospital? It’s a cheap price to pay to say thank you to those who are serving their country, and many will be away from home in the hospital over the holidays. The card will be distributed to soldiers by the nursing staff. A note of appreciation, or some little ditty about your family or hometown or other such personalization might brighten someone’s day.
A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue NW
Washington, D. C. 20307-5001
I was privileged to have been invited to speak at the November meeting of the Central Ohio Civil War Round Table in Columbus, Ohio. My presentation earlier tonight was on the burning of the Wrightsville-Columbia Bridge, a topic relatively familiar to York County history buffs, but an event almost totally unknown outside this region. For many of the 50+ attendees, it was the first time they had heard the details of the strategic importance of the bridge, the invasion of York County, and the Gordon Expedition, the subject of a new book I wrote that is due out shortly. I had dinner with my publisher, Eric Wittenberg, his graphic designer, and some of the CWRT members this evening, and it looks like the book is ready for submission to the printer after final copy edit.
The Central Ohio CWRT is one of Ohio’s largest groups, with a number of active projects and field trips. This was my first time to speak to this organization, and I had a blast talking about the role Gordon’s Brigade played in the campaign, and how York figured into the Confederate strategy.
It’s always fun to export a little York County history to others!
Larry Reber of www.gettysburgsoldiers.com has been one of the Johnny Reb Gaming Society’s greatest allies and supporters. He has provided several interesting articles for the pages of the hard copy Charge! newsletter, and has painted dozens of 15mm figures for me. For my recent Fall In 2007 game of Trimble’s Attack, Larry lent me custom-made figures of Trimble and Dick Ewell, which drew the admiration of several admirers with his alterations and customizations. If you are looking to buy similar custom figures for your ACW, Nappie, AWI or Plains Indians battle, why not visit Larry’s website and have a look at his many conversions and customizations? Send him an e-mail, and I’m sure he would let you know what he could do for you. His prices are reasonable and the quality is exceptional! Have a look today!
I also want to thank Doug Kline of www.battlefieldterrain.com for sponsoring the Trimble wargame and providing discounts to the people who played in the game, a last minute change in plans (my communication error). Most of you probably share my opinion that Doug is hands down the finest commercial terrain maker in the hobby today, bar none. His work is superb, rivalling the best model railroaders or dioramists, yet being sturdy and useful enough for wargamers. I have several of his terrain pieces and neatly painted 10mm houses and barns. He’s now expanded into Napoleonic items, which again are very well done.
The Union triple huzzah, gentlemen!
Following the successful and entertaining Fall In wargaming convention, I took a dozen or so gamers on a 90-minute walking tour of East Cemetery Hill. The dialogue was brisk and the questions excellent, as these were some very knowledgable ACW buffs. With nice weather (cool and sunny), it was a perfect day to chat about the action on this critical spot in the Union defenses of Gettysburg. East Cemetery Hill (or Raffensperger’s Hill) before the Civil War was a popular picnic spot, with its commanding view of the hills and valleys off to the east and southeast. Continue reading
Today is Veterans Day. After church, I drove over to Gettysburg to lead a walking tour of East Cemetery Hill for fifteen wargamers from the Fall In convention that had just concluded. I spoke for about 90 minutes, stopping at various places on East Cemetery Hill to describe the Union defenses and the determined attack by half of Jubal Early’s veteran division on the evening of July 2. We closed at the monument to the 7th West Virginia Infantry, a regiment that contained my grandmother’s uncles and several of their cousins), where I paused with the attendees to remember that it is Veterans Day. What could be more fitting – bright sunshine, crisp autumn air, several good friends, and a chance to reflect at Gettysburg on the sacrifices of our ancestors?
Fall In! is one of the largest miniature wargaming conventions in North America. Sponsored by the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society’s East Chapter, it has more than 300 different wargames, with nearly a thousand gamers. Other features include a huge dealer area, as well as a flea market for gamers to sell and swap their spare figures, gaming accessories, historical books, games, and other military hobbyist items. The convention is held at the Eisenhower Inn and Conference Center just south of Gettysburg.
I hosted a 15mm Johnny Reb 3 wargame depicting the hypothetical attack that Ike Trimble wanted to make on Cemetery Hill in the early evening of July 1, 1863 during the Battle of Gettysburg. We had seven players for the game – three Yankees and four Rebel commanders, and had unfortunately to turn away several other gamers who had wanted to play, but missed out during the on-line pre-registration phase.
Osprey Publishing has issued Volume 5 of their popular book, The Confederate Army 1861-65. A part of their sprawling Men-at-Arms series (this is book #441 in that series), this one covers the uniforms and arms of troops from Tennessee and North Carolina. Written by Ron Field and lavishly illustrated with Richard Hook’s watercolors, this book is a worthy addition to the Osprey family. Retailing for $15.95 here in the USA ($21 in Canada), the book has 48 pages, nearly all of them with period photographs or full color drawings.
I grew up in central Ohio in the town of Zanesville, most noted for its unique Y-bridge and as the birthplace of Western author Zane Gray. Not too far away is the city of Newark, Ohio, the birthplace of John Clem (also spelled Klem), one of the 516,000 German-Americans to fight in the American Civil War. Clem, a young drummer boy in an Ohio regiment, gained national fame as “Johnny Shiloh” and “Johnny Chickamauga.” Years after the war, he became the youngest major general in U.S. Army history.In the 1960s, Disney make a somewhat fictionalized movie based loosely on Clem’s Civil War exploits, entitled Johnny Shiloh. Now, a relatively unknown film company, Historical Productions, has produced a new movie on John Clem’s service in the Union army. The movie trailer can be found at the company’s website. Directed by R. David Burns, this movie at least looks better than the classic Disney flick (at least, it has better reenactors and uniforms!).
I have fond memories of the Disney Johnny Shiloh flick from my childhood, although my favorite ACW movies are Glory and Gettysburg. What is your favorite Civil War movie, and why?