Monthly Archives: October 2008

These guys are tiny! 10mm ACW gaming

10mm Civil War miniature wargaming figures and terrain from a game held at Rock Con 2008. The rules were A Terrible Discord by Doyle Collins. Photos by Randy Miller of ACME Terrain. For more photos of this scenario, “Richmond or Bust,” please click here.

Have you ever tried 10mm wargaming? It packs more figures, terrain, and excitement into a smaller space, making the scale ideal for kitchen table gaming or smaller venues than 25mm or even 15mm. The scale can readily be used for larger convention games as well.

I gave 10mm a shot a few years ago when I purchased some packs of 10mm Rebellion figures from the good folks at GHQ, who made the Terrain Maker hexes I was finishing and using at the time. I also picked up a bunch of 10mm accessories and houses / buildings and planned to switch from 15mm to 10mm (keep in mind that I had already scaled down from 20mm K+L figures to 15s, so this would have been my second dip into the scale downsizing pool).

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Categories: Civil War wargaming | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

Get out and vote! Even Rebel deserters tried to do so!

Next Tuesday, November 4, is Election Day. I have exercised my right to vote in nearly every election since I was 18 and in college at Miami of Ohio, missing only a few years when I was unexpectedly on the road and could not cast an absentee ballot or when I was ill. As Americans, I believe it is our civic duty to have our voice heard in the government, and it is a privilege that some in this world do not share.

The presidential election of 1864 occurred during the heart of the Civil War. A string of late summer / autumn victories by the Union army cemented President Lincoln’s reelection over the former commander of the Army of the Potomac, George B. McClellan. Little Mac’s influence and popularity among the troops had waned, and Lincoln won a solid majority of the military vote, including that of the 24th Michigan of the famed Iron Brigade, a regiment that fought at the Battle of Gettysburg.

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Book Review: Harold Holzer’s Lincoln: President-Elect

Harold Holzer is one of America’s finest historians — a man celebrated for both his vast knowledge of Civil War-era events, as well as his fluid and readable writing style. His latest effort, Lincoln, President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter 1860-61, is perhaps his finest work of recent vintage. He focuses on the crucial four-month period between the Election of 1860 and the inauguration of the 16th President — four months that forever changed the fundamental fabric of America. Lincoln’s controversial decision to take a hard line with the Southern states, refusing to compromise on key issues such as states’ rights, secession, and the right to maintain the institution of slavery.

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Johnny Reb 3 rules rewritten for clarity!!!

Doug Kline, the owner of the Johnny Reb Gaming Company, recently published an official document rewriting and clarifying some of the most misinterpreted rules for John Hill’s classic Johnny Reb 3. Several members of the JRIII Yahoo Group collaborated on this effort. We at the Johnny Reb Gaming Society have received written permission from Doug to reproduce this document on this blogspace for folks who may not have access to the JRIII Yahoo Group’s file archives.

Here is Doug and his team’s excellent work… this is a rather large file, with some excellent graphics from Scot Gore, so please be patient. The JRGS salutes al lthe people on the JRIII Yahoo Group who contributed to this long overdue effort!


Categories: Civil War wargaming, Johnny Reb 3 | 1 Comment

New Osprey book – Brandy Station 1863

Osprey volume #201 of the Campaign Series is entitled Brandy Station 1863: First step towards Gettysburg. The author is Dr. Daniel Beattie, long considered one of the experts in this fight, and the man who wrote the text for many of the wayside markers around the battlefield. Lavishly illustrated with color photographs of the modern battlefield taken by Dan and his wife, as well as Adam Hook’s usual excellent drawings and sketches, this is one of the best treatises on Brandy Station you will find. At 96 pages, it cannot possibly fulfill the needs of researchers or readers wanting very detailed accounts of the fight and the events leading up to it, but Beattie draws upon his years of study to develop a thorough overview that lacks nothing in terms of giving the reader a solid understanding of what transpired and why. This should become the first book you recommend to friends who want an overview of the largest cavalry battle of the Civil War.

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Categories: Civil War books, Gettysburg, Osprey, Preservation efforts | Leave a comment

Table of contents – Charge issue #21

Debi has finished printing the copies of issue #21 of the popular Charge! hard copy newsletter of the Johnny Reb Gaming Society. These will be mailed on time (for a 21st consecutive time!) in early November for delivery by the 15th as usual. This one is chock-full of scenarios.

Table of contents:

* Scenario for the Battle of Carthage

* Scenario for the Battle of Cross Keys

* Scenario for the Battle of Wild Cat Mountain

* After-action report: The West Woods at Antietam

* Scenario for the Battle of Munfordville

* Scenario for the Battle of Gettysburg (Sedgwick’s Charge)

* Historical article – the 7th West Virginia at Gettysburg


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Eastern woodlots during the Civil War

A managed woodlot along East Berlin Road (S.R. 234) in Adams County, Pennsylvania, not far from the June 30, 1863, campsite of Jubal Early’s division of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Click on the photo to enlarge it for a better look.

In a recent Johnny Reb 3 game, the conversation turned to the rules for light woods versus heavy woods. I mentioned that, at least here in south-central Pennsylvania and central Maryland, during the 1860s many farmers practiced controlled management of their woodlots. The above photo is a view I snapped today during a drive out to Gettysburg along the exact route Early’s men took to reach the battlefield. Farmers would allow cattle to graze in their woodlots, which would tramp down and munch on the underbrush. Deadfall, lower limbs, etc. would be used for kindling for fireplaces, and landowners would thin out the trees to allow spaces in the canopy for more sunlight.

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Categories: Gettysburg, Johnny Reb 3, Preservation efforts, Terrain | 2 Comments

Contract signed with LSU Press

I am pleased to announce that I have signed a contract with LSU Press for the publication of my latest manuscript, The Louisiana Tigers in the Gettysburg Campaign: June – July 1863, with an option for another book to follow. This manuscript contains perhaps the most complete account ever written of Harry Hays’ attack on the West Fort at Second Winchester, as well as many, many previously unpublished eyewitness accounts of individual Tigers during the campaign, including their antics here in York County, PA. We expect this to be in print within 12-18 months. The Winchester maps are from Brad Gottfried.

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The very first new song of the Civil War

Two days after the firing on Fort Sumter, prolific songwriter George F. Root penned what may be the first song ever written about the Civil War; it certainly would not be the last. The First Gun is Fired: May God Protect the Right proved to be an instant hit throughout the North. A day after he wrote the song, Root had the well known Lombard Brothers perform it for the first time in public at the Metropolitan House in Chicago, and he distributed the first new original sheet music of the Civil War that evening to eager patrons.

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Book review: Britannia’s Fist: From Civil War to World War

British troops barrelling through Maine on U.S. railroads. Russian, Union, and British naval vessels fighting it out near New York City. Citizens of Charleston, South Carolina, lining up behind P.G.T. Beauregard to greet a battered Royal Navy ship. Confederate flags flying freely over the Windy City of Chicago. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain in his greatest battle since Little Round Top at Gettysburg. French troops march through Texas to relieve Union-held New Orleans. Lincoln and Stanton fighting a war on multiple fronts. Troops and ships rushing all over the map to confront one another.

Britannia’s Fist, the first in a new trilogy from Potomac Books, can best be described as a believable and well written alternative history that “might have been.” Replete with fictitious and real footnotes and references, George Tsouras’s latest work at first glance might repel the die-hard Civil War buff who is looking for facts. However, this fascinating book is written in the fast-paced, free-flowing, “you are there” style developed so wonderfully by Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Shaara in his masterful book, Killer Angels. Both books start a little slow as they set up the background and characters, but both build to a crescendo. Unlike Shaara’s book, this one leaves you hanging and desperately awaiting the second installment.

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Categories: Civil War books | 2 Comments

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