Entries related to the Battle of Antietam, fought September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland

Combining Undying Courage scenarios into one large ADF table!

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

Years ago I wrote the text for a very popular wargaming scenario book, Undying Courage: Antietam in Miniature, which has unfortunately been long out of print. Long-time Johnny Reb wargamer Jerry Merrell has taken several of my scenario maps (drawn by graphic artist/publisher Ivor Janci of Wheaton, Illinois) and combined them into one large tabletop layout of Antietam for a heavily modified version of the late John Hill’s Across a Deadly Field rules. Check out his layout above! Impressive!

Jerry writes, “I photocopied the maps from each Antietam scenario & pieced them together (resizing where necessary) to create the mosaic shown. A few compromises were made, but not many & none where significant fighting was anticipated. We’ll be using traditional 4 stand JRIII regiments with simplified ADF rules. 15 players
with a total of about 600 stands. Hope you enjoy seeing that you work endures.”

Here are a few photographs Jerry sent to me…

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Categories: Antietam, Civil War wargaming, Scenarios, Terrain | Tags: , | 7 Comments

A few pix from Memorial Day visit to Antietam and Manassas

On Memorial Day 2010, one of my sons and one of my grandsons spent the day at Antietam and Manassas enjoying the sunshine and fellowship. Here are a few photos.

I took the above photo from the observation tower at Antietam, and it shows the ground that my ancestors charged across as part of the 7th West Virginia infantry in Kimball’s Brigade.

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Categories: Antietam | 3 Comments

Huge Antietam game at Tin Soldiers of Antwerp – The Set Up


Just a few of the thousands of miniature soldiers in the collection of the members of the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp gaming group in northern Europe.

Patrick Roovers of the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp, Belgium, sent me a link to his club’s website with dozens of photographs of a huge Antietam wargame they ran recently at the clubhouse. TSOA used Johnny Reb 3 as the rules for this massive engagement, which, as you will see from his photos, took thousands of miniature soldiers and dozens of gamers to play on a very large series of terrain tables.

tabletop TY2

For dozens more photos of the set up, please visit TSOA’s Flicker photo gallery.  In my next post, I will show some photographs of the first night of actual gaming.


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Massive Johnny Reb III game to be held in Belgium


For those of you readers in Europe (or with enough funds and time to fly over from the states), the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp invites the public to its 2nd American Civil War weekend to be held May 30 through June 1, 2009. The club will host a massive Johnny Reb III event based upon the September 1862 Battle of Antietam (a.k.a. Sharpsburg – the subject of my Undying Courage: Antietam in Miniature wargaming scenario book). The gaming will last for almost three full days (details will be provided upon registration). The gaming layout will be a whopping 18 feet by 12 feet, using 28mm figures and accessories.

The best news??? The price of admission and playing in what promises to be Europe’s largest JR3 event is nothing. That’s right – free! Simply get to the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp’s clubhouse in Belgium, knock on the door, smile, and warm up your dice.

For information or directions, contact Andre van Gils of the club at

I’m jealous! I’d love to see this layout in person, but I will settle for photos I am asking Patrick Roovers to share with us after the game.

For pix of last year’s mega Gettysburg game, please CLICK HERE.

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Jim Kopchak’s Battle of Antietam at Cold Wars 2009


Cleveland, Ohio-based wargamer and rules author Jim Kopchak explains the game mechanics of Civil War Commander to a group of Cold Wars 2009 convention attendees, including yours truly.  I first met Jim in the late 1990s when I lived outside of Cleveland in the “Snow Belt,” and he drove out several times to play Johnny Reb 3 wargames with my pal Doug Rogers and our teenaged kids. I am pleased to call Jim a personal friend, and we renewed that friendship last year when we spent several hours on a great battlefield tour of Gettysburg.

Jim’s Cold Wars game was based upon a part of the Battle of Antietam, specifically the attack on the Sunken Road and the concurrent Confederate assault on George Greene’s XII Corps division at Dunker Church. As usual, his impressive Civil War terrain was a highlight of the Northern Ohio Wargaming Society (NOWS) convention game room.

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Categories: Antietam, Civil War wargaming, Conventions | Leave a comment

Civil War dioramas by Brian Sullivan


The 51st Pennsylvania and the 51st New York of the Union IX Corps crosses what later became Burnside’s Bridge at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862. This rustic stone bridge over Antietam Creek is a popular subject for dioramas. This one is a 25mm rendition by artist Brian Sullivan.

University of Maryland graduate Brian Sullivan creates and sells custom dioramas of various Civil War battles. His website has photographs of several of his creations. Have a look! These look great on desks or on shelves.

Categories: Antietam, Civil War dioramas, Civil War toys | 2 Comments

Back to #1 Antietam book on

The most popular items on Antietam.

1.  Human Interest Human Interest Stories from Antietam
by Scott Mingus (Author)

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2.  Landscape Turned Red Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam
by Stephen W. Sears (Author)

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3.  Crossroads of Freedom Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam (Pivotal Moments in American History)
by James M. McPherson (Author)

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4.  Antietam Campaign Antietam Campaign: July-November, 1862 (Great Military Campaigns of the Civil War)
by John Cannan (Author)
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5.  Antietam Battlefield Antietam Battlefield, Sharpsburg, Maryland, 1862 (A Civil War Watercolor Map Series)
by Earl B. McElfresh (Author)
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6.  Burnside's Bridge Burnside’s Bridge : Antietam (Battleground America Series) (Battleground America)
by John Cannan (Author)

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7.  The Bloodiest Day The Bloodiest Day: The Battle of Antietam (Civil War)
by Ronald H. Bailey (Author), Time-Life Books (Author)
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8.  Too Afraid to Cry Too Afraid to Cry: Maryland Civilians in the Antietam Campaign
by Kathleen Ernst (Author)

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9.  The Antietam The Antietam Campaign (Military Campaigns of the Civil War)
by Gary W. Gallagher (Editor)

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10.  Antietam National Antietam National Battlefield (Civil War battlefield series) (Civil War battlefield series)
by Trailhead Graphics (Author), Tim Kissel (Author)

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Charge issue #21

Photo of Jim Kopchak‘s recent Civil War Commander 15mm game of the fight for the West Woods at the Battle of Antietam. For nine other photos of this battle, see the November issue of Charge! newsletter, which should be mailed to members of the Johnny Reb Gaming Society about the 10th of November. 

The newsletter will also include photos of Larry Reber‘s excellent conversion figures for 15mm Native American cavalry and their commander, Brig. Gen. Stand Watie. Cherokees in gray – these guys make an impressive addition to those Trans-Mississippi miniature armies.

We will also feature some interested new and original scenarios for Johnny Reb 3 wargaming, including the Battle of Wildcat Mountain (also known as the Battle of Camp Wildwat) which took place in Kentucky early in the war and the First Battle of Kernstown, which took place during the 1862 Valley Campaign.

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Shepherdstown: Last Clash of the Antietam Campaign

I had a book signing earlier today at the Gettysburg Gift Center / American Civil War Museum in Gettysburg as part of the 145th Anniversary commemorations. I shared a table with author Thomas A. McGrath, a college professor who has written a book on the Battle of Shepherdstown.  Civil War miniature wargamers will recognize this battle as one that appeared as a Johnny Reb 3 scenario in my book, Undying Courage: The Antietam Campaign in Miniature. Shepherdstown is among the most threatened ACW battlefields, and preservationists were recently dealt a severe blow by the West Virginia Supreme Court.

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Categories: Antietam, Civil War books, Civil War sites, Preservation efforts | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

A marvelous day at Antietam

The Dunker or Dunkard Church (photo by SLM)

Today, I took my two-year-old grandson and his uncle (my younger son) to the Antietam National Battlefield for the day. The weather was delightful – sunny and warm, and the comraderie outstanding. We were disappointed that our favorite fast food restaurant in the area was out of business (Fazoli’s in Hagerstown) and replaced by a Roy Rogers (which we hate). We ended up at Mickey D’s… quite a come down from Fazoli’s all-you-can-eat breadsticks!

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