Talented wargame scenario designer Brad Butkovich is among the upper echelon of today’s generation of Civil War regimental-level wargamers. The Georgia-based Butkovich is well known to Charge! readers from his previous series of excellent scenario books, mostly based upon battles in the Western Theater.
Now, Brad has produced an interesting new booklet covering various actions at the July 1-3, 1863, battle of Gettysburg. It’s an area of keen personal interest to me! Some of you may recall a two-volume set, Enduring Valor: Gettysburg in Miniature, which I wrote for my friend and graphic designer Ivor Janci more than a decade ago. They have long been out of print, so Brad’s fresh look at the battle is much appreciated and timely.
Here is the table of contents for this book, which may be the first in a series (let’s all hope!). Brad’s research is compelling and accurate, and his take on how to break up the battlefield into bite-sized scenarios is of strong interest to Civil War gamers everywhere. The scenarios are adaptable for almost every major regimental-level rules set. They are designed for 15mm gaming, but of course can be modified for other figure scales. Brad also presents data for rules based upon 10-minute, 15-minute, and 20-minute time intervals per turn.
Here are a few photos from my 15mm Civil War wargame at Fall-In 2011 on Saturday morning in Lancaster PA. This view looks south from the northern edge of the battlefield toward the Rummel Farm (top center) and Cress Ridge (top right).
We had 7 players for the game; all are long-time members of the Johnny Reb Gaming Society and are veterans of many Johnny Reb 3 wargames at HMGS conventions over the past decade. The scenario was adapted from my book Enduring Valor: Gettysburg in Miniature.
Click on each photo to enlarge it for easier viewing and more details. I apologize for the picture quality; lighting was not great and I did not have a tripod set up (and autofocus was off unfortunately). At least you get an idea of the table layout.
Here are some random photos I took in mid-August 2011 during a visit with three of my family members. The battlefield is beautiful in the late summer / early autumn!
The story of Lieutenant Charles Edward Hazlett‘s death at the Battle of Gettysburg is well known, and appears in early newspaper accounts of the battle within days after the troops had left Pennsylvania. He commanded Battery D, 5th U.S. Artillery during the July 1863 battle. His men laboriously hauled heavy artillery pieces up the steep eastern slope of Little Round Top, positioned them near the crest, and then joined in the defense of the hill. His old friend and former artillery commander, Brig. Gen. Stephen Weed, fell mortally wounded and collapsed to the ground. As Hazlett bent over him, a bullet killed the lieutenant.
Family members buried Hazlett in Woodlawn Cemetery in Zanesville, Ohio, where his family lived. His brother would also die in the Civil War, perishing at the Battle of Stone’s River out in Tennessee.
On a recent visit to my hometown of Zanesville, I took a few photos of the Hazlett brothers’ graves, which have been nicely restored by the Zanesville Civil War Round Table.
Dennis Morris of New York is one of my cyber buddies on a popular website, http://www.militaryhistory.com, where he frequently posts photographs of his massive Gettysburg diorama. He sent me a couple photos of his latest diorama effort; it is a superb effort worthy of museum quality. He sells art prints based upon photographs he takes of his diorama layout; for examples from his portfolio and ordering information, please visit his website, Diographics.
Here’s his newest layout – what a magnificent terrain table!
Click on the photo to enlarge it for easier viewing!
What a massive layout! This is Dennis’s second layout; pix of his first effort have previously appeared here on the CHARGE! blog. Have a look!
To see all my previous posts on Dennis’s fantastic dioramas, please visit the links below!
Johnstown, Pennsylvania, authors James and Suzanne Gindlesperger have written what will surely become one of the more popular books for tourists to take home after their visits to the Gettysburg National Military Park. When I am sitting in Gettysburg’s bookshops for my frequent autograph / book signing sessions, I often overhear people discussing which book they should purchase to take home to show their friends and families what they had seen on their battlefield visit, and there have been a few good choices in the past that have been representative. Now, the Gindlespergers’ colorful new book, So You Think You Know Gettysburg? The Stories Behind the Monuments and the Men Who Fought One of America’s Most Epic Battles, has been added to the line-up of titles that I will point out to the inquirers.
Filled with visually appealing photographs of the battlefield, monuments, buildings, and town, the book is laid out in a format that facilitates taking it along on battlefield tramping expeditions. Detailed maps (with exact GPS coordinates) show the location where each picture was taken, making the book useful as a driving tour guide. Each photo is accompanied by a brief passage that explains the history of the subject matter. None of these story lines are detailed, nor are they supposed to be, but collectively they give the reader a good overview of the highlights of the Gettysburg experience.
While this book has obvious appeal to the casual Gettysburg visitor, there is some relatively obscure information that will be of interest to more seasoned buffs, such as the brief story of John Congdon of the 10th New York Cavalry, who in December 1861 fell from the roof of a train passing through the area, and thus became the first Civil War soldier killed at Gettysburg.
In a size, format, and price that are appealing, So You Think You Know Gettysburg? is a book that should be a part of your collection if you enjoy touring the Gettysburg National Military Park and the town. While not nearly as detailed or comprehensive as J. David Petruzzi and Steve Stanley’s landmark 2009 book The Complete Gettysburg Guide (which stands alone at the very top of the list of battlefield guidebooks), this new work will find its niche in popularity and appeal. It’s well worth the money, and is laid out well with some very nice photographs.
* CLICK HERE to read my recent interview with the Gindlespergers!
James and Suzanne Gindlesperger
So You Think You Know Gettysburg? The Stories Behind the Monuments and the Men Who Fought One of America’s Most Epic Battles
John F. Blair, Publisher, Winston-Salem NC, 2010
188 pages, soft bound, illustrated with maps.
$18.95 list price, discounted on amazon.com and other on-line retailers
How’s this for a very large gaming layout / Civil War diorama? The tabletop is 80 square meters (yes, 80!!!) in area and there are 25,000 carefully painted 25mm figures in miniature action! A gaming group in Germany has constructed this impressive layout for their planned refight of the Battle of Gettysburg in miniature.
Very nice, indeed!
For more photos by Uwe Wild, please click here.
And, here’s a photo taken at the 2009 Gettysburg Remembrance Day showing what might have been happening in one of the miniature tents shown above…
For more photos of Remembrance Day 2009 in Gettysburg, please see Part 1 of my Cannonball blog, sponsored and hosted by the York Daily Record newspaper.
This new museum is facinating and well worth a visit by wargamers during the upcoming Fall-In wargaming convention. It is stuffed full of neat artifacts that are unsual and interesting.