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Thursday, 7 July 2016

Gettysburg; Picketts Charge in 10mm

For the second day at Gauntlet, Will and I were debating whether to carry on with the Korsun Pocket game or try an ACW scenario from the new Glory Hallelujah! Black Powder book, which Will has recently acquired.  On hearing this, Steve mentioned he had a 10mm ACW collection with 30+ regiments per side.  This was too good an opportunity for Will to organise a refight of the Gettysburg - It can't be long now scenario.  Terrain was a simple ridge along one long table edge, lined by Union infantry and artillery, with the Rebs arrayed up to 1ft on from the opposite table edge.  For the Union, Gary took the let wing with II (part) and III corps, Jamie the centre with II corps 2nd Division and I corps 3rd Division, and Richard the right wing II corps 3rd Division and I corps 2nd Division in reserve.  Opposite them on the Rebel right was Steve with Pickett's Division and on the left was me with Pettigrew's Division with Gary and Trimble's Division behind me.

So, it's July 3rd 1863.  After 2 days of heavy fighting around the Pennsylvanian town of Gettysburg, the armies of the Union and Confederacy face off against each other, the Union occupying Cemetery Ridge and the Confederacy occupying Seminary Ridge.  Lee appears to have reached a decision and ordered Pickett, Pettigrew and Trimble to assault the Union lines.  The scenario starts with the Rebs approaching the Emmitsburg Road and about to have a very bad day.


Trimble's Division in the foreground with Pettigrew's Division beyond.


Pickett's Division nearest the camera.


The Union defence in depth on the ridge.


Looking from Cemetery Ridge towards the Emmitsburg Road.


The first turn sees Pettigrew get all 3 of his brigades moving forwards, while Trimble gets one brigade to advance, the other deciding to wait a bit to see what happens.


On the right, Pickett's men are positively jogging.  However, rather than focussing on the same point in the Union lines as Trimble and Pettigrew, they are veering off towards the Union left wing.


The view at ground level.


Pettigrew's troops with Pickett charging in the distance.


Pettigrew starts to shake his columns out into 2 regiment deep lines ready to charge home on the Union lines.


Pickett continues to advance, but not quickly enough.


Pickett is now within charging distance of the Union line.


Pickett's other brigade picks up the pace.


Pettigrew stalls momentarily.


Trimble gets a rush of blood and moves up on Pettigrew's flank.



One of Pettigrew's brigades seems to have developed a death wish.  Union commanders look on expectantly.


Lunchtime, and I had to take some photos of the excellent Team Yankee game organised by Dennis and Pete.  The crashed cars in the town centre look great.


Love the American SPG models.


Apache gunships move in on a company of T-72s.


After lunch, back to Gettysburg.  Pettigrew's Division charges the Union line.  Despite withering closing fire, they manage to wipe out 2 Union batteries and melees embroil the length of 6 regiments.



The view from the ground.



Trimble's brigades move up and the foremost brigade gets within musket range of the Union flank.


Ongoing melees sap the strength of attackers and defenders.


Confederate ranks are thinning faster than the Union at Pickett's end of the table.


Union numbers on their left flank told in  the final analysis and 2 of Pickett's Brigades broke and fled the battle.  We played out another turn at Pettigrew's and Trimble's end of the table as there were a number of ongoing melees, which were often going the Reb way, although fresh reserves were being fed along the line, so it was only a matter of time.  Trimble's Division was able to retire largely unharmed, while Pettigrew's Division was badly mauled and Pickett was down to one effective brigade.  I think this is one of those scenarios where the Rebs can only win by not turning up.  The High Water Mark of the Confederacy was a little further north of the actual historical spot, but about the same distance in, which suggested an honourable draw, albeit a very bloody one for the Rebs.

Thanks to Steve for providing the troops and terrain and for Will for organising the scenario with very little lead time.  Thanks also to Gary, Jamie, Richard C, Steve and Gary for providing a fun game with the right level of commitment to the scenario tasks, the history of the period and, above all, having fun with toy soldier.

Thanks for looking.

7 comments:

  1. Goodness, looks like a helluva fight! And thirty regiments per side, that's huge! At least the right side won ;)

    V/R,
    Jack

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jack. It was a great spectacle. The Rebs don't really stand much of a chance, the only way to win that one is not to turn up. World history would certainly be different if the South had won. Are you a fan of Turtledove?

      Cheers, Andy

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    2. I've seen the Turtledove books but didn't really pay any attention. Like I said, the right sid won; I live in Texas but I'm a Yankee transplant from Ohio, had family that fought on the side of freedom.

      V/R,
      Jack

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  2. They make for an interesting read, but radically change world history with the north siding with Germany in WW1 and WW2. My sympathies were always with the anti-slavery north, although my great granddad was sent to Canada in the late 1860's to police the border after the "Fenian" raids. My relatives in the US all arrived 45 years later in 1912, so way too late to take a side, although ironically they settled around Detroit and London, Canada, working for Henry Ford.

    Cheers, Andy

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    Replies
    1. Interesting, but siding with Germany???

      Ah, so you've got family up in the great white north! Hope they're faring well, several generations later.

      V/R,
      Jack

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    2. I've kind of lost touch with them over the years. My gran's brothers both emigrated from Cornwall, crossed the Atlantic less than a month after the Titanic, when the price of tin slumped and the local mines all closed, so suspect Detroits issues over the last 8 years would be familiar to them, but not to their descendants.

      Cheers, Andy

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    3. Hopefully they're no longer in the Detroit area, it's really fallen on hard times as most of industry has migrated away.

      V/R,
      Jack

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