Saturday, September 24, 2016

End of the Maryland Campaign

Map as of the 18th day on the campaign.
From the very beginning I thought of this as the 1862 Maryland Campaign with Jackson to burn railroad stations and than rejoin with Lee and Longstreet and brush aside General Pope's forces. And then the problems started. The Army of Virginia came out swinging giving Lee and Longstreet a hard time. General Jackson was able to come within 12 miles of the US capital but had to head south to help General Lee.

The rain kept both sides compatible with movement allowing General Pope even with command paralyzes to keep close to General Longstreet. Both sides traded punches with the majority of the battles being small, the largest involving Longstreet against two Union Corps. Confederate troops did not rejoin until they approached Winchester heading for the valley. A battle between Jackson and Pope at Berryville ended in a Confederate victory but left Jackson unable to follow it up as two additional Union corps arrived on the field.

Losses were heavy for both sides with the Confederate coming off much worse. The Union was assisted in having General Burnside in Washington reorganizing troops coming north from the Peninsula as well as working on the defenses of the capital.

Four things that did come away from this game that will be of interest to gamers and arm chair historians.

First none of the battles were suitable to bring over to the table for a fight with miniatures. This may have to wait for a redo of the Shenandoah.

Second General McClellan was so slow in sending troops north that he was not even offered the training position now held by Burnside. The joys of the random events. I do not see him even being a darling in the anti-Lincoln collation for the 1864 election.

Third the command changes.  Burnside is in a position that he excelled in during the early part of the war and I am sure he will find higher command. General Pope will command the northern forces for now and I am sure there will be another battle soon as he takes the war to the south.

Lastly Lee is not seen as invincible which will be of boost to the moral of the northern forces. The war may come to an end in 1863 (or not).


  1. I sort of took my eyes off your blog for a while and hastily ready the Maryland posts. Kudos to you for trying something so ambitious.
    I am curious why you felt that none of the battles generated here were suitable for play w miniatures. Was it just that they were too large in scope, or not interesting?

  2. Thank you it was a task that we wanted to try out and what would come of it. That we finished it was surprising.

    As for the battles one of the cavalry engagements seems do able and balanced. Most of the infantry fights were meat grinders that appeared more Napoleonic than ACW. That was how Pope went on to win, by grinding down Lee's forces.