Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Battle of Bull Run - Battle Report (Originally posted August 16, 2011)

This is the Battle of Bull Run as played using the Command Combat: Civil War rules set.  You can find it at:

We played it at Friday Night Dice in Sun Valley:

The battle begins with Evans' and Cocke's brigades holding the bridges to keep the Union from crossing.  Taylor, commanding the first division of the Union, is trying to cross the stone bridge on the northeastern side of the battlefield.
 Taylor's first brigade, under General Schenk, put pressure on Evans, who backed up to Henry House Hill.  He kept two batteries of smoothbore artillery on his left to put fire onto the enemy coming across the bridge.  Cocke, meanwhile, boldly crossed the bridge in front of him, despite Union reinforcements coming on behind Schenck.

 Now aware that they had been outflanked, Confederate Generals Beauregard and Johnston rushed their divisions north to deal with the oncoming threat.

Cocke's bold move across the bridge paid off, as he rushed the Federals, pushing them back off the road.

Cavalry from the Federal second division came out of the woods behind Evans' batteries, which turned to face them.  The cavalry pulled back into the woods for a while until it caused a traffic jam with oncoming infantry, at which point they rushed out and took the batteries; but not before they did a lot of damage to the columns trying to cross the stone bridge.

The Confederate divisions made it to Henry House Hill just as the second and third Union divisions made it to the stone house.  Both sides formed lines of battle.

Kershaw and Smith's brigades came by rail, running straight from the train into the battle.

Taylor's division, meanwhile, was struggling against a very bold opponent.  Evans and Cocke were keeping them pinned up behind the river, causing many of their men to retreat past picnickers who had come from Washington to watch the battle.  (Yes, that's actually a part of the game.  You can see picnickers at the top center of the picture, and their are more just off frame.)

 The fight just north of Henry House Hill went in favor of the Confederates, and the Yankee second division under General David Hunter ran for their lives.
  The Union third division under S.P. Heintzelman tried to form up and salvage the mess that was in front of them...
 ...but the disaster to their left with Taylor's division, which had never recovered at the stone bridge, was turning hopeless.  Evans, who was quickly gaining the name "Stonewall Evans," would not retreat, but kept pushing forward.  Cocke, meanwhile, held the road, preventing any reinforcements from that direction.
The Confederates charged batteries on Matthew's Hill and took them, turning them on Heintzelmen's men beyond it.  They charged in response, taking the guns back, and the Confederates did the same.  The guns changed hands five times until the Confederates at last had them, and used them on the Federals.

Cocke's men on the road at last charged Taylor's guns near the stone bridge and took them.  They now had almost all of the Federal artillery.

The Confederates were now on three sides of the Federals.  They pressed them back toward the woods.
At some points they boxed the Federals in on three sides, and the walls closed in.  In this picture, they chewed up the last remaining strong brigade, the Fire Zuaves.

At last they had the Federals cornered in the woods.  With one last push, they pressed them off of the battlefield.
It was a Confederate victory, and they scored 35 points.  The Union only scored 4.

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