Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Seven Pines to the slaughter

On Monday Mark W indulged me by playing the Seven Pines Fire and Fury scenario, even though ACW is not his cup of tea.  As it was his first game with the rules I suggested he take the Confederates and he played some music about "southern boys raising hell" to get himself suitably psyched up.

At 13:00 the leading reb brigades bashed against the Union.  Naglee stood firm, but Palmer was bundled back.  The rebs broke through and hit Naglee a second time, pushing  these brigades of Casey's Division back on the Twin House redoubt.

Naglee's and Palmer's brigades try to rally.

Wessells' brigade looks a little thin facing the rebel hordes.

Here they come!

The second wave of rebels had arrived at 13:30 and took the fight to the redoubt.

It took some fighting, but by 14:00 the Confederates had captured the Twin House redoubt.

Casey's division fell back behind the abatis. Both batteries had been damaged and all three brigades were now spent.  The remainder of Keyes' corps waits patiently behind the Seven Pines Crossroads redoubt.

Four rebel brigades and a battery are now on the field.

As 14:30 comes around General Casey must be feeling a bit nervous.

Here they come again!

By 15:00 the Confederates had broken through Casey's Division for a second time and taken the  crossroads redoubts.  The breakthrough outcome saved the Confederates of facing the Union guns. 
It is now up to the thin blue line of Deven's cavalry brigade to attempt to hold them.

Damaged artillery and routed Union infantry collect around the Williamsburg Road as Generals Keyes and  Crouch try and rally them.

Wessells' brigade still holds part of the abatis on the Union left. 

On the Union right, Naglee's brigade, though spent, has positioned themselves behind the rebels left flank.  The Confederates bring up artillery.

The Union cavalry held, but by 15:30 a second Rebel brigade had passed through the redoubts.  While spent, it matched the much reduced Union brigades that stood in its way.

Peck's brigade counterattacks.

Naglee's brigade is demolished.

This is the position Longstreet's Confederate corps was in at 15:30.

By 16:00 the Confederates had driven off Develin's brigade.  Both of their leading brigades were spent, but Jenkins has now arrived (top left hand corner in the photo) and is heading for the crossroads.

On the Confederate right the going is a little tougher.  Peck's brigade is still standing firm and Heintzlemann's corps has started to emerge out of the swamp.

16:30 and the Rebels are pressing on.  There is one good Union battery holding the Williamsburg Road.  The thin blue line has rallied, but is a very pale shade of blue now.

The Union reinforcements have the rebel right flank under pressure.

It took a while for Heintzlmann to clear the swamp, but they are well placed to attack.

By 17:00 Berry's brigade is threatening to retake the Twin House redoubt which the rebels have had to shift troops over to cover.

One damaged battery is now all that is holding the Williamsburg Road for the Union.  If it was just the two spent rebel brigades Generals Keyes and Crouch would not have been worried, but Confederates have Jenkins' fresh brigade right behind them.

Peck's second counterattack is repulsed.

At 17:30 Berry has a clear path to retake the Twin House redoubt having broken the Confederate force sent to protect it. 

Kearny's Brigade of Heintzlmann's Corps makes a counterattack, but is bloodily repulsed.

The Confederates have Jenkins (far left of the photo) facing Peck's and Kearny's brigades that are both spent.  General Crouch and General Casey's replacement have what is left of the Union artillery covering the Williamsburg Road.

Losses were staggering on both sides.

We had started at 10:00 and finished at 16:00 which was about twice as long as I had expected the game to take.

We were playing with a rule that a musketry cannonade combat result of just disorder on an already disordered unit resulted in a stand loss.  I thought this would speed things up.  Next time I would play it as an additional stand lost whenever a disordered unit receives another disorder outcome.

We were also playing with risk to generals, for when a unit contacts an unattached enemy general.  On a roll of 1-3 the general has to roll on the leader loss table.   General Casey fell this way.

Strategically the Union recapture of the Twin House redoubt might have saved the day.  The Confederates held the Seven Pine Crossroads redoubt, but had failed to take the Williamsburg Road (although they were damn close).  However the Union force was just about wiped out.  They had one fresh brigade remaining and two spent brigades.  The Rebels had one if not two fresh brigades, a worn brigade and two spent brigades on the field of battle.


  1. Great looking game and a most desperate fight. Good old III Corps!

  2. Thanks. The mix of ACW figures photograph well (completely by accident I must confess). Next time I might put some trees on the mat as well to give it more of a 3D impact and of course, I need to add in some all important fence eye candy.

  3. Very interesting Battle - certainly admire the 15mm Photos - looks super!

  4. The music was Southern Boys by Steve Cash from the White Mansions ACW concept album. Rather appropriate I think.
    My favourite type of game - bloody!
    I think we must have lost 50%+ each. Farmers in the region would have been ecstatic!!!