Monday, December 4, 2017

WBTS via Vassal - Weeks 97 to 100

The collapse of the Confederacy continues, but it is a trainwreck in slow motion.  However, with the coming of spring 1863 things might speed up.

While there are two active sieges, there is no siege combat as I can't see the point.  The places will collapse in the next phase unless relieved.  Any siege assault will just see dead men, but not enough to vacate the forts.

The Union blockades of the three remaining operational (i.e. connected via rail/water) seaports is ineffective and the Confederates receive 9 import supply this phase.

With spring comes the return of town supply. This has become important for both sides, the Union are always running short, and the Confederates are down to 60 for major city supply (the Union get 200).  Town Supply gives the Confederates 38 (the Union get 50).  The town multiplier is just 1 for this month.  Lucky for them they carried forward 117 supply from last month.

The Union have 258 supply for 10 Personnel Points, the Confederates have 224 for 10 Personnel Points.

The Confederates build an ironclad, a supply train and raise 8,000 garrison troops.  They are left with 128 supply.

The Union convert 3,000 Missouri militia and 2,000 Kentucky militia to regulars, convert 6,000 garrison troops to regulars, raise a railroad repair unit and a supply train.  They are left with 173 supply.

The Confederates deploy garrison troops to Vicksburg (2,000), New Orleans (2,000), Atlanta (3,000) and Raleigh (3,000).  Partisans appear in Tennessee.

The Union are flush with new troops from the draft, so maybe McClellan will get his reinforcements.  10,000 man divisions go to Washington, Baltimore and Bowling Green, and 3,000 man divisions go to St Louis, Cairo and Philadelphia.  An ironclad and a river transport also go to St Louis and a railroad repair unit goes to Philadelphia.

The two Union ironclads being fitted out in St Louis are delayed due a dispute over naming rights.  The compromise to allow the local schoolchildren to come up with names was later vetoed by the President when IronMcIronface and CladMcCladface were proposed.

The Confederate expenditure of 30 supplies failed to complete a fort a Bermuda Hundred.  10 supplies are spent without result at Natchez.

Pemberton arrives to save the Confederacy and is promptly posted to Charleston.  An army is available, but the there are no troops for it or suitable commanders available.  This creates much grumbling.

The Union consume 58 supply needing 17 rail to feed their army (mostly by water transport).  They are left with 115 and 23 rail.  They need to do some broadcast supply to replenish supply trains and depots.

The Confederate supply needs come to 24 requiring 11 rail.  They are left with 53 supply and 14 rail.  The troops in Virginia are desperately low on supplies as they are unable to broadcast to their supply trains.  But in a devastating blow, Stuart's 4,000 troopers finding themselves unpaid, without food and cutoff by Sedgewick, desert.  Bragg's men only survive by taking supplies from D Hill's supply train.  Just to make things worse, the brigade sent to Columbus, finding itself isolated and put out of supply by Halleck, surrenders, 2,000 men giving up the fight.

With this cycle, the Initiative Chit Pool changes to 2,3,4,5,6,7.  The Confederates have the option of taking the 5 chit which they will do.  They will be in trouble if the Union start with the 6 or 7 chit.

I also found table 21.35b when looking to see about seasonal river navigation.  I had thought the Union should get some supply for captured major Confederate cities but after previously unsuccessfully hunting for it had settled that it was just as for other captured towns and cities.  Wrong!

Clearly some Northern carpet bagger has been syphoning off the profits.  As it would seem that the Union are past their time of supply crises I will just have to let this go.

Week 97

The Union start with the 7 chit.  The Confederates demand an enquiry into why God has deserted them in their time of need.

McClellan, in the middle of writing a reprimand to Sedgewick for recklessly engaging the enemy, is told to take his cavalry and go and capture Stuart.  He happily goes off to take credit for this stroke of good fortune which he claims was all his own work.  The Union get a Political Point for eliminating a Confederate Corps.

Franklin is ordered to send his troops to Howard and return to Washington.

Sumner in St Louis, is ordered to take 20,000 men and sail to Paris, TN.

Burnside is ordered to keep moving down the Mississippi.

Sherman is sent an extra 10,000 men, he crosses the headwaters of the Alabama river, cutting off A Hill and his 17,000 Confederates.  Sherman now has 34,000 men under his immediate command.

In the final use of their 7 free initiatives, Heintzelman is told to board ship and sail to Norfolk.

Pope and McClernand shake hands and jointly cross into Lynchburg.  McPherson is so shocked by his compatriots' action in finally crossing the James that he fails to issue orders to cross the Roanoke.

Meade and Thomas bide their time.  Granger is equally doing nothing in Hagerstown.

Halleck sits outside Columbus processing prisoners.  Hooker leaves Montgomery to join him.

Banks looks for cotton in Winchester, MI.

Buell makes no move.  His fellow generals don't do anything either.  Even Lyon has a rest.  There must be storms.

Ord also stays put in New Madrid, but Crouch gets moving back to St Louis.

McPherson makes up for his confusion by wriggling, eh attacking, across the Roanoke and establishes a bridgehead across that river.

Thomas really wants to attack, but can't muster the numbers to launch an attack across the Appomattox River against Price.

The Confederates order A Hill to "get the hell outta there" and he promptly does so, force marching back to Atlanta.

D Hill and Bragg are ordered to fallback.  Bragg crosses the Roanoke while Hill covers the flank of Beauregard's army.

Price is ordered to send a brigade to block Heintzelman.

The Partisans destroy the railway near Paris and then try and make a getaway.

Magruder decides to take 3,000 militia from Natchez and head for Jackson, MI.

The Army of the Mississippi is happy to sit containing the Army of the Missouri north of Vicksburg.

Bruckner and Walker do nothing.  Don't they know there are deckchairs to rearrange?

The East and the withdrawal to the Roanoke.

 The Centre, A Hill had a lucky escape from Kingston.

The situation around Vicksburg.

Week 98

The Union get the 2 chit, so the Confederates may get away, although there is benefit in standing to fight and then making a slow withdrawal, but that won't work if they face being surrounded.

Polk is ordered to Natchez and gets there without incident.

Bruckner is ordered to Newman, 1,000 of his militia decide to go elsewhere.  Wheeler sends A Hill 7,000 troops from Atlanta.  This builds up A Hill's corps so that it can now project a zone of control which should slow down the Union attempts to surround him.  Trouble is there are so many ways to Atlanta.

D Hill and Bragg are ordered back to face the Union under the new policy of forcing the Union to fight for every hex of Confederate soil.  They might be forgetting that the Union have cavalry and control of the sea.

Outside Petersburg all three Confederate generals get a card game going, confident that the new strategy will win them the war (or at least see a Democrat get elected President).

Magruder completes his journey to Jackson, MI.

The Union order Sumner, to stamp out the partisans in Tennessee which he duly does.  (Aside: as he had travelled by water maybe this was something he couldn't receive a free initiative for, however he was actually still on boats so could be given an order, plus on landing he wasn't reliant on sea supply.  The relevant rule [7.27] seems to be aimed at amphibious assaults.)

In Washington Franklin collects in surrounding garrison troops (there are plans to equip them with marching boots) and also sends 10,000 men to the front.  Independently Granger gets moving cleaning rebels out of the mountains.

Howard joins Sedgewick who is making plans to attack D Hill.  McClellan thinks about making a cavalry raid.  Of course he will need reinforcements first.

Pope in a new found spirit of cooperations sends his troops to McPherson and McClernand, with his supply train going to the former who has the best chance of attacking.  Both these two generals now have full corps.  Pope heads off to the mountains to pick up stragglers.

Heintzelman sits put in Norfolk counting his supplies.  Thomas brings over one of Meade's reduced divisions until his main reinforcements arrive.

Sherman marches on A Hill.  Sickles is left in his dust.

Crouch is forgiven and allowed to collect some serious troops and start to move down the Mississippi.  Ord takes over his job and ferries 2,000 militia to St Louis.

Both Lyon and Burnside are stirred into action, Lyon reaching Warren, AK, and Burnside approaching Vicksburg, but on the wrong side of the Mississippi, for now...

Buell retakes Yazoo City and in a more interesting move, pushes McCook and some 20,000 men between the Confederates covering Vicksburg, threatening their supply line.

Banks, Halleck and Hooker do nothing.  They must be busy supervising the collection of cotton.

Buell can attack, eh, no he can't, someone's taken his pencil.

Sherman attacks, he doesn't need any wimpy pencil, he has cold steel.  The 111-131 column on CRT 4 can be bloody, but Sherman uses his skills to inflect 3,000 casualties on the Confederates, for a modest 2,000 casualties on his side.  A Hill has to retreat and shows some cunning by doing so into the mountains.

McPherson attacks Hindman, both use supplies (and Hindman is lucky as he is now down to his last round).  The 161-200 column of CRT 3 causes both sides to lose 3,000 men.  The Confederates, being in the mountains, don't have to retreat.

No other attacks are forthcoming (there could have been another three).

Week 99

The Union get the 2 chit again.  The Confederates cheer up.

Taylor rails with 3,000 garrison troops from Raleigh to help block the Union landing at Norfolk.

Polk is told to rush to join Magruder.  Johnston is planning to attack Buell.

Buckner sends some reinforcements to A Hill (2,000) and the Atlanta (1,000).  Not much, but it is the thought that counts.

Hindman takes a risk and sends his almost depleted wagon train back to get replenished.

In front of Petersburg though, the situation is pretty hopeless.  They are low on supplies and there is a gap through which the Union cavalry could advance and cut them off.  Worse, the Confederates have a free initiative that they can't use.

Jackson attacks Buell on the 71 to 90 column of CRT 4.  It is not a good outcome.  The Confederates lose 8,000 men to the Union 6,000.  The Union do not retreat.  Jackson dodges a bullet meant for Johnston.  It did mean that the Union had four divisions reduced to brigades, such is the worn down state of the Army of Missouri.

Meanwhile, McCook, over the Big Black River, realises he is isolated.

Sumner with his 20,000 men are ordered to Memphis.  His job will be to secure the rear areas for the Union forces advancing down the Mississippi.

Over east the 10,000 men in Baltimore are railed to the front and join Sedgewick.

Thomas receives his reinforcements and is now ready to attack.  Howard shuffles around supply trains.

Sickles doesn't bring forward reinforcements to Sherman which annoys the latter no end.  Halleck finally enters Columbus, GA.

In a daring move McCook sends out a detachment to cut the railway line to Vicksburg.  His men then come back, job done.  Buell hatches plans for the capture of Vicksburg, but he needs to stay put so that McCook can pull back next week.

Burnside and Lyon, who are really needed, don't move.  Must be storms west of the Mississippi.

Crouch at least reaches Cairo.  He now has 12,000 men plus a supply train and enough river transport to move them.

Burnside and Sickles could do attacker wriggles but don't.  Sherman however is here to kill Confederates and he attacks A Hill on the 111-130 column of CRT 4.  Sherman uses his last supplies, but suffers 20% casualties (5,000 men) to the Confederates 4,000.  He sees this as a victory.

Over in the East, only Thomas attacks.  He goes after Price on the 71-90 column of CRT 3.  The Confederates use their last supply.  Both sides lose 10%, but Price is forced to retreat.  The fort he was building collapses like a house of cards quicker than you can say sexual harassment scandal.  The Union loss is 5,000 men, the Confederate 3,000.

 The Confederates are trying to stay put,
and the Union are trying to grind them down.

 Near Atlanta, Sherman is trying his best to kill Confederates.

On the Mississippi Buell is trying to cut off Vicksburg.

Week 100

The Union get the 6 free initiative chit.

Burnside is moved down to the bend opposite Vicksburg.  His engineers get busy.

McCook, his immediate job done, is pulled back to Buell.

Sumner arrives in Memphis.  He is just in time to see Curtis sail past on his way to Yazoo City.

Sickles sends Sherman some more troops.  Sherman though needs supplies.

Pope sends some stragglers to Howard before heading over to Richmond in order to watch its expected surrender.

Grainger gets on with his job in the mountains around Romney, running down the random rebel.  The rest of the generals in the east are already in place, although McClelland does want to go and take charge of the surrender of Richmond as it will look good on his CV, he can't find his inviation.

Hooker crosses the Chattahoochee, but doesn't venture far.  Nothing else happens in the West, Lyon's old wounds must have opened up and he needs to rest.

McPherson attacks.  Both sides lose 2,000 men.

Sedgwick attacks.  It is 47,000 Union versus 20, Confederates.  Both sides lose 4,000 men.  The Confederates hold their ground.

Thomas attacks Beauregard.  The attack is on the 111-130 column of CRT 3.  Both sides lose 10% which is 3,000 for the Confederates and 4,000 for the Union, but the Confederates are forced to break their siege of Petersburg and retreat.

The Confederates pull back D Hill so he can get some reinforcements.  These are forthcoming from Price who disperses his troops to Beauregard and D Hill.

The rest of the Confederacy hold their positions.


And so ends a very bloody month.  The Confederate lost 37,000 men.  The Union 31,000 men.

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