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minor issues with Trans Mississippi leaders

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:29 am
by caranorn
I just wanted to list a few problems with the first Trans Mississippi leaders in the April 1861 scenario.

1) Ben McCulloch should start in the Trans Mississippi not Richmond. He should also be more senior (preseance), either identical or slightly senior to Price. He should also have the cavalier rating. (Don't confuse him with his brother(s) also Confederate generals.

2) Stirling Price should be outranked by McCulloch above, they had a command conflict and while Price was a Major General of Militia it seems he was outranked by McCulloch's early Confederate Brigadier General rank.

3) Earl van Dorn. He should probably be a 2 star general as he was sent to the Trans Mississippi to solve the problems between McCulloch.

4) Pike should probably replace Stand Watie for the first year or so, while Pike was a totally ineffective General he played a major role in rallying the "Civilised Indians" for the Confederate cause. I don't think he ever commanded more then a brigade, but he certainly outranked Watie (I'm not sure whether he also had command of Cooper's brigade, which would essentially make him a division commander). On the other hand he certainly was outranked by all of the above.

5) Stand Watie should make a later appearance, I don't have the exact date of his first separate command, but by Pea Ridge he was still only commanding his own regiment.

6) I'm not sure there is any way for the Union to gain access to Indian Territory units. If so they should also get Drew, Watie's nemesis (in the military sense, politically there was yet another IT leader). Alternatively the Union might have had a different IT commander (Drew changed sides twice, from Union to Confederate (which explains his presence at Pea Ridge) and back again to the Union.

Note, Price probably should have far more Militia units when his command is first created, these probably also shouldn't be named after Slack or other regular CSA generals (Slack's brigade at Pea Ridge, again much later then the creation of Price's command, was one of two or three regular Missouri brigades).

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:32 pm
by runyan99
I don't think there are many problems in the Transmississippi.

It's no problem for the player to put McCulloch on the rails and ship him from Richmond to Arkansas, so I don't necessarily agree that he cannot start there. Besides, he doesn't have to go to the transmississippi at all.

I also don't agree that McCulloch should outrank Price. Yes, they were more or less equal brigadiers. McCulloch only thought he was senior because he got his commision directly from President Davis.

If Price has more militia, he won't be able to keep them in command. If the player wants him to have more militia, well then it's up to the player to recruit it and send it to Price.

I do agree that Van Dorn should outrank both Price and McCulloch. I don't know what his seniority is currently. I'll have to double check if he was a major general when first sent west.

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:33 pm
by PhilThib
Interesting post... and if you have the original OOB (both sides) for the Trans-Mississippi theater, I'll be glad to have it

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:23 pm
by caranorn
I only worked out the OOB for Pea Ridge at one point (for a game I was planning to design), plus some background (I was considering to include the battle where Lyon died too, forgot the name now), and of course a Shiloh scenario (with possible Corps from the trans Mississippi). Most of my material was based on a webversion of the official histories.

And Price should have horrible command problems with the MSG, he was unable to command the entire force at Pea Ridge (iirc 6 MSG divisions (really large regiments or small brigades by that date) plus 2 or 3 Missouri regular brigades (also very much understrength). Only a small portion of the left wing even entered action. Though the battle itself was of course lost on the right wing when their command structure collapsed within minutes (McCulloch and his two brigade commanders McIntosh and Hébert dead or captured, Pike assuming command of part of the division without sufficiently coordinating with the division's senior colonel, leaving several regiments on the field of battle overnight). I believe Van Dorn's army would under realistic circumstances have a 35% command penalty (van Dorn, McCulloch with one Division (2 or 3 Ak. Brigades, 1 La. Zouave Regiment (Hébert's), 4+ Cavalry Regiments (assuming 2 are with the brigades and the 3+ battalions aren't counted) and several Artillery batteries), Price with a second Division (probably 2 weak regular Brigades and either 6-7 very low strength Missouri Militia Brigades or alternatively 3 weak ones (merged components), plus of course Artillery Batteries) , Pike or Watie without Division (2 Indian Regiments). Compared to that Curtis and Sigel with probably 2 medium sized Divisions and a few Cavalry Regiments, though they'd probably still have a command penalty, just no where near the 35% Van Dorn should have.

If need be I can look up my material, but I made my research focused on a Great Battles of the American Civil War style game.

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 7:20 pm
by caranorn
I just took a quick look at the March 1862 scenario.

In that one Van Dorn is indeed a 3 star General (I doubt that would be possible for a human player). McCulloch (80) is still much worse in "préséance" then Price (15). Worse, he still is inferior to Stand Watie (a mere colonel yet with 48).

Note, that brigade of McCulloch should be "Hébert's", he's a colonel from Louisiana. I'm not sure what the Arkansas Riflemen in Price's command are supposed to be (as Mc Culloch already has the 1st and 2nd Mounted Rifles, though maybe it's the 15th Arkansas). At least one of the Texas Cavalry Regiments also seems to be missing (3rd (Kansas-Texas Volunteers), 4th, 6th and 11th (the other 3rd) (unless of course if it's combined with one of the named battalions). The three regular Missouri brigades (Little, Slack and Greene) combined were slightly weaker (even counting the unarmed Arkansas Regiment (probably the 21st as I have the 17th in my OOB) then the single one included now, so I guess that unit is okay. On the other hand the State Guard units are rather weak (my estimate, slightly on the high side, is for 3300 State Guard Troops (excluding Artillery)), so you should probably rename Stern's Brigade to Rains' Brigade and give both State Guard Brigades at least 2 Regiments (I'd recommend 3rd MSG, 5th MSG, 6th MSG and 7/9th MSG).

For the Union side, Curtis is much too strong, all of his Divisions were weak and dispersed (foraging or policing Missouri). It's funny that Sigel isn't even in command of his corps (Davis's "préséance" is either too high or Sigel's too low, probably Sigel should beven e a 2 star (I just noticed he's promotable, probably better to have him already a 2 star)). It's pretty tough to sort out the regiments here, those in the Infantry Divisions seem to be correct, though all too strong (36th Illinois with slightly over 1000 troops was the strongest of the lot), there were maybe 7500 Infantry in all on the Union side while the game gives over 14000, for the Cavalry my estimate (most of my Union numbers are estimates based on known company strengths and the known total force at hand) is for roughly 1400 men while the game gives over 5000. For the Cavalry the Regiments with the Army were 1st Missouri, 4th Missouri (Fremont Hussars), 5th Missouri (Benton Hussars), 3rd Illinois, 3rd Iowa (only 5 companies (out of 12)) and Bowen's Battalion, I'd recommend to turn these into 4th & 5th Missouri, 3rd Illinois and 1st Missouri, possibly add 3rd Iowa (detached a short distance away), all at ~50% strength...

If you want to I can look for my OOB files (I'm just citing from my old printout) (including some footnotes, though most of my notes were by hand, so not sendable). Currently the US situation for the Trans Mississippi is much too easy, with US troops largely inflated and CS troops very slightly inflated (cavalry and infantry each by roughly 500 men (some 2000 men are ignored by most OOB's as they took no part in the battle, but were present facing Curtis' front (the Pea Ridge battle being a flank march)) and send them to you. For McCulloch's Wing I have pretty detailed numbers, for Price's only very rough estimates, for the Union Army good estimates (based on the various Commander's testimonials after the battle).

Marc aka Caran...