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tripax
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Tue May 24, 2016 11:39 am

On November 1, battle opened again in Hardeman County Tennessee between Grant and Joe Johnston. Johnston's force was heavily reinforced, and General Thomas' corps arrived in support of Grant, and the Union numbered almost 72,000 men against almost 56,000 Confederates. The Union lost over 22,000 men, nearly a third of the men involved, while the Confederacy lost nearly 14,000, about one quarter of its force. General Thomas's Corps took heavy losses, especially Generals Logan, Schofield, and Reno's divisions.

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Across the South, we have a deep appreciation of history -- we haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history. - Reverend Clementa Pinckney

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tripax
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Tue May 24, 2016 8:30 pm

By the end of November, 1863, all fronts seemed to be in a stalemate and ready to overwinter. In Virginia, the Confederate forces were stretched from Fredericksburg and Albermarle to Petersburg, with corps of two or three divisions in most regions. Union generals took notice of this and called for offensive action against the southern tip of this sprawl at Petersburg to take advantage of the seemingly overstretched Confederate Army under Lee. In western Virginia and eastern Tennessee, cavalry forces under Minty and Stoneman were securing minor cities along the East Tennessee and Virginia Railway and had reached the eastern bank of the Holston River, of which Knoxville was on the western bank. The area was defended by a mixed Confederate force of militia, partisans, and cavalry under John Hunt Morgan and William Clarke Quantrill. The two forces fought a skirmish in late November. Confederate forces under Forrest were entrenched in Bowling Green, but had been stripped down to a single division in order to bolster forces in western Tennessee. In western Tennessee, the Union line stretched from Fort Donelson to Covington, but stopped there, unable to advance upon Memphis or Corinth, Mississippi after the sharp battle in Hardeman, Tennessee a month earlier. Two divisions under Albert Sidney Johnson held Clarkesville, while an unknown force was believed to exist at Nashville. A mixed cavalry and irregular division was at Savannah, Tennessee and another two or three divisions was at Corinth, which was part of Johnston's Army. Johnston's main force was still at Hardeman, while he had a corps under Polk in Memphis. Across the Mississippi, General Ewell led another of Johnston's corps in Osceola. The Lightning Mule Brigade under General Streight had raided in late September and October from southern Missouri into Arkansas and captured Batesville and Jack's Port on the Black and White Rivers. Rather than retreat, the force was asked to hold these regions in advance of pressure on Memphis or Osceola by Pope's corps of Grant's Army. Lyon's force had been turned away again at Fort Smith, Arkansas, and had limped back to a Union base in Indian Territory. In Texas, Confederates held Houston, Galveston, Dallas, and Sherman, but Union forces held points further West including Brownesville, Laredo, San Antonio, Austin, and Bastrop.

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Across the South, we have a deep appreciation of history -- we haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history. - Reverend Clementa Pinckney

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tripax
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Wed May 25, 2016 9:22 am

On December 8, Corps under Kearney opened battle against Edward Johnson' corps. Theophilus Holmes' corps from City Point provided support, while Lee's force at Manchester did not join in spite of desperate calls from Holmes, who took overall command when he arrived. Additional corps under Buford and Howard arrived alongside Kearney, and another corps under General Foster including divisions under Meade and Slocum arrived from Norfolk and guarded the rear during the battle. McDowell's force of three divisions under Meagher, Richardson, and Howe arrived in Burkeville, having railed south from Charlottesville, but did not take part.

In the opening round, General's Auger and Hunter from Kearney's corps attacked General Edward Johnson's corps, striking equally all three of his divisions under A.P. Hill, Robert Rodes, and Raleigh Colston. Union General Averill's infantry division and General Humphries' artillery division from Gibbons corps provided strong supporting fire. In the next round, McDowell arrived with divisions under Meade and Slocum. Generals Alpheus Williams and Sickles of Gibbons corps and Buford of Howard's corps replaced Auger and Hunter at the front, and Averill continued to provide excellent support. A second Confederate corps under Holmes arrived on the Confederate side, and its divisions under Stevenson and Winder were quickly pushed to the front. Buford continued to push forward and saw support from Tyler and Burnside in the next stage, but the Confederate front held. Auger joined and Humphries continued to perform excellent support. In the fourth and final stage of battle, Confederate General Stevenson was seriously injured and left the battle, and his brigades were no longer active. Generals Hill and Colston closed the gap and took heavy losses, as did Generals Buford and Hunter. In this stage, Meade and Slocum continued to stand aside, but all of the other Union divisions performed very well.

In total, the Union force numbered nearly 76,000 and lost 18,000 while the Confederate force numbered 34,000 and lost 12,000, and about 2,000 more during its retreat [25 hits].

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In the west, the Confederate force under Ewell retreated without entering battle with Pope, and the rest of the stalemate continued to fester.
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tripax
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Wed May 25, 2016 9:55 pm

On December 19, the Confederate Navy Under Tattnall which had been docked in Richmond attempted to break out of the James river, running into the New York Squadron led by the USS Hartford under Admiral Dahlgren in the James Estuary, where they were defeated. The Union force had the advantage of the wind guage and the Union boats performed very well.

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Gray Fox
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Thu May 26, 2016 12:08 pm

Union boats, would that make them "U" boats. :)

Curious in Kearny and Holmes battle every one of the Divisions has the cowardice icon. I believe that when it's a long battle, the unit cohesion may get too low and then everyone is suddenly a coward.
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tripax
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Thu May 26, 2016 9:16 pm

[I often have conscripts and even militia in my divisions, does the icon come up if any regiment flees, or if the entire division does?]
Across the South, we have a deep appreciation of history -- we haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history. - Reverend Clementa Pinckney

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tripax
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Thu May 26, 2016 9:34 pm

After taking New Years Day off, action became very hot on January 2, 1864 as General Pope's corps fought a battle against Joe Johnston at Madison, Tennessee. General Thomas' exhausted corps joined in, further decimating its divisions, as did a Wisconsin cavalry division under General Gregg, which also took heavy losses. Pope brought 42,000 to the field, losing 14,000 while Johnston brought 39,000 and lost 14,000. Granger, Wilder, and Nelson performed very well for Pope, as did weakened divisions under Reno and Rousseau. Breckenridge and an artillery division under McCulloch performed well under Johnston, while Confederate General Major's division was decimated.

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In the James Estuary, Tattnall again faced off against Dahlgren, losing the Plymouth Squadron and another round of battle.

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On January 12, General's Hood and Peghram fought well under General Cheatham, but were repulsed in Franklin, Virginia by a corps under Hooker including General Kilpatrick and Butterfield and an artillery division under Ord.

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On January 13, General Canby's force attacked Houston from Galveston and were defeated in a battle with General Field. Field had a number of texas militia regiments and a division under Baylor. Canby's force consisted of a mized militia and mounted partisan divisions under caldwell, a cavalry and mounted infantry division under Carson, and an infantry division under Carleton.

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On January 15, General Lee pushed south and west from Manchester and met with a cavalry division under WHL Wallace under corps command of General Mansfield. Mansfield refused to retreat, waiting for General Hooker, who was nearby, to join. Hooker joined, but was unable to save Wallace's cavalry, and Lee won the day in spite of having fewer numbers when Hooker's numbers were included.

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Across the South, we have a deep appreciation of history -- we haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history. - Reverend Clementa Pinckney

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tripax
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Fri May 27, 2016 4:23 pm

Four new coastal ironclads were finished in early 1864 in Baltimore and Philadelphia and arrived in the James Estuary in January of 1864. On January 16, the USS Tunxis and USS Sangamon opened battle against Tattnall's fleet, defeating the Confederate fleet and sinking the CSS Alabama. Farragut had overall command, although he was on neither Union ship. While no other ships were sunk in the battle, Tattnall lost a gunboat squadron and scouting squadron under the guns of Fort Monroe during his retreat, leaving only a crippled CSS Virginia.

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In early January, a force of two full infantry divisions, a third smaller infantry divisions, and a cavalry division arrived near New Bern and began to take control of the North Carolina coast. A force under Loring arrived in Onslow, NC to defend New Bern. On January 19, he fought a battle against the full divisions under Barlow and the small division under Herron, wining the battle but not gaining full control of the region. John Sedgwick, who had overall command of the force, moved with a division under Couch into New Bern, capturing the city.

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In western Tennessee, Confederate two or three light divisions were moving north along the west side of the Tennessee River towards the site of the then destroyed Fort Henry. Johnston had moved into Hardemon County to provide support. On January 24, Grant moved into the area and defeated General Johnston in a short battle that was much less bloody than previous battles at that spot. Johnston retreated south after battle, taking more losses in the retreat.

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Across the South, we have a deep appreciation of history -- we haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history. - Reverend Clementa Pinckney

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Cardinal Ape
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Fri May 27, 2016 10:24 pm

U boats... damn dude, thats bad.. but the worst puns are the best puns. :thumbsup:

I'm not too sure what the cowardice icon represents exactly. I'd guess that it has something to do with units failing the quality check needed to preform assault actions in hand-to-hand.

I saw you asked about the Union NM limit in the main forum - Is the Union on the verge of of losing it's will to fight?

Either way, you guys made it to '64 and still have a fairly close game, good show. Good pace too, which makes me jealous since my game is on track to be finished in late 2018...

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tripax
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Sat May 28, 2016 2:50 pm

Cardinal Ape wrote:...I saw you asked about the Union NM limit in the main forum - Is the Union on the verge of of losing it's will to fight?

Either way, you guys made it to '64 and still have a fairly close game, good show. Good pace too, which makes me jealous since my game is on track to be finished in late 2018...


[Straight Arrow had NM of 145 or more up until one or two turns ago, but as of Late February, 1864 is at the much more manageable 130. I fell below 60 at the end of 1863, but am at 64 right now. I'm not sure why we are playing at such a fast pace, but I've got deadlines coming up and I'm not sure if it is better for me to try to keep the pace so I can finish before the deadlines arrive or if we should take a break until after.]
Across the South, we have a deep appreciation of history -- we haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history. - Reverend Clementa Pinckney

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tripax
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As January closed, Tattnalls ragged fleet, reduced now to the CSS Virginia and no other boats, was denied a return to Richmond's harbors and was forced to try to run the Union blockade and, perhaps, to attempt to reach Wilmington or Charleston. Instead, it rand into Farragut's fleet on February 1 and was sunk.

On February 12, Forrest charged North from his base at Bowling Green to attack General Rosecrans' force at Munfordville. Rosecrans had a slight advantage in men, both having about 8,000 and caused more casualties, but Forrest was more active and won the battle.

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tripax
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Sun May 29, 2016 5:38 pm

In February, 1864, Confederate forces under Beauregard and Longstreet found a crossing of the Rappahannock, which had been blocked up to that point by a small Union Naval force, from Fredericksburg into Falmouth, and then marched on Manassas, where Hancock's corps of two divisions Doubleday and Stevens awaited. In the battle that resulted, four more divisions of Porter's corps under Reynolds, Slocum, Warren, and Birney joined from their camps near Alexandria. Longstreet joined with Beauregard, and the total force consisted of five divisions under McClaws, Pender, Mosby, Hoke and Wilcox and received support of Kearney and Gibbon's corps of two divisions each.

In southern Virginia, McClellan had received word that the forces defending Richmond had been stripped somewhat to advance Beauregard's northward march. In response, he attacked across the Appomatox River into Manchester. McDowell brought four infantry divisions to the battle under Auger, Meagher, Richardson, and Howe, and an artillery division under Humphries to an attack on Holmes, whose force included divisions under Early, Stewart, Heth, Bee, and Colston. Union corps under Gibbon and Kearney joined McClellan, bringing divisions under

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Both battles were Union failures and represented the greatest three days of disaster the Union faced in the war. In the north, Beauregard's total force numbered 32,600 while Porter and Hancock's forces numbered 40,000, but Beauregard outlasted the Unionists. Each of Beauregard's divisions were cut nearly in half, while the Union divisions from Alexandria saw relatively light casualties, a fact which possibly represented inadequate support from Porter's force and may have led to the defeat.

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In the south, McDowell brought 72,000 men to face Holmes' 38,000. but was greatly cut apart, losing 45,250 against Holmes' losses of 12,800. Kearney's corps was destroyed, including all soldiers in divisions under Sickles, Newton and Hunter. Gibbon's corps included two more divisions under Sickles and Averell.

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In Texas, a battle took place which represented the culmination of a long Union campaign to take the southern portion of the state and represented the futility of the Union's aggressive war plans. The battle ended in stalemate, Confederate General Field being unable to dislodge Canby's force from Galveston.

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Across the South, we have a deep appreciation of history -- we haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history. - Reverend Clementa Pinckney

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Cardinal Ape
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Sun May 29, 2016 10:16 pm

Wow! That battle of Manchester... So many dead. Looks like it may turn out to be the battle of the war.

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tripax
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Mon May 30, 2016 4:00 pm

Cardinal Ape wrote:Wow! That battle of Manchester... So many dead. Looks like it may turn out to be the battle of the war.


[I haven't had time to figure out what to do yet, but I have a suspicion that the game is over. Lee broke out with an infantry division (which I halfway destroyed) and an artillery division a couple turns ago. I suspect Straight Arrow will merge him with a few garrison divisions from coastal states. If that force is ready and within striking distance, I'm in trouble. My choice is either to abandon the southern edge of my cordon around Richmond or to stand and fight. If I stand and fight and lose, I could easily fall under 60 NM (I'm at 70 NM - I got a 10 NM event - Andersonville Prison?! - 3 NM resiliance, and lost 7 NM in the battles). I might try to hold Lee off or I might try to retreat to Norfolk and Charlottesville. Either way, my best option right now is to hold the line in Virginia and try to reinforce the depleated forces. I don't have much of an advantage out West that would allow me to grind things out with eyes on a late 1865 victory (which is really a loss). The problem is that with such low NM, my forces retreat from battle early unless they have a charismatic leader. On the other hand, if I had a higher NM, I'd have so many more resources I would be in fine shape...

Actually, after a lot of turns I get depressed (game depressed, not real life depressed, it is still enjoyable). Then I regroup my thoughts and figure out a way to keep plugging away. Wish me luck, I guess.]
Across the South, we have a deep appreciation of history -- we haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history. - Reverend Clementa Pinckney

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Cardinal Ape
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Mon May 30, 2016 10:02 pm

It does sound like a tough situation. If you can hold your NM until November, the loss threshold should drop back down to 25 once Lincoln gets re-elected.

Is Grant committed to the West at this point? Is the Virginia command going to be McDowell's till the end?

As the Union player the game may be a bit depressing for you, but as the reader it is much more interesting to read about a war wherein the Union does not completely waffle-stomp the opposition. Good luck in the long war.

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tripax
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Tue May 31, 2016 10:40 am

Cardinal Ape wrote:It does sound like a tough situation. If you can hold your NM until November, the loss threshold should drop back down to 25 once Lincoln gets re-elected.

Is Grant committed to the West at this point? Is the Virginia command going to be McDowell's till the end?

As the Union player the game may be a bit depressing for you, but as the reader it is much more interesting to read about a war wherein the Union does not completely waffle-stomp the opposition. Good luck in the long war.


[I think if he takes Memphis, forces in the East will take notice and bring him over. Pope and Sherman are both three stars, so the West will be ok without him. But we'll see.]
Across the South, we have a deep appreciation of history -- we haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history. - Reverend Clementa Pinckney

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Gray Fox
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Tue May 31, 2016 1:09 pm

In a long game to the bitter end, it's only the VP count that matters. As long as the NM doesn't force a sudden death, then you can fight right where you are if the VP's are in your favor. Everything works if you let it. Good luck to both of you!
I'm the 51st shade of gray. Eat, pray, Charge!

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tripax
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Tue May 31, 2016 6:14 pm

Gray Fox wrote:In a long game to the bitter end, it's only the VP count that matters. As long as the NM doesn't force a sudden death, then you can fight right where you are if the VP's are in your favor. Everything works if you let it. Good luck to both of you!


[I don't know what StraightArrow thinks, but in my opinion VPs are a bit broken and I'm happy to lose on VPs if I outperform history. I think I won't be able to outperform history, though; its going to be very difficult for me to take Tennessee, New Orleans, Atlanta, Charleston, and Richmond in the next year and two months (assuming I don't get a NM win before). That said, I'm down on VP but earning more per turn and I think I can win on VP by the end of 1865 if not by April 1865 if I can grab three or four strategic cities in the next four to six months (I should get Memphis soon which might bring me a couple dominoes). Really, though, a NM loss is still very likely.]
Across the South, we have a deep appreciation of history -- we haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history. - Reverend Clementa Pinckney

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tripax
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Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:56 am

In early March, Admiral Foote and General Grant moved on Memphis. On March 7, Foote's fleet met with a fleet under Admiral Hollins. Both fleets included six ironclads, while Hollins' fleet also included three cottonclad squadrons and a scouting squadron. Foote's fleet was headed by the USS Monarch and USS Indianola. The Indianola took a number of direct hits, mostly by the CSS Tennessee. The Confederate scouting squadron took the majority of the Union hits. The battle left the Union flotilla unable to take part in supporting Grant's march on Memphis, which would arrive two days later.

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On March 9th, Grant brought twelve divisions under three corps totaling 97,000 men against nine divisions under General Johnston totaling 56,000 men consisting of Polk's corps entrenched about Memphis, Ewell's corps joining the battle from across the Mississippi, and Johnston's main force joining from Hardemon, Tennessee. The Union forces were victorious, and losses were roughly in proportion to the number of men on the field. After the battle, Polk's forces fled across the Mississippi, joining Ewell's corps.

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Across the South, we have a deep appreciation of history -- we haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history. - Reverend Clementa Pinckney

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On March 20th, General Thomas' corps followed up the victory at Memphis, attacking Johnston's force at Hardemon County with divisions under Logan, Blair, Stone, and Nelson. Divisions under McCulloch, Edmund Smith, Hampton, and Thompson were retreating under Johnston. Both forces lost about 5000, But with the entire force of Grant's now 100,000+ army behind Thomas, Johnston's force immediately retreated, taking huge losses [63 hits] during the retreat.

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tripax
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Fri Jun 03, 2016 1:07 pm

Polk's corps gathered its forces south of Memphis and marched back towards the city in early April, 1864. Polk arrived on April 4, but Memphis fell on April 1, 1864 and Polk found a corps under Sherman waiting for him. Confederate General Robert Ransom charged into Gordon Granger's division, which was the only entrenched division on the Union side. Granger took minimal losses, while Ransom's division was destroyed and Ransom was injured in the battle and was sent to convalesce in a nearby Tennessee city. J. O. Shelby returned to Tennessee from Missouri and took light losses, but the other Confederate divisions avoided the battle and Polk retreated back to Corinth.

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In Late March, Lee returned to Virginia at the head of four divisions. He sent messages to General Edward Johnson and Thomas Jackson near Richmond, who brought their corps forward to Manchester to provide support. The Union retreated from Lee at Franklin County, and in early April entrenched forces at Burkeville in the front of Lee. Battle opened between the two forces on April 8, 1864. The Union forces under McDowell counted just over 90,000 while Lee led just over 70,000, including the corps under Johnson and Jackson. McDowell's corps commanders were Kearney, Howard, and Gibbon. General Meade on the Union side had not yet shown his excellence as leader of a division in a large battle, but this day that changed, as his division was the best performing on the Union side. Early, Heth, and Colston from Johnson's corps performed very well on the Confederate side. Union losses were heaviest in the divisions of Couch and Barlow, and two Union Generals were killed in the action, Tyler at the head of his division and Blenker who was serving as a staff officer.

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The positive result of the battle is Union forces now had good information about all the Confederate forces in Virginia. In the north, the Confederacy was believed to have two corps of 10,000 to 20,000 each, one in Fredericksburg under Longstreet and another, slightly stronger one under Beauregard in Albermarle County near the Wilderness. In the south, after the battle, Confederate forces numbered about 50,000, all just south of Richmond in the corps of Johnson, Jackson, and under Lee directly. Very few troops were believed to be in Richmond, as Jackson's corps had been behind a fog of war in the capital but had moved into Manchester for the battle. It was unknown if the Confederacy had other troops ready to march into Virginia.

Up until this point, General Buell had control of Union forces in the north, but General Pope, Grant's highest ranking lieutenant in the West, was moved to Charlottesville and was now in charge of the Union Army, with General Hooker and General Hancock as his top corps commanders. This move was meant to provide an important boost in Union strength in the north as Hooker and Buell were often at odds; Hooker was considered a more active leader than Buell, but Buell outranked Hooker. Pope outranked them both and both considered Pope at least an equal. Further, Pope's best corps commander and, along with Sherman and Thomas one of the best three corps commanders in the Union at this time, Hancock had a good relationship with Pope, having graduated from West Point two years after Pope and having both fought in the Mexican-American war and having remained in the Army after that war and serving in the West.

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Across the South, we have a deep appreciation of history -- we haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history. - Reverend Clementa Pinckney

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tripax
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Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:20 pm

On April 21, Pope's forces with corps under Hancock and Hooker attacked Beauregard's achieving victory but losing nearly twice as many men.

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On April 25, a division under Schofield in Gilbert's corps met the retreating corps under General Smith just north of Corinth, wining another victory while losing almost three times as many men.

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This battle served as a precursor for a battle the next day in Corinth between Grant's 100,000 and Johnston's 45,000. Union forces lost men again in the ratio of 2 to 1, and in this battle failed to hold the field, breaking Grant's streak of won battles.

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This battle was followed on the next day, April 27, with another loss for Grant again losing 2 to 1 in men.

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The battle on the next day began with Johnson's force being reinforced, and on April 28, Johnson fought with more men than he did on the 26th. Grant's forces again could not break Johnson's line, again losing grater than 2 to 1.

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The enormous losses in the three day battle played a decisive role in the war. Union moral was at an ebb, and politicians demanded an immediate cessation of hostilities. That day, April 28, 1864, the war was over.
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Across the South, we have a deep appreciation of history -- we haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history. - Reverend Clementa Pinckney

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tripax
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Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:24 pm

[Thanks everyone for reading this AAR. I'll take a few days off (maybe more than a few), but will try to produce a few posts summarizing the war, what I did right and wrong, and whatever else comes to mind. I apologize for such a short summary of the last days, as well as not being able to provide as much detail in turns after 1861 as I did initially. Most of all, thank you to Straight Arrow for a great match (and to AGEOD for a great game).]
Across the South, we have a deep appreciation of history -- we haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history. - Reverend Clementa Pinckney

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Jerzul
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Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:14 pm

Excellent job tripax! Thanks for sharing this with us! :fleurs:

But I have to say...your casualties in the 1864 were brutal! Regardless I enjoyed watching you play with a more historical focus rather than just using all of the Unions advantages known to us with hindsight of the conflict. Great AAR!
I have heard, in such a way as to believe it, of your recently saying that both the army and the government needed a dictator. Of course it was not for this, but in spite of it, that I have given you the command. Only those generals who gain success can be dictators. What I now ask of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship.

-Abraham Lincoln, 1863, in a letter to Major General Joseph Hooker.

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Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:55 pm

Tripax, thank you for a most excellent game. You were a valiant and worthy opponent. I admire the way you shouldered disadvantages to keep the game play historical. And it was a game, until the very last second, where a Northern VP victory remained possible.

I think Teddy Roosevelt has the perfect words for this situation,

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Amen to that.

The surprise ending to our game, came, of all places, in what had been our backwater theater. But, after Memphis fell and Grant had pushed me out of Western Tennessee, there was only one real target left to protect. This allowed the concentration of Southern forces at Corinth. Instead of Grant just hitting a wing corps and center army with overwhelming force, he faced an army and both of its wings in one area. Additionally, Corinth had prepared trenches and a depot, allowing Southern troops the benefit of replacements, higher cohesion recovery and strong defensive lines. Furthermore, I had sent 2 fresh divisions from Nashville to stiffen JJ’s Army of the Mississippi and pulled 2 battered divisions out of line to rebuild at Nashville.

In the end it was a still a close run, involving a real roller coaster ride with three, back to back battles where the Federals lost a critical 15 NM points. And those points were enough to drop the Union’s national moral below the 60 NM defeat level. Still, Tripax went out roaring like a lion, not with a whimper.

I have to say, that I believe, even without the Corinth victory, the South was in pretty good shape and had a chance of winning by points. The CSA was still up by 600 VP, and thanks to a strong river fleet, had control of its inland water ways. Other than Norfolk, the seacoast remained untouched and protected by 8 strong, well dug in, veteran divisions garrisoning NO, Mobile, Charleston and Wilmington.

Thanks to tripax’s endless rain of blows and my refusal to promote Jackson, Longstreet and Hood, the South had a superb crop of 2 star corps commanders. This allowed the creation of interlocking, diamond shaped corps formations in the east that enabled Richmond and a chunk of central VA to be held. By the way Cardinal Ape, thanks for teaching me that particular trick.

Strength wise, the South’s armies remained in good shape. They were well lead, Beauregard’s 6-6-7 and Lee’s 6/6/6 vs McDowell at 2/3/3. In the west it was J Johnston’s 4/6/6 vs Grant’s at 6/7/5. In the ranks, the CSA remained able to field enough troops to hold ground against massive Federal blows. I think due to the power ratio for land forces being much closer than the usual lopsided figures, the Union steamroller was never able to create 3-1 or higher odds. Perhaps this was because of a large different in NM and tripax’s tendency to over garrison his supply lines with swarms of militia. The lack of blue clad boys on the firing line allowed me to field armies that almost always fought from entrenched positions with at least 1-2 odds. It is possible, that their battlefield victories enable the South to gain huge amounts of NM by destroying weakened Federal units during chain or turn after turn battles. Troop shortages also appeared to have prevented the Federals from sending sea born invasion forces.

Except for Western VA, the Valley, Norfolk and Northern VA, Western TN, MO, most of TX and the Far West, the South managed to hold its national territory, as well as Bowling Green, KY. This of course meant until a few turns ago, the majority of the game’s objectives and VP sites were in Southern hands.

Economically, things weren’t so rosy. The blockade was at 60%, and because I didn’t buy a single naval replacement point the entire game; almost all the blockade runners were down to 1 ship units. Inflation was biting at Southern purchasing power at 36%. But, thanks to high NM and the retention of national territory, there was a vast pool of untapped manpower, above 1,000 CS for 1863-64. Thanks to 2 untouched ironworks, there was a surplus stock of 2,879 WS. Early on, I was able to drain much of MO and KY’s force pool. But, due to constant cash shortages, the CSA was never able to take advantage of their abundant store of manpower and war supplies. For the last two years of the war, instead of raising new units, the South spent every dime on replacements.


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Theater wise performance: in the East, I think the CSA did a good job defending and holding most of central VA. I have to admit, moving the capital to Atlanta was cheesy and not historical. To top it off, I did a poor job threating DC, and looking back, the 3 lines of fall back positions was overkill.

In the West, I got a lucky break. After a long delay, the Blue grass state came in while I had a strike force sitting on rails at the border and rearing to go. Tripax on the other hand was in the outhouse with his pants down. This one turn advantage, let me use the state's rails to grab and hold most of KY.

In Tennessee, Grant and Lee hung out in the same area giving each other the evil eye for a long time. I was more than happy to use Lee as a scarecrow, as it allowed me to ship Western divisions to the East.

A strong navy from the start, built up with early cottonclads and a solid dose of luck, allowed me to retain control of the Big Muddy and deliver a few hard knocks.

In the TransMississppi, I used the minimum force possible. Tripax did a good job of evicting me from MO, but unluckily for him, he striped the West for manpower to use in the Trans at just the wrong moment. Also, Lyon never was able to evict Magruder from his cozy Fort Smith quarters.
In Texas, tripax again outmaneuvered and outfought me. I ending up holding only Houston and Dallas. Part of the problem was I didn’t send a decent commander to the theater and ended up paying for it in lost battles. I was sure that it would be child’s play to burn the chain of stockades linking the Far West to TX. But, no, tripax was hot on my heels and rushed into the house before I could shut the front door.

In the Far West, I again spent the bare minimum and initially worked hard at creating a lot of havoc. I never did figure out how to use my Pima unit or how to make the native raiding card work. It was very clever of tripax to figure out, after I burned Tucson, that he could recapture the vanished town's victory points by building a stockade. But, I have to say, in my book, I think he devoted far too many militia units to securing his Far West supply.

Costal defense, who knows? It was never tested. But, from Fall 61 on, I kept strong garrisons at NO, Mobile, Charleston and Wilmington. Taylor, my sole trainer, was at Charleston and I sent him a steady stream of existing militia drawn from all over the South for upgrading. Did you know that Copperhead RDC units can be combined with a militia unit and upgraded to regular status? Until this game, I didn’t.

Some of the things I did wrong. In my attack on DC, I failed to understand that, even though I controlled Alexandria, I could not cross the Potomac due to a naval presence. A great opportunity was lost when, because of this, my army failed to march to the sound of the guns and support Jackson’s assault.

Later in the game, I took unnecessary chances in maneuvering in N VA. The Union navy controlled the rivers and my main army could have been easily trapped. But the few times it looked bad, thanks to Cavalry screening and Disinformation cards and a big dose of luck, I was able to escape.

Tripax outmaneuvered and outfought me in the Shenandoah Valley.

Replacement wise, I only bought infantry and artillery and deliberately did not purchase cavalry replacements. Tripax's forces tended to be strong in cavalry. I think this may have led to my forces taking very heavy losses when retreating after battles. Fortunately for me, the South managed to hold many of the battlefields until 1864. But as a result, I didn’t notice the problem until it was too late to do anything about it.

Tripax I really enjoy our game. It was a lot of fun!

And I must say, you sir, are a most excellent and honorable opponent. Don’t be a stranger.

Until our paths cross again.
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Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.

vicberg
AGEod Grognard
Posts: 968
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:18 am

Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:53 pm

Excellent AAR, fun read

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