[color="red"][SIZE="6"]Early October 61 result and Late October Orders[/size][/color]
Well much like the curates egg.....good in parts bad in others but overall I have to be pretty pleased. I think at least Mr Lincoln is quietly surprised at the tenacity of his commanders. Maybe he wont sack more than a couple of them
Well as you know I attempted to put the squeeze on Banks. In part its worked. Mind you he is such an experienced and powerful player that I have to be on top of my game ALL
of the time, and thats hard to do.
Anyway to the first picture. Its a bit messy (and thats putting it charitably) but its the best I can do.
Hopefully its almost self explanatory but any how for those who are as mentally challenged as I am its like this. The dark blue line marks the extent of my push to date into Virginia. Much better than historically.....and yet I've still had to endure a -10NM hit...hiss boo grrrr.
The pink ovals show the only
enemy positions I'm seeing. The yellow lines my proposed lines of advance. The green ovals, well in many respects thats the most important part of all. That shows that I have a depot in Grafton pushing supplies forward. Winchester (which I've captured) is a level 3 town/city so supplies will get pushed to and from that location. Other than those two centres though ......in West Virginia I have diddly squat in the way of depots or cities to provide me with resupply. So whilst on the one hand I'm pushing hard and pushing well....on the other my Logistics are shot to high heaven at present. If I dont sort it out soon I'll be in dire straights. But to sort it out requires me to take stock and slow down for a turn or two....but that means giving up the initative. Hard choices but then thats AACW......I love it.
I've deliberately excluded Fredricksburg from the salient, even though it fell to me (how the citizens of Washington cheered at the news) because I cant hold it. I have not the slightest chance in hell. I dont even think I have 5 days grace in which to destroy the depot. More of that later though.
What it should do though is severely compromise my opponents position. Fredricksburg is a MUST
retake for him (or it should be). Now I think he will have to let go of Alexandria and Manassas and fall back. But equally I expect him to launch a whirlwind attack against Fredricksburg. Anyway on to the next picture and what and why I'm proposing.
Well to begin with Fredricksburg fell to Milroys command. Sadly though all of the cavalry units I was attempting to move to Aquia to provide ZoC support failed in the attempt. I should have known it. It was the ZoC from the Alexandria fort that stopped them. Thus Milroys two divisions are now deep in enemy territory with the only way out for him (should he be forced to retreat) being the Aquia route. My MC of all other surrounding regions being at almost zero. Potential disaster as its via Aquia that the CSA will assault Fredricksburg. Its the most direct. It certainly wont be from Manassas.
So I cant afford for Milroy to be caught so its onto riverine transports and off he goes to James City on the Penninsula. Unfortunately it takes him two days to get onto the water. I have to keep fingers, toes and everything else crossed that he does not 'dilly dally on the way' and escapes. It does mean though that I cant afford the luxury of burning the Fredricksburg depot. Pity really but if I force Banks to retire from Alexandria then it will still be a highly successful outcome. If Milroy makes it another side effect which is positive is that I will begin to exert real pressure on the Penninsula.
Another poor side effect of the move was that Morell decided to while away a day or two smelling the roses in the Valley so failed to reach Culpepper, his intended target. There is little point (given my stretched supply lines) in continuing to send him forward. His revised orders are to move to Covington. Schurz and his two cavalry regiments have been ordered to assault Charlottesville, a risky venture but it keeps the pressure up.
I do need though to keep pushing (without compromising my position too much). So Nathaniel Banks with the Army of the Potomac is moving to Port Tobacco. McDowell's divisions are heading for Louden whilst Hamilton is hopefully swinging into Louden and then to Alexandria.
I'm deliberately sending Hamilton by the 'scenic' route for two reasons.
Firstly it slows him down and allows time for the CSA to get out of Alexandira. I have no wish to meet them in battle at that location as it would be a no win battle for me. Secondly if I call it wrongly and my opponent stays put at least Hamiltons force will not be caught crossing a river.
As you can see from these pictures whilst I have over 50,000 effectives the Rebel contingent at Alexandria is formidable. If you look closely as well you will note that both Milroy and Hamilton have gained sufficient experience to advance by 1 their defensive ratings. If I can keep them going like this who knows they may become very good commanders
Now on to the Penninsula and its because of what happened here that I know I'm exerting real pressure. I managed to take Williamsburg as intended with a cavalry regiment. Now Banks was far far too good for me. Instead of staying put (as I thought he would) hes marched Bonhams command all the way back towards Richmond (its off my radar so the exact location is a mystery). In doing so he smashed my lone cavalry regiment and it is no more. The last post was sounded in Washington for its demise and many hung their heads in grief
It does give me potentially one move to run up the Penninsula. So Hooker has been given assault orders as you can see. Now if Milroy extricates himself and his command from Fredricksburg and makes it to James City/Hampton I shall be one happy bunny.
In addition I still have a cavalry regiment on the water so to speak heading for Tappahannock.
Oh and before I leave the Virginia Theatre just to say that although I'm not showing it I've decided to apply Martial Law to the state. VP's at this time I can live without. Logistics are the key at present.
Sugar. I've just realised I have forgotten to include a picture for West Virginia.
I'll have to cover that in a few minutes when this post is out of the way.
Well here is that missing picture and commentary that I promised.
Now Blenker assaulted and carried Christiansburg. Unfortunately his command is now shot as regards cohesion so he has to rest up. If Morell is lucky he will reinforce Covington. If all goes well I shall have a powerful 3 divisions in the region come early November....and US Grant coming to take command now that cant be bad. Supply though is a real potential headache. I'm pushing supply wagons forward as fast as I can but its a slow process as they have to be escorted.
You see the black ringed artillery. Well that was mine. Am I dumb or what. I should know better but I advanced them to Covington without escort. Banks caught them. How could I ever expect that someone of his calibre would not cover the obvious. So I'm down a couple of batteries. On the one hand its not really many conscript points lost and I can afford the money and the weapon supply. Still it gives him another 12x 12lbers free of charge. Repeat after me one hundred times....
Now though with Blenker and a full division sitting right astride the Confederate main West to East highway what is Banks going to do about that?
Well I managed to take both Prestonburg and Lexington without too much trouble. I have Wallace with 7,000 sitting tight at Louisville. My depot there comes on stream in Late October. I'm moving a couple of uncommanded Brigades to Cincinnatti to protect that city.
And I've imposed martial law on the state. Now the next step is to retake Bowling Green but thats another kettle of fish.
Well here Banks has really trussed me up good and proper. I see no way of advancing without incurring huge losses in 61 and I'm not prepared to sacrifice troops needlessly or at least without seeing the opportunity for some gain.
Polk still digs in at Columbus. Bragg must have at least 10,000 with him at Fts Henry and Donelson so for the time being thats one impregnable position. I can't see whats at Nashville but if I were to guess it would be Johnstone with a couple of divisions. And I'm relatively sure that Island 10 is strongly fortified. Thats one of the advantages of playing a very good opponent. You do know they will cover the obvious.
I have Mansfield with a single Division at Cairo and Little Mac sits in Evansville with a further two but its nowhere near enough. I think in this theatre I'm at least equalled if not outnumbered. Ah well its sit tight, if my adversary allows me to.
By the way, please note that Little Mac commands the Army of Tennessee. I told my opponent that I was deploying the Army HQ unit to him last time around. So Banks is aware that it was going to happen.
Well Watie is on the rampage. Its an irritant but I will not be drawn. He can huff and puff in my rear as much as he likes he wont do any serious damage. My forward Divisions in Missouri will remain in situ and leave him too it. Eventually his troops will run out of steam......its all that whooping and a wailing that does it every time
Finally we come to the mundane.
stands at 96 for me and 100 for the CSA
- Investing in 30 rail and 15 river transports.
2 x 2 Infantry Brigades
2 x 2 Infantry and 1 6lb Artillery Brigades