As my queen commands.
Actually just finished rushing out one more turn while nobody was looking here at work, so I could stick at least one more up here today.
Turn 14 -
Jefferson Davis looked down at the avenue below the capital building, watching a troop of Georgia cavalry trotting past. They were headed to join the forces still trying to corner and defeat the Federals who were currently somewhere south of Petersburg.
His mind dwelled on the decision to send Beauregard forward on an attack he clearly didn’t want to make. True, Johnston had been delayed and only arrived after the battle, but Davis should have expected slow movements given the fact that Davis was the only one who believed in the attack.
Beauregard himself had delayed too long to attack and found himself facing a force five times his size by the time he got near Fredericksburg. He had quickly pulled back to the west and made a stand near Salem Church on the Plank Road. There, the restricted frontage had enabled him to give the Union forces a bloody nose, and left them uninterested in continuing the pursuit. Now Johnston had joined him, but too late. They would have to pull back to Richmond for now.
To add to the problems, Beauregard was blaming Johnston for his failure to reach him before the battle. The two had gotten along well thus far, but now the acrimony between them was palpable. He wished he could find generals who could work together better, but in matters of pride and blame, the southern character was at its worst. He would have to do something to separate the two men. Beauregard had handled his army well, and his men loved the cocksure little man, so he would retain command of the Virginia forces. But where to send Johnston that wouldn’t hurt his pride too much?
At that moment, the kind hand of providence touched him. The aide entered and handed him a telegram from A.S. Johnston in Kentucky, requesting a new commander to replace one of his generals who had fallen from his horse and been killed. Joe Johnston was a fine soldier, but seemed timid when faced with a decision. If anyone could put some fire in his belly, it was Albert Johnston. That man could drive a nail through a plank with just his voice when he got riled up. And Joe could not complain too much about being subordinates to Albert Sydney, who was one of the country’s most respected military men before the war. Davis said a quick prayer of thanks and began drafting the orders.
Once that was done, Lee came in and joined him to look over further movements. Due to the failure of the attack at Fredericksburg, Huger would have to pull out of Manassas Junction. He had hoped to hold on in the northern part of the state even with a small force, but they were simply too isolated with the legions of Yankees appearing ready to descend on them. They could move back and cover Charlottesville to screen the western approaches to lower Virginia.
Bushrod Johnson had reported intermittent contact with Nathanial Banks around Petersburg, and was requesting more cavalry to try and pin him down. Davis had very few spare cavalry units to send, but between Johnson and Whiting they should be able to trap and destroy that force without them. Banks had engaged in numerous running fights since landing and finding that his commander’s force had been destroyed. His men must be tired, hungry, and nearly out of munitions.
In the west, Benjamin McCulloch was proving to be quite a thorn in the Yankee side. He had recaptured Rolla, MO, and sent Lyon scrambling for cover. His report stated that his force was nearly spent, and requested reinforcement. Despite the condition of his men, he was putting on a show for any scouts that might be looking around, digging in and trying any method to make his forces look as impressive as possible. He asked Lee to reply to McCulloch stating their intentions to send Ruggles and his force west to join him as soon as they were gathered.
According to the report, a General Grant had taken command in St. Louis. The name sounded familiar, it must be old army, but he couldn’t place a face to the name.
Well, Milroy got to Fredericksburg before Beauregard could be reinforced, so frankly I was lucky that with 5-1 odds, Beauregard did as well as he did. I have gotten Beauregard and Johnston's force together now, so I pull them back to defend Richmond.
Huger will pull his division back to cover Charlottesville.
The AI has forced me completely out of everything north of Richmond through maneuver. Not bad for an AI I think.
Banks got beat again, but is now sitting outside Petersburg. Bushrod Johnson will again try to intercept him with assault orders since Banks should be quite weakened by the last two battles.
Whiting moves to Waverly to repair the rails Banks tore up last turn.
I operate J.E. Johnston over to Bowling Green to team him with A.S. Johnston. Once corps commands are available, he will make a good commander. I also set Johnston to building a depot in Bowling Green to support future offensive moves.
I send a couple of river transports to Paducah to construct a depot there.
As soon as Cabell's AR Brigade arrives in Charleston, MO, I will move Ruggles and that force into western Missouri to join McCulloch.
McCulloch's force is nearly spent. I can see Grant with a decent force in St. Louis, hopefully he remains there for now, I can't resist much of an attack, so I give McCulloch's force the “defend and retreat” ROE.
Venus heads for the blockade box
I am tapped out of conscripts. I will hold out until '62 before I institute the draft, which means I need to be pretty conservative with my troops for the next two months. I'll stay on the defensive in Virginia, and hold what I have in Kentucky, minus Louisville unless it manages to hold out for a while longer. If it continues to hold out, I might move some troops up there since it is a recruitment center.
The only area I might go on the offensive in is Missouri, when Ruggles reinforces McCulloch, I should have a solid force able to cause some big problems for the Union there.
3 line infantry replacements, light industrialization in NC