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Battle of Elkhorn Tavern

Backround As the Confederate commanders McCulloch and McIntosh were busy getting themselves shot at the battle of Leetown (and the sole remaining senior Confederate commander on the field, Hebert, tried to follow suite but only managed to get himself captured), the Confederate CiC, Major General Earl van Dorn, was busy … well, no, he wasn’t busy at all. In fact, he encountered a small Union blocking force around the Elkhorn Tavern road junction around noon, about the same time that the battle of Leetown began with a furious cavalry action as vedettes from the opposite sides ran into each other. However, van Dorn was unsure of either the situation of his army or that of the enemy, and was literally caught in a hole (a series of steep ravines), and thus took four hours to deploy his men, fight off some Union spoiling attacks, and finally order the attack. By this time, rather than outnumbering the Union by 3:1, he only had a 3:2 advantage. The game begins at 4:00 PM, and it starts to get dark around 7:00 PM, so the Confederates will have less than a dozen turns to capture the vital road junctions around Elkhorn Tavern and Cleman’s Farm. Scenario specifics The map (also containing the OBs) shows the situation around noon, when the Union reinforcements were just about to come up. Over the next four hours the Confederate dispositions changed only slightly, but on the Union side Dodge’s brigade concentrated around Cleman’s Farm, three batteries were deployed in front of Elkhorn Tavern itself, and Vandever’s brigade deployed from Elkhorn Tavern to the slopes of Big Mountain. Note that the terrain is very rough. The streams are in fact a series of ravines that divide the Confederate position (although they may be a bit narrower than portrayed here), and the entire battlefield (except for the fields) is covered in light woods. The slopes are particularly uneven and rocky, and artillery may only deploy on “flat” ground. Fans of under-gunned, light caliber batteries with Green crews will be happy to see that the Confederates field several of these wonders, however they also have a pair of Veteran batteries – yee haw! In order to win, the Confederates must capture the two road junctions near Elkhorn Tavern as well as the Road junction near Cleman’s Farm. If they capture two, the game is a draw – otherwise it is a Union victory. Battle Report The second of the... read more

Battle of Elkhorn Tavern OB & Map

Here is the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern Map PDF containing OB and map for the refight. read more

Oravainen with March Attack

Since we’ve been using the modified version of the rules for ACW we wanted to see how the proper nappy March Attack  was supposed to work so dug up the board and 15mm miniatures for the largest battle of the Russo-Swedish War of 1808 that we did for our 1808 project. With March Attack we noticed that the artillery ranges were extremely short, artillery fire with just a few guns was  extremely inefficient unless they were 12 pounders at point blank range, the infantry fire was lethal especially for such small battalions and that rolling for regroup with just one die roll for the formation was a bit chancy (better roll separately for each unit so it evens out in the end). All in all the system seems to be well suited for larger battles with plenty of formations being fed to the meat grinder after one another! You can get the March Attack OB for the scenario from here. The original maps of the battle, General de Brigade OBs and a short recap of the historical battle are in our main 1808-09 scenario page here.     JanneL (Played: Nov 12th  Swedes: Mr V. Finns: JanneL. Russians:... read more

The Battle of Leetown OB & Map

Here is the Leetown PDF containing OB and map for the refight. read more

The Battle of Leetown

Background The Battle of Leetown was one of a pair of battles fought near Pea Ridge in Arkansas on March 7th, 1862. After the rebuff the Union suffered at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek earlier in 1861, the Confederates had enjoyed a brief period of dominance in Missouri. However, the two senior Confederate commanders, one from Missouri (Sterling Price) and the other from Arkansas (Benjamin McCulloch), quarreled over the direction of the war, resulting in the splitting of the Confederate forces just as the Union army in Missouri was reorganized under a new commander (Samuel Curtis). Curtis took advantage of the Confederate disarray and pushed Price out of Missouri, taking up a strong defensive position along the Arkansas border. Meanwhile, however, the Confederates had been unified once again under their new overall commander Earl van Dorn, who was determined to outflank Curtis’ strong position. van Dorn divided his army into two wings and marched through the freezing rain for three days, eventually arriving behind the Union positions. Curtis learned of the Confederate flanking move just in time, however, and split his own force to deal with the approaching enemy columns. Their first contact came at Leetown, as Ben McCulloch’s troops bumped into Union troops under Colonel’s Peter Osterhaus and … Jefferson Davis. Yes, Leetown saw Union troops under the command of someone with the same name as the President of the Confederacy! The situation as the two forces met, at about noon, is shown on the attached map (also containing the OB). Union cavalry emerged from the woods line to see an entire Confederate division marching in column only a few hundred yards away! Although heavily outnumbered, the Union commander Cyrus Bussey launched his troopers at the Confederates, hoping to buy the Union infantry time to deploy. The results were predictable, and 3000 Confederate cavalry over ran Bussey’s troopers and captured his artillery. As the Union troopers streamed back, however, the Union infantry and artillery began to deploy along the edge of the woods bordering Oberson’s Field, and along the ravines in Morgan’s Woods. The Confederates, meanwhile, deployed their infantry along Round Prairie and Little Mountain, with their (now dismounted) cavalry behind them, and advanced a few units towards Oberson’s Field. This will be the situation that we start the battle (so a bit different than shown in the map). Historically, disaster now struck for the Confederates. McCulloch went forward with his pickets and was killed, and soon afterwards... read more

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