The Campaign of 1863  

Go Back   The Campaign of 1863 > After Action Reports

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-09-2015
zobs1959 zobs1959 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: A small cabin In Northern Minnesota
Posts: 123
Default The barksdale battles

When one treads amongst the lions it is of utmost importance to avoid being mauled and then wholly devoured. Thus unfolded the Barksdale Battles Campaign.
Commander Barksdale assumed command of the Army of the Potomac; I assumed command of the Army of North Virginia. It was with great apprehension, fatalism and no small amount of fear that I went into this campaign. How does one persevere when facing a superior adversary?
The ANV has several strategies it can employ in its quest to break the norths will to carry on: I chose to employ a two prong offensive that entailed my main body driving up to Harrisburg while a secondary force made for York and Columbia. ( oh York, ye miserable city of death and woe )
Harrisburg's 5000 victory points and the 200 points per turn held would be the prize...York and Columbia would be the icing if all went according to plan.
( there be a few other sly twists and turns employed to distract and annoy my esteemed adversary, but some secrets are best kept...well secret.)
Thus the long trek began: and those who have undertook it know what an arduous task it be. My main body struck for the Williamsburg ferry on the [I]'secret route of feint [/I]and deception'. My second prong probed east towards Baltimore, then towards Gettysburg, but always towards York ( miserable city of death and woe ).
Barksdale the Lion stalked me as cruelly as I have ever been. Trenches I would throw up before him, then, upon his approach, flee ever north east. Always a half day behind me..always his confounded cavalry reconnoitering in strength. Truly, I felt as the sheep being herded to slaughter.
Columbia was an easy capture. Other less important cities also came under my control..( many drops in the bucket makes the victory count grow...). Yet the crown jewel Harrisburg lay many hard days away..
It was somewhere southwest of Gettysburg, in the tanny map, that blood first flowed. A confusing melee of cavalry and infantry ensued and by some means of good luck my troops escaped the lion's jaw. I do believe this stout general thought a pitched battle was about to take place...But nay, by mornings light, my men, by forced march, were far away.
And again, due south of Gettysburg, did Barksdales' gallant troops attempt to block and delay my drive east to York. It was only with great effort and strength that my men were able to break off and make there way east.
Far to the northwest, at a crossroad city called Chambersburg, my main bodys vanguard was constructing an elaborate trench system. It was here that the first of the fabled Barksdale battles unfolded.
A great union host with a large cavalry attachment was in pursuit. Many brave brigades did I leave behind to defend this crossroads and to delay his infernal pursuit. A screening skirmish ensued early in the day while my main body continued to slip away to their destiny at Harrisburg.
It was late in the day, with the roar and thunder of many cannon, did a great battle ensue. With orders of resolute defense, and reinforcement from behind, my troops put a deadly stop to his assault and relentless pursuit.
There be 10,000 graves at that hallowed site.
A day or two of peace ensued before his cavalry flanked the position and once again set the pursuit into action. But this gallant defense bought valuable time, for the vanguard units of the main body where now appearing outside Harrisburg making preparations for the upcoming assault.
And then to York, where my secondary force of was also preparing for assault. Commander Barksdale was now well accustomed to my dig and ditch tactics ( but the sting at chambersburg gave rise to small hesitation? ). A mighty host he had now assembled and there are some who say 6 entire union corps were deadly aiming on to York.
York fell easily as garrisons often would rather give than take. My troops pushed straight away on into Columbia, behind the protection of that mighty river that skirts it. And there they waited, entrenched in the city, collecting the 50 point per turn ransom due. It was from there that my cavalry rode forth to assist in the assault of harrisburg by attacking from behind.
But often in war great sacrifice is made. Such was the case at York. A garrison was left behind: 6 infantry brgds and 2 artillery attachments. Their mission was to delay the union host by a day or two then withdraw best they may. There was Archers brigaid, Nelsons and Woffords too.....
Two days after York fell, the union host was there to collect its dues against the valiant but doomed defenders. As night fell, the defenders at Columbia could hear the roar of guns. By morning all was silent. Ten thousand defenders fell with nay a soul to tell the tale ( only Wofford escaped but damaged and ill morale).
The tide and fortune of war had swung to the union. Harrisburg was won and now well defended by my main body. But I fear yet another grievous sacrificial error had been made. Carlisle, a meager objective city, had been fortified and garrisoned with 15 units. Another York disaster was in the making. Cut off and without real hope of escape, the mighty union host converged upon the ANV ballast. From the west they came....from the south they came. Time was now of the essence...a tentative ANV major victory lay in the balance....It was the morning of July 10th. And there it be, fifteen thousand troops of the ANV, entrenched in and around Carlisle, hopelessly surrounded by the near combined might of the union army, some 40 brigades....nearly 40,000 union troops bent on destroying the ANV in Carlisle pocket.
The third, and greatest of the Barksdale battles ensued. There was no sleep for me...just remorse at having left these brave men to their demise.
I awaited anxiously and dreadfully for the Combat report that would come....
By the end of the bloody afternoon of July 10th, over 17,000 union troops had become casualties while another 4,500 defenders added to the horrific carnage of Carlisle.
There is yet one more evening to more set of orders to issue...there is a meager ANV victory advantage yet in the balance.....
And whatever the outcome may be, I shall always remember, never forget, The Barksdale Battles and the mighty foe he be.

Last edited by zobs1959; 02-09-2015 at 06:59 PM. Reason: crtn
Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2015
caledonia's Avatar
caledonia caledonia is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 469
Default well written

Beautifully rendered account, that revisits all the anxiety that this game provides... good luck
Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2015
Col John Moseby's Avatar
Col John Moseby Col John Moseby is offline
Senior Member
Quartermaster Sergeant
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 250

Yes, very eloquent indeed. Although, with better than 3 to 1 in casualties, it sounds like the wildebeasts are stampeding exhausted lions.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2015
michaelbounds's Avatar
michaelbounds michaelbounds is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Oxford,MS
Posts: 141
Thumbs down

Well said, Zobs my old friend! Well said indeed!!!
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:15 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
2010 Mutant Entertainment Studios