The First Battle of Kernstown, 23 March 1862

Started by Tripoli, April 11, 2022, 12:29:32 PM

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Tripoli

1440 23 March 1862

The 1420 Melee attack was successful, and blunted the CSA attack on my left flank.  And the end of the 1440 turn, the line has stabilized, with the arrival of Col. Broadhead's Cavalry Brigade, on my right, and the 3rd Brigade in the center, and the 2nd Brigade on the  Union Left.  The Confederates have a significant artillery advantage with 16 guns on the field, compared to my 2 guns, which are moving to replace the lost Union battery on Pritchard's Hill
"Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?" -Abraham Lincoln

Tripoli

#16
1500 23 March 1862
By 1500 the Union lines have stabilized, and I'm considering my options for a counterattack.  The 67th Ohion and 13th Indiana are on the Kernstown bridge, and not visible to the Confederates.  The CSA batteries are largly concentrated to the SW corner of the town. I have a regiment that got separated early in the battle and may be able to flank the artillery position, and overrun a couple of the batteries.



At the end of the US  move, this is the situation.  There is one more Union regiment to the left of the confederate batteries that does not show up in this view:

"Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?" -Abraham Lincoln

Tripoli

#17
Deleted: accidentally put this post out of order
"Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?" -Abraham Lincoln

Tripoli

1520 23 March 1862

The CSA horse artillery limbers and approaches the Kernstown bridge, likely to get a better firing position on the flank of my troops in Kernstown.  The units at the Kernstown bridge march out of the hollow where they were concealed and position to engage this isolated battery.  Meanwhile, my regiment on the CSA right flank get into position to attack the confederate batteries.

"Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?" -Abraham Lincoln

Tripoli

#19
1540 23 March 1862

I'm slowly getting into position for the attack.  There is a gap between the CSA forces on the east and west side of the Valley Turnpike that I can use to turn ArizonaTank's right flank.  Meanwhile, I have a single infantry regiment approaching the flank of the CSA artillery batteries on the SW edge of Kernstown.  I don't think they have been spotted yet.....



One of my failures as a gamer is that I am unable to resist temptation.  In this case, I probably should have waited one more turn before launching the attack.  However, ArizonaTank's guns were beating my units in the front pretty good, so rather than suffer more disrupted units, I launched a general melee across the front. The result was that the CSA horse artillery on my left was disrupted and sent fleeing.  However, across the front, the Union failed to make significant gains.  In part this was due to the strong confederate position.  THey were behind stone walls or fences, and generally higher than the Union troops coming out of the river valley.  :



At this point, ArizonaTank and I called the game a draw.  The both the Union troops and the Confederates were exhausted.  The CSA didn't have the numbers to attack the Union troops, and the Union would have had to reconstitute while under confederate artillery fire before resuming the attack.  Union losses in the game were 1435 Infantry, 174 Cavalry and 10 Artillery, while the CSA  lost 1759 infantry, 7 cavalry and 8 artillery.

"Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?" -Abraham Lincoln

Tripoli

Comparing this game to the historical battle: I don't think that Jackson could have won this battle.  He simply didn't have the forces he needed to force Shield's off Pritchard's Hill.  But I also believe the decisive factor in the battle was that, unlike General Banks,   General Shields wasn't intimidated by Jackson.  Shields fought rather than retreat.  Had Banks been on the scene, it might have been a different outcome.

Historically, the Union casualties were 590 (118 killed, 450 wounded, 22 captured or missing), and  Confederate 718 (80 killed, 375 wounded, 263 captured or missing), so ArizonaTank and I had a much bloodier battle than occurred historically.
"Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?" -Abraham Lincoln

JasonPratt

Forgot this was running, caught up on it this morning!  :bd:

Would also like to hear AzTank's after-action comments.
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MengJiao

Quote from: Tripoli on December 18, 2022, 06:12:15 PM
Comparing this game to the historical battle: I don't think that Jackson could have won this battle.  He simply didn't have the forces he needed to force Shield's off Pritchard's Hill.  But I also believe the decisive factor in the battle was that, unlike General Banks,   General Shields wasn't intimidated by Jackson.  Shields fought rather than retreat.  Had Banks been on the scene, it might have been a different outcome.

Historically, the Union casualties were 590 (118 killed, 450 wounded, 22 captured or missing), and  Confederate 718 (80 killed, 375 wounded, 263 captured or missing), so ArizonaTank and I had a much bloodier battle than occurred historically.

  Shields was injured before Kernstown and was recovering on the day of the battle.  A certain Colonel Kimball actually ran the Yankee army at Kernstown.

Tripoli

Quote from: MengJiao on December 31, 2022, 01:05:48 PM
Quote from: Tripoli on December 18, 2022, 06:12:15 PM
Comparing this game to the historical battle: I don't think that Jackson could have won this battle.  He simply didn't have the forces he needed to force Shield's off Pritchard's Hill.  But I also believe the decisive factor in the battle was that, unlike General Banks,   General Shields wasn't intimidated by Jackson.  Shields fought rather than retreat.  Had Banks been on the scene, it might have been a different outcome.

Historically, the Union casualties were 590 (118 killed, 450 wounded, 22 captured or missing), and  Confederate 718 (80 killed, 375 wounded, 263 captured or missing), so ArizonaTank and I had a much bloodier battle than occurred historically.

  Shields was injured before Kernstown and was recovering on the day of the battle.  A certain Colonel Kimball actually ran the Yankee army at Kernstown.

You are correct: Kimball was the commander on scene- I had a senior moment when I typed up that sentence.  :)  Unlike other Union commanders, Kimball was not intimidated by Jackson, and his fighting spirit was a large reason for Jackson's loss.   Throughout the war, he continued to make a name for himself as a combat leader: At  Antietam, Kimball led a Brigade of General French's Division at the Sunken Road, eventually taking it.  He also fought at Marye's Heights, where he was  wounded.  Eventually, he commanded a division at  Vicksburg, and at the part in the battles of Franklin and Nashville.   
"Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?" -Abraham Lincoln

ArizonaTank

#25
Quote from: JasonPratt on December 31, 2022, 11:09:23 AM
Forgot this was running, caught up on it this morning!  :bd:

Would also like to hear AzTank's after-action comments.

I really have to thank Tripoli for doing all of the heavy lifting here. The plan was for me to contribute to the AAR...but clearly I failed. Kudo's to Tripoli for producing a very nice one.

I also appreciate Tripoli's patience with me...sometimes it took me weeks to get my turns back.

Having said that. All I will say is that I tried to summon Stonewall's spirit and started very aggressively. My drive up the middle, managed to get a few of Tripoli's units back on their heels. I even took some Union guns early on. But things started to fall apart once guys in blue started showing up all over the place and Tripoli organized them. Trip quickly pushed my guys back and I had to use stone walls to keep my line from collapsing. I managed to get most of my guns into action. They helped, but were not decisive IHMO. I had some cavalry and horse guns, that I completely whiffed on their disposition. In the last turns, most of my guys were low on ammo and disrupted.

In the end, Tripoli was kind to offer me a draw. But I think that had we continued, old Stonewall was just a few turns away from breaking.
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