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Atlanta Campaign AAR - Sherman on the March, JTS


Sherman is on the March!

This will be an AAR of John Tillerís Atlanta Campaign. I am playing the full campaign as the Union against the computer with full fog of war.

For those interested in learning about the game, here is the JTS catalog entry:

Here is the "in game" description of the campaign:
Despite his critics, General Ulysses S. Grant choose his friend, William T. Sherman to lead three armies into Georgia and destroy the Confederate Army of Tennessee.  President Lincoln's political future and that of the Union depended upon it.  Facing Sherman was a professional soldier and newly appointed commander, Joesph E. Johnston.  After the defeat at Chattanooga, Confederate soldiers were suffering from a terrible lack of confidence and morale. Johnston immediately began the process of rebuilding this broken army into a fighting force, capable of not only defending themselves, but also able to defeat their enemy. Finally in May of 1864, both Sherman and Johnston's armies were ready for a fight.  The first blow would be struck at Rocky Face Ridge.  The game is afoot! 

In JTS Atlanta the campaign game is a series of battles. The scenario being played at any given time is based on strategic choices the players make. The first decision Sherman has to make is to decide how to approach Rocky Face Ridge and Dalton, Georgia on the way to Atlanta. Sherman decides to split forces and come down on both sides of the ridge. Here is the text from Sherman's choice:

Decision, Attack Rocky Face Ridge
Sherman knows that the Confederates are marching fast to stop his invasion into northern Georgia.  Sherman decides to send Thomas' Army of the Cumberland along a risky road that would separate his army from the rest of the Union force.  This road would place Thomas' army to the east of Rocky Face Ridge and on a more direct route toward Dalton.  A calculated risk that would place a mountain range between the Union forces.  A concentrated Confederate force might be able to defeat Thomas and the Union forces in detail, or catch the rebels by surprise and totally destroy them.

The first battle is for Rocky Face Ridge and Dalton, Georgia.  It is 0620 hours on May 8th, and the lead elements of Schofieldís Army of the Ohio, and Thomasí Army of the Cumberland begin advancing through the early morning light towards Dalton.  Schofieldís Army will pass through Rocky Face Ridge at Mill Creek Gap. Thomasí Army of the Cumberland approaches from the east side of the ridge. No rebels have been spotted. I am assuming that rebel forces will be defending to block Mill Creek Gap and the northern approach to Dalton.

I have not played any of JTS Atlanta's scenarios before so I don't really know what to expect from the AI. When I get the chance recon will be important. For this opening battle, my strategy is to find and fix the rebels...then pound them into sand. Maybe Thomas or Schofield can fix an enemy force in place, allowing the other Union column to flank the rebels. We will see how it goes...

Here is the Google Street View of the entrance to Mill Creek Gap from the rebel side (roughly where Buzzard Roost is on the map).,-85.004805,3a,75y,317.36h,88.82t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1skNJLBy_jJdsfkWhNTNmJRg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!5m1!1e4

Here is a screenshot of the opening Union Moves

0720 hours, May 8, 1864

As the lead elements of the two Union columns approach Dalton, the enemy is spotted.

Approximately 500 Confederate infantry are beginning to deploy on a rise east of Buzzard Roost.

The 23rd Corps (Army of the Ohio), 3rd Division under Cox will deploy at Buzzard Roost to oppose and fix the rebels. Meanwhile, the 23rd Corps, 1st Division under Hovey is coming in behind Cox.

On the east side of Rocky Face Ridge, The IV Corps (Army of the Cumberland), 2nd Division under Newton will continue forward to Dalton, expecting to spot an enemy line across the road at any time.

The IV Corps, 3rd Division under Wood has entered the map and is behind Newton.

Here is a closer view of the situation at 0740 hours

Sir Slash:
Nice Arizona, keep them coming.  O0


--- Quote from: Sir Slash on August 11, 2021, 08:24:47 AM ---Nice Arizona, keep them coming.  O0

--- End quote ---

Thanks, yes more coming...:)

0840 hours

The AI Strikes! - Buzzard Roost

In preparation for attacking the Rebels at Buzzard Roost, the Army of Ohioís 2nd Division, 23rd Corps under Cox deploys its two brigades in front of Rebel position. Mansonís 2nd Bde on the left and Reillyís 1st Bde on the right. As the Union troops move up, they see that the Rebels have at least 3600 troops in the area.

But the AI is not passive and strikes first. Robo-Johnny Reb moves quickly across Crow Creek with an infantry attack and nearly smashes Manson, causing the Union 65th Illinois regiment to flee in terror. The Rebels are crack troops from the Mississippi Brigade under Tucker (A and B quality troops). The Union troops are mostly poor, made up of C, D and E quality troops. The Union 2nd Division did not have time to deploy its artillery.

The Rebel Mississippi Brigade is somewhat spent from its attack, becoming disrupted. It is not clear how much more the men from Mississippi can push. For the Union, Manson manages to reestablish his line, but is shaky. Reilly on the right is mostly disrupted but holds. The Union 23rd Corps, 1st Division under Hovey is moving up to support Manson and Reilly. So this may not be all that big of a disaster for the boys in blue. It all depends on how many troops the rebels have that I can't see.

As a player, it is nice to see the AI be aggressive.

General Schofield, the Corps / Army Commander is close to the action, observing.

The big picture has Schofieldís 23rd Corps being blunted by the rebel attack at Buzzard Roost. In the East, the IV Corps races to Dalton, mostly unopposed.


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