Game Summary

 

The game is a single day fight between the ANV I Corps and the I and XI Corps of the AotP on the Falling Waters map. The two sides are fairly even with the rebels having 11 brigades to the yankees 12. The rebel units are a bit larger so they do have about 2000 more men and a significant edge in artillery in addition to their normal edge in class. The only advantage the yankees have is that they have three mounted detachments that can be used for scouting while Longstreet only has one.
Below are the intelligence reports received by both sides.

THE NORTH: 1st and 11th Corps have moved north of the Potomac, and aggressively patrol towards Hagerstown and the river crossings in that area. By the morning of June 26th Sharpsburg and Boonesboro are occupied. The local population confirms earlier intelligence reports that large bodies of Confederate troops had been in the area. These forces are not present late on the 25th as the Union forces cross the mountains. As the two corps move further west care must be exercised as the main body of the Union army lies miles and a river crossing away. Still they must find out the rebel strength and block the crossings if they can.

THE SOUTH: By the evening of June 25th, 3rd Corps had already crossed the Potomac and moved north. Anderson's division and 3rd Corps artillery had camped north of Hagerstown and in the early morning hours of June 26th they move north along the pike towards Greencastle. Pickett's division and the artillery of 1st Corps had crossed the evening before. McLaw's and Hood were preparing to cross into Maryland. Intelligence reports during the night put Union forces in the area, but the accuracy of these reports, and the whereabouts and strength of any northern forces that might be present are unknown. Will the frantic messages from Longstreet's 1st Corps reach Andersonís force in time for it to countermarch south and lend aid to the rebel forces as they seek to prevent the Yankees from blocking the crossings?

Actually Anderson will never receive those messages. I wanted this to be an even fight but there was no reason for the rebels to know Anderson was not coming.

 

Here you see the opening positions for both sides at 8:00 am.

June 26, 1863 - 8:00 am

Gen. Reynolds has ordered his I Corps to march up the Hagerstown-Boonsboro Pike toward Hagerstown. He keeps his escort with the I Corps column while having Howard send his two cavalry detachments north on scouting missions, one north along the Sharpsburg Hagerstown Pike the other toward Bakersville. Meanwhile he orders Gen. Howard to move the rest of his corps from Sharpsburg to Keedysville.

Gen. Longstreet apparently took the intelligence report literally thinking Union troops in the area meant his vicinity. His initial orders to Pickett and Hood are to form defensive lines while McLaws crosses at Williamsport.
He also sends a message to Gen. Anderson to return to Hagerstown as soon as possible.
With no sign of the yankees by 840 AM Longstreet realizes his mistake and orders his Corps to advance to Hagerstown but the yankees have been marching for an hour already.

 

Here you see the positions for both sides at 9:40 AM.

 

June 26, 1863 - 9:40 am

 

The Union troops are making good time toward Hagerstown however the two corps now have a considerable gap between them. Had Howard moved up the Sharpsburg-Hagerstown Pike they would be within supporting distance of one another by now.

The rebels having the shorter path are approaching Hagerstown although their column is spread out due to the problems of crossing the Potomac and some problems with couriers getting lost and orders not being followed.

 

Here you see the positions for both sides at 11:40 AM.

June 26, 1863 - 11:40 am

 

The Union troops have reached Funkstown and are closing up.
Near Hagerstown K Company, 17th Pa cavalry has spotted the rebels and sent word to Reynolds.
However the 39th Virginia Detachment has spotted them, and attacking gets the better of them and drives them off.
At Noon Reynolds orders Howard to move to join his Corps at Funkstown as quickly as possible.

While the cavalry drives off the Pennsylvania horsemen Pickett continues to cautiously advance on Hagerstown.
The rebels are still not sure of the yankee position although Longstreet is aware his column has been spotted.
He also knows he is badly spread out with Hood's last brigade still not across the Potomac, at least three hours from Hagerstown.
He anxiously awaits word from his own cavalry about whether or not there is yankee infantry in Hagerstown.

 

The positions for both sides at 2:40 PM.

June 26, 1863 - 2:40 pm

 

Wadsworth's division is preparing to defend the crossings at Funkstown while Robinson is posted to the northwest covering the bridge crossing there.
Doubleday is left to cover the crossings below Funkstown.
Howard's XI Corps is approaching Funkstown with Barlow and Steinwehr's divisions with Schurz's division covering the lower crossings.

The rebels have located Robinson's division northwest of Funkstown and McLaws moves artillery into position to attack him while sending several regiments to watch the Hagerstown-Cavetown Pike and the cavalry to scout Robinson's flank.
Pickett continues probing towards Funkstown,
Still not sure what he is facing Longstreet has left Law's brigade at Williamsport to cover the crossing. Robertson is sent to probe to the southeast while Hood's other two brigades move to Hagerstown as a reserve.

 

Here you see the positions for both sides at 5:40 PM.

June 26, 1863 - 5:40 pm

Wadsworth's division has pulled back into Funkstown to avoid the rebel artillery fire.
Robinson has also pulled back for the same reason placing his brigades where they can cover the roads without being exposed to a lot of artillery fire.
Reynolds has ordered Stone's brigade to join Wadsworth in case the rebels attempt to take the town expecting Schurz's division will soon arrive to cover the lower crossings.
Barlow and Steinwehr have moved into position on Robinson's right facing north allowing Doubleday and Rowley to return to Funkstown.

McLaws continues to be satisfied firing artillery at Robinson's units still in sight. He has no orders to cross Antietam Creek and attack the troops north of Funkstown.
Likewise Pickett is making no effort to cross at Funkstown being content to fire at whatever units his artillery can spot.
With Law remaining to cover the Williamsport crossing Hood moves with his other three brigades to probe towards the south and the crossings below Funkstown.

 

 

Final positions for both sides as night falls at 8:00 PM.

 

June 26, 1863 - 8:00 pm

With the coming of night the AotP rests while Reynolds must decide whether to stay or leave in the morning.
He knows there are sufficient rebel forces in the Hagerstown area to prevent him taking the town or moving to the Potomac crossing at Williamsport.
He does not know whether or not there are additional rebel forces in the area and unless he receives additional support cannot risk remaining.

Longstreet now is fairly certain of what he faces in the Hagerstown-Funkstown area.
With no sign of additional yankee forces he is confident he can hold his position until he hears from General Lee.

 

My comments on the action.
I think both commanders were a bit overcautious in the beginning but that is not unusual in this type of game.
Most players are used to having full knowledge of the other side's forces, positions and arrival times.
When confronted with less information and the time delay in reacting in this type of game they often become more cautious.
With the lack of cavalry for spotting and the size of the map if a player is not used to this type of game he is often not certain what he should do.
The lack of cavalry in this scenario made it a little harder especially for the rebels as they only had one cavalry detachment and it was in the middle of the column and on the wrong side of the Potomac.
Scott Eichelberger made good use of his limited cavalry issuing orders on the first turn for Howard's escorts to scout to the north and moving his escorts forward and eventually using them to scout also.
His orders to his I Corps made their movements less prone to problems as they simply marched up the Hagerstown-Boonsboro Pike.
Had he sent the XI Corps up the Sharpsburg-Hagerstown Pike he may have achieved a faster concentration and might have been able to accomplish more.
 
The rebels had to deal with crossing the Potomac with 2/3 of their force which slowed their progress some and the fact that their cavalry was in the middle of the column on the wrong side of the Potomac slowed their scouting ability.
From his reports to me it appears David had a little more bad luck with the rebel courier and order execution die rolls, this probably also contributed to the slowness of the rebel advance.
I don't blame them for not attacking at Funkstown, that could have been difficult but I do think a probe by McLaws at the Cavetown Pike crossing with a couple brigades prior to Howard's arrival could have paid off for them.

 

I found some of things I had done in my previous games could be improved and David provided some new insights. Personally I don't have any plans to do another game in the near future, have plenty on my plate with helping with the grandson's home schooling. However I do have plans to put together what I have learned from my previous experiences as well as this game and put together something to add to the Engineering site. Hopefully it can provide a sort of primer for anyone interested in trying to run one of these games. I believe I have developed a system for making handling the orders a little easier and will include that in the information I will add along with my tables as a starting point for handling couriers and orders.

 

Last updated 12/14/20