Miniature Addiction Wargaming with miniatures

Blunt comes to the rescue

Introduction

This After Action Report is from a 28mm Fire and Fury game we played down at club one wet Sunday afternoon. The scenario covers the left flank of the Union army at the battle of Prairie Grove as detailed on page 74 in the Regimental Fire and Fury scenario book (volume one). The key position on the field was the dirt track that ran between the Morton and Rogers households, whoever could occupy and hold this section of the battlefield had a very good chance of winning the day. With vastly different force compositions each player would find this a challenging scenario. While the Confederate’s force would enjoye numerical superiority¬† the Union troops were both better armed and trained. They also had the added advantage of artillery support.

3:15 pm – 3:45pm Advance to contact

Left: Inexperienced Confederate troops slowly pick their way through the trees towards the dirt track that runs along the edge of the woods. Their officers finding it difficult to maintain contact with all their regiments as they move through the undergrowth.

Below: On the Union’s right flank three sections of Tenny’s 1st Kansas artillery battery unlimber in support of the advancing infantry in and around the cornfield next to Morton’s house.

3:45pm-4:00pm Confederate infantry assults.

In the Confederate centre Steen’s10th Missouri infantry take cover behind the snake rail fence that runs along the dirt track. To their right the 30th and 32nd Arkansas regiments smash into the 20th Iowa who had just deployed along the fence line behind the Rogers house. Simultaneously the 8th Missouri supported by Ponder’s men charge the 2nd Kansas cavalry regiment who had formed a skirmish line next to the Morton’s house.

The Union line buckles

Overwhelmed by numbers both the 20th Iowa and the 2nd Kansas regiments were forced to give ground as the mass of rebel infantry surged forward. The Union cavalry managing to lose most of its ammo in the process. With the Confederate forces on the verge of a breakthrough general Cloud is forced to commit his last regiment (the 11th Kansas) in order to stabilize the Union centre. Fire from Rabb’s well placed artillery battery also helps to slow the rebels advance .

The rebel’s assault on the 2nd Kansas (dismounted) cavalry regiment and their subsequent withdrawal.

On the right flank the Confederate regiments advance past Roger’s house with similar results as the attack on the Union cavalry.

4:00pm Crisis Point

The battle now reaches the high water mark for both commanders. Although the Union army has managed to forestall the Rebel advance it has exhausted most of its ammo in doing so. To make matters worse fresh enemy troops are now pouring onto the battlefield. The Rebels situation is equally taxing. Their mass of inexperienced troops have quickly fallen into confusion after the first attack was checked. Unable to stand the relentless Union artillery fire several regiments now begin to fall back into the relative safety of the woods.

Fresh Confederate troops arrive on the left flank.

While in the centre other regiments fall back into the trees

4:00pm-4:30pm The Union Counter Attack

As the Confederate flank attacks peter out the Union’s dismounted cavalry regiment regains its foothold on the fence line as does the 20th Iowa on the Unions left flank. Moving onto the offensive three Kansas regiments, the 10th, 13th (on the right) and¬† the 11th (in the centre) cross the road and engage the disordered Confederate units which have formed up at the edge of Prairie woods.

11th Kansas crosses the snake rail fence and advances

10th & 13th Kansas also advance out of the corn field.

4:30pm-5:00 Confederate collapse

With both flank attacks now neutralized, the Confederate centre becomes the focus of fresh Union assaults. A brutal fire fight centred around Morton’s house finally breaks the rebels resolve and as the Union troops push forward the Rebel centre collapses into a confused mess. Panic quickly spreads as the fleeing troops choke the only road running back through the woods to safety.

With most of his units spent or routing the Confederate player (Me) decides to call it a day and so ends another really enjoyable ACW game, Kudos to the Victor Nigel well done.