Miniature Addiction Wargaming with miniatures

Brawner’s Farm

Introduction

A prelude to the two-day battle of Second Bull Run, Brawner’s farm was fought in fading daylight on August the 28th 1862. 14 guns and 3,120 Union infantry faced off against 4,560 Confederate troops supported by 10 guns in a close range fire fight that saw both sides suffer heavy casualties before the darkness brought an end to this bloody stalemate.

6:30PM Deployment

First out of the railway cut (not shown on the map below) is Baylor’s Virginian brigade moving into the orchard they are well within musket range of the 2nd Wisconsin regiment that is stationed in the centre Broomsedge field. The 19th Indiana and 7th Wisconsin stand ready in Brawner’s wood while Campbell’s artillery and the 6th Wisconsin deploy on a small knoll to the south east of Broomsedge field

6:45PM (Turn 1)

The action begins late in the afternoon with Gibbon’s Wisconsin infantry and Campbell’s artillery battery concentrating their fire on the Rebel forces deploying in Brawner’s orchard. The combined 2nd and 27th Virginian regiments quickly become disordered as they move from the orchard into the neighbouring field. Taliaferro’s batteries (Poague’s Rockbrigde and Carpenter’s Alleghany) enter the field via the dry stream bed (Young’s Branch) north west of Brawner’s homestead. Swinging their limbers east they immediately look for a good vantage point on the high ground around stony ridge. To the left of Baylor’s brigade brigadier general Lawton appears with the 26th and 60th Georgia regiments

7:15PM (Turn 2)

The 6th Wisconsin head for the fence line that separates stony ridge from Dogan’s wood in an effort to out flank the newly arriving Confederate regiments. Doubleday’s Pennsylvanian and New York regiments appear on the edge of Brawner’s wood and move in support of the 6th Wisconsin.

7:30 PM (Turn 3)

As a steady stream of Confederate regiments pour onto the heights behind Brawner’s farm the Union commander orders his lead regiment back across Broomsedge field towards the relative safety of the woods. To the east of the woods General Doubleday arrives on the field accompanied by the 95th New York regiment, both move forward to support the 6th Wisconsin which now occupies the dried stream bed below Dogan’s wood.

7:45 PM (Turn 4)

Confederate numbers continue to increase around Stony ridge while the Union artillery shifts its focus from the orchard to the lead Georgia regiments that are now advancing down the slope towards the 6th Wisconsin. Even with the support of their artillery the planned Union flanking manoeuvre stalls in the face over whelming odds.

8:00 PM (Turn 5) Twilight – Visibility 48″

The Confederates struggle to deploy their artillery as the sun slips over the horizon. Trimble’s men arrive and form up in the centre behind the Virginians while to the east Lawton’s regiments engage the 6th Wisconsins deployed in Dogan’s branch.

8:15 PM (Turn 6) Twilight – Visibility 36″

The last of the Confederate troops move to the edge of Broomsedge field and await the order to advance. West of Brawner’s farm is Colonel Alexander Taliaferro’s Virginian brigade, while Baylor’s Stonewall regiments stand in and around the orchard. Behind these troops Trimble’s men fan out into extended lines. Lastly, on the Rebels left flank Lawton’s brigade continues to contest the rocky ground around Dogan’s branch.

8:30 PM (Turn 7) Twilight – Visibility 24″

In the fast fading light both Ewell and Taliaferro order their respective divisions forward in a coordinated effort to overwhelm the outnumbered Union troops. Trimble’s regiments fall in behind the Virginians as they step out into the open field and advance towards Brawner’s wood. Lawton’s brigade however, falls into some confusion when their commander is carried stricken from the field. It is only when general Ewell rides up and takes personal control of the brigade that things start moving again.

8:45 PM (Turn 8) Night – Visibility 8″

First to feel the force of the Rebel attack is the 2nd Wisconsin who only give ground after their brigade commander John Gibbon is killed in the confused fighting on the edge of Brawner’s wood.  On the Union right flank brigadier general Doubleday while in the process of organizing a counter attack also falls victim to a stray musket ball and is carried from the field.

9:00 PM (Turn 9) Night – Visibility 8″

Angered by the loss of their commander Doubleday’s men charge and push back the Georgia regiments on the Confederate left flank. Ewell quickly stabilizes his line, but the lack of light now calls an end to the proceedings. Exhausted, both sides retire from the field to reform their battered regiments. 720 Union (including Gibbon and Doubleday) and 600 Confederate (including Lawton) soldiers lie dead or wounded in and around Broomsedge field with neither side able to claim victory at Brawner”s farm.

Game info

The first foray into ACW for three of my friends this great scenario can be found on page 42 in volume one of the Fire and Fury scenario books. Starting at around 1:30pm we called an end to proceedings at around 5:30pm just one turn short of the scenarios suggested 10 turns. Considering we had over 200 elements on the table and that only one of us had seen these rules before I thought the game flowed well and was in general a lot of fun. All figures shown here were from the Perry brother’s 28mm ACW range. The game itself was played on a five by eight foot table using the 15mm movement and range measurements.