The American Civil War    
  Battle of Belmont; 07 November 1861   scale: 1: 50, start: 9.30am, dark: 6pm, 1 game turn = 30 min, 2 guns = 1 stand
     
 

Brief background:
The battle of Belmont has all the trappings of a good drama, and a romantic one if we find space for a Ginger. As it is, Kentucky's neutrality (it had a pro-Confederate Governor and a largely pro-Union legislature) was violated by the Confederacy when it occupied the town of Columbus, overlooking the Mississippi River. When the Union learnt that the South now planned to expand its forces in Arkansas, Brig. Gnl. Ulysses Grant was despatched to Columbus to pin the Confederate forces there. Grant landed on the Missouri side and marched on the Confederate camp at Belmont, a hamlet of 3 buildings. The commander at Columbus had been alerted to this movement and had despatched Brig Gnl Pillow to the camp with reinforcements. On the morning of 7 Nov, Grant attacked the camp and started driving the Confederate defenders back. Historically, you overrun the camp, lose control of your men and allegedly order them to burn the camp in an attempt to restore order through some purpose of action. You stand accused of burning alive a number of wounded Confederate soldiers who were still in the tents. The Confederates counterattack as you lead your forces back to your ships. A regiment has gone missing during the retreat and you return to look for it, but are forced to dash back to your ship, Confederates hot on your heels. Your ship has already cut its mooring, but its captain sees you and runs out a plank for you. Your horse slides down the river bank and gallops aboard. You made it. The action was widely criticised as pointless, but it brought Grant to the attention of President Lincoln who realised that he had at least one soldier who was willing to fight.

The refight:
Contrary to historical events, Julio and Marius came out guns blazing. It was a ploy that nearly worked as the Union forces got bottled up. It did however bring Marius within range of the gunboats and his command suffered badly. In addition, his artillery was surprised by Garrith's Federals as they burst through the corn field and Marius was eventually forced to fall back. Jules had meanwhile advanced far and nearly pushed me into the pond. Somehow my 31st Illinois managed to hold on and then began a string of dice rolls so favourable to the Union and so unfortunate to the Confederates that the latter were driven back to their camp with heavy losses. Their final reinforcements arrived at the latest possible moment as well and the offshore battery fire had had minimal effect, and the entire Confederate counter-offensivecame to naught.

Game notes:
- Units of more than 8 stands may be split into 2 sub-units, but must remain within 3" of each other. They suffer attrition as if they were 1 unit.
Union objective: Your men are restless and hungry for action. Attack the Confederate camp at Belmont and drive them into the river. Then retreat to your point of arrival and re-embark.
Confederate objective: Destroy the Union force - Light Artillery moves at Horse Artillery speed.

 
     
 
UNION FORCES
C-in-C: Brig Gnl Ulysses Grant  - Excellent
  27th Illinois infantry regt 580 12/10/7 green
Brig Gnl McClernand 30th Illinois infantry regt 580 12/10/7 green
  31st Illinois infantry regt 580 12/10/7 green
  7th Iowa infantry regt 580 12/9/6 veteran
Col H Dougherty 22nd Illinois infantry regt 580 12/10/7 green
  Dollin's & Delano's cavalry companies 200 4/-/3 green
         
Col J. Steedman 14th Ohio infantry regt, 3 coys 300 6/5/4 green
  17th Ohio infantry regt, 4 coys 400 8/7/5 green
Capt Ezra Taylor Chicago Light Artillery 6 guns 3 stands  -
Gunboats firing distance is close range (but not cannister)
USS Lexington     counts as 3 stands  -
USS Tyler     counts as 3 stands  -
The gunboats may fire at any Confederates who cross the halfway mark of 
the table, provided they have a clear line of fire.
 
     
 
 
Time table
09:30 start
10:00  
10:30  
11:00  
11:30  
12:00  
12:30  
13:00  
13:30  
14:00  
14:30  
15:00  
15:30  
16:00  
16:30  
17:00  
17:30  
18:00  
 
     
 
CONFEDERATE FORCES
C-in-C: Brig Gnl Gideon J Pillow
in camp of observation at Belmont
  13th Arkansas infantry regt 600 12/10/7 green
Col James C Tappan 1st Mississippi Cavalry 150 3/-/2 green
  Watson's Battery 6 guns 3 stands  -
Reinforcements brought by Gnl. Pillow
  12th Tennessee infantry regt 650 13/11/8 green
Col Powell 13th Tennessee infantry regt 650 13/11/8 green
  21st Tennessee infantry regt 650 13/11/8 green
  22nd Tennessee infantry regt 650 13/11/8 green
Further reinforcements arrive on 6 turns + score of D6
  11th Louisiana infantry regt 400 8/7/5 green
  1st Mississippi infantry regt 400 8/7/5 green
Col Rains 2nd Tennessee infantry regt 400 8/7/5 green
  15th Tennessee infantry regt 400 8/7/5 green
  154th Senior Tennessee infantry regt 400 8/7/5 green
 
     
 
 
Heavy water batteries in Columbus, including the largest gun in the Confederacy, the 'Lady Polk', can rake the Confederate table side for a depth of 600mm. They were sometimes engaged in counter-gunboat fire with the USS Lexington and USS Tyler. For each turn firing, roll a D6: the score is the number of batteries that is firing. There must of course be a clear line of sight.
 
 
     
 
 
Firing range = long range Bankhead's Tennessee Battery counts as 3 stands  -
Hamilton's Tennessee Battery counts as 3 stands  -
Jackson's Light Battery counts as 3 stands  -
Pointe Coupee Battery counts as 3 stands  -
Smith's Mississippi Light Battery counts as 3 stands  -
Stewart's Heavy Battery counts as 3 stands  -
 
 
 
 
Download scenario here