The American Civil War    
  Rich Mountain; 11 July 1861   scale: 1:20, start: 3pm, dark: 10pm, 1 game turn = 30 min, 1 gun = 1 stand
     
 

Brief background:
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Federal forces crossed the Ohio River to occupy a large area of the Trans- Allegheny section of Virginia, in an effort to establish Federal control over the Western part of the secessionist state. Little surprise then that Lee, from both political and military consideration, assigned his Adjutant-General, Gnl Garnett, the task of restoring Confederate control over the Trans-Allegheny counties. Garnett then established defensive positions at Rich Mountain and Laurel Hill, strategic entry points into the Virginia Valley, or 'gates to the Northwestern country' as he called them. 3500 men were positioned at Laurel Hill, while Col. J. M. Heck was stationed at Rich Mountain, where he had 10 companies of infantry, one of cavalry and one of artillery, later reinforced by the 20th Va regt under Col. John Pegram. Heck's works, which he called camp Garnett, consisted of about 500 meters of log breastworks, the ground in front of which was cleared for 150m. Garnett was not content however to stay on the defensive and planned offensive moves against the Federals, for which he hoped to enlist reinforcements from the Western Virginians, who proved to be unsympathetic to the Confederate cause however. Besides, before Garnett got much further with his offensive plans, McClellan beat him to the punch. McClellan chose camp Garnett as his target because from there, he judged, all other Confederate positions would fall under a perfect domino effect. McClellan had 20000 men under his command and detached forces to protect the railroads in the area and to demonstrate against the defenses at Laurel Hill. Still vastly superior in numbers to his opponents at Rich Mountain, McClellan nevertheless feared for the success of his attack. Prisoners had told him there were 8000 Confeds at Rich Mountain, and McClellan's men were poorly trained, 3 months in service all of them. And when one of his subordinates spoke of "...The Confederates at Camp Garnett (who) were ten-thousand strong and strongly fortified with forty rifled cannon. (Who) will cut us to pieces. Marching to attack such an enemy, so entrenched and so armed, is marching to a butcher shop rather than to a battle," his task seemed daunting indeed. But a young lad from a farm in the neighbourhood, David Hart, came to tell McClellan of a route by which a sizable force could be marched around the Confederate left flank. After a lengthy debate, highlighting the cautious nature of the Federal general, it was decided that Brig. Gnl Rosecrans would take his brigade up the path and fall on the Confederate rear. All said and done, Rosecrans woke his brigade in the early hours of the morning, marched the long distance around the Confed's flank and found that the Hart farm was occupied by Rebels. These had gotten wind of Rosecrans's movement and were preparing a hot reception. But they too were not the toughest and after some ineffectual fire ran from the overwhelming Federal charge. All that passed from 3pm til 4 pm, and all that time McClellan feared to order the frontal charge. It stayed that way until nightfall, and preparations were then made to attack the next morning. But a messenger arrived the following day with the news that the Confederates had retreated. And indeed, faced with overwhelming numbers and with the Hart farm in the hands of Rosecrans, Garnett had no option but to retreat. McClellan moved in, and other Confederate positions were indeed abandoned, having become untennable. McClellan praised his men, and McClellan himself was hailed as a hero, even though he had done very little, and the credit should have gone to the bold and hard-fighting Brig. Gnl Rosecrans. Soon after came the disaster at first Manassas, and Washington looked to McClellan to save the Union.

Game notes to umpire:
not to be shown to the players Rosecrans starts the battle when he moves towards the Hart farm, thereby inviting fire on his columns. Young McClellan is so cautious that he will only start his frontal assault when he sees Rosecrans engage the Confederates who are in position across the Buckhannon turnpike. So Rosecrans must be victorious at the Hart farm and come down the hill. If the Confeds hold Rosecrans up at the farm, McClellan will not launch his attack. The Confeds may reinforce their position at the farm as they see fit. These conditions must not be divulged to the players, who must make their choices during the game, apart from McClellan who must wait and see, however perplexing this may appear to the other players.

 
     
 
 
The red rectangle is the game area, the right half lies on higher ground and slopes down towards the west, i.e. towards the entry point of McCLellan. McClellan cannot see what transpires on top of the hill and will only move onto the table when he sees Rosecrans attack the Confederate left and right wings at the Buckhannon turnpike.
 
     
 
CONFEDERATE FORCES
C-in-C: Col. John Pegram
At the Hart farm
  20th Virginia 1/6 100 5/4/3 veteran
Capt de Lagnel Buckingham institute guards 100 5/4/3 veteran
Excellent Rockbridge guards 100 5/4/3 veteran
  Battery detachment 1 gun 1 stand  -
Left Wing at the turnpike
  20th Virginia 4/6 100 5/4/3 veteran
Col. John Pegram 20th Virginia 5/6 100 5/4/3 veteran
  20th Virginia 6/6 100 5/4/3 veteran
  Battery detachment 1 gun 1 stand  -
Right Wing at the turnpike
  Regiment 1/3 200 10/8/6 green
Col. J. M. Heck Regiment 2/3 200 10/8/6 green
  Regiment 3/3 200 10/8/6 green
  Battery detachment 1 gun 1 stand  -
Attached cavalry 1 company 80 4/3/2 veteran
 
     
 
UNION FORCES
C-in-C: Gnl G. McClellan off table with the main Union forces
Flanking Brigade to attack Hart Farm
Brigade General Rosecrans
Col Benton 8th Indiana 242 12/10/7 green
Col Hanson 10th Indiana - 1/2 200 10/8/6 green
  10th Indiana - 2/2 200 10/8/6 green
  13th Indiana - 1/3 200 10/8/6 green
Col Sullivan 13th Indiana - 2/3 200 10/8/6 green
  13th Indiana - 3/3 200 10/8/6 green
Col Beatty 19th Ohio - 1/2 240 12/10/7 green
19th Ohio - 2/2 280 14/12/8 green
Cavalry Birdsal's Ohio dragoons 75 4/3/2 veteran
 
     
 
Main Forces off-table and waiting for Rosecrans to attack Confederates at turnpike in rear
C-in-C: Gnl G. McClellan Note: McClellan will no longer attack from 21:00 onwards - 
insufficient daytime left
Col ? 1st infantry regiment 400 20/16/12 green
Col ? 2nd infantry regiment 400 20/16/12 green
Col ? 3rd infantry regiment 400 20/16/12 green
Col ? 4th infantry regiment 400 20/16/12 green
Col ? 5th infantry regiment 400 20/16/12 green
Col ? Cavalry regiment 160 8/7/5 green
Artillery 1 battery foot artillery 6 guns 6 stands  -
 
 
 
Download scenario here
 
 
     
 
 
Time table
15:00 start
15:30  
16:00  
16:30  
17:00  
17:30  
18:00  
18:30  
19:00  
19:30  
20:00  
20:30  
21:00  
 
 
  The Hart farm and terrain: fenced, rugged