Friday, July 29, 2011

The Battle of Wilson's Creek August 10th, 1861

The Secondhand Lions celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Wilson's Creek this last Thursday and played our 54mm reenactment game featuring significant battlefield terrain and positions of troops at the outset of the battle.

This image shows the battlefield and Confederate bivouac. We used the club's VBACW rules that were written and compiled back in 1993 which are a chromed version of J. Morschauser's rules.
In this image we are looking northwest across Wilson's creek at Sharp's cornfield and Bloody Hill.

This image shows Sharp's cornfield looking north at the valley of camped Confederates. The scenario required the Confederates to roll a 1D6 and score a 6 to come out of bivouac and be able to move. Subsequent turns the needed score was 5,6 and then the next turn would have been 4,5,6. The Confederates activated two regiments on the very first turn!! This allowed for a quick reaction to the federal attack.

As the Federal attack begins the Missouri troops are called to action.

Formed troops turn toward the hill and see the attacking Fed's coming into view over the rise.

Franz Sigel's battery opens up on the Texans camped in Sharp's cornfield. The battery was to get off three turns of fire into the troops before they could roll their activation and begin to fight off the bombardment.

Another view of Sigel's battery bombarding the cornfield.

The Pulaski Arkansas battery lies in ruin in this fight and was put out of action by the federal artillery on Bloody Hill!

This image is a pretty neat recreation of the battlefield.

Description: Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon’s Army of the West was camped at Springfield, Missouri, with Confederate troops under the commands of Brig. Gen. Ben McCulloch approaching. On August 9, both sides formulated plans to attack the other. About 5:00 am on the 10th, Lyon, in two columns commanded by himself and Col. Franz Sigel, attacked the Confederates on Wilson’s Creek about 12 miles southwest of Springfield. Rebel cavalry received the first blow and fell back away from Bloody Hill. Confederate forces soon rushed up and stabilized their positions. The Confederates attacked the Union forces three times that day but failed to break through the Union line. Lyon was killed during the battle and Maj. Samuel D. Sturgis replaced him. Meanwhile, the Confederates had routed Sigel’s column, south of Skegg’s Branch. Following the third Confederate attack, which ended at 11:00 am, the Confederates withdrew. Sturgis realized, however, that his men were exhausted and his ammunition was low, so he ordered a retreat to Springfield. The Confederates were too disorganized and ill-equipped to pursue. This Confederate victory buoyed southern sympathizers in Missouri and served as a springboard for a bold thrust north that carried Price and his Missouri State Guard as far as Lexington. In late October, a rump convention, convened by Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson, met in Neosho and passed an ordinance of secession. Wilson’s Creek, the most significant 1861 battle in Missouri, gave the Confederates control of southwestern Missouri.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fourth of July Dawn Patrol 2011

The Dawn Patrol game for the Secondhand Lions was played as per tradition on the morning of the 4th. We began at 8:00 with mimosas on the patio. Flying sorties began around 8:30 featuring Jasta 11 vs. Squadron 60. The German planes were dominant this year despite repeated jamming of the guns. All three allied planes were destroyed and forced down.

I am teaching at a summer camp this year and have passed the tradition of clothespin aircraft on to the next generation.

Best regards to all readers and happy fourth of July.