Thursday, 27 April 2017

Wilsons Creek - An ACW Battle

If truth be told the American Civil War is not a period in history that I am particularly interested in. I have tried to analyse why this might be the case but I continually fall short of a comprehensive and valid reason. From a wargamers perspective I do feel it is a little sterile – volumes of infantry marching into one another and doing their very best to wrestle control of the battlefield. As a precursor to the Great War of 1914 (another period I find little favour with) it was a massive tragedy in human cost but did redefine the world we know today. Why am I rambling on…?

Well on Monday night my good friend John offered to run a game in the shed (using his excellent figures and terrain) and who was I to refuse? To be honest it was a relief that another of the shed wars gaming group was willing to ‘host’ the evenings event. Knowing that Mark (my regular gaming chum in the Shed) is particularly obsessed with this period I could certainly count on his support for such an event. Our foursome was made up with the redoubtable Rolf still sporting his shorts in this particularly cold spell of weather.

John had decided that we would refight the engagement of Wilson’s Creek. This was an historic battle set in the early part of the war in the western theatre with both sides were relatively inexperienced and indeed some of the rebels arrived at the battle without guns or ammo.

We used Black Powder rules as set out in the Glory Hallelujah supplement recently released by Warlord Games. All the figures are 15mm (apologies don’t know the manufacturers)

Of course I had to raise the Union and Confederate Flags on my flagpole. Not to sure what the neighbour's think about seeing the banned Southern Cross

The following photos tell the story as the game unfolded

The battlefield with the Union to the left of the picture

The Confederate brigades advance on their right flank...

Union troops await in the Orchard

A gun battery moves up onto the hill that dominated the battlefield

The Rebels advance to the creek

A single Union battalion looks on

The Union right flank moves up then sits there for most of the game - the officers just cant issue their orders

The Confederates push up on their right flank

First Fire on the Union left flank as the rebels push forward

The creek is crossed and the rebels surge forward

Furious fighting erupts along the line

The Union trap is sprung as a hidden brigade on the confederate right flank emerges from the trees to give battle

Rebel horse circle round the rear of the Federal troops to be chased by the Unions own cavalry

More Union batteries on the hill - they proved rather ineffective

Its still quiet on the Union left flank as both forces struggle to engage

Meanwhile the Reberls are forcing the Unions left flank...two battalions are pushed back into the orchard

A firefight between the two cavalry skirmishers in the fields leave no winners

The Union surprise attack pushes forward but rebel reinforcements are ion their way

Battle breaks out across the table

Rebel forces advance on their left wing forcing back the Union troops

The rebels have almost broken the centre - one last push

The push is successful...

Rebel skirmishers advance on the guns on the hill

The Union line is starting to waver

The Union is broken - a victory for the rebels...

A big thank you to John for a great game....

More soon


  1. Understood what you say about the ACW , there's enough variation esp in the early war with a mix of weapons to make it ''another'' game . My love is generated by the John Wayne movie ''horse soldiers '' which I have to watch weekly and by the fact my mother made me learn 'bonnie blue flag'' off by heart - I'll sing it for you all next time .. :-)

  2. Well done AAR and pictures that are clear to boot! The terrain works well!

  3. "Horse Soldiers" know the script by heart.

  4. A very nice looking battle.

  5. Great set up there. I know what you mean about the ACW, it's a period I kind of blow hot and cold over.

    My wife and I toured the Wilson's Creek battlefield some years ago. It's another 'what if' battle. General Lyons was shaping up to be a good general, and the early war may have taken a different turn for the Union had he lived.

  6. Cool stuff! I've been having a great time recently with ACW ... lots of stuff to do ... but not the most colourful period of history ;-)

  7. Good looking battle ....all to their own I guess, I do like ACW but understand it's limitations