Sunday, 3 February 2013

Gettysburg Day Two – Turns 5-8

The fighting resumed this week after a break imposed by the recent snow and the chilly conditions in the garage.
Barne's Division of V Corps moving up towards Devil's Den.

On surveying the battlefield again, I felt that the best course of action for the Federals was to consolidate and await reinforcements from V and II Corps. Trying to hold on to the Peach Orchard seemed hopeless now that my artillery had been routed so Sickles ordered Humphrey’s Division to withdraw and form a new defensive line at the Trostle House.

The Rebs take possession of The Peach Orchard

McLaw's Division moves forward between the Wheatfield and the Trostle House

Dave pushed McLaws men forward to occupy the Peach Orchard gaining a further half VP in the process. However, by now my guns and Carr’s Brigade had rallied bringing the overall Confederate VP score down to 1.5. I was confident that the worst was over and weight of numbers would soon halt the Rebels in their tracks.

Union reinforcements on the Taneytown Road.

Crawford's Division of V Corps cross Plum Run near the Wheatfield. These lads are "green" but are welcome all the same.

Meanwhile Hood was continuing to press hard against my forces defending the Wheatfield and Devils Den. On the extreme right of the Confederate line Benning’s Brigade was ordered to assault Little Round Top but the timely arrival of Sweitzer’s Brigade from V Corps forced the Rebs to stop and deploy. Benning’s men charged and broke Sweitzer but the immediate danger to Little Round Top was relieved.

Sweitzer's broken Brigade behind Devil's Den.

Vincent's Brigade on Little Round Top didn't get to fire a shot all day.

By now Hood’s Division had taken control of the Wheatfield and had forced my artillery battery out of Devil’s Den, although they had been replaced by Tilton’s Brigade. Somehow the Confederates had clawed their way up to 4 VP’s and just one more broken Union Brigade would give them victory.

Birney's battery at Devil's Den, down to zero Strength Points and surrounded by enemy skirmishers.

Hood launched one Brigade in an unsuccessful assault on Devil’s Den and at the same time another of his Brigades in the Wheatfield broke and ran – with Union reinforcements finally on the scene it looked as if the crisis had passed. But then…

Tilton's Brigade break and run - game over!

…Law’s Brigade charged forward and ejected Tilton from Devils Den bringing the Confederate VP score to 5.5 (4 broken Union Brigades plus possession of The Peach Orchard, Wheatfield and Devil’s Den). With the Union VP score standing at just 1 a Confederate victory was declared.

Gibbon's Division on Cemetery Ridge were never engaged - their turn may come tomorrow!

It was a great scenario and a great game with well balanced victory conditions. It may seem strange to say that the Confederates won without taking Little Round Top but they had inflicted serious losses on the Union defenders with a much smaller force and it seemed like a fair result.

To view the map with initial dispositions click here.