It’s been quite awhile since my last ACW game but I’ve been slowly working through the scenarios in the excellent publication Summer Storm by Brad Butkovich.
Blocher’s Knoll is the third scenario in the book and sees elements of the Union XIth corps clash with Early’s division to the North of Gettysburg.
Whilst the Union 1st corps was fighting to the West of Gettysburg Howard’s XIth corps approached Gettysburg from the South. Upon learning of Reynold’s death Howard assumed command of the Union forces on the field leaving one division on Cemetery Hill he ordered the other two divisions to advance to the North of Gettysburg to protect the flank of First Corps. As the Union divisions deployed to the North of the town Brigadier General Francis Barlow saw a prominent rise North of his position, deciding it would be a better defensive position and without orders he advanced his two brigades and took position on the hill known as Blocher’s knoll (later called Barlow’s Knoll).
It was an exposed position and men from Early’s division with artillery support converged on the hill throwing Barlow’s men back and despite a Union counter attack Eleventh corps were forced back through Gettysburg onto Cemetery Hill.
So the question was could the Union troops do any better? I continue to use Bonnie Blue Flag as they give a neat game, ranges and movement have been reduced to fit 15mm and optional rules re unit sizes have been incorporated.
Gordon’s brigade supported by Hay’s brigade push up through the creek to assault the knoll all the while supported by artillery fire from their three batteries which start to cause casualties on Von Gilsa’s men and causes the 153rd PA to fall back. Ames moves his men up sending the 17th CT to the right of the knoll .
Meanwhile on the Union left their attack on Doles brigade was being pushed hard the Union artillery had ceased suppressing fire to support the attack however the off board Confederate artillery seemed to be extremely effective slowing down the Union troops.
The Confederates were pushing hard on the knoll forcing the Union troops back.
On the Union left the attack on Doles brigade met with some success driving the brigade away from the fence line however Hays Brigade had detached some regiments to the right of Gordon to secure their flank and to prevent Krzyzanowski from attacking the flank.The attack on the knoll was unforgiving for the Union, two of Von Gilsa’s regiments were broken and fled the field an the and battery G was over run. Ames’s troops were also taking casualties and forced to retreat to their starting position. At this point 7 bounds had elapsed and Union reinforcements were due to arrive -Coster’s brigade and three regiments. I felt they were too little too late. Gordon’s brigade had secured the knoll 3 batteries of rebel artillery were about to be deployed on the knoll. Even though Doles brigade had been forced back the Confederate force were now in a strong defensive position so Barlow called for his men to withdraw through Gettysburg.
Very much a historical result and once again Bonnie Blue flag gave a most enjoyable there were a number of cinematic events the 17th CT defending against 3 Confederate regiments for two bounds and holding ground only being forced to retire when the knoll was taken and they were on the verge of being cut off. Likewise it didn’t help the Union cause when the 153rd PA holding the centre of the knoll just evaporated when they threw 00 on their dice whilst being fired at.
A great game with replay value and some options for additional forces or Barlow not deploying so far forward.
Workbench update soon.