Thursday 28 January 2021

Antietam : Sixth Corps at the Dunker Church Part 3 a lot of Photos

 This is the last of the three posts and will be the photos of the battle as it unfolded. I will describe what is happening but if you want the overview go back to Part 2. For the background and setup etc Part 1. This is really just the fluff ....  WARGAMER ALERT I TOOK TOO MANY PHOTOS you don’t need me to tell you to skip if you want to, I have only loaded so many as I know a few of you like them . I have also been experimenting with putting sky into the background which is fairly easy and is quite nice. But you will see I didn’t continue this right through to the end.

Irwin’s Brigade spread out around the Mumma Farm
7th Maine and to their right the inexperienced 20th NY
Independent Confederate artillery Ono the high ground to the south and beyond them Cobb’s Brigade
Ransom’s Brigade reforming behind the high ground in the west woods
The 33rd NY all alone on the right flank
The 20th are first to get into combat perhaps not realising they alone , inexperience perhaps ?
Confederate artillery opens up on the 7th Maine
Laws brigade and beyond them Walkers brigade
Ransoms Brigade opens up on the 33rd New York
The fight for the woods has started
Irwin’s artillery has relocated to the hill 
20th and 77th NY advance towards to Hagerstown Pike and come under heavy fire
Armistead’ Brigade holding the far left flank in the woods
Law’s Brigade opens up agains the 20th
Union artillery arrives but BG Smith takes some time to deploy them
Battery F has a good line into the woods and makes the Confederates pay
Cobb’s brigade to the south join in chasing the 7th Maine into the smaller cornfield
BG Smith observing the first phase of the attack
BG Walker spent most of the battle on the high ground in the woods
7th Maine retreating into the cornfield, they do rally and come back later
The first attack is repulsed the 77th and 20th have both been thrown back from the main road
The 20th running back to the farm
Luckily time for Torbert to arrive with 1st Brigade
The 4th New Jersey deploy to the right, artillery to the hill and the rest hurry down the Smoketown road
Walkers brigade deploys closer to the Pike
Confederate artillery doesn’t have anything to target at this stage, BG Walker wasn’t to know but redeployment might have been wise at this point for at least one of the guns ?
1st brigade advances into the meat grinder !
Fighting in the woods as the Confederates attempt to advance to chase off the artillery
Walkers brigade now at the Pike and exchanging fire with the 7th Maine in the cornfield
Cobb’s infantry has moved up to the stonewall, and Brooks 2nd Brigade arrives up the sunken road
And there are lots of them !
Another attempt to advance on the woods
Walkers brigade preparing to repulse Brooks Brigade at the Hagerstown Pike
Armistead breaks through the 33rd NY 
Only for them to be replaced by the 4th NJ
Brook’s Vermont boys spread out under fire from Walker’s Brigade and the confederate artillery
Armistead’s Brigade now supported by Hays is pushing up to the Hagerstown Pike and threatening the Union artillery
Laws brigade still holding the hill, Hoods brigade still not deployed
Just as the artillery is threatened the 4th NJ come to the rescue, they prove to be one of the star units on the Union side
The rest of the New Jersey regiments are lining up for another attack
But the assault is delayed by the retreat of the 1st New Jersey
Finally the independent artillery is ordered forward
Cobb’s infantry holding the stonewall 
and finally confederate reinforcements in the form of Anderson’s Brigade arrive from the south
The 1st New Jersey rally and turn back to the assault
Walkers brigade has pulled back from the Pike to take up a line along the cornfield
This opens up space for the artillery but they struggle to hit anything
2nd Vermont attack Cobb’s brigade and fight hand to hand
The battle at the north end of the Hagerstown Pike the Confederates are close to taking the Artillery hill
Hood’s Brigade is ordered up to the right
The union now have two artillery pieces on the high ground, but one is knock out by the Rebel artillery opposite
Brooks brigade lining up to assault to the south
Anderson’s brigade now holding the stonewall
Armisteads Brigade is forced back by the 4th NJ
Union forces are staring to push forward on both flanks
Counter battery fire knocks out the Rebel artillery
Exchange of fire across the Hagerstown Pike
Anderson’s brigade have pulled back into the field 
The confederate left flank is gradually weakening, Armistead has rallied but Hays infantry is now retreating
Possibly the final big push is forming up
Confederate right flank is holding just
Artillery pound away while they have targets
Preparing for the final assault
Brooks Brigade is beginning to falter two regiments are rendered ineffective and pull back
The 4th NJ still making progress in the woods
A gap in the Federal line where the 49th NY used to be a devastating volley from the 4th Alabama in Laws Brigade
Hand to hand fighting at the Church
Hood’s Texans are forced back but the 48th North Carolina charge in to replace them
Confederate left flank looking weaker and weaker and the main assault has going in across the Pike
The final push supported by artillery
Only the 4th Alabama are in any state to mount a defence, 5 of the 7 regiments on the hill are broken or fleeing
....and then Anderson and Cobb’s infantry finally break in the south
brooks Brigade has been pretty much destroyed with I think only the 2nd Vermont still fighting.
At this point I called the battle for the Union as the remaining Confederates would have to pull back and would need to get what artillery they have left away for another day, BG Smith on his white horse is gallantly leading the final assault.
A final shot towards the church. The 77th NY having fled two hours ago and spent much of the battle in the farm have rallied ! I quite like this last shot as it gives a sense of  what one might imagine the chaotic end point of a battle might look like.

By the end of the battle 2 of the 3 Union Brigades had been broken, and only really Walkers Brigade and the 4th Alabama from Law’s brigade had any fight left in them. The battle lasted I think 11 or 12 turns played over 5 or 6 sessions.

If you’ve made it this far I hope you enjoyed the journey thanks for taking the time and hope it helped while away a for of those lockdown hours , I might just get some painting done now 👍