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Thread: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

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    Poll Smoker Senior Member CountArach's Avatar
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    Default Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    INTRODUCTION

    Armies of the North and South fought the Battle of Wilson's Creek about ten miles southwest of Springfield, Missouri, on Saturday, 10 August 1861. The battle had the effect of securing the state for the Union. The Union defeat in battle, so closely following the disaster at First Bull Run, caused the North to adopt a more serious attitude about the war and to realize that victory would come only with detailed planning and proper resourcing. Thus, the Union reinforced Missouri with soldiers and weapons during the fall and winter of 1861-62, while the Confederacy applied its scanty resources elsewhere.

    Casualty percentages in the fighting were among the highest recorded for any battles of the Civil War. Although the men lost on both sides were almost equal in number, losses were not proportional; nearly one of every four Federals was either killed, wounded, captured, or missing in the battle, but only one of every eight Confederates. These figures exceeded those of the Mexican-American War and foreshadowed the stupendous totals that emerged as the Civil War evolved. While casualty figures do not always serve well as a measure of valour or expertise, clearly at Wilson
    's Creek, generally inexperienced soldiers led by equally inexperienced officers fought determinedly for six bloody hours.

    The battle was fought between the Union Army of the West and the Confederate Western Army. These armies totalled 5431 and 10175 men respectively. The complete Order of Battle (OOB) can be seen below. This Battle puts you in charge of the Union Army of the West, as seen from the point of view of Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon. You will also be called on to fight from the points of view of inferior officers, usually in command of a Brigade. You will be given Multiple Choice options for most things, however you will be allowed at any point to give another option and use that if you wish. At the end of three days, after me posting the chapter, I will tally the most popular result, and that will be what is taken. Everyone gets a vote.


    I am hoping this can become a regular thing in the future, and that I can fight larger battles this way.

    Union Order of Battle

    Army of the West – United States - 5,431
    Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon

    First Brigade – 884
    Major Sturgis
    1st U.S. Infantry – 300
    Capt Plummer

    2nd Missouri Infantry – 150

    Major Osterhaus

    Kansas Rangers and 1st U.S. Cavalry – 350

    Capt Wood

    Battery F, 2nd U.S. Artillery – 84, 6 Guns

    Capt Totten


    Second Brigade - 1,200
    Col Sigel
    3rd Missouri Infantry and 5th Missouri Infantry – 990
    Lt Col Albert

    Company I, 1st U.S. Cavalry – 65

    Capt Carr

    Company C, 2nd U.S. Dragoons – 60

    Lt Farrand

    Backof's Missouri Light Artillery – 85, 6 Guns

    Lts Schuetzenbach and Schaeffer


    Third Brigade - 1,116
    LtCol Andrews
    2nd U.S. Infantry – 275
    Capt Steele

    1st Missouri Infantry – 775

    LtCol Andrews

    Du Bois's Battery (U.S. Regulars) – 66, 3 Guns

    Lt Du Bois


    Fourth Brigade - 2,400
    Col Deitzler
    1st Iowa Infantry – 800
    Col Bates

    1st Kansas Infantry – 800

    Col Dietzler

    2nd Kansas Infantry – 600

    Lt Col Blair

    Home Guards – 200

    Capt Wright
    [/B]
    [B]

    Confederate Order of Battle

    Western Army – Confederate - 10175
    Brigadier General Benjamin McCulloch

    Pearce's Brigade - 2,234Brig. Gen. Pearce

    1st Arkansas Cavalry - 350

    Col. Carroll

    Carroll's Cavalry - 40
    Capt. A. Carroll

    3d Arkansas Infantry – 500
    Col. Gratiot

    4th Arkansas Infantry - 550
    Col. Walker

    5th Arkansas Infantry - 650
    Col. Dockery

    Woodruff's Battery - 4 guns, 71 men
    Capt. Woodruff Jr.

    Reid's Battery - 4 guns, 73 men
    Capt. Reid

    McCulloch's Brigade - 2720 Brig. Gen. Ben McCulloch

    3d
    Louisiana Infantry - 700
    Col. Hebert

    Arkansas Infantry - 220
    Lt. McRae

    1st Arkansas Mounted Rifles - 600
    Col. Churchill

    2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles - 400
    Col. McIntosh

    South Kansas-Texas Mounted Regiment - 800
    Col. Greer

    MISSOURI STATE GUARD - 5,221
    Maj. Gen. Sterling Price

    2d Division (2,526)
    Brig. Gen. James S. Rains

    Infantry Brigade - 1,250
    Col. Weightman
    1st Missouri State Guard Infantry
    2d Missouri State Guard Infantry
    3d Missouri State Guard Infantry
    4th Missouri State Guard Infantry

    Cavalry Brigade - 1,210
    Col. Cawthorn

    Bledsoe's Battery (3 guns, 66 men)

    3d Division - 573
    Brig. Gen. Charles Clark
    Burbridge's Infantry - 273

    Col. J. Q. Burbridge

    Major's Cavalry - 300
    Lt. Col. J. P. Major

    4th Division - 934
    Brig. Gen. William Y. Slack
    Hughes Infantry, and
    Thornton's Infantry - 650
    Col. John T. Hughes and Maj. C. C. Thornton

    Rives' Cavalry - 234
    Col. B. A. Rives

    6th Division - 601
    Brig. Gen. Monroe M. Parsons
    Kelly's Infantry - 195

    Col. Kelly

    Brown's Cavalry - 406
    Col. Brown

    Guibor's Battery - 4 guns, 61 men
    Capt. H. Guibor

    7th Division - 645
    Brig. Gen. J.H. McBride
    Wingo's Infantry - 300

    Col. Wingo

    Foster's Infantry - 305
    Col. Foster

    Campbell's Cavalry - 40
    Capt. Campbell


    So, any questions? The first chapter will be posted tomorrow. Perhaps today if I am feeling up to it.


    Maps
    Topographic and Aerial Map:
    http://terraserver-usa.com/image.asp...59&Y=10265&W=2
    (Click the tab at the top for the other Map)

    Map of the battle:
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...sons_Creek.jpg

    This is a bit of the way into the battle, you will start before the deployment, so ignore where the soldiers are at this time.

    Satellite Images:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=37.10....015,0.025&t=h
    http://local.live.com/default.aspx?c...e=h&lvl=15&v=1

    Good Map of the Battlefield:
    http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resour...ages/img32.gif

    Index
    Chapter 1 - Pre-Battle Manoeuvres
    Chapter 2 - Pre-Battle Manoeuvres II
    Chapter 3 - Location of Command
    Chapter 4 - Nearing Dawn
    Chapter 5 - Dawn's First Light
    Chapter 6 - The Artillery Rang Forth!
    Chapter 7 - The Tension Rises, The Battle Comes Yonder
    Chapter 8 - The Battle Arrives
    Last edited by CountArach; 08-10-2007 at 05:44.
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  2. #2
    The Real Ad miN Member Tran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    Interesting!

    - I clicked "More..." button but nothing come up?
    - Will it alive forever or will it die like Napoleonic?
    Last edited by Tran; 07-12-2007 at 08:05.
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    Poll Smoker Senior Member CountArach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    This is much easier to do than the Napoleonic Interactive. This is just one chapter every three days, with no PMs to write up.

    I don't know what is wrong with the "Read" button. It works for me. Just click it once.
    Rest in Peace TosaInu, the Org will be your legacy
    Quote Originally Posted by Leon Blum - For All Mankind
    Nothing established by violence and maintained by force, nothing that degrades humanity and is based on contempt for human personality, can endure.

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    Still warlusting... Member Warluster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    Looks good CA, though a IA on American History, what about a Australian one... :P

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    The Real Ad miN Member Tran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    I'm not sure either. Few minutes ago, I clicked the Confederate ORBAT and it worked (Union didn't work) and now, both didn't work
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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    I can use both! Sorry, Tran, but it seems to be your personal problem!!

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    Poll Smoker Senior Member CountArach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    Quote Originally Posted by Warluster
    Looks good CA, though a IA on American History, what about a Australian one... :P
    lol, we have the msot boring history of any country.
    Rest in Peace TosaInu, the Org will be your legacy
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    The Real Ad miN Member Tran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    I decided to use Internet Explorer instead of Firefox and now it worked! Must have something to do with the browser.
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    Poll Smoker Senior Member CountArach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    Adding some maps to the OP.
    Rest in Peace TosaInu, the Org will be your legacy
    Quote Originally Posted by Leon Blum - For All Mankind
    Nothing established by violence and maintained by force, nothing that degrades humanity and is based on contempt for human personality, can endure.

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    Still warlusting... Member Warluster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    Quote Originally Posted by CountArach
    lol, we have the msot boring history of any country.
    Gold Rush, WWI, WWII, East Timor....

    Uh well.

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    Poll Smoker Senior Member CountArach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    Chapter 1 – Pre Battle Manoeuvres
    August 9th, 1861 – 1800 Hours

    You are Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyons, born in Connecticut in July 1818. You attended the US Military Academy in 1841, then proceeded to participate in the Seminole and Mexican Wars. Ion May of this year you were promoted from Captain to Brigadier General, a large promotion by any standard. Yet that is all behind you now, what stands before you is the battle.

    You are in command of the almost 5500 men of the Army of the West, comprised of four Brigades and 15 guns. You have very little cavalry; however what you do have is of a decent quality.

    It is now 1800 Hours, and nightfall is about one hour off. You know that a battle is almost unavoidable at this point. Your scouts report over 10000 men in the Confederate army opposing you, with a large cavalry advantage and about the same number of guns.

    Your Scouts also report that to your south, around the hills, there are about 2300 soldiers, under the command of Brigadier General Rains. We have a numerical superiority, yet they have dug in and have set up camp for the night.

    You must decide what to do:

    Decision 1 - Where shall we make camp?
    Nightfall is one hour off. We must decide where to make camp, or if we should attack the enemy soldiers around the hills to our south.
    Option A – Near the Farmhouse of E. B Short, on the North of the likely Battlefield
    Option B – Near Gibson’s Mill to our south, about three quarters of a mile.
    Option C – Do not strike camp, we shall seek a battle with the soldiers, under Brigadier General Rains in the hills to the South-West of Gibson’s Mill.
    Option D – Other.

    Decision 2 – When to make camp?
    We should decide when to make cap and let our men rest. The expected sunrise is just after 0500 tomorrow. We have about 1 hour of daylight left.
    Option A – As soon as we arrive at our destination
    Option B – No rest for our men. They should be on high alert all night
    Option C – Rest, but not before ensuring the area is secure and pickets are set up
    Option D – No rest, attack.
    Option E - Other

    Decision 3 – A Flanking Manoeuvre?
    We have the chance to send one of our Brigades around to flank the enemy. They will march to the East, and find a crossing. Our guides say they should arrive behind the expected enemy positions at about 0500.
    Option A – We should send a Brigade that way (Specify which one)
    Option B – We should detach a regiment or regiments to take this route (Specify which).
    Option C – We should stay together and send no one
    Option D – Other.

    You have 2 days, the option with the most selections in each section will be chosen. I have chosen to cut this down to 2 days, because now that I think about it, you don’t need 3 days to debate these things.
    Last edited by CountArach; 07-14-2007 at 05:09.
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    Still warlusting... Member Warluster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    Well we certianly don't strike the enemy, as they have the advantage of a hill. I'd say A, as if that is where battle is spectualted to be, then we have the advantage of being dug in.
    So A for one for me.

    For number 2, the men need rest to fight effiecently, but the enmy has Cavalry supreiority, so they could strike at night, but rest is required of good soldiers. So I say C

    And for the last, we should sent a Regiment, so its quick, if we attack we can feint from the flank, then strike from our starting position. SO I say A and Kansas Rangers and 1st U.S. Cavalry

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    Poll Smoker Senior Member CountArach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    By teh way, when I say "likely Battlefield" I mean the maps. The Battlefield could end up anywhere on the map.
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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    Let's make an analysis of the starting position:
    1) We are outnumbered
    2) We have less cavalry
    3) The enemy is on the hills

    But:
    our soldiers are better (most of them are German, if memory serves !

    Therefore, no reason to worry. Let's try to defeat those bloody rebels!

    Right now, I see two possible operation plans:

    1) The Lee style:
    We do exactly what the enemy does not expect us to do. We divide our force and we attack!
    We leave the home guard behind to organize supply! We detach the 2nd Brigade (1,200, Col. Sigel) and lead them to the eastern flank.
    The rest advances to Gibson's mill, where we camp.

    At 4:00 we start to advance, at 5:00 we attack. The main body assaults the hill, creates confusion and panic and drives the rebels back. Sigel's detachment does the same from the east. We meet at Sharps!

    Important! Make sure that our soldiers wear something special, so that we can identify them easily.

    2) Napoleonic!
    We dig all through the night and build strong barricades and trenches south of E.B. Short.
    Before the break of dawn we divide our army in three detachments:
    A) Forth Brigade (2,400) advances to the eastern flank.
    B) 3rd Brigade (1,116) advances against the hill
    C) Rest (2,284) - 1st Brigade (884), 2nd Brigade (1,200), Homeguards (200) - stays in the trench.

    With the first light of day, 3rd Brigade makes a mock attack. Then it withdraws. The rebels (knowing that they have superior numbers) will surely follow. 3rd Brigades withdraws to support the trenches. Here our soldiers (about 3,300) stops the assault of the rebels. They are enough to stop them for a while and to inflict high casualties. The rebels will throw more and more soldiers into the assault and leave the hills.
    At this moment, 4th Brigade assaults the hills from the east. Suddenly the rebels find themselves between the trenches and the hills. Their attack collpases and they leave the battlefield in a wild flight.

    Important! Make sure that there is enough ammo at the trenches. Our soldiers will have to kill many rebels.

    Before I make my decision, I would like to hear your opinion!!!

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    Poll Smoker Senior Member CountArach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    our soldiers are better (most of them are German, if memory serves
    I can't find any exact sources, but judging simply on the names of half of the commanders, yes a lot of them are. However, you should not be lulled into the idea that your men are really good. They are still very inexperienced. For most men, this is their first battle, however the same can be said for the Confederates. This will be a very hard battle to win.

    EDIT: I have found a source, and it does indeed look like you have a fair few Germans in your ranks.
    Last edited by CountArach; 07-12-2007 at 11:18.
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    Handler of candles Member Xehh II's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    I might not be welcome here, but what are you supposed to do?
    It looks interesting but if I'm too late, I understand.
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    Poll Smoker Senior Member CountArach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    Everyone is welcome to this!

    Simply select an option from each of the three decisions. Whichever one you think is the most logical thing to do in the situation. See Warluster's post for a good example.. Most people like to justify what their selections are and why, so that some good tactical discussion is created. The aim is to win the battle by picking the best selections continuously.
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    Handler of candles Member Xehh II's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    B
    C
    A any cavalry

    I'm sorry I don't have time to explain I have to sleep.
    But this is what I think(not that it matters).
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    Poll Smoker Senior Member CountArach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    I just realised Warluster and Xehh, you are suggesting 3C, because that Cavalry is just a Regiment, not a Brigade. Brigades would be Siegel's Brigade, ie the 1200 men.
    Rest in Peace TosaInu, the Org will be your legacy
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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    Quote Originally Posted by CountArach
    I have found a source, and it does indeed look like you have a fair few Germans in your ranks.
    German Wiki says that the core of Lyon's troops were 3,000 new recruits from Missouri/St. Louis, which consisted mainly from 'Wide awakes' (?) and German Immigrants.

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    Kanto Kanrei Member Marshal Murat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    1. B
    2. C
    3. C

    Reason for C on the last choice is that we are outnumbered. It would be deadly to break up our troops into separate forces (Custer anyone?)
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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    Quote Originally Posted by Marshal Murat
    Reason for C on the last choice is that we are outnumbered. It would be deadly to break up our troops into separate forces (Custer anyone?)

    Lee did that all the time and so did Napoleon.

    I think before we make the decisions, we should decide if we want to attack or stay defensive.

    If we want to be offensive, we should think about apropriate tactics. I think surprise is the key.

    If we decide to be defensive, most important thing is to find the right position.

    We won't get anywhere, if we discuss the deployment. while some want to attack and others want to defend.


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    Just your average Senior Member Warmaster Horus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    As for question two, would it be possible to mix options B and C?
    How bad/stupid would it be to set up camp, prepare the pickets (option C) but still have a Brigade not rest as a defense?
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    I think we should attack Rains.
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    Poll Smoker Senior Member CountArach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    Quote Originally Posted by Warmaster Horus
    As for question two, would it be possible to mix options B and C?
    How bad/stupid would it be to set up camp, prepare the pickets (option C) but still have a Brigade not rest as a defense?
    Absolutely, this is possible.
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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    Attack?
    Defend?

    Alright, let's defend!

    Decision 1 - Where shall we make camp?

    Option A – Near the Farmhouse of E. B Sharp, on the North of the likely Battlefield
    Deployment:
    Our headquarter will be Sharps farm!
    1st, 2nd and 3rd Brigade will deploy at the descent south of Sharp's farm. 1st west, 2nd center, 3rd east.
    All brigades have to prepare a defensive position, trenches and all that stuff!

    4th Brigade - Army Reserve helps to dig the trenches and deploys then at the farm.

    Homeguard organizes supply. We need loads of ammo. Let them also prepare food, water and something where we can care about the wounded and stock the dead. During battle homeguard will be responsible for supplying the front and for getting the wounded and dead out of the way!

    Decision 2 – When to make camp?
    Option E-other: We should decide when to make cap and let our men rest. The expected sunrise is just after 0500 tomorrow. We have about 1 hour of daylight left.
    They can rest as soon as the trenches are ready. Send a small cavalry detachment to Gibson's Mill. They can warn us, when the rebels approach.

    Decision 3 – A Flanking Manoeuvre?

    Option C – We should stay together and send no one

    The destination of the rebels is to die in front of our trenches!

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    Still warlusting... Member Warluster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    I reckon the famr will be good enough.

    Just had to add this, might be spam, but when you say Sharps Farm I think Sharpes Farm from SHarpes Rifles. :P

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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    A mistake from my recon platoon. It's a tragedy to work with unexperienced soldiers.

    Now the battle will be called "Battle at Sharp's Farm". What a pitty!!

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    " Hammer of the East" Member King Kurt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    I think Franc's broad approach is right - but I think he is going too far south. Sharp's farm puts us between the force on Bald Knob/ Bloody Hill and the rest of the rebels coming up from the south. We should camp to the east of Gibson's mill on the 2 hills covered with Ray's cornfield. This gives us height, a wood on each flank, at least some of the Rebels will have to cross the Creek to get to us and we dominate the road to Springfield.

    We should rest the men, but we should be on our guard. We should set pickets, garrison Gibson's Mill as well as having forward pickets in the wood to the south of Ray's cornfield.

    We should keep our troops together, but I think a diversion with some of our cavalry would be good. We should send the Kansas rangers and 1st US cavalry under Cpt. Wood to recon the wood between Gibson's mill and Bald Knob - they could skirmish with any pickets and generally stir things up, creating the impression of an attack from the north. This will keep the rebels up all night and misdirect them about our general position. Our cavalry should grab any opportunity - eg run off any horses, shot any gunners, spike any guns etc - but they should not get too involved. Our cavalry is meant to be OK, so they should be able to do this.
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    Thread killer Member Rodion Romanovich's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battles of the Civil War - The Battle of Wilson's Creek

    I agree, let's find the highest hill we can, with good protection from forests! After that, I think we should go for a plan of deception and defense.

    Let's prepare multiple lines of trenches on the hill, and put some 2,000 soldiers in the trenches at the beginning of the battle. The rest should be hidden in the forests. When enough enemies become visible from the hill position, a carefully planned feigned panic act should be played out. Cannons should be turned around and moved up higher on the hill, and some 200 men should run back and forth through the trench systems in a chaotic but pre-arranged manner to make the whole force look even more disorganized and panic-struck. Hopefully this will draw the enemy into attacking the main position. When they do, the infantry in the forests can either strike from the forests, or be sent in to strengthen the trenches, depending on whether the enemy exposes their flank, or the trenches are in desperate need of reinforcement.

    Additionally, we should prepare a second bait with our cavalry to make the deception even more convincing. About half of the cavalry could be sent away over very open terrain to make it look like they're on their way to fetch reinforcements, but due to the open terrain, the enemy will believe these reinforcements will be very far away. This, along with the panic playact, will make the enemy think we are weak and our only chance lies in delaying the enemy for long enough to bring reinforcements.

    The cavalry commander should have free hands to act depending on the situation. If they are pursued they should of course try to shake off the pursuers as top priority. If they are not, they should wait until the battle has begun at the hill, then return. The cavalry commander should attack either enemy gun positions, infantry or cavalry depending on which enemy forces he considers most isolated and most useful to destroy.
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