Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Card from Sharpsburg

I received an electronic Christmas card from Joanne and Paul who are the proprietors of the Jacob Rohrbach Inn in Sharpsburg. Paul and I stayed two nights at their establishment during our ACW eastern battlefield tour last spring. Their hospitality was friendly and the breakfast was delightful. The Rohrbach Inn is shown in the photo below. The Inn was used as a hospital during and after the battle. My hunch is that most of the houses in Sharpsburg were utilized as hospitals.

The arrival of the card reminded me what a wonderful trip we had exploring the battlefields. Antietam was quiet and the weather was terrific. Below is a photo of the Bloody Lane looking towards the Observation Tower.

Scott, Austin, and I were joined by Kevin for a General de Brigade game at Scott's. The battle was Maida lifted from the Gd'B scenario book. Kevin and I commanded the French while Austin took command of the British. The French direct assaults against the British lines were mostly handled mostly with ease with the except for one singular moment. Kevin attacked one British line battalion with one regiment of hussars flanked by two French infantry columns. The Brits remained in line and won the melee. Reynier's one chance for glory melted away as his infantry streamed to the rear.

As for the scenario, itself, there is much to question about the attached OB. The Poles were under Peyri’s command and the 1st Legere was really a good unit. Circumstance during the battle was the cause of their sudden break. Also, the 2/78th had only 650 present and 600 of those were under-age (green and inexperienced) boys. The GdB scenario has them mustered as elites with 44 figured! The largest and one of the best units on the board. Although the 78th fought well, I think it more of a chance event than the resolve of the unit. The 81st and 58th weren't much better.

These ratings offer a chance to reflect on rating units for a given scenario. Do you rate them as they performed during the battle (i.e. Maida performance was a fluke) or do you rate them as they performed on balance knowing that to perform as heroically as at Maida would require a ‘chance’ event?

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