|Doubleday's BDE Approaches Brawner's Farm|
As a refresher, the initial deployments find Gibbon and Doubleday's brigades strung out along the Warrenton Turnpike with the head of the Union column nearing Dogan's House. Jackson, holding the high ground, lays in wait to spring the surprise. With only a few hours of fading daylight, Jackson must act quickly to bring this action to a successful conclusion.
|Positions at Start|
The first sign of concern for the Federals appears when Gibbon spots several Rebel guns deploying on the high ground around Brawner's Farm. The situation begins to sink home as Confederate artillery rounds whiz towards the long Federal columns. Doubleday's brigade in the rear is the first to take effective fire from Danville's guns. Before Doubleday can even get his troops off the road and deployed to challenge the guns, he is dropped dead from the saddle as artillery falls among the 56 PA.
|Doubleday deploys on the left|
|Doubleday deploys and advances|
Realizing the difficulty in which his lead brigade has found itself, Gibbon, having reached Dogan's House, orders his brigade to deploy from the turnpike. As the Iron Brigade deploys and begins its passage of Brawner's Woods, Federal artillery has dialed into the Rebel gun positions around Stony Ridge.
|Gun duel on the Federal right|
Federal artillery fire from the 4th US - B battery is so precise that two Confederate gun sections are knocked out of action almost immediately. Having won the artillery duel on the Federal right, Gibbon pushes his boys up to the edge of the woods in an attempt to recontact Doubleday's right.
|Gibbon advances through the woods|
With the Federals deployed and advancing upon seemingly, insignificant Rebel forces, the long blue line makes a spectacular sight as if on the parade ground. What fate awaits? They know not.
|Doubleday's thin blue line|
Having only moments before taken over command from the fallen Doubleday, Doubleday's replacement falls to artillery fire. Not even thirty minutes into the engagement and two Federal generals are dead on the field. These will not be the last officers to fall this evening.
|A second Union Brigadier falls to Confederate fire|
The six Confederate guns (each stand is a two-gun section) are causing quite a bit of mischief in the Federal line. The downside of dealing such chaos is that Danville's battery spends much of the early throes of the contest low on ammo. With the Federals advancing within small arms range of Baylor's position at Brawner's Farm, the Virginians occupying this objective are beginning to feel the pressure. As casualties rise, cohesion within the Virginians wanes.
|Danville Battery in action|
As the Rebels opposing ex-Doubleday's brigade (should that be ex-ex-Doubleday?) slow Federal progress upon Brawner's Farm, Gibbon's brigade successfully navigates the woods and broomstraw field to threaten the Confederate left. Having destroyed most of the Confederate artillery opposing him, Gibbon makes excellent progress taking the fight to Jackson. Still, where are Jackson's gray-clad troops?
|Federals tighten the noose on Baylor|
Having sent one more Confederate gun section scampering to the rear, Gibbon's command presses on. With his Confederate left unsecured, Baylor and his Virginians holding the farm are forced to retire. Doubleday gains the farm without much contest. With a Key Objective lost, Jackson must fight hard to win back the farm. With the area thick with Union blue, this will be a difficult task. Jackson, finally frustrated by his subordinates' inability to join the fight, commandeers two of Lawton's regiments (26 GA, 38 GA) and strikes back in an effort to stem the Federal advance.
|Jackson strikes back|
|Alabama vs Wisconsin|
With the repulse of the 6th at the copse of trees and the timely arrival of Jackson leading the Georgians and two additional gun sections, the ragged Confederate line begins to congeal. In close range musketry duels, casualties mount on both sides. Can the Federals be stopped from sweeping the field of Rebels? My Confederate opponent thinks not and tension mounts as the fight continues without hope. "Where are my reinforcements!" Jackson exclaims.
|Jackson's line stabilizes|
|Federals in firm control of Brawner's Farm|
|Doubleday takes a pounding|
|Federals losing control of Brawner's Farm|
|The tide has turned|
Not only is Gibbon's brigade staggered from both artillery fire and the loss of its commanding officer but Trimble's brigade and the remainder of Lawton's brigade charge out of the railroad cut. The Federal right has been knocked back onto its heals. Casualties mount at an alarming rate as Confederate musketry ravages the Federal line as the number of muskets under arms favor the Rebels.
|Trimble and Lawton snap into action|
|Gibbon falls back on his guns|
It was a good contest that maintained a definite ebb and flow. There were points in the game where each player thought all was lost. Die rolling was hot and cold as we both played the extremes of the D10 distribution. Early on, the Federals had great success against the Confederate artillery and gained ground quickly. In the end, the tide turned and Confederate numbers overwhelmed the already battered Union brigades. This may have been the Iron Brigades' baptism of fire but it may be a long time before this brigade is fit for duty. My thanks to Jake for a well played Jackson.
Next game on the schedule will see the debut of my Russian Great Game collection in their first battle. That game takes place on November 5.