Five of us gathered at Terry's on Sunday to refight the right flank of Pea Ridge around Elkhorn Tavern. The left portion of the Pea Ridge battle (Leetown) was fought the week prior. For Elkhorn Tavern, Kevin and John commanded the Federals while Kim and I commanded the Confederates. Rules used were Regimental Fire and Fury.
The Federal lines stretched across the table on the high ground with Dodge holding the right astride Telegraph Road with Elkhorn Tavern in his rear. Vandever held the Federal left. With interior lines and the Federal center dominated by artillery, the tabletop battle broke down into two distinct battles with neither Confederate commander (Price and Van Dorn) aiding the other.
|Confederate Left (Price)|
|Confederate Right (Van Dorn)|
On the Federal left, Van Dorn maneuvered his forces into position and then launched wave assaults against the Federal defenders in an attempt to pin and outflank Vandever.
Van Dorn hits Vandever's extreme left with overwhelming odds. The Federal left begins to crumble.
As the left of Vandever's line gives way and Van Dorn's attacks show little loss of momentum, Vandever withdraws in an attempt to save his flank.
With the Federal left falling back, Vandever orders the cavalry to charge in an attempt to thwart the confederate attack.
Most Federal saddles are emptied as the cavalry charge home. Cavalry suffer nearly 80% casualties and break towards the rear.
On the Federal right, Price advances cautiously towards Dodge's fortified positions near Elkhorn Tavern. Commanding green state guard troops, Price's caution was justified. Price's first objective was to pin Dodge in place and then outflank the Federal right.
Suffering from superior Federal firepower, the brittle rebel formations quickly are worn.
To cut down casualties and allow time for the Confederate guns to deploy, militia deploy into extended line across the road.
Price drives back both flanks while avoiding Dodge's large force protected by the breastworks.
Even with success against both of Dodge's flanks, the militia cannot sustain their effort and are quickly worn and then spent. Failing their maneuver roll, the militia retreat in confusion. Having dispersed Federal cavalry, Price's left presses on to envelop Dodge.
With both Federal flanks compromised, heavy casualty level reached, and Price's guns wearing down the Federals hunkered down behind the breastworks, the Union commander has no choice but to fall back and quit the field. Thus the game ends in a Confederate victory.
|Federal Commander Carr/Vandever at battle's end|