Copyright © 2020, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2020, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Monday, 6 January 2020

Longstreet Campaign - The Battle of Keller's Heights - 16th May 1862

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Following the The Battle of Haery Woods both armies went into winter quarters and neither was too badly ravaged by camp fever.

Despite his setbacks during the battle Union high command saw fit to send many new reinforcements to Colonel Rogers, Colonel Whippam was not so indulged by the Confederate high command. Despite earning eight Epic Points in his previous battle, Colonel Whippam was still passed over for promotion! Maybe 1862 would be the year that he made a name for himself.

Confederate forces

Gerald P. Whippam (EP:8)  is a 29 year old Floridian and is already a Veteran of the Indian Wars and is accompanied by his personal Scout who's reliably provided the best ground to make a stand in earlier engagements.
8th Georgia VolunteersCAVEagerRecruits5
19th TexasINFEagerRecruits8
4th South CarolinaINFEagerRecruits7Hero: Sgt. Jones
2nd FloridaINFSeasonedRecruits8
8th South CarolinaINFSeasonedVeterans6
Battery A 7th Texas Light ArtilleryART--2Two 6lb smoothbores

Union forces

Elias Rogers (EP:2) is a graduate of West Point and had made a career as an Artillery Officer in the United States army. He is a Leading Abolitionist and is steadfast in the cause.
26th New YorkCAVEagerVeterans6
20th MaineINFSeasonedRecruits5Hero: Lt. Chamberlain
39th OhioINFEagerVeterans6
44th Maryland (Zouaves)INFSeasonedVeterans4Hero: Cpl. O'Connor
10th IowaINFEagerRecruits10
5th California (Zouaves)INFEagerRecruits6
Battery B 6th US ArtilleryART--2Two 6lb smoothbores

The campaign season started and both armies marched and counter-marched in an attempt to force a battle while they had an advantage.

Aided by their now recovered scout, the Confederate troops under Colonel Whippam had managed to block the Union return route to their depots and now sat stride the ridge-line at Keller's Heights. Colonel Rogers would either have to capture the heights or face a circuitous route march back to his depots. Rogers would push on and try to force his way through.

For our second game in the campaign we would play "The Hilltop" scenario with the Confederates defending.

The terrain was laid out as the shot above, Drew had overloaded the woods on my right flank, while I had ensure that the lines of communication to my rear remained open. Colonel Whippam had been studying the campaigns of The Duke of Wellington in winter quarters and decided that he would deploy his troops on the reverse slope of Keller's Heights and see what moves Rogers would make before he committed his forces. The 5th Georgia volunteers were held in reserve on the bridge ready to react to the Union moves.

Rogers went for an attack all along the line, hoping to pin the Confederates along the front, find a weak point and then break through.

It was clear to Whippam that he would need to react on his flanks so the 8th Georgia Volunteers were pushed out on his right, while the 19th Texas moved to support on the left flank.

As the Union troops advanced the 8th South Carolina fired into them and then started to withdraw, while the 2nd Florida and 4th South Carolina crested the ridge-line and started firing on the approaching Union troops.

On the Union right the 26th New York cavalry blundered into the woods and were badly mauled by the 19th Texas, their retreat being covered by the heroic actions of Sgt. Benson who though feared lost rejoined the unit in their encampments after the battle with boys own tales of derring-doo.

On the Confederate right the 44th Maryland were repulsed from the heights, while on their left the 20th Maine were forced back and then scattered by a bayonet charge of the Floridians.

Colonel Rogers rallied his troops on the left and the fresh boys of the Pennsylvania recruited California regiment supported by the 10th Iowa prepared to throw themselves into the fray, but a Pinkerton agent assigned to the staff insisted on caution as the Confederates were sure to have many more troops in reserve, the Union attack petered out with heavy losses and the Confederates still held the ridge-line.

This was quite a stunning victory to the Confederacy, they had only lost 3 bases of troops while the Union had lost 16. Whippam gained six Epic points to Rogers two.  At last recognised for his deeds Whippam has been promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.