One of Mark and I’s long-deferred projects (there are many) is getting back into the GCACW series. We finally did so around last Thanksgiving, playing the first two scenarios of All Green Alike, the First Battle of Bull Run section of Stonewall Jackson’s Way II.

The first scenario deals with the initial Union offensive into Virginia at the beginning of July 1861, and goes for four turns (/days). The Union forces all start out in Williamsport (except one regiment back in Hagerstown), with two divisions, a cavalry detachment (which at that point in the war was considered part of the 1st Brigade of the Cadwalader’s First Division), and another separated regiment which becomes available on turn 3.

They’re trying to take a crossing on the Potomac, and then press on for pairs of deeper objectives (just needing one of each pair). The only Confederate troops nearby are Stuart’s cavalry (at Falling Waters), and Jackson’s brigade (south of Hainesville), with the bulk of Joe Johnston’s army back at Winchester (with another three brigades), and it isn’t allowed to move far on the first turn.

We actually did two tries on the first scenario. The first try had a series of really bad march rolls, and Mark let Stuart stand in front of a Union brigade that could just barely reach them on their second action, and found just how bad the early cavalry is against anything, as a Column of Route attack wiped them off the map and allowed an advance into Falling Waters. Jackson exhausted himself (and Thomas’ 1st Brigade of Cadwalader’s division) in an attack, and better rolls allowed the rest of the division to start getting behind him, while Kelm’s division started crossing the Potomac to the east.

In our next Vassal session we started over with what had been learned. Cadwalader’s initial activation went a lot better, and occupied Falling Waters after a quick cavalry retreat. The Union had several more activations, and Cadwalader found Jackson south of Hainesville and started deploying to fight. Jackson finally got to activate, and pulled back to Martinsburg. Kelm started his division around the long way to cross the Potomac at Sheperdstown while Patterson detached a brigade (Abercrombie’s) under his own command to follow the Opequon south.

Thomas’ cavalry was posted to guard the bridge near Martinsburg, and Jackson came out and scattered the unit (poor retreat roll), while Stuart moved from covering Jackson’s flank to protecting Kearneysville.

Johnston got the initial activations for the second day, but made bad time, leaving Jackson to face the approaching army on his own. However, Cadwalader kept rolling 2s to keep him from getting far either, and Kelm barely did any better. Abercrombie (under Patterson) got across the Opequon and onto one side of Jackson, while Williams’ brigade came up on the other side (becoming disorganized in the process) to close out the second day.

End of turn 2/July 3; Johnston’s stuck another nine hexes off the bottom of the image. Arrows are colored by the current fatigue level.
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