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Subject: An Illustrated Narrative rss

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jim b
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Gen McDowell, Army of the Potomac
July, 1961


Our men rushed to form militia, eager to reach the action before we take Richmond.





The army is assembling in force, around Washington. Recruitment centers in Philadelphia and Baltimore quickly filled up; tens of thousands of new troops have been arriving in Washington by rail.

My friends in Washington are eager to know the moment of our assault, so their wives and families can witness the victory.


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jim b
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Gen Joseph Johnston, Army of Northern Virginia
July 61


We are facing overwhelming numbers.



We need to abandon our naval yards at Yorktown and Norfolk, and consolidate our forces around Richmond. If we are not reinforced, I cannot hold the capital.

Federal troops that blundered into our pickets knew our movements in detail- those bastards know more about my army, than I do. Davis' buffoons must be talking to the press- I won't let those politicians get my men killed.
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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Just out of curiosity, why wasn't this done as a session report? It looks like it'll be a good one.
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jim b
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Thanks.

The initial session report and pictures were promptly rejected by the geekmods, and I was told not to file a session report until it was complete. I felt it wasn't worth the hassle- hope that's ok. [Also, I wanted to narrate an extemporaneous session.]

I hope to form a reasonable [alternate] arc across history's actors, here- if anyone notices something really incorrect, please let me know.

[I'm learning AHD, and would also welcome any gameplay pointers. I'm playing the basic game with most options, plus advanced supply, leaders, containment, command table, and coastal defenses. But not advanced combat (battle days, morale and desertion), nor advanced Confederate aspirations (foreign intervention, confederate navy, etc).]
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jim b
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July 1861, USA

Commands - 2 (1st turn restriction)
New York - move 1 infantry by rail, NY->Philadelphia
Philadelphia - move 2 infantry by rail, Philadelphia->Baltimore->Washington

Combat - none

Promotions
Washington - militia infantry -> veteran

Recruitment
Washington - militia infantry
Cincinnati - militia cavalry

[results pictured, previously]
 
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jim b
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July 1861, CSA

Commands - 2 (1st turn restriction)
Charleston - move 1 infantry by rail, Charleston->Florence->Wilmington
Wilmington - move 1 infantry by rail, Wilmington->Goldsboro->Petersburg

Combat - none

Promotions
Front Royal - militia infantry -> veteran

Recruitment
Richmond - militia infantry
Richmond - militia cavalry
 
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jim b
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Confederate Army of the Potomac, July 1861

Battle lines form through July, as McDowell readies to attack.
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jim b
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August 1861, USA

Commands (roll 6 -> 3 commands, optional naval invasion)

Cincinatti
move 1 cavalry- railway, Cincinatti->Chilicothe->Parkersburg
move 1 infantry- railway, Cincinatti->Bloomington/IN->Vandalia

Indianapolis
move 1 infantry by rail, Indianapolis->Bloomington/IN->Vandalia

Bloomington (IL)
move 1 infantry by rail, Bloomington/IL->Springfield->StLouis

Washington
move 4 infantry by rail, Washington->Manassas Junction (*Combat*)
(naval invasion declined- Washington supports attack at Manassas)

*Combat* - Manassas Junction - USA wins
4 USA infantry - 1 veteran, 3 militia
1 CSA infantry - 1 militia
Defender/csa fire(1)- no damage
Attacker/usa fire(4)- no damage
Defender/csa retreat - 1 militia infantry to Fredericksburg


Promotions
Manassas Junction - battlefield infantry, militia->veteran
St. Louis - infantry, militia->veteran

Recruiting
Washington - militia infantry
Cairo - militia infantry
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jim b
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General McDowell, Army of the Potomac
August 1861


We attacked this morning, over the ford at Bull Run. 4 corps of eager militia stormed through the woods, and met the rebels in force.

The johnny's were routed, and our brave heroes own the field.

We are chasing their army down the Rappahannock- Richmond is ours!
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jim b
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General Joseph Johnston, CSA
August, 1861


McDowell, finally, made his move- the federals attacked Beauregard at Manassas Junction.

We tested the union advance- batteries and skirmishers exchanged notes most of the day- but AP Hill covered an orderly retreat well, and joined the main army at Fredericksburg.

Their army is on the move now, and the opportunity to attack supply lines or separate units should grow. We can make them pay dearly, for this advance.

The press coverage has been mostly sensational, and Pres. Davis is in a panic- "most disappointed with your failure to face the enemy at Manassas- stand now, before Richmond is overrun!"
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jim b
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August 1861, CSA

Commands (roll 3: 3 commands)

Petersburg
move 1 infantry (militia) by rail, Petersburg->Lynchburg->Gordonsville

Richmond
move 2 infantry (militia) by rail, Richmond->Gordonsville
move 1 cavalry (militia), Richmond->Gordsonville

Gordonsville
move 3 infantry (miliia) by rail, Gordonsville->Manassas (*Combat*)

*Combat* - Manassas Junction - USA Wins
3 CSA infantry - 3 militia
4 USA infantry - 2 veteran, 2 militia
Defender/usa fires- reduces 1 militia
Attacker/csa fires- reduces 1 militia
USA @ Harper's Ferry- 1 militia infantry reinforces Manassas
Defender/usa fires- reduces & eliminates 1 militia
Attacker/csa retreats - 2 infantry->Fredericksburg (1 militia, 1 reduced militia)
USA wins at Manassas: 2 veteran, 1 militia, 1 reduced militia


Promotions
Fredericksburg - infantry, militia->veteran

Recruiting (roll 2 -> 2 points)
Richmond - 2 infantry (militia)
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jim b
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USA, 9/61


Bloodied union forces retreat to Manassas in disarray, after a failed assault on Fredericksburg.



Western armies, early mobilization.
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CSA, 9/61



Rebels attack the retreating union army, at Manassas. The Army of the Potomac is routed- survivors flee to a panic'd Washington, and reinforcements. This time, ANV is in force at Manassas Junction.
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jim b
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USA, 10/61



The union launches a strategic second-front in the west.
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CSA, 10/61



Outnumbered rebels in Memphis dig their graves.
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jim b
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USA, 11-12/1861



Union forces take Memphis, annihilating the entrenched rebels. Wounded kids, in Arkansas Post, stand between the union army and Vicksburg.




Washington reinforces as winter begins.




ANV and AoP revive battle-scarred troops, wintering in tense stalemate at Manassas and Washington. Facing greater union numbers in the washington trenches, veteran and crack rebel infantry ponder their next move.
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Sean McCormick
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Very nice reporting. The pictures have pretty much convinced me to chuck my old 1st edition copy and upgrade to the 3rd edition.
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jim b
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seanmac wrote:
Very nice reporting.

[i]Thanks. An editorial comment- I wanted to name leaders as units are promoted, to add more historical flavor to this narrative, and to give me some personalities to work with.

But- this muddies the waters between legal orders and this narrative (flavor text), and, might mislead readers who don't know the game. (There's no AHD mechanism to name Meade, Longstreet, and Stuart through promotions, as I'd begun to do... but, AHD does have named leaders Lee, Sherman, and Grant.)

To keep the narrative and game content distinct, and simple, I'll stop these artificially named promotions and leader/unit associations. I'm removing those references in the CSA and USA orders, above, and I'll try to keep all editorial/narrative entries fully in italics, like this.
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jim b
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September 1861, USA

Commands (roll 5 -> 3 command points)

Columbus: move 1 infantry by rail, Columbus-Wheeling-Grafton
Pittsburg: move 1 infantry by rail, Pittsburg-Wheeling-Grafton
Manassas: move 4 infantry by rail, Manassas-Fredericksburg (*combat*)

[color=#ff0000]Fredericksburg - *Combat*
5 USA infantry attacking: 3 veteran, 2- militia
3 CSA infantry defending: 1 veteran, 2- militia
Attack across river (Rappahannock): defenders +1 combat, 1st 2 rounds
--> CSA/Defender fires (3 infantry, +1) - 3 hits - eliminate 1 reduced militia, reduce 2 veteran infantry
--> USA/Attacker fires (4 infantry) - 3 hits - eliminate 1 reduced-militia, reduce 1 militia & 1 veteran
CSA Reinforces, from Richmond- 2 militia infantry [sic]
--> CSA/Defender fires (4 infantry, +1) - 2 hits - eliminate 1 reduced militia, reduce 1 militia
USA Retreats, to Manassas Junction- 3 infantry (veteran, reduced veteran, militia)
CSA Wins at Fredericksburg (3 infantry- veteran, reduced veteran, reduced militia)


Promotions
USA, Manassas Junction: infantry, militia->veteran
CSA, Fredericksburg (battlefield): infantry, militia->veteran

Recruiting
Washington: +1 militia infantry
Cairo: +1 militia infantry
 
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jim b
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September 1861, CSA

Commands (roll 4: 4 command points)

Fredericksburg: move 4 infantry by road, Fredericksburg-Manassas (*combat*)
Gordonsville: move 1 cavalry by road, Gordonsville-Mansassas (*combat*)
Front Royal: move 1 infantry by rail, Front Royal-Manassas (*combat*)
Nashville: move 2 infantry by rail, Nashville-Forts Henry/Donelson-Humbolt

Manassas Junction - *Combat*
6 CSA attacking- 5 infantry (veteran, veteran, reduced veteran, militia, reduced militia), 1 cavalry (militia)
3 USA defending- 3 infantry (veteran, veteran, reduced veteran)
--> USA/Defender fires - 1 hit - eliminate 1 reduced militia infantry
--> CSA/Attacker fires - 3 hits - eliminate 2 reduced veteran infantry, reduce 1 veteran infantry
USA retreats to Washington (1 reduced veteran infantry)
CSA wins at Manassas (4 infantry- 2 veteran, 1 reduced veteran, 1 militia; 1 militia cavalry)


Promotions (roll 1 -> 2 promotions)
Manassas- infantry, veteran->crack (battlefield promotion)
Manassas- infantry, militia->veteran
Manassas- cavalry, militia->veteran

Recruiting (roll 3 -> 3 points)
Manassas- recover 1 veteran infantry
Richmond- recruit 1 militia infantry
Springfield- recruit 1 militia cavalry
[/q]
 
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jim b
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October 1861, USA

Commands (roll 3 -> 2 command points)
Grafton: move 2 infantry by rail (militia), Grafton-HarpersFerry-Washington
Vandalia: move 2 infantry by rail (militia), Vandalia-Cairo
Combat: none

Promotions
Washington- militia infantry->veteran

Recruiting (roll 5 -> 5 points)
Washington: +1 militia infantry
Cairo: +1 militia infantry
Baltimore: +1 militia infantry
St Louis: +1 militia infantry
Washington: restore 1 veteran infantry
 
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jim b
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October 1861, CSA

Commands (roll 1 -> 2 command points)
Humbolt: move 2 infantry by rail, to Memphis
Memphis: entrench 2 infantry

Promotions
Memphis: infantry, militia->veteran

Recruiting (roll 2 -> 2 points)
Mobile: +1 militia infantry
Richmond: +1 militia infantry
 
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jim b
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As crack southern troops prepare to winter in Manassas, news of the autumn campaign has become clearer. This is the first of three dispatches from the field.

Richmond Examiner
August, 1861
The First Battle of Manassas


The northern aggressors forded a tributary of the Potomac at Bull Run, where Beauregard had stationed a forward, screening force under AP Hill. As Johnston directed- Hill tested the advance, and captured some federals to verify their dispositions. Fresh reinforcements arrived from Richmond to support his lines, as he retreated to join Beauregard and the Confederate Army of the Potomac in Fredericksburg.

On the confederate right, General Longstreet took position in the hills above Fredericksburg, and urged Johnston to bring Beauregard's forces together on this ground.

The weak confederate center was attacked repeatedly, and treacherously pinned during the retreat. General Johnston rode in front- to urge his men to courage, to maintain his lines, to command timely reinforcements, and to manage orderly retreats.

Perhaps Johnston was stung by Davis' earlier taunts at Manassas, and uncomfortable yielding this ground- but he was everywhere on this day. He rode through incoming canister to his salient positions, across the scope of enemy snipers, constantly tended the lines, and encouraged his men.

As evening fell, the confederate center held; Hill, and all his reinforcements retreated to Fredericksburg.

The army came together at great cost- as he rode across the front, a canister shell took General Joseph Johnston.

President Davis promoted General Robert E. Lee to command the new Army of Northern Virginia.
 
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Richmond Examiner
October 1, 1861
The Battle of Fredericksburg


Lee prepared his forces to meet McDowell's advance from Manassas in force, in the hills above Fredericksburg.

McDowell declined the chance to strike immediately at Fredericksburg, to assemble forces for a stronger attack.

However, the pontoons for this larger crossing were delayed- Lee's army was firmly entrenched, when the federals finally advanced across the Rappahannock.

The town of Fredericksburg was quickly yielded to the advancing northerners. They moved through the streets, to face the hills behind Fredericksburg- and, the rebel forces entrenched on Marye's Heights.

The ridge bristled with artillery, and the cannons opened up- the leading union lines were mowed down, like dry grass.

Nor could they advance against the rebel infantry- the stunned troops staggered in place, falling into battle lines of corpses.

Bodies piled up in the smoke, before a sunken road that marked the boundary of the union assault.

McDowell realized he was outmatched against these hills, and called reinforcements up from Washington, to join and hold the forward position in Manassas, and to maneuver the Army of the Potomac into position below Fredericksburg.

In the face of mounting casualties and confusion, however, President Lincoln countermanded his general. The recruits stayed in Washington, and the army was not reinforced at Manassas- with disastrous consequences.
 
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[i]Richmond Examiner
October 16, 1861
The Second Battle of Manassas


While Beauregard struggled at Manassas and Fredericksburg, General Thos Jackson moved the Army of the Shenandoah to seize vulnerable rail-lines and union armaments at Harper's Ferry.

McDowell's advance threatened to isolate Jackson's army completely, and to intercept his rail and supply connections to Richmond.

Lee convinced Davis to abandon this secondary command in the Shenandoah, and to join the two armies between McDowell and Richmond- to counter-attack McDowell in force, at Manassas.

Jackson moved his forces overnight from Front Royal- along seized railroads- to Manassas.

As McDowell faced Lee's advance from Fredericksburg, General Jackson attacked the exposed union right flank. Hill's beleaguered troops, in the center, woke to the sound of fresh gunfire to their left.

McDowell had planned to isolate the Army of the Shenandoah, and turn on its flank. Instead, he hit a stone wall at the confederate left.

The confederates armies closed their lines in a massive pincer, while the stunned invaders struggled to regroup. Routed, the shattered remnants of the Army of the Potomac shrank into their trenches in Washington.[/q]
 
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