The Battle of Murfreesboro at Warfare 2021: We Wuz Robbed!

This is just a quick post, as I’ve arrived home from Warfare just in time to head off again for three days for a funeral in Derbyshire! Thanks to Mark, Paddy, Dave, Mike, Richard L and Richard de F for their excellent company and gentlemanly conduct during the game (none of which was apparent during the game of ‘Coup’ in the pub on the Saturday night)!

Thanks also to all those who visited us over the weekend and especially those who came to say that they’re daft enough to follow this blog.  It was great to put faces (masked or otherwise) to names!

Thanks also to the Wargames Association of Reading for organising a fantastic show and a great return to post-pandemic wargaming.

Lastly, congratulations to the ex-Royal Marine gentleman (sorry I didn’t catch his name) who deservedly beat us into second place with his truly beautiful game!

There will be a full report next time, but here’s a taster:

Posted in 10mm Figures, American Civil War, Fire & Fury (Brigade), Games, Scenery, Warfare (Show) | 6 Comments

Demo Game Progress… The Battle of Murfreesboro at Warfare 2021 (Part 7)

First my apologies for posting nothing over the past month!  The month started well with a week’s holiday in the Peak District, but then went rapidly downhill with a family bereavement, my dad having another (thankfully minor) stroke and crashing his car, and then to top it all, a bloody awful cold/cough (completely unrelated to covid) that I’m only now shaking off! 🙁

I did plan to play another Seven Years War refight with Phil to further test the ‘Tricorn’ rules, but that was binned due to my lurg.  Thankfully however, I did manage to finish off all that needed to for the Murfreesboro game and it’s all now packed in my car, ready for the off tomorrow!  I was concerned that my cold might trash all my plans, but all that early work, building the terrain literally while the sun shone, paid dividends.  My painting schedule was already a week ahead of The Plan when I got ill, so I’ve now managed to finish all the Confederate generals and brigade command stands, six objective markers, four ambulances and stretcher-parties (heavy casualty markers) nine metres of MDF fencing, 22 telegraph poles, some more artillery and small-arms range-sticks, impaled 100 tree-armatures onto hot needles and painted a load of extra disorder and damaged battery markers!

It was a close-run thing, but my cough finally seems to have gone and fully armed with fresh negative covid test results, I’m all good to go! 🙂

Above:  Photos of painted models rarely get more exciting than this!

I should say at this point that I have received messages from friends and family concerned that I might be spiraling into… <gulp>… railway modelling… and want to know why I can’t do something more socially acceptable, such as sniffing bicycle seats…

Thank you all for your kind concern, but I’m ok.  So I bought 10 metres of ‘N’ Gauge track (far more than I needed for this project), a load of telegraph poles, a packet of miniature track-ballast and a shitload of model railway scenery items, but I know what I’m doing.  I can handle it… Can’t I…?

Above:  The two Confederate corps commanders; namely Leonidas Polk (on the left) and William J Hardee (on the right).  At this point of the war in the Western Theatre (the Army of Tennesse and the Army of Mississippi), there were a number of different HQ flag-designs in use, which were also then used as the basis for regimental flags for those units under that formation’s command.  The various designs are detailed in this excellent article (linked).  Polk designed the elaborate ‘starry cross’ design, while Hardee went for a very simple white oval on a blue field.

Above:  The divisional commanders and brigade command stands for Polk’s Corps.  General Jones M Withers‘ Division is on the left and Benjamin F Cheatham‘s Division is on the right.  When Withers’ division was absorbed into Polk’s Corps, at least one brigade (possibly the whole division) adopted their own version of the Polk Battle Flag, though without the red starry cross.  Although at least one of Withers’ brigades was definitely using the Polk Battle Flag, I arbitrarily decided to use the same flag for the whole division, even though it’s probably unhistorical, as it does make it easier for players to identify chain of command at a glance.

Above:  The divisional commanders and brigade command stands for Hardee’s Corps.  General Patrick R Cleburne‘s Division is on the left, using the Hardee Battle Flag.  General John P McCown‘s Division is in the centre, with its own distinct battle flag displaying the Cross of St Andrew (some regiments used a variant with red corners instead of the white border).  On the right is General John C Breckenridge‘s Division, again with its own style of red starry cross.  It’s worth noting that I painted all these troops in the same shade of grey, purely in order to save time.  They’re going to be mixed in with lots of troops in random shades of grey and ‘butternut’, so the uniformity of these bases will instantly disappear.

Above:  Some Union ‘Objective Markers’.  These markers served as a visual reminder of which side presently has control of the game’s geographical objectives, which in most cases grant a Victory Point or a morale penalty on the opponent (or both).

Above:  Some Confederate Objective Markers.  The markers each consist of a 40mm MDF disc, with a broken cannon, two casualties from the opposite side and six attacking troops, including a standard bearer.

Above:  I forgot to get some decent photographs of the rest of the newly-painted/made stuff before I packed them away in the car, but here’s three metres of rail-fencing (I’ve also done six metres of snake-fencing), six Damaged Battery markers, fourteen Disorder markers (seven for each side, including one cavalryman for each side and a Zouave for the Union) and four Heavy Casualty markers (two for each side). 

The Heavy Casualty markers serve as a visual reminder of when a corps has reached its heavy casualty threshold and must therefore suffer a permanent morale penalty.  They each consist of a horse-drawn ambulance and a stretcher-party, based on a 40mm MDF disc.  The Pendraken ambulance actually comes with two horses (to be harnessed one behind the other), but I left one off, in order to fit it onto the 40mm disc.

There was no universally-recognised sign such as the Red Cross for medical services at this time, so both sides made up their own unofficial signs and these often changed from one theatre of war to another.  However, neither side made much effort in telling the opposition what these signs meant!  Green cap-bands and green diagonal arm-stripes did become widespread across the Union Army, so I’ve painted those.  Rosecrans also dictated that ambulances belonging to the Army of the Cumberland would have a yellow flag (with a green ‘H’ added for field hospitals).  The Confederates are recorded as sometimes using red arm-bands, hat-bands and flags for the same purpose, which again I’ve painted on the figures.  However, I decided not to add flags, as they wouldn’t then fit in the trays I use to store my ACW collection.

Anyway, it’s all now done!  This time tomorrow night the game will be all set up for the first time and ready for battle to commence on Saturday!  I can’t wait! 🙂 

Please do come and introduce yourself if you’re at Warfare.

Posted in 10mm Figures, American Civil War, Fire & Fury (Brigade), Games, Painted Units, Scenery, Warfare (Show) | 6 Comments

Demo Game Progress… The Battle of Murfreesboro at Warfare 2021 (Part 6)

It’s now just one month to go until Warfare 2021 and the terrain boards for my Battle of Murfreesboro demo-game are now finished, packed in bubble-wrap and ready for transport!

The last phase of the terrain-building was the addition of weeds and bushes to the riverbanks, for which I used more leftover scraps of Woodland Scenics ‘Foliage Clusters’ and ‘Undergrowth’.  You can compare the pictures below to the pictures in Part 5 to see the difference.

I’m now in the process of building the ‘stick-on’ terrain, starting with these fences from Pendraken.  This is three packs’-worth and another nine packs have just arrived in the post!  I’ve also got 20-odd telegraph poles for the railway line and then I have to stick hot needles into 114 tree-trunks! 🙁

With the Union troops finished, I’ve moved on to the last of the Confederate troops and in two weeks have painted over 100 infantry and 20 cavalry, plus the dismounted option for the cavalry.  In the past I’ve found that the Rebs take around twice as long to paint, compared to the Bluebellies, but these came together surprisingly quickly.  I did however, reduce my palette of greys and butternuts from around fifteen shades to eight or nine, so that probably speeded things up a bit.  As usual, these figures are all by Pendraken.

As mentioned before, I’m using the order of battle for Gettysburg as my painting ‘to do’ list, so this is actually Anderson’s Division from A.P. Hill’s III Corps and actually completes that corps.  I’ve now ‘just’ got one division left to do from Ewell’s II Corps and all of Longstreet’s I Corps. 

For Murfreesboro I’ll be ditching all the Confederate ‘Battle-Flag’ command stands as shown above, and will instead use specific command stands for the Western Theatre, with their distinctive formation-specific flag designs.  I’ve therefore got two corps commanders, five divisional commanders and twenty infantry command stands to paint, but they shouldn’t take too long to do (about four days’ work).  I have posted this before, but here’s the flag sheet I’ve knocked up for the job:

Using 10mm figures and an increased ground-scale has enabled me to expand the map by 20%, compared to Troy Turner’s original scenario map and I’m therefore able to include the small cavalry clash that took place on the battle’s western flank.  I’ve already got more than enough Union cavalry, but my only painted Confederate cavalry until now is the 1st Virginia Regiment, with their rather distinctive blue-grey uniforms, black hats, black facings and hussar-style lacing.  I need something a bit more ‘Rebellious’ for the Western Theatre…

I’ve therefore done these fellas in a variety of grey and ‘butternut’ shades, like the infantry, with a few sporting the regulation yellow cavalry facings.  I’ve mixed in a few Union cavalry figures, just for a bit of variety and for the colour provided by their forage caps, which are either painted plain grey with a yellow band or in the full regulation yellow with a dark blue band.  For the officer I’ve used the Pendraken J.E.B. Stuart personality figure, with his very fashionable feathered hat and buttoned-back yellow plastron lapels.  I do like these. 🙂

‘Dragoon Tactics’, i.e. dismounting to skirmish, became increasingly common during the Civil War, so painting the ‘dismounted option’ is somewhat essential.  However, Confederate cavalry, often armed with pre-war muzzle-loading carbines or simply shotguns, pistols and hunting rifles, were frequently out-gunned by their Union opponents who were increasingly being supplied with modern breech-loading rifles and even repeating rifles.  In game terms using Fire & Fury rules, every fourth cavalry stands becomes a horse-holder stand when cavalry dismount, so the ten-stand cavalry unit becomes eight dismounted cavalry stands and two horse-holder stands.

Anyway, I’m now off on holiday for a week, so my apologies if I’m a little slow in approving comments!  🙂  Phil and I have a SYW game lined up for when I return, so there should soon be something other than ACW on here!

Posted in 10mm Figures, American Civil War, American Civil War Confederate Army, Fire & Fury (Brigade), Painted Units, Scenery, Warfare (Show) | 6 Comments

Demo Game Progress… The Battle of Murfreesboro at Warfare 2021 (Part 5: Flock Like A Beast!)

Sorry if ACW isn’t your bag, but this is yet another report on the progress of my demo-game for Warfare 2021 (Ascot Racecourse, 27/28 November).  There will eventually be non-ACW-related stuff on this blog!  If you haven’t been paying attention, this is a 10mm refight of the Battle of Murfreesboro or Stones River, which was fought on the 31st December 1862 and was the bloodiest (in terms of the percentage of participants who became casualties) of the entire war. We’re using Fire & Fury 2nd Edition and a slightly adapted version of Troy Turner’s Murfreesboro scenario from the Fire & Fury Great Western Battles 2nd Edition scenario book.

In the last thrilling instalment, your hero had painted all the terrain boards, varnished the rivers, laid the railway-track and marked out the wooded areas with suitable-coloured flock and undergrowth.  The sun was shining, so I also managed to lay them all out for a few photos (below).

This week I’ve been flocking like a belt-fed wombat and have flocked all the grassland and farmland areas of the boards.  Sadly, the weather hasn’t been as good, so I haven’t been able to get them all out again, but I did set two up, complete with some troops  and (Summer) trees…

Above:  The Rebs man the barricades!  In the actual game the trees will be mostly bare (Woodland Scenics tree armatures painted, but without foliage), with the odd green one dotted throughout for a bit of colour (and to make up the numbers – we’re going to need a lot of trees!).

Above:  For the grassland I again painted the area with PVA glue and then sprinkled on a few bits of Woodland Scenics ‘Undergrowth’ in olive green shade.  That was followed by some irregular patches of Woodland Scenics fine-grade ‘Yellow Grass’ flock and the whole lot was then covered in fine-grade ‘Burnt Grass’ flock.

Above:  Veteran flockers will know that you must ALWAYS tap off the excess when the flock has dried, as at least 50% of it (probably more) will be sitting loose on the top and can then be recycled.  You can sieve out the bits of undergrowth and bush that also fall off.

Above:  A bird’s-eye view.  I’m really pleased with how the two shades of grass have worked together and I think it does look suitably dead and wintry.  I wasn’t brave enough to make it all with Yellow Grass, which is probably how it looked in the dead of winter (as in the painting above), but the yellow patches do tone down the green tone of the Burnt Grass.

Above:  I’m also really pleased with how the railway looks in the landscape.  I thought that the brown ballast looked too red, but it’s actually blended into the terrain really.  It looks suitably rusty and actually looks just the same colour as the railway line outside my house.

Above:  The very last of the Union troops!  I had previously miscounted the number I needed to paint for the game, but they’re finally done.  As discussed last time, I’m actually working my way through the order of battle for Gettysburg and have now finished the Union I, II, III, XI ad XII Corps apart from two Zouave units, the US Sharp-Shooters and the generals for II & III Corps.  The ‘Italian’ flag on the right is that of the 39th New York Infantry (‘Garibaldi Guard’), though they didn’t fight at Murfreesboro, so won’t be seen in this game!

I’m now cracking on with the Rebels, which amounts to around 30 bases of infantry, 10 bases of cavalry, matching dismounted cavalry and horse-holder stands and a massive heap of Army of Tennessee-specific generals and brigade command stands with the appropriate flags.  Once those are done I should have enough time left to paint six objective markers (i.e. small vignettes showing troops storming a position – three for each side), five casualty markers (i.e. ambulances and attendant stretcher-bearers) and some more game markers (disorder, low ammo, wrecked battery, etc, as shown here).

Anyway, back to work… The next job is to add weeds and bushes to the riverbanks and some weathering to the railway level-crossings.  The boards will then be FINISHED! 🙂 

Posted in 10mm Figures, American Civil War, Fire & Fury (Brigade), Games, Scenery, Warfare (Show) | 3 Comments

Demo Game Progress… The Battle of Murfreesboro at Warfare 2021 (Part 4.1)

Just after I’d posted Part 4 in this series, the sun came out and the lawn dried off, so I took the opportunity to lay all the boards out (something I lack the space to do in the house) and take some more photos.  So here’s a better look at the boards.  Seeing it all laid out actually enabled me to spot a couple of mistakes where wood-edges didn’t match up across board-edges and even a whole missing piece of woodland, so those have since been corrected.

Also an apology: I’ve mentioned a few times that the Fire & Fury scenario for the Battle of Murfreesboro  was written by Rich Hasenauer, the author of Fire & Fury rules.  However, the scenario, as published in the Great Western Battles 2nd Edition scenario book, was actually written by Troy Turner.  Sorry Troy and thanks for writing a superb scenario.

Above:  The view from the south, looking north (the same orientation as the scenario map).  As mentioned last time, the bare earth looks much paler in photographs than it does in reality.

Above:  The view from the east, behind Confederate lines, looking west.

Above:  The view from the north, looking south across the railway.

Above:  The view from the west, behind Union lines, looking east.

Above:  The view along the railway line.  Unfortunately, a short section in the middle is slightly wonky, but isn’t that obvious unless you look along the line from this angle.  It’s also in the middle of the ‘Round Forest’, so should be hidden by trees when the game is set up.

Above:  The ‘Slaughter Pen’.  I noticed that I’d actually missed a strip of woodland along the road beyond the rocks, so that’s now been added.

Above  The overhead view.

Right, back to the flocking…

Posted in 10mm Figures, American Civil War, Fire & Fury (Brigade), Games, Scenery, Warfare (Show) | 5 Comments

Demo Game Progress… The Battle of Murfreesboro at Warfare 2021 (Part 4)

I’m pleased to report that once again, prep work for my 10mm ACW demo game of the Battle of Murfreesboro or Stones River is progressing well and the twelve terrain boards are now almost complete.  In my last progress report I’d assembled the terrain and it was awaiting painting.

Above:  I’ve now painted and dry-brushed the boards and have added the base flock for the woodland areas.  These areas were painted with PVA glue and then had Woodland Scenics ‘Undergrowth’ in olive green scattered over it, along with odd scraps of Woodland Scenics ‘Foliage Clusters’ in various shades of green.  This was then covered with Woodland Scenics fine-grade flock in ‘Earth Mix’, to resemble wintry woodland floor covered in dead leaves. 

When the game is set up, these woodland areas will then be covered in bare winter trees, with the occasional dark green cedar tree.  I still need to stick needles into the trunks of over 100 Woodland Scenics tree armatures.  Once done, the trees can then be stabbed into the polystyrene terrain boards without damaging them, which looks a lot better than based trees.

The undergrowth might prove to be a complete pain in the arse when manoeuvring troops through the woodland, so the players will have my standing permission to rip it off the board and move it aside, so the figure-bases sit flat on the board! 🙂

Above:  The railway is second-hand ‘N’ Gauge flexible model railway track, which I got from an online shop selling second-hand model railway stuff for next to nothing.  The chap very kindly cut it into 12-inch lengths for me, to make it easier and cheaper to post.  It was originally very shiny metal with black plastic sleepers.  In reality, rails and sleepers are always covered in rust and iron ‘brake-dust’, so I painted them with brick-red enamel.  When the paint was dry I gave the rail-head a quick polish with fine sandpaper.

The track-bed was first painted with a thick later of PVA and the track was then pressed down into it, before being sprinkled liberally with Woodland Scenics’ brown ‘Railway Ballast’.  I then finished it off with a few weeds, using more olive green ‘Undergrowth’.

The rivers were painted with Ronseal interior gloss acrylic varnish in ‘walnut’. In all I did about six or seven coats, but it probably only needed three!  Once I’ve added all the grassland flock, I’ll add bushes and weeds along the riverbanks.

Above:  The earth colour actually looks a lot lighter in the photographs than it does in real life!  I used an interior emulsion colour from B&Q called ‘Caracas’, which is basically beige.  Then I dry-brushed it with Sandtex ‘Oatmeal’.  Happily, it goes quite well with the colour of the grit I used for the breastworks.

For the railway level crossings I used matchsticks for the planking, which were then painted dark brown, along with the matchsticks on the breastworks.  I then used more PVA and ‘ballast’ to build up the road-ramps on each side of the crossings and the roadway was then painted and dry-brushed to match the surrounding terrain.  I’m going to tone the pale colour down a bit with more rust, plus some black where trains would have dropped oil and soot when passing.

Above:  The ‘Slaughter Pen’ looks pretty good now it’s starting to merge into the scenery.  I’m going to add some bushes and flock, especially where it meets the road.

Above:  Lastly, I’ve done some more Union troops.  I thought that these were the last, but it seems I’d miscounted and I still need to do another dozen or so bases! 🙁  The sharp-eyed will notice the green flag of one of the Irish Brigade regiments; I’m still largely using the order of battle for Gettysburg as my painting ‘To Do’ list and I’ve been churning my way through the II, III & XII Corps for that battle, so this is actually Caldwell’s Division of II Corps, plus the III Corps Artillery Brigade.  I won’t be using the Irish Brigade flag for Murfreesboro, as they weren’t present at that battle.

Back to the flocking…

Posted in 10mm Figures, American Civil War, American Civil War Union Army, Fire & Fury (Brigade), Painted Units, Scenery, Warfare (Show) | 8 Comments

Demo Game Progress… The Battle of Murfreesboro at Warfare 2021 (Part 3)

Preparation work for Murfreesboro is proceeding well here at Fawr Towers!  In the last thrilling instalment I’d built the basic terrain boards and was waiting for the PVA glue to dry.  With that done, I sanded down the slopes a little more to lessen the ‘step’ and started modelling the Confederate fieldworks covering the frontage of Hanson’s, Anderson’s and Chalmers’ brigades, as per the scenario map:

The fieldworks are described as ‘hasty’ and were probably little more than piled fence-rails, tree-trunks and rocks, so I’ve used twigs, matchsticks, MDF offcuts and horticultural grit, braced with a line of fenceposts made from half-matchsticks. all secured with a liberal amount of PVA glue and seasoned with builder’s sharp-sand:

In addition to the fieldworks, I needed to model the pivotal rocky outcrop known afterwards as ‘The Slaughter Pen’.  This is a classic piece of exposed ‘Limestone Pavement’ as we might see on the western Brecon Beacons, Derbyshire Peaks or Yorkshire Dales, so being very familiar with such geology, I considered accurately modelling such a geological feature…

…for all of ten seconds before opting instead for a random pile of rocks, albeit hand-selected by artisan foragers and placed upon a jus of PVA, garnished with horticultural grit and again seasoned with the finest builder’s sharp-sand:

I was also going to model the railway at this point, but then realised that I really need to do that after painting the boards, otherwise the rails will get covered in the main earth colour.  Much as it pains me to say it, lest I be accused of <gasp!> railway modelling… I’ve bought a bag of miniature railway ballast…

With the rocks and fieldworks firmly fixed, I liberally painted the boards with yet more PVA and liberally sanded them to create some texture.  I find that a coat of PVA and sand also serves to stiffen and toughen the boards (though probably triples the weight).

These days I use supermarket play-pit sand.  I can get very fine sand from the lovely beach sand-dunes hereabouts, but it contains a lot of salt which can leach out to leave a deposit on water-based paints.  Pembrokeshire County Council also tends to take a dim view of people stealing the beach, even if it is just one bag at a time…  I picked up my last sack of play-sand at Tesco in 2015 for about £5 and it’s served to cover three demo-games and every figure and tree-base I’ve made since, so it’s good value!  And there’s still plenty left.

As for the figures, the painting is already well ahead of schedule, so all being well, I should be able to paint some ‘extras’ such as ambulances, objective markers and the like.  As discussed in Part 1 of this series, I’ve been researching the headquarters flags of Rosecrans’ Army of the Cumberland and at the time of the Battle of Murfreesboro, the three wings of the army were simply described as the Centre, Right and Left Wings and probably didn’t use headquarters flags.  However, only one week after the battle they formally became the XIV, XX and XXI Corps and adopted headquarters flags shortly afterwards.  Although they’re anachronistic for this battle, I thought I may as well create some commanders for the three new corps, as they’ll come in handy for a future refight of the Battle of Chickamauga.

I described the various known flags last time, but got one key fact wrong: the headquarters flag for McCook’s XX Corps (shown above) was apparently red, not blue.  The headquarters flag for XIV Corps was apparently identical, though with a blue field and the number ’14’.  The divisional headquarters for XIV Corps carried blue flags with stars indicating the number of the division and it’s therefore probably that XX Corps went with a similar scheme, except using red as the flag colour.

I’ve therefore knocked up this flag-sheet as a ‘best guess’.  The bright blue flags with black stars are for XIV Corps from January to August 1863, while the dark blue flags with white stars are post-August 1863 and are apparently the type carried at Chickamauga.  The red flags are my hypothetical flags for XX Corps (the eagles aren’t quite right (the shield should be of the field colour, with the corps number), but they’re in the right pose and are ‘near enough’ for 10mm…). 

PLEASE let me know if you have better information, as these flags are very easy to remove and replace with more accurate versions! 🙂

Rosecrans

Above:  General William Rosecrans‘ headquarters.  Army commanders are not normally represented in Fire & Fury, but in this instance Rosecrans’ personal example was a consistent motivating factor, so he features in the scenario as a ‘roving positive modifier’. 

An escorting cavalry trooper carries the headquarters standard, which to be honest, was probably adopted after the Battle of Murfreesboro.  The standard was based on the Stars & Stripes, though was superimposed with an eagle and had ‘DC’ within a circle with stars, indicating the Department of the Cumberland.

Above:  ‘Old Rosie’ has attracted some admirers from the local civilian population.

Above:  A young staff officer salutes a ‘Southern Belle’…

Above:  “Oh God, on second thoughts…”

George H Thomas

Above:  General George Henry Thomas, commanding the Centre (later the XIV Corps). 

As mentioned above, the flags shown are those carried at Chickamauga in September 1863.  An order from Rosecrans issued in early August 1863 dictated that the old flags, being bright blue with black stars, were to be replaced with new flags of dark blue with white stars.  The number of stars indicated the number of the division.  The stars were arranged vertically near the hoist (1 placed centrally, 2 placed top and bottom and 3 placed equally spaced), though when XIV Corps formed a fourth division, the fourth star was placed alongside the central star of the column of three stars.

For reasons unknown, XIV Corps changed its pattern of flags twice again during the course of the war, eventually settling upon an acorn as its corps badge.

Above:  Thomas’ divisional commanders: Rousseau (1st Division) and Negley (2nd Division).  Fry‘s 3rd Division was largely absent, though elements intervened in the latter stages of the battle.

Alexander McCook

Above:  The headquarters of General Alexander McDowell McCook’s Right Wing (which later became XX Corps).

As mentioned above, these flags are speculative, based on a single mention of the XX Corps headquarters flag at Chickamauga being red and of an identical design to that of XIV Corps.

Following the horrific casualties suffered by XX Corps at Chickamauga, the remnants of the corps were absorbed into a new IV Corps and a brand-new XX Corps was formed under General Hooker from the remnants of XII Corps and part of XI Corps, transferred in from the Army of the Potomac.  The new XX Corps adopted the five-pointed star badge and the system of flags already used by the old XII Corps.  Any attempt at research into the flags of XX Corps consequently always throws up the flags of the ‘new’ XX Corps.

Above:  McCook’s divisional commanders: Davis (1st Division), Johnson (2nd Division) and Sheridan (3rd Division).

Thomas L Crittenden

Above:  The headquarters of General Thomas L Crittenden‘s Left Wing (which became XXI Corps).

Thankfully the headquarters flags of XXI Corps are rather better recorded than the other flags of the Army of the Cumberland.  They seem to have stayed the same throughout 1863, being striped red, white and blue, with black stars indicating the divisional number.

XXI Corps suffered horrific casualties during the Battle of Chickamauga and was amalgamated with the remnants of XX Corps, to become the new IV Corps.

Above:  Crittenden’s divisional commanders: Wood (1st Division), Palmer (2nd Division) and Van Cleve (3rd Division).  Van Cleve had a particularly striking ‘badger’ beard, which was fun to replicate. 

Above:  I’ve also painted some more Union artillery.  God I hate painting limbers…

Above:  And I’ve also painted three more brigades of Union infantry.  I’ve still got another four guns and sixteen bases of infantry left to fo for the Union side, but should have those finished by this time next week.  Then I’ve got about thirty bases of Confederate infantry to paint, plus a load of Western-specific infantry command stands and mounted commanders.

Right, I’m off to slap some paint on the terrain boards…

Posted in 10mm Figures, American Civil War, American Civil War Union Army, Fire & Fury (Brigade), Games, Painted Units, Scenery, Warfare (Show) | 5 Comments

Demo Game Progress… The Battle of Murfreesboro at Warfare 2021 (Part 2)

As discussed last month, I’m booked in to put on a demo game at the Wargames Association of Reading’s ‘Warfare 2021’ show over the weekend of 27/28 November. 

At the last ‘Warfare’ in 2019 I won the trophy for the Best Demo Game with my Cassinga Raid game and this time I’m doing a refight of the American Civil War Battle of Murfreesboro (also known as Stones River), using Pendraken 10mm figures and Fire & Fury 2nd Edition rules, with a slightly expanded version of Rich Hassenauer’s scenario from his Great Western Battles 2nd Edition scenario book for Fire & Fury. 

Here’s my version of the scenario map.  As I’m using 10mm figures with an increased ground-scale, I’m able to bring the small flanking action between Zahm’s Union cavalry and Wharton’s Confederate cavalry onto the table, as well as part of Breckenridge’s Confederate division that starts the game off-table in Rich’s original scenario.

To build the terrain, I’m using 2’x2′ high-density polystyrene boards (the product is called MD-FRA) which I get from a manufacturer in the UK by the name of Eccleston & Hart, who provide an excellent product, very cheaply and very quickly.  They also put a few extra boards in the pack to act as ‘buffers’ against damage in transit, which can also then be used to make scenery. 🙂

The boards arrived in the form of a ‘Black Monolith’…

I’m using two thicknesses of polystyrene board; the base-boards are 20mm thick and the top-layer is 10mm thick.  I cut the rivers out of the 10mm boards and then glue them onto the baseboards using PVA glue:

It needs to be emphasised at this point that this is a job that requires a lot of space and can get VERY messy!  Thankfully we’ve had a long period of unseasonably dry and warm weather here in normally-soggy Wales, so I was able to do it all in the garden.  Mrs Fawr very unkindly took some photos of me in action and clearly photoshopped out my hair (obviously)…

Oh and I had ‘help’…

After ungluing the dog, the next stage was to mark out the position of roads, railway and hills:

Then the messiest stage of all; cutting out the hills, smoothing them off with a sanding-block, gluing them on to the boards and then using the sanding-block to carve out the roads and fords:

The next stage will be some terrain-detailing in the form a rocky outcrop (the ‘Slaughter Pen’) in the centre of the table and some hasty Confederate breastworks.  Once those are done I’ll paint the whole board with PVA and coat it in fine sand for a bit of texture (I find that it also adds toughness and rigidity to the boards) before painting and flocking.

In the meantime I’ve also been making good progress on the figure-painting front, with three Union infantry brigades completed:

Lastly, I’ve painted a command base for Morton’s special Pioneer Brigade (posed here with some of the infantry from the last photo).  This brigade was formed from the massed regimental pioneers from all the regiments of the Army of the Cumberland.  The Pioneers didn’t carry regimental colours, but a flag (probably the brigade headquarters flag) is recorded for them later in the war and that’s good enough for me…

With the glorious weather now starting to break, I’m very pleased to report that the biggest terrain jobs are now complete.  As the weather gets colder and wetter I can do all the painting and flocking indoors, one board at a time.  However, the initial cutting, carving and gluing phase always needs a lot of space in order to lay out the full map and check the alignment of roads and rivers, but that’s now done! 🙂

Posted in 10mm Figures, American Civil War, Fire & Fury (Brigade), Games, Scenery, Warfare (Show) | 15 Comments

‘Hannover Siegt, Der Franzmann Liegt’: My 15mm SYW Hanoverian & German Allied Army (Part 2)

As discussed last time, I’m booked to put on a 10mm American Civil War game at Warfare 2021 in November, so I’ll have to put my 15mm Seven Years War project on hold for the moment while I paint a load more Blue & Grey and build the scenery.  However, I did this week manage to finish off all the Hanoverian infantry in my lead-pile before moving on to the ACW.  Once Warfare is out of the way I’ll come back to this army to do the cavalry, artillery and generals and with luck I’ll be able to play a French v Allied SYW game in early 2022.

In Part 1 of this series, I mentioned that I’m building a ‘Western Allied’ army for the Seven Years War.  This British-funded army was mainly Hanoverian, though also included contingents from Great Britain, Brunswick, Hessen-Kassel, Schaumburg-Lippe and Prussia.  I’m using the order of battle for the Battle of Minden as my immediate ‘to do’ list and have already completed the British infantry contingent for that battle (i.e. Von Spörcken’s 3rd Column, shown above), as well as the Hanoverian Foot Guards, the Sachsen-Gotha Regiment and Von Scheele’s Hanoverian Brigade from the Prince of Anhalt’s 4th Column.

Above:  I’ve now completed the three battalions of Wissembach’s Brigade, which formed the second line of the Prince of Anhalt’s 4th Column at Minden, so here’s the whole formation in all its glory.  Scheele’s Brigade (which I covered in Part 1) forms the first line, while Wissembach’s Brigade forms the second line.

Above:  Prince Carl Leopold of Anhalt-Bernburg is commonly referred to as the ‘Prince of Anhalt’ in most English language accounts, which leads to all sorts of confusion, as there were seemingly dozens of princes of various branches of the Anhalt family (the House of Ascania), including one who at Minden was commanding a brigade on the French side!  Prince Carl Leopold of Anhalt was also known by his family name of von Bährnfeld.

On the eve of the Battle of Minden, Prince Carl Leopold was commanding the 4th Column of the Allied army, consisting of the brigades of Scheele and Wissembach.  However, the Prince proved to be derelict in his duty as General of the Day, when he failed to adequately establish a picquet-line in front of the Allied army.  Consequently, the French were able to form up completely unobserved in the early hours of the morning and even a warning from a group of French deserters failed to stir the Prince into action until it was too late! 

The Commanding General, Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, later alleged that the Prince of Anhalt had failed to execute his orders to attack.  However, in the Prince of Anhalt’s defence it would seem that no such orders were ever issued by Prince Ferdinand.  Nevertheless, Carl Leopold undoubtedly failed to act on his own initiative and allowed the French to occupy key terrain.  In exasperation at Carl Leopold’s inaction, Ferdinand eventually ordered General Scheele to take command of the Prince of Anhalt’s division and it was therefore Scheele, not the Prince of Anhalt who led the counter-attack to relieve Spörcken’s beleaguered command.

Above:  Prince Carl Leopold of Anhalt-Bernburg held a commission in the Army of Hessen-Kassel and was Chef of the Hessen-Kassel ‘Prinz von Anhalt’ Infantry Regiment.  There was no prescribed uniform for Hessian general officers, so he wears the uniform of his regiment, namely a dark blue coat with red facings and silver lace edging to the lapels, cuffs, cuff-flaps and hat.  As in the Prussian Army, general officers probably had white ostritch feathers along the upper edge of the hat. 

This is a 15mm Prussian general officer figure by Blue Moon (Old Glory).

Above:  Wissembach’s Brigade.  This consisted of three single-battalion infantry regiments; the Hanoverian ‘Stolzenberg’ Regiment, the Hanoverian ‘Estorff’ Regiment and the Hessen-Kassel ‘Erbprinz‘ Regiment.

Above:  The Hanoverian ‘Stolzenberg’ Regiment changed hands several times over the course of the Seven Years War.  From 1756 to 1759 the inhaber was Friedrich Ludwig von Stolzenberg, though shortly after the Battle of Minden, Stolzenberg retired and the title passed to Carl Detlev von Marschalk.  However, Marschalk died in October 1760 and the title changed again to Georg Christian von Craushaar.  Some time after the Seven Years War the regiment was given the designation 4-B.  As discussed last time, many histories of the Seven Years War refer to these post-war regimental numbers (as well as the post-war Prussian and Austrian regimental numbers), even though they were not in use at the time, as it enables the reader to more easily keep track of regiments whose titles kept changing.

Above:  The ‘Stolzenberg’ Regiment had black facings (lapels and cuffs) with white buttons and lace (silver for officers).  However, like the other black-faced regiments of the Hanoverian Army (such as the ‘Reden’ Regiment discussed last time), the waistcoat, coat-linings and flags were of a different colour, which in this case was straw.  Hat pom-poms were red-over-black.

These are Eureka Miniatures 18mm British infantry figures.  I discussed the generic details of Hanoverian infantry uniforms and the differences with British uniforms in part 1.  The flags are by Maverick Models.

Above:  The ‘Stolzenberg’ Regiment had three lace buttonholes on each tail-pocket.  The Regimental Colour was straw-coloured, matching the colour of the regiment’s waistcoats and coat-linings, which are here visible as tail-turnbacks.  The Colour had an intricately-painted scene, showing the seated Greek goddess Athena offering a laurel wreath to an armoured knight on foot, all contained within a large blue laurel-wreath.

Above:  The ‘Stolzenberg’ Regiment’s grenadiers had the usual mitre caps, though these differed slightly from the normal pattern, in that the ‘face’ of the cap was red, rather than the the facing colour (black).  Instead the false ‘flap’ was coloured black and was decorated with the ‘GR’ cypher in white, along with other white lace decoration.  The face of the cap was decorated with more white lace and a large electoral crest badge in white metal.  This was all topped off with a white tuft.

Above:  The rear of the ‘Stolzenberg’ Regiment’s grenadier caps were also non-standard, having a red band instead of the usual facing-coloured band.  This was however, decorated in the standard manner, with white piping and a white metal grenade badge.

Above:  The Hanoverian ‘Estorff’ Regiment actually started the war as the ‘Brunck’ Regiment, having Heinrich Joachim von Brunck as its inhaber.  However, he retired in 1759 and the title passed to Ludolph von Estorff.  The regiment was later assigned the number 12-B.

Above:  The ‘Estorff’ Regiment had grass green as its facing colour and the regiment’s waistcoats and coat-linings were coloured the same, as was the Regimental Colour.  Buttons and lace were white (silver for officers).

These again are Eureka Miniatures 18mm British infantry figures and the flags are again by Maverick Models.  Note that Maverick Models usually refer to the initial name of the regiment, so this one is listed as ‘Brunck’.

Above:  The ‘Estorff Regiment’ had two lace buttonholes decorating each tail pocket.  The Regimental Colour was again decorated with an elaborate painted scene, showing a rocky island in a blue sea, being struck by bolts of lightning coming from grey clouds in an otherwise white sky.  This was then surrounded by a green palm wreath and topped with a blue scroll and crown.  The corners were decorated with crowned ‘GR’ cyphers.

Above:  The grenadiers of the ‘Estorff’ Regiment had mitre caps with the front face, ‘flap’ and headband in the facing colour.  The face was decorated with a large white metal electoral crest, while the flap featured the running horse of Hanover; probably embroidered in white.  The back of the cap was red with white piping and the whole lot was topped off with a white-over-red tuft.

Above:  The Hessen-Kassel ‘Erbprinz‘ Regiment.  The regimental Chef was Prince Frederick, the Hereditary Prince (Erbprinz) of Hessen-Kassel.  In 1760 the Prince succeeded his father Landgraf William VIII of Hessen-Kassel to become Landgraf Frederick II and the regimental title was changed to the 4th Guard (Vierte Garde) Regiment.

Landgraf Frederick II of Hessen-Kassel

Hessian infantry regiments were initially single large battalions, each of ten companies totaling 950 men at full strength.  This therefore translates as a large unit of 16 figures for ‘Shako/Tricorn’ (like the Hanoverians).  Each company included a corps of eight grenadiers, which on campaign would be formed into a detached grenadier company of 80 men and grouped with other such companies to form ad hoc grenadier battalions of variable strength. 

However, in 1760 the new Landgraf Frederick II (who also happened to be a serving Prussian general) reorganised the army along Prussian lines, splitting each infantry regiment into two small battalions of five companies apiece.  The grenadier component was expanded to two full companies.  In wartime the two grenadier companies would now be paired at the start of a campaign with the grenadiers from another regiment, forming one of six permanent, Prussian-style grenadier battalions.

In theory the infantry regiments were each expanded in 1760 by an additional 200 men, but in reality this strength-increase was totally absorbed by the massively-expanded grenadier component and the infantry battalions remained weak.  There was therefore absolutely no tactical advantage gained from splitting the regiments into two battalions and Ferdinand of Brunswick actually commented that it made absolutely no difference if the Hessian regiments fielded one or two battalions.  In wargame terms, I’m therefore happy fielding the pre-1760 16-figure battalions to represent Hessian regiments right through the whole war and don’t plan to paint a separate late-war Hessian army.  I will however, need to add extra grenadiers for the post-1760 army (though I haven’t yet painted any Hessian grenadiers).

Above:  The Erbprinz‘ Regiment initially had dark blue coats with lemon yellow lapels, cuffs, collar, turnbacks and hat pom-poms, with white metal buttons and white lace edging around the lapels, collar and hat.  There were also three pairs of lace buttonholes on each lapel, three buttonholes below each lapel, four buttonholes on each sleeve, three buttonholes on each tail-pocket and two buttonholes wither side of the small of the back.  Waistcoats were lemon yellow, neck-stocks were red and belts were white.  In common with other Hessian regiments, breeches were initially dark blue with white stockings visible above the gaiters (which were black on campaign and white on parade).  At some point during the late 1750s, the breeches changed to lemon yellow, though I’m going with the dark blue ‘look’ for all my Hessian regiments.

These are Eureka Miniatures 18mm Prussian infantry figures and the flags are again by Maverick Models.  Not much is known about Hessian flags of the period, but they didn’t adopt the ‘Prussian’ style (carried during the American War of Independence) until well after the 1760 reorganisations and in most cases, probably not until well after the end of the Seven Years War.  Maverick’s reconstruction of the flags features the cypher of Landgraf William VIII.

Above:  A rear view of the ‘Erbprinz’ Regiment.  Some sources suggest that the turnbacks may have been red rather than yellow.  Hessian drummers are known to have worn reversed colours during the 1740s and early 1750s, but by the time of the Seven Years War had changed to the standard blue regimental coat, with the addition of red and white lace.

With the reorganisation of 1760, the regiment adopted a new uniform to go with the new title.  The facing colour was changed from yellow to rose-pink, the lace edging was removed from the collar and lapels and the number of lace buttonholes was reduced (three pairs on each lapel, a pair below each lapel, a pair on each sleeve and one either side of the back).  The waistcoat and breeches became white.

Ab0ve:  Wersabé’s Hanoverian Grenadier Battalion (shown on the right) forms up alongside Maxwell’s British Grenadier Battalion (shown on the left).  As discussed in my article on the British Army, the Allied grenadiers at Minden were all massed into a single brigade as part of Wangenheim’s Corps and the Hanoverian grenadiers were all massed in a single battalion under the command of one Lt Col Wersabé.  I’ve not found any information on the composition of this battalion, but it was known to be an ad hoc unit, simply formed from whatever grenadier companies were present, apart from those of the Fuβgarde, who were always used as headquarters guards.

Above:  Hanoverian Grenadier Battalion ‘Wersabé’.  As mentioned previously, Hanoverian grenadiers battalions of the first half of the war were ad hoc affairs, formed from whatever was available on a given day.  They were therefore of extremely variable strength and composition and this is therefore a conjectural wargames unit, comprising a figure from each of the six line regiments painted thus far, plus another six selected at random from the nine other regiments present at Minden.  It’s possible that all fifteen regiments were represented and a large 16-figure unit might therefore be more appropriate, but I’ve kept it as a conservative 12-figure unit.

Above:  Hanoverian Grenadier Battalion ‘Wersabé’.  From 1759, the Hanoverians formed three permanent Grenadier Battalions at the start of each campaign, though these proved to be rather weak (roughly half the strength of a line infantry battalion), so in 1760 the strength was fixed at 500 men per battalion.  In 1762 a massive increase in the strength of each regiment’s grenadier company enabled an increase to six grenadier battalions.

Above:  A rear view of Hanoverian Grenadier Battalion ‘Wersabé’.

Above:  The military-minded Count William of Schaumburg-Lippe was nobody’s fool and knew that if his tiny country were to go to war, it would always be as part of a coalition and there was therefore no point in building a balanced army of all arms.  The core of the Army of Schaumburg-Lippe was therefore built around a small though excellent Artillery Corps, serving guns designed by the Count himself. 

Count William of Schaumburg-Lippe

Supporting the guns was a single battalion-sized infantry regiment, titled the ‘Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg’ Infantry Regiment.  This regiment consisted of seven companies, with a theoretical full strength of 800 men, though in reality fielding 675 men (this discrepancy may be due to infantrymen being detached to serve the guns).  At Minden the regiment was tasked as artillery guards, though it fought as infantry in the line of battle at a number of other engagements.

Some sources state that the regiment included two companies of grenadiers, wearing Prussian-style Füsilier caps.  While the Grenadiers certainly existed, they were actually completely separate units, being deployed as headquarters guards and in support of the Schaumburg-Lippe Carabiniercorps engaged in the petit guerre.

Above:  The Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg Regiment had a relatively simple uniform consisting of an unlaced dark blue coat with red Swedish cuffs, turnbacks and collar and white metal buttons.  The hat had white lace edging and red-over-white pompoms with a black cockade (silver lace for officers).  Neck-stocks were red, smallclothes and belts were white and gaiters were black.

These are Eureka Miniatures 18mm Prussian infantry figures.

Above:  By sheer luck, just as I was painting the Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg Regiment, two gentlemen, Boris Brink and Volker Scholz posted their reconstruction of the regiment’s flags on the excellent Kronsokaf website and I was able to adapt their superb drawings into a set of flags that I could print on my laser-printer… Then they changed their designs, so I printed them off again and stuck them on my figures… And now they’ve changed the design again, in line with their latest research! 🙂 

But never mind, I’ll leave these flags as they are! 🙂

Anyway, that’s it for now!  Back to the ACW…

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War British & Hanoverian Armies, Seven Years War Minor German States, Shako Rules | 4 Comments

Demo Game Plans… The Battle of Murfreesboro at Warfare 2021

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it previously… but I have the signal honour to be the reigning holder of the trophy for Best Demo Game at the Wargames Association of Reading’s ‘Warfare’ show…  OK, I might have mentioned it once or twice, but I think I got away with it…

That was in 2019, but nobody turned up to challenge me in 2020 (they must have had something else on, or something…), so I’ve kept the trophy by default.  However, Warfare is definitely on this year, at its new venue of Ascot Racecourse over the weekend of 27/28 November, so I finally have to take the trophy back! 🙁 

That said, I’ve decided to mount a robust defence of my title and Mark M has badgered me into doing an ACW game this time, using my collection of 10mm figures and Fire & Fury 2nd Edition rules. 

After much trawling about for scenarios, I’ve settled on the Battle of Murfreesboro (a.k.a. Stone’s River), which took place on 31st December 1862 in Tennessee.  The battle features in both the 1st and 2nd Editions of Rich Hasenauer’s ‘Great Western Battles’ scenario book for Fire & Fury and was a hard-fought engagement, infamous for having the highest casualty-rate (as a percentage of the combatants engaged) of the war.  A few people have recommended it as their favourite battle to wargame and specifically as their favourite Fire & Fury scenario, so it seems a good bet.  The terrain is also fairly straightforward and once built should all fit in the back of my car (a critical design feature)! 🙂 

As I’m using 10mm figures with an altered ground-scale, I’m able to include a larger portion of the battlefield on an 8×6-foot table.  This means that I can have some of the off-table Confederate reinforcements actually on the table at the start and can also include the little cavalry action that took place on the flank of the battle.  I’ve therefore re-drawn Rich Hasenauer’s original scenario map at my altered scale (1 inch in the rules becomes 20mm in my version, so distances are reduced by 20% and I can get more map on the available table-space). 

Here’s my revised version of the scenario map.  As I’m able to fit more of the battlefield onto my 6×8-foot table, Zahm’s Union cavalry brigade and Wharton’s Confederate cavalry brigade are now both on the table, along with most of Breckenridge’s Confederate division:

I’m going to use the same construction method as last time; namely 2-foot squares of high-density polystyrene with terrain features such as rivers cut out of a thinner layer of polystyrene that will then be glued on top.  This is far easier and looks a lot better than trying to cut rivers etc out of the base-board itself.  Here’s what the terrain for my previous game looked like in its ‘raw’ unpainted state, with the river-valleys and trenches cut out of the top layer, which was then glued down onto the base layer:

Last time I used 25mm thick base-boards, with 12mm thick boards glued on top, but this time I’m going with 20mm base-boards and a 10mm top-layer, then more 20mm boards to make the hills.  

Although the battlefield wasn’t covered in snow, it was still very much a winter battlefield, being fought on New Year’s Eve.  I’m therefore going to use muted, wintry/dead shades of Woodland Scenics flock for the grass, farmland and woodland areas. 

I’m also going to use a lot of bare tree armatures (again by Woodland Scenics) for the woodland.  Instead of using bases, the trees will be ‘impaled’ on sewing needles and these can then be stabbed into the terrain-boards.  This doesn’t damage the boards and does look very effective, as the trees blend seamlessly into the terrain, as can be seen in this shot of the Cassinga game:

In terms of troops, I’m using my own collection of Pendraken 10mm figures.  I thought I already had enough, but needed ‘a few bits and pieces’… I now suddenly find that I have a packed painting-schedule from now until November! 

Strictly speaking, both sides would have been very much in ‘winter mode’, with the Union troops in particular being equipped with greatcoats, as shown in the picture above.  The Union Army in the Western Theatre also tended to wear slouch-hats alongside the ‘classic’ peaked blue forage caps, which can also be seen above.  However, I don’t plan to make specific ‘winterised’ or ‘westernised’ armies, as that way lies madness, so my existing troops will have to do! 

That said, as my existing Confederate army is geared toward the Army of Northern Virginia at Gettysburg, the flags are almost all of the classic Confederate ‘Battle Flag’ type, which was hardly used in the Western Theatre at this time.  I’m therefore making a stack of new brigade command stands, divisional leaders and corps leaders for my Confederates, featuring the various designs of flag that were used by the Army of Tennessee.  I should mention at this point that Leon at Pendraken very kindly did a special order for me of thirty cavalry standard-bearers, for use as headquarters flag-bearers.  Thanks Leon! 🙂 

Regiments within the same division tended to have the same design, so here’s a flag-sheet I’ve knocked up which will hopefully make the Confederates look rather more in keeping with the Western Theatre (below).

My Union regiments don’t need any alternate flags, though I am going to make a new command stand for Morton’s special Pioneer Brigade, featuring a blue & white flag with crossed axes that was recorded as being used by the Pioneers of the Army of the Cumberland some time later (below).

In terms of senior commanders, I need a Union army leader base for General William Rosecrans, commanding the Army of the Cumberland and featuring the headquarters flag of the Department of the Cumberland, which was the Stars & Stripes, though with ‘D.C.’ at the centre of the stars and an eagle superimposed on the stripes (below).  This flag probably postdated the Battle of Murfreesboro, but what the hell…

I’d also like to do some theatre-specific Union corps and divisional leader stands, but the organisational history is slightly complicated and the details of flags are pretty vague.  Here’s all the information I’ve got…

The Army of the Cumberland had been formed in October 1862 from the former Army of Ohio and at the same time was confusingly also designated as the Union Army’s XIV Corps, consisting of a whopping TWELVE divisions!  The Army of the Ohio had been divided into three unofficial corps, numbered I, II & III.  However, these were now re-named as ‘Grand Divisions’ or ‘Wings’, designated ‘Right’ (the old I Corps, under Alexander McCook), ‘Left’ (the old II Corps, under Thomas Crittenden) and ‘Centre’ (the old III Corps, under George Thomas). 

Neither the former corps of the Army of Ohio or the new Grand Divisions appear to have been given headquarters flags, which is rather boring from a wargamer’s perspective… However, in January 1863 (roughly a week after the Battle of Murfreesboro), the Grand Divisions were given formal Army Corps designations by Washington; McCook’s ‘Right Wing’ became the new XX Corps, Crittenden’s ‘Left Wing’ became the new XXI Corps and Thomas’ ‘Centre Wing’ retained the XIV Corps designation.  So I thought I might paint some commanders for the XIV, XX & XXI Corps, as even though they’re anachronistic for Murfreesboro, they’ll give it a Western flavour and will come in handy for later Western battles such as Chickamauga…

While the Army of the Cumberland doesn’t appear to have standardised its badges and headquarters flags to quite the same degree as the standardisation that happened in the Army of Potomac during May 1863, Rosecrans did apparently issue some direction on the design of flags as part of his General Order No.91.  However, the only part of this order I’ve managed to find online just covers the subject of hospital flags. 

McCook’s XX Corps HQ certainly had a headquarters flag at the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863 (shown above), which was apparently blue with a gold or black eagle and gold fringe (light shining through the flag in the photo above makes it look pale).  I can’t find anything out about the divisional HQ flags.  In 1864, XX Corps absorbed the remnants of the XI & XII Corps and adopted the five-pointed star badge and HQ flags used by XII Corps under the Army of the Potomac.  

In 1863, XIV Corps HQ is known to have used a flag identical to McCook’s flag above, though with ’14’ at the centre.  Rosecrans’ General Order No.177, dated 1st August 1863 states that the divisional HQs of XIV Corps had previously used bright blue flags with black stars (the number of stars equaling the number of the division), but that they were now to be changed to dark blue flags with with white stars.  The stars were arranged vertically near the hoist.  XIV Corps changed its flags twice again before the end of the war.

XXI Corps was known to be using a system of red, white and blue horizontally-striped flags by September 1863.  The Corps HQ flag had a black eagle in the centre with ’21’ in a shield on the eagle’s breast (right).  The three divisional HQs didn’t have the eagle, but instead had either one, two or three black stars near the hoist.  The corps HQ flag had a gold fringe, while the divisional HQ flags did not have a fringe.

I can find the flags for XXI Corps available to download online, but nothing for XIV Corps or XX Corps for that period, though later flags are available and I do already have the staff for XII Corps, which could be used for XX Corps from 1864.  Or I could paint some new flags based on the descriptions for 1863… Decisions, decisions…

[Edited to add:] The Black Monolith of polystyrene has arrived!  Let terrain-building commence…

Posted in 10mm Figures, American Civil War, Fire & Fury (Brigade), Games, Warfare (Show) | 6 Comments