|Logan's Cross Roads (Mill Springs)
19th January 1862
& November 27th 2009
Max's Confederate's advanced swiftly onto the hill, faced off by the 10th Indiana skirmishers who
provided a galling fire, whilst Nige advanced the 4th Kentucky forward into the woods with Manson.
The next few turns saw the 'Cawfee' chip come up very quickly, or the Cautious/Political chip, resulting
in a lull where neither side moved but blasted away at each other at close range. We actually had
forgotten that Max’s aggressive troops should have continued their moves at ‘Cawfee’.
The turn chip didn't appear either. By the time we eventually got round to turn four Max had barely
moved but had actually managed to force over 50% casualties on the Union 10th Indiana skirmishers
with a combination of cannister and close range musketry, making them 'permanently defeated'. So far
so good for the Confederates.
Turn four saw the blinds chips for both sides put into the hat and Clive offering to make a coffee for
everyone. I took over drawing the chips and immediately pulled all the ones for the Rebs. Paul made
full use of the ‘Confederate Grand Tactical’ chip swiftly advancing a blind on table and through
Zollicoffer’s stationary force. Luckily for the Federals Clive returned to his chip drawing role.
With Manson still so far away spotting for the Union side was very difficult indeed, but on attack orders
Carroll’s Brigade was forced to move to automatic spotting range and was deployed at the ‘Cawfee’
The Union dismounted cavalry put up a spirited defense but were forced back by the superior numbers
and aggressively moving Confederate regiments. Manson’s Brigade had slowly advanced through the
woods and were now in a position to support the retreating Union skirmishers.
The remaining two Confederate blinds had fanned out to the left and right outflanking the Union
position. My fellow Union commanders were beginning to look very worried indeed.
The Union blinds had still not moved at this point and were sat in their deployment area. Their chip was
just not coming up at all. Things were looking a little bleak for the Federals, but all was not lost...
The Confederate troops deployed on table were having their own problems, repeatedly hit by the
Cautious/Political chip and then rolling poorly on the average die for their PIPs. Their cavalry soon
began to realise that being shotgun armed was a little limiting whilst their aggressive infantry in close
proximity to the enemy kept attacking only for the Union skirmishers to evade drawing them further in.
The Union C-in-C, Brigadier-General G.H. Thomas (Nige), now issued direct orders to the two Union
batteries to move to the centre of the table in support of the weakening position, as the infantry
regiments of Manson’s Brigade arrived in centre in the nick of time....
Mill Springs Road
Columbia - Somerset Road
I decided to put on a game for the lads using 'They Couldn't hit and Elephant' by Too Fat Lardies. I am
no expert on the Civil War. The scenario was based on the Logan's Crossroads scenario adapted from
Paul D. Stevenson's excellent 'Guns at Gettysburg Scenario book 1 - Heartland' (Partizan Press)
available from Caliver Books.
There are three in the series and are great resources being full of Divisional sized actions, giving
detailed maps and units of varying size, quality and armament all of which are required for 'Elephant'.
It sure saves a few headaches and is great if you're new to the period, as I am.
Nige, Clive and myself played Union, and Max and Paul the Confederates.
The table set up is shown below. Lots of woods, a low hill and a ravine were probably the key features.
The action at Logan’s Crossroads (aka Mill Springs) occurred as a result of the Confederate forces of
General G. B Crittenden making a forced march through heavy rain to attack the Union forces under
General G. H. Thomas before they could be reinforced.
The Union forces were widely dispersed and disjointed. Their units were raw and their commanders of
mixed ability. The Confederates were quite poorly led and mostly armed with smoothbore muskets
which were badly affected by the rainy weather.
All of this was to make the game a very interesting and challenging affair.
Nige took overall command of the Union side as Thomas (rated Bold/Professional) and also took on the
role of Manson (Inexperienced). Clive played as Carter (Inexperienced) and myself as McCook
(Political). Having adapted the scenario I was obviously aware of what both forces consisted of but took
a very minor role and didn't reveal what I knew.
Manson's Brigade was deployed on-table, off blinds but was badly disjointed. 1st Kentucky Cavalry (6
bases, Raw, Rifled Carbine, Superior Weapons) and 10th Indiana skirmishers (2 bases skirmish, Raw, 2nd
Rate Rifle) could deploy anywhere within 12" of the Mill Springs road but not within 18" of the
Confederate entry point. The rest of the 10th Indiana (6 bases, Raw, 2nd Rate Rifle) were on the Mill
Springs road, 6" from their camp. 4th Kentucky (4 bases, Raw, 2nd rate Rifle) and Manson could deploy
anywhere on the Columbia-Somerset road.
Clive had a six gun and a four gun battery on table within 6" of their camp. The remaining Union forces,
plus Thomas, were to arrive on turn four at the Union entry point in the direction of Columbia; Carter's
(Inexperienced) Brigade of three Raw regiments and McCook' s (Political) Brigade of two large Raw
Nige decided to deploy the Kentucky cavalry dismounted in the woods and the 10th Indiana skirmishers
on the lower slopes of the hill. With their Brigade commander so far away (5 feet away infact) they would
be able to fire and automatically fall back if assaulted. In 'Elephant' skirmishers will evade staying 4”
distance from the enemy, but may choose to stand and defend their position if they are in cover. This
seemed an excellent compromise.
Max took command of Felix Zollicoffer's (Political) Confederate Brigade, on attack orders and consisting
of five infantry regiments. These were a combination of Average and Raw quality, mostly with
smoothbore muskets affected by damp powder, though with three units deemed as aggressive troops.
In addition Max had a four gun 6lb smoothbore battery and a small mounted detachment of two bases of
Raw, shotgun armed, cavalry. These were to be deployed on table i.e. already off blinds.
The remainder of the Confederate forces consisted of Carroll's (Political) Brigade commanded by Paul
composed of four infantry regiments mostly rated as Raw, but tellingly three as aggressive. Paul also
had two Raw cavalry regiments and a four gun 6lb smoothbore battery. These were to arrive on turn
four along with the Confederate C-in-C, Crittenden (Cautious/Inexperienced).
To create further uncertainty both sides also had a dummy which was due to arrive at their respective
side's entry points also on turn four.
To indicate the turn number a ‘Turn chip’ is added to ‘the hat’ and the number of times it is drawn is
counted, not the number of turns the ‘coffee’ chip is drawn.
Victory would go to the side which managed to control the greater length of the Mill Springs road. The
Federals also needed to ensure that the Columbia-Somerset road stayed open.
And so on to the action....
Success was far from guaranteed though when Nigel's 10th Indiana parent regiment were soon routed by
an aggressive Reb regiment. This was the crisis point for the Federals.
Clive and I decided that we would voluntarily deploy our troops on table off blinds in the vain hope that
their chips might come up instead of waiting for the 'Union Blinds Move' chip to appear. Straight away
that happened, bloody typical.
Nige issued orders to McCook to attack the Confederate blind on the Union right with Carter to attack on
the left. March moving Clive manoeuvred along the Columbia-Somerset road whilst I headed towards the
nearest enemy blind. Now, as the person responsible for adapting the scenario I knew full well one blind
was a dummy and the other was infact the Confederate C-in-C only, but orders were orders....
The combination of difficult terrain, Cautious/Political chip and the inability to roll high on the PIP dice
meant that the Confederates were having a tough time co-ordinating their forces. Max had secured the
ravine on the Confederate right but his force was concertina-ing. Paul continued pressing in th woods
to the Confederate left of the Mill Springs road but by now MCook had discovered that the blind facing
him was infact a dummy and now dangerously overlapped the Confederate left flank.
The Union artillery was now beginning to make its presence felt with some excellent shooting causing
heavy casualties on the Rebel cavalry facing it. Confederate guns brought into action were soon forced
to retire by remarkably accurate Union counter battery fire.
Confederate command and control issues were compounded to the extent that the Crittenden, the
Rebel C-in-C had to voluntarily reveal himself in order to shore things up. Zollicoffer seemed unsure of
what to do.
However, when Clive too discovered that the enemy blind facing him also contained no troops he
quickly march moved through the woods to support his artillery.
The Federals were at last getting their act together....lets face it, it had took long enough!
The action in the woods had bogged down into a series of close range musketry duels as the
Confederates changed to hold orders in an attempt to hang onto the ground they had won and prevent
their aggressive troops from further splitting up their force. Confederate casualties had begun to
Carroll rushed fresh units over to protect the Rebel left flank on which McCook's Brigade was racing to
envelop. It was make or break time. The next combat would decide the day...
McCook's Union brigade opened up with a destructive fire on the advancing Confederates. The Rebel
yell resounded as the waves of grey and butternut swept forward towards the mass ranks of the 'blue
bellies'. All was not what it seemed though.
The impact of the Confederate charge was severely damaged by the casualties they had received thus
far and the fact that they were outnumbered, outgunned and overlapped by the Federals.
When it came down to calculating the combat factors the Union actually had an advantage of one!
With the likely outcome of the combat to be a firefight I really needed to roll a good score.
What a time to roll an eleven! Twelve scored overall.
The Rebels broke under the Federal onslaught sweeping away their supports. The Confederate position
was now outflanked and looking increasingly untenable.
We decided that we should end it there. The Confederates would retreat. A minor Union tactical win.
A very interesting and hard fought game played as usual in the best of spirits.
The game felt like a boxing match with the Confederates easily winning the early rounds and leaving the
Union reeling under their blows. Momentum was soon lost though due to command and control issues
and the nature of the wooded terrain. They were doing well inspite of their on table commanders not
because of them. It was like fighting with one arm behind your back.
Once the Union artillery became involved casualties began to mount on the Rebels as a series of body
blows were landed.
The Federal infantry, discovering that they only faced two enemy Brigades, manoeuvred to deal the
knockout whilst the Confederate left tried to block the blows, but to no avail.
Great game, great company, realistic feel to the whole scenario.
More pictures below...
Figures mostly by Peter Pig, Old Glory, Essex and Minifigs.
Painted by Clive, Max and yours truly.