Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865) AAR Diary, Part Fifteen

Last time, the whole dang diary was a record of the monumental Battle of Leonardtown. Over seventy-thousand men fought on the shore of the Chesapeake, and over the course of the fight, over seventeen-thousand men became casualties.

This week, we’ll have to assess the overall war and how we’re doing. The crisis months of July and August are over, and at the moment, the rebels don’t seem to be putting together any new massive attack.

ED. Note: If you missed the start of this AAR, don’t worry! You can catch up from the beginning here.

SEP 2, 1861

First, however, a gripe! 

The fleeing rebel armies managed to board ships and sail right past my blockading squadron. I understand things are difficult to code in, but I feel like the squadron should have blocked the Confederate retreat. Also, I don’t think it’s even possible to dissolve enemy armies. Not saying that should have been the case here, but they should have been punished harshly for losing a battle when backed into a corner like that.

Oh well, can’t do anything about it now. Other than complain, anyway.

Anyway, reviewing time!

Starting in the east…

The Confederates are quickly fleeing Maryland across the Potomac. They’ve been severely damaged by the battle, but they still pose a very real threat, though likely not an immediate one. Off to the west, you can see the standoff at the northern end of West Virginia. Frankly, I’m nervous about the possibility of Confederate armies chugging right up there and blowing into the vital steel mills of Pittsburgh. Right now, that might be the most vital theater of the war.

Moving on west…

The Army of the Tennessee is packing up to move east and chase down the Army of Alabama. The last report was from a few days ago, as you can see in that image, so they might be gone now. Regardless, we’ll need to take that supply depot and make sure Ohio is secure.

And off to the western frontier…

The battles we saw in Indiana and Illinois a few AAR diaries ago actually only happened about a day or so ago in-game, so the rebels haven’t actually made much headway in their retreats yet. Luckily, I still hold St. Louis, though the only unit guarding it is the river squadron sitting in the Mississippi. If the Confederates walk into town from the west, there’s not much I can do about it.

Now, everyone’s favorite time: chart time!

So, good news first: numbers-wise, we’re winning. We have a leg up on the Confederates in terms of overall national morale (if it drops to 25, that side surrenders and the war’s over), army morale, and casualties in combat. Bad news is that the rebels are still very much in this fight, they have a significantly larger army that I haven’t been able to match yet due to recruiting issues. On the political side, I have a policy underway that will increase contract lengths for units to 24 months and also increase the overall amount of volunteers available, but that’s still 100 days out. The fighting has been bad enough that I’m coming close to running out of men to reinforce units with, so as much as I’d like to be aggressive now that the lines are stabilizing, we might have to sit tight for the winter.

SEP 3, 1861

Was that rebel army always right there?

I don’t remember either of those armies being there. I guess the Army of the Tennessee is staying put for now.

SEP 4, 1861

A brief bit of good news from the coast of the Carolinas, another Confederate fleet broke apart immediately upon running into one of my fleets. The sea remains Union territory.

SEP 9, 1861

Blissfully, September has been largely quiet so far. Out west, we’re maneuvering a few armies into what will likely be the third battle over Cincinnati. 

We’re also in a naval battle off the coast of the Carolinas again, the rebels managed to put together a decent fleet, but we’re winning at the moment.

And lastly but perhaps most importantly, our long-awaited shipment of Springfield Rifle-Muskets have finally been completed! We’ll now be able to equip many of our units with much better weapons, and can put in a larger order to equip the whole army. I’d like to prepare for the coming spring, as we’ll be able to raise new armies by then, and getting several large armies equipped with rifles will be a huge boon.

SEP 10, 1861

On the morning of September 10th, several things happened all at once.

First, I finally found the rebels hiding in the hills of West Virginia, they are currently recuperating west of Grafton. These armies took severe beatings over the last few months, but between the three sitting there, their total manpower comes to around 30000.

Next, I saw the rebels post up in Winchester, Virginia, just across the border from Maryland. These are the same men that were just forcibly evicted from Maryland a few days ago. We’re digging trenches to prepare for an assault, but we’re not sure what their play is yet.

Lastly, a battle has broken out west of Cincinnati, the Army of Indiana has dug breastworks and are preparing for a protracted siege against the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

But what the rebels don’t know is that the Union Army of the Tennessee (these names are a little confusing, maybe I should switch to a numerical system) is on the way from Cincinnati to join the fight, and they are equipped with the brand new Springfield rifles. When they arrive, I’ll launch an assault, and we’ll hopefully manage to finally lock down the border, at least for a while.

Later in the day, the naval engagement finally ends with us capturing a rebel ship and destroying the rest of the fleet.

Simultaneously, the Army of the Tennessee arrived at the battlefield west of Cincinnati, and we are commencing the attack.

SEP 10, 1861

1:17 AM

The battle begins early, today. Here’s where our men stand.

We hold very good ground, and just have to wait for them to come to us, most probably directly into our prepared defenses just outside of the town.

1:40 AM

Our skirmishers found them quickly, they’re heading right down the road at us.

2:15 AM

After a few minutes of delaying the enemy with the skirmishers, I pulled them back. The enemy began to move away from the crossings, and I don’t want to give them a reason to try to flank all the way around the river.

2:48 AM

The rebels have continued their crossing, with a few brigades lining up in front of our trenches. Our artillery is shelling them, but neither of my armies have very many guns, so the shelling isn’t as devastating as I would prefer.

3:26 AM

The rebel attack began, the enemy brigades marching directly into our guns and fields of fire.

They’re taking heavy casualties, but are still coming at us.

3:39 AM

For a few minutes, thousands of men shot at each other in the dark of the pre-dawn hours. It wasn’t long, but it was some of the most brutal fighting of the war so far, with the rebels sustaining hundreds of casualties in such a short window of time. None of their units made it to the trenchline, and most have broken and ran.

It’s eerily reminiscent of the early days of World War 1.

The enemy didn’t last much longer.

We chased their artillery away and seized their guns, earning an important victory with relatively few casualties.

SEP 12, 1861

Since the victory at Lawrenceburg, the Army of the Tennessee has chased the rebels west. They’re now cut off from the path back south. We’re going to attack again, before they have a chance to regroup back somewhere safe, it’s just a matter of catching them now.

SEP 14, 1861

The rebels unfortunately managed to slip by my armies, but they took some casualties in the process. While we didn’t manage to bring them to a decisive battle, they are at least back on their side of the river.

SEP 15, 1861

Well, I suppose they didn’t all get away.

I’ll wrap this up for this week, join us next week as we throw the rebels out of Ohio, hopefully for the winter.


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