Surprise at Jay s Mill September 19th, 1863

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1 Surprise at Jay s Mill September 19th, 1863 Background Near dawn on September 19th, the Union Army of the Cumberland was spread thin. Two divisions of the Fourteenth Corps had finished a night march and were far north of the Twenty- First Corps at Lee and Gordon s Mill. Another Fourteenth Corps division was marching, and the final one was guarding the ford at Glass Mill far to the south. The Twentieth Corps was in an even more precarious position. It was even farther south than Glass Mill, marching hard to reunite with the rest of the army. The Union Reserve Corps retired under orders toward Rossville to the north. However, the previous evening the brigade commanded by Colonel Dan McCook captured a score of Confederate prisoners near Jay s Mill on the west side of Chickamauga Creek. Thinking that an isolated Rebel brigade was on the Union side of the creek, McCook prepared to attack at dawn. Unfortunately, he received order to withdraw to Rossville before the sun rose. He appealed to General Thomas of the Fourteenth Corps, but Thomas would not take the responsibility of changing the order. A disappointed McCook withdrew his brigade just as the Confederate cavalry brigade of Brigadier General Henry B. Davidson launched an attack. Intrigued by the idea of capturing a Confederate brigade so far north of where the Rebels were supposed to be, Thomas ordered his Third Division under Brigadier General John Brannan to advance and capture it. Thomas ordered John Croxton s brigade out first, and then sent out the rest of the division in support. Croxton marched out an old farm lane he mistook for the Reed s Bridge Road, halted on a low ridge west of the mill, and deployed into line of battle. At the same time, Davidson sent two mounted regiments into the forest to reconnoiter the area. The two were on a collision course. Brigadier General John Brannan Game Overview This scenario depicts the opening shots of the Battle of Chickamauga on the morning of September 19th. It is designed for 15mm miniatures. Most of the fighting will occur in the woods, and will pit a strong Union infantry division against Confederate cavalry and infantry. The playing area is 4 x 4. The game begins at 7:30 a.m., and ends at 10:30 a.m. [19/13/10]. Terrain The area west of Jay s Mill is open woods, with good visibility. Visibility is for light woods. Movement should only subtract an inch. The exception is the area immediately to the west of the mill. The operation of the mill deforested this area, and secondary growth is prevalent. Treat the dark shaded area on the map as woods terrain for movement, and heavy woods for visibility. The creek beds are all dry, and very shallow. They do not affect movement, and only provide a cover bonus to units lying prone inside their banks. Fences only deduct an inch from movement. The ridge on the map is very low. It should only be ½ tall with gradual slopes or edges, and only deduct an inch from movement. 1

2 The field at Jay s Mill looking south at dawn. As an interesting historical note, Jay s Mill was not a building. According to the modern park rangers, it was a steam powered portable saw mill. The mill used the water at the spring for the steam powered motor, not to dam and use the water flow for power. That would make for an unusual model for the game table! Deployment Croxton s brigade begins the game on the map as shown. Van Derveer s brigade (minus the 9th Ohio) and Battery I, 4th US enter the board deployed in line of battle at 1 on Turn [8/6/5]. Connell s brigade and Battery D, 1st Michigan enter the board in march column at 2 on Turn [13/9/7]. Brannan is traveling with Connell s brigade and enters the game on the same turn. The 6th North Carolina and 10th Confederate cavalry begin the game mounted. The other three regiments at Jay s Mill begin dismounted. Forrest and Pegram are both present, and can begin the game next to any of the three dismounted regiments at the mill. Dibrell s Brigade and Huggin s Battery enter in march column on Reed s Bridge Road at 4 on Turn [5/4/3]. Wilson s Brigade and Howell s Battery arrive on Jay s Mill Road in march column on Turn [7/5/4] at 5, and Ector follows in march column on Turn [13/9/7]. General William. H. T. Walker arrives at 5 on Turn [16/11/9]. Victory Conditions Both sides were surprised at Jay s Mill. Croxton got more than he bargained for when the isolated brigade he was supposed to capture kept getting reinforced. Bragg didn t expect Union forces to be so far to the north. For this scenario, each side must inflict more casualties on the enemy than they incur themselves until the end of the game, when theoretically reinforcements would arrive. Whichever side can force their opponent off the board, according to their respective set of rules, wins. If neither side can force the other to retire, count the Victory Points for each unit removed. The side with the most Victory Points wins. 2

3 Order of Battle Union Army of the Cumberland Fourteenth Army Corps 3rd Division BG John M. Brannan [+2] 1st Brigade PFDE PFD Status Arm. Col. John M. Connell [+1] 1,204 1, nd Indiana R 17th Ohio R 31st Ohio R 2nd Brigade PFDE PFD Status Arm. Col. John T. Croxton [+1] 1,998 2, th Indiana R 74th Indiana R 4th Kentucky R 10th Kentucky R 14th Ohio R 3rd Brigade PFDE PFD Status Arm. Col. Ferdinand Van Derveer [+1] 1,643 1, th Indiana R 2nd Minnesota R 9th Ohio (Optional Rules Only) R 35th Ohio R Artillery PFDE PFD Status Armament Battery D, 1st Michigan (1st) x 10 lb. P; 2x 12 lb. H; 2x 6 lb. JR Battery C, 1st Ohio (2nd) x 6 lb. JR; 2x 12 lb. N Battery I, 4th United States (3rd) x 12 lb. N 3

4 The area and location of Jay s Mill. Confederate Army of Tennessee Reserve Corps MG William H. T. Walker [+2] Walker's Division BG States Rights Gist [+1] Ector's Brigade ES PFD Status Arm. BG Matthew D. Ector [+1] 1,199 1, th North Carolina R 9th Texas, Stone's Bn., Pound's Bn R 10th Texas Cavalry (dismounted) R 14th Texas Cavalry (dismounted) R 32nd Texas Cavalry (dismounted) R 4

5 Wilson's Brigade ES PFD Status Arm. Col. Claudius C. Wilson [+1] 1,317 1, th Georgia R 29th Georgia, 1st GA Bn. SS R 30th Georgia M 4th Louisiana Battalion R Artillery ES PFD Status Armament Howell's Georgia Battery (Wilson) x 6 lb. SB; 4x 12 lb. H Forrest's Cavalry Corps BG Nathan B. Forrest [+3] Armstrong's Division Forrest's Brigade ES PFD Status Arm. Col. George G. Dibrell [+1] 2,082 2, th Tennessee Cavalry R 8th Tennessee Cavalry C 9th Tennessee Cavalry R 10th Tennessee Cavalry C 11th Tennessee Cavalry R Shaw's & Hamilton's Battalions & Allison's Squadron Cavalry R ES PFD Status Armament Huggins' Tennessee Battery x 6 lb. SB; 2x 12 lb. H Pegram's Division BG John Pegram [+1] Davidson's Brigade ES PFD Status Arm. BG Henry B. Davidson* [+0] 1,850 1, st Georgia Cavalry R 6th Georgia Cavalry C 6th North Carolina Cavalry R Rucker's (1st Tennessee) Cavalry Legion R 10th Confederate Cavalry (detached from Scott's Brigade) C ES PFD Status Armament Huwald's Tennessee Battery x 12 lb. Mtn. H; 2x 2.25" R 5

6 *Davidson arrived just before the battle. Most of the brigade didn t even know Davidson was on the field and in command, so the low rating doesn t reflect his actual leadership abilities, other than he didn t have much of a command presence. At least on that day. Optional Rules During the battle, Van Derveer moved cautiously down the Reed s Bridge Road. He deployed his brigade far west of Croxton, who he was supposed to support, and waited for the Rebels to come to him. To play a more aggressive Van Derveer, have his brigade and Battery D, 1st Michigan enter the board on Reed s Bridge Road in march column at 3 on Turn [5/4/3]. In addition, the 9th Ohio was originally left behind at Kelly Field and did not rejoin the brigade until shortly before noon. As an optional rule, allow the 9th Ohio to deploy with the rest of the brigade. Historically, Colonel Gustav Kaemmerling, commander of the 9th Ohio Infantry, ordered the regiment to charge whenever it came within striking distance of the Rebels regardless of the tactical situation. This turned out to be three times during the battle. Therefore, if a Confederate unit ends a turn within normal weapons range of the 9th Ohio, the regiment must role a command or morale check. If it loses, it must charge the Confederate unit the next turn. Do not inform the Confederate player of the roll or the result. If or once the regiment makes this impromptu charge it does not have to roll again if another Confederate unit comes close. Alternately, feel free to disregard this optional rule for the 9th Ohio. There is some speculation as to Davidson s initial deployment. One alternative is to have only the 10th Confederate deployed alone in the woods, with the rest of the brigade dismounted at the mill. Also, the 1st Georgia might have been deployed in a skirmish line along the Reed s Bridge Road. Deploy them no farther than 18 inches from the intersection of Reed s Brigadier General Nathan Forrest Bridge and Jay s Mill Roads. The two alternatives can also be combined, with the 10th Confederate in the woods, the 1st Georgia along the road in skirmish, and the remaining three at the mill. Author s Notes I really enjoy studying the opening fight at Chickamauga, from Jay s Mill to Liddell s attack at Winfrey Field. By all accounts, Croxton should have been able to run roughshod over Pegram/Davidson. Most players will use the cavalry much more aggressively than was historical. Be careful though. Cavalry regiments are worth more Victory Points than infantry. The Union could win on Victory Points if the Confederate player is not careful and gets their cavalry chewed up. 6

7 33 yds Per Inch 7

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ONE IF BY LAND" - AMERICAN 1:10 SCALE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE RULES by Bob Bergman. Infantry/Cavalry figure 10 men Artillery crew figure 5 men

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