Thursday, January 31, 2013
One of the more interesting exercises connected with scenario design is the characterization of leaders. This is generally a requirement of rules’ sets, and if the scenario is “historic,” getting the characterizations right is important. Of course, the process is complicated by the fact that most historic leaders had their good days and their bad days (that is, splendid and not so much – think of “the” Stonewall Jackson of the Seven Days for a couple inexplicably bad days by a military colossus). Then too, there were others who were truly great at lower command levels but ineffective or worse at higher levels (for example, John Bell Hood – the epitome of the Peter Principle). Colonel, later Gen. Robert E. Rodes is an example of an enigmatic historic leader. As he figures in several of the scenarios I’ve been working up, I had to get a handle on him. Following is a list of biographical references for Rodes. I’ve only seen the first, which I consider sufficient, but I expect I’ll get around to the others.
Collins, Darrell L. Major General Robert E. Rodes of the Army of Northern Virginia: A Biography. New York: Savas Beatie, 2008.
Newton, Steven H., William Garrett Piston, Keith Poulter, Steven E. Woodworth, and Gregory J. W. Urwin. 2009. “Overrated Generals.” North & South : The Official Magazine of the Civil War Society. 11, no. 6: 14-22.
Covers: Philip Henry Sheridan; John Brown Gordon; James Birdseye McPherson; Joseph Wheeler; James Harrison Wilson; William Joseph Hardee; Joseph Hooker; Joseph E. Johnston; George Gordon Meade; Nathan Bedford Forrest; George Henry Thomas; John Singleton Mosby (not a general, of course); George Crook; Wesley Merritt; G. T. Beauregard; John Hunt Morgan; Franz Sigel; Robert Emmett Rodes; Winfield Scott Hancock; George A. Custer; John Alexander Logan
Swisher, James K. Warrior in Gray: General Robert Rodes of Lee's Army. Shippensburg, Pa.: White Mane Books, 2000.
Monday, January 28, 2013
Galiot de Genouillac, Jacques Richard de, seigneur d’Assier (Assier, Quercy, July 16,1465-château de Végennes, Limousin, Oct. 15, 1546). The nephew of Jacques de Genouillac, grandmaster of the artillery under Louis XI, he was himself appointed grandmaster by King Louis XII on May 26, 1512. A highly-skilled artillerist, he participated in the campaigns of Charles VIII, Louis XII, and Francis I in Italy.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Monday, January 21, 2013
Fine example of a snake-rail fence on Manassas Battlefield.
Park Service marker at the fence.
I'm dog-sitting today, and it being Inauguration Day, I headed in the opposite direction -- to Manassas Battlefield. Once there, I (we) hiked the trail on the Henry House Hill (or plateau, if you like). The day was cold and overcast, although not so dour as the media made it out to be. Of course, none of this matters to dogs, and MBNP is truly dog-friendly. Horse-friendly too. Toward the end of the circuit, we came upon this superb example of a snake-rail fence just at the point where the 33d Virginia Regiment jumped-off for its attack on the Federal batteries of Ricketts and Griffin in the First Battle of Manassas. The story is well-known: How the Virginians in their pre-war blue militia uniforms were mistaken for friendly troops and able to approach the Federal guns on their flank and loose a devastating volley at close range that swept the batteries and killed men and horses in such numbers that the guns were rendered combat ineffective.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
On Nov. 9, 2001, I blogged on the postcard Bugle & Guidon, Inc., used in the 1970s to publicize its 54mm figures suitable for depicting the Indian Wars of the 1870s between the U.S. Cavalry and hostiles of the Northern Plains, including Custer’s Last Stand (depicted on the postcard). Bugle & Guidon furnished painting instructions with its figures, and I recently discovered copies of these instructions tucked away with a couple of the actual figures. As these instructions are comprehensive and informative, I thought I’d reproduce them here. The first covers the Indians – “Hostiles of the Northern Plains.”
Sunday, January 13, 2013
As noted, Admiral Togo’s First Battle Division consisted of four battleships (BBs) and two armored cruisers (ACs). At the outbreak of the war (Feb. 8, 1904), the First Battle Division had consisted of six BBs, but the battleships Hatsuse and Yashima had been lost to mines. Togo had disguised this fact by substituting the powerful armored cruisers Kasuga and Nisshin for the lost battleships. These two armored cruisers were referred to as “counterfeit battleships.”
The photos above show my 1:2400 Panzerschiffe models of the Kasuga and Nisshin.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Above: Monument to the 125th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment at Antietam
Above: Placard outlining the combat of the 125th Pa. in the West Woods at Antietam (the placard is visible to the right of the monument in the topmost photo)
For the 125th Pa., see Regimental Committee. History of the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1906. This history gives the regiment as less than 700 in line and gives BC as 54 KIA/MW and 91 WIA (an unlikely ratio!), with 84 lightly wounded not reported (p. 85). See also Huyette, Miles C. (Pvt.) and Smith, John P. History of the Antietam Fight (account of Pvt. J. D. Hicks).
Your HFC notes re: the 128th PA of Crawford’s 2d Bde, 1st Div, XII Corps list Ted Alexander’s book, but you give the title as the 126th PA, which would be in Tyler’s Bde of Humphrey’s Div (V Corps). It looks to me like you slipped, but we can check and resolve the reference.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Above: Portion of a Map Showing the Location of the Battle (Center)
Above: Panzerschiffe 1:2400 Models of the Four Japanese Pre-dreadnought Battleships
Naval Battle of Tsushima (May 27-28, 1905). Decisive defeat and annihilation of the Russian Baltic Fleet (aka Second Pacific Squadron) under Vice-Admiral Rojestvensky by the Japanese Combined Fleet, commanded by Adm. Heihachiro Togo.
Japanese Combined Fleet (Adm. Heihachiro Togo)
First Fleet (Togo)
First Battle Division (Rear Adm. Sotaro Misu)
BB Mikasa (FF), BB Shikishima, BB Fuji, BB Asahi, AC Kasuga, AC Nisshin (F), dispatch boat Tatsuta
(to be continued)