Saturday, August 4, 2012

Historicon 2012 - Mexican American Battle of Churubusco

John Mumby and I were able to get into a fun Mexican American War battle at Historicon.  John was on the Mexican side and I was on the...wait a minute...the American side...hey what happened there.  Did I lose the coin toss or something?  Anyway, here is a high level After Action Report on our side of the battle.

The scenario was Churubusco and the Mexican's were in retreat.  They were defending a bridge that their forces had to get across.  There was also a large Mission that was immediately under siege by the Gringos.  Here are the pictures from the battle and I can tell you I was a little nervous when all those Mexicans took on my flanking force which was on their side of the river.  You will see I also pressed an attack on a small church, setup a Battery and kept my Doughboys in the cornfields where its was safe and according to our game master a historical move on the American's part.  John was fighting tough with his Infantry and Cavalry support.

The rules we played were called "So far from God."  The activation was pretty cool with the quality/class of troops dictating how many actions you got.  Where the USA received three actions most of the Mexicans received only one to two.

So I was really relieved to see that it was not just a one sided battle.  The objectives were well thought out and the battle flowed very well.  Of course some of the observers didn't know what to think about John and my Hablar Basura (Trash talk) across the field.  It was a lot of fun and it has me thinking about getting into this very interesting era.

Viva Santa Ana! Viva la Raza!

The excellent terrain of Churubusco

USA Objectives - Bridgehead and Mission

Mexican Cavalry and Infantry looking for my Gringo Brigade

Getting Ready for Battle

John preparing his "flank" for a spanking

Mexican Recon

My view from the corn fields of the Mexican Cav, guns and Infantry

Deploying my battery as quickly as possible

The mission was under siege

My guns against the Mexican Heavy Cavalry
Giving the grapeshot we repulsed them!

More Mex Cav ready to strike us if we came out of the fields
John looking over the field wondering what went wrong

Mexicans jump into the Church, the fight was on!

The mission fell under the Gringo siege

Mexican forces falling back, John in disbelief.

Fight for the church was still raging till the end of the battle
The Cavalry pinned my battery in place, we didn't dare limber..
The Yanks were pressing the bridge defenders and eventually occupied the position.
We overran the church with the Mexicans still inside.  A unit of Dragoons also caught up to me and threw them into the fight against the Mexican Cavalry
Santa Ana ordering the withdrawal

Historicon 2012 - The Convention

So here are some pictures of the Convention itself.  I really liked the venue although it was noisy and the restroom situation needs some improvement.  Overall, I really liked it and can't wait to return next year!  So here are some of my pictures of this great event.

Noisy but a lot of fun!

Space Battles

Fantasy Battles

Flames of War Tourney - always great terrain layouts

People were pretty excited about this game Sergeants!


Battle Cry!

Julie, Richard Borg (Battle Cry) and me
Greg in action at Historicon

Pea Ridge I believe - Civil War

Some Gunboat Action

They even had lights for the gun firing

Colonial Game in action

WWI Dogfighting


Swap meet

Dealers Room - Perry Figs all painted!

Perry Figs

Nice 54's

Sudan Terrain 28mm

54's Display

Great Sudan Display - More inspiration!

Rogers Rangers on the attack - Diorama

Crown Military Minatrures

Micro Armor Diorama

Historicon 2012 - Spotsylvania Battlefield

So here I was thinking I knew a lot about the Bloody Angle but found that I really didn't have my facts straight.  Julie and I were able to get a tour of the Angle from one of the excellent rangers there at the park.

Until I came here my idea of the Angle was just that.  A 90 degree reverent built into the Confederate defenses but that wasn't true at all.  The battle took place around a Mule's Shoe or horseshoe shaped defense works.  Lee knowing these would fall through everything into the defenses while he built a defensive line about a 1/4 of a mile back that crossed or connected the open end of the shoe.

This is where the famous shouts for Lee to the Rear came from his troops when he was trying to lead reinforcements to another Union breakthrough across their lines.

So why was the angle so important?  It was part of the trench and it was at a curve in the lines.  Almost like a small bulge.  And when you stand there you can see what they were talking about.  This part of the angle was elevated and if you could take this point then you could see hundreds of yards in both directions over the Rebel's defensive works.  It was definitely the high ground and a key to breaking into the shoe.

Anyway, something like 17,000 men died at that spot alone.  Incredible.  And there is a small ravine right in front of the defenses that the Union troops took cover in to regroup and kept attacking.  And of course there was Burnside, after hearing about him throughout the war I call him Bloody Burnside.  Not sure he had any sense except to throw men into the frontal attacks.  Anyway, that is my opinion.

So hear are some pictures.  Sorry for the little history lesson, I know all of you out there know more about this battle than me.  But at this Historicon plus all of these battles around here, I picked up so much knowledge and just was excited to share.  Enjoy the pictures.


So you can see the ravine in the picture.  This was full of Union Troops pressing the attack on the MuleShoe.  And I was told that the Rebels normally built their trenches along a tree line as you can see on this plaque and in the pictures below.

There were only a few memorials to the Regiments that fought and died here.

Bridge to cross the trench line.

Standing at the Angle this is looking down the left Rebel flank of the Shoe.  Notice your elevation

Our Ranger at the Angle and you can see the right Rebel flank at the lower level.

Here is looking down the line

Looking down the meadows along the left flank of the Shoe where Upton attacked and broke through.

Upton's attack came from those Trees

Lee to the Rear!

This last picture was to provide you with a sense of the surrounding woods.  Just to right off to the side of the road was a small path.  This small path was guarded by Rebel Skirmishers.  When Upton's skirmish line arrived there was a small firefight which cleared the path.  Upton took his brigade through this path which was only several feet wide.  This ran them all the way to the meadow where he broke into the Rebel defenses but was repulsed due to no reserve.