Sources Used in the Making of Take Command: Second Manassas

by Brett Schulte on April 28, 2006 · 5 comments

Since Take Command: Second Manassas is now out, I thought I’d pass along the sources the Mad Minute Games team used in making the game.

As a playtester for two companies (MMG and HPS), it never ceases to amaze me how they always strive to make things as accurate as humanly possible given the time and money available. I’ll attempt to give the overall sources, map sources, and then list those focusing on Cedar Mountain, Second Manassas, and Chantilly specifically. Most of the sources have links either to, the publisher itself, or to places where you can look at the information online.

Just a note for those of you confused by the links for the Official Records. These books are online in their entirety at Cornell’s “Making of America” web site. The links below will take you to a “Table of Contents” page for each Volume listed. Simply click on any page and you can start browsing. For those of you unfamiliar with the Official Records, they are the Holy Grail of Civil War research. Any decently researched and written military history book on the subject will have used the ORs extensively. If you’ve never had a chance to take a look, I encourage you to do so. There is a ton of fascinating information in these tomes. I have them on CD currently, but I hope to own all 138 volumes in the future in book form.

General Sources

Boatner, Mark M., The Civil War Dictionary

Century Magazine, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol. II

Davis, Major George B., The Official Military Atlas of the Civil War

Dyer, Frederick H., A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion

Government Printing Office, Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. 12, Part I: Jackson’s Shenandoah Campaign (Reports)

Government Printing Office, Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. 12, Parts I & II: Cedar Mountain, 2nd Bull Run (Correspondence/Reports)

Government Printing Office, Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. 12, Part II Supplement: The Fitz John Porter Court Martial

Heitman, Franics B., Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, Vol. I

Map Sources

Current USGS Satellite Data (for elevations)

Bull Run Maps from the Library of Congress (Use ‘manassas’ and ‘bull run’ in the query field to get results)

Maps from McElfresh Map Co.

Cedar Mountain

Krick, Robert K., Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountain

Second Manassas

Allen, John O. , The Strength of the Union and Confederate Forces At Second Manassas (1993 Master’s Thesis, George Mason University)

Hennessy, J., Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas

Hennessy, J., Second Manassas Battlefield Map Study – w/Maps (Cloth)

Nolan, Alan T., The Iron Brigade: A Military History

Chantilly (Ox Hill)

Taylor, P., He Hath Loosed the Fateful Lightning: The Battle of Ox Hill (Chantilly), September 1, 1862

Welker, D. A., Tempest at Ox Hill: The Battle of Chantilly

This list is not meant to be comprehensive. Other sources which have been used might be added as we go. But this list is a great starting point if you want to study the Second Manassas Campaign and the units involved.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephen Graham April 28, 2006 at 11:55 pm

The obviously missing source is Harsh, of course. But beyond that, this is pretty much the same source list as was used for The Gamers’ CWB entry on the same battle. The other sources used for that game was Stackpole’s campaign study, From Cedar Mountain to Antietam which is relatively old, and William Allan’s 1892 study, The Army of Northern Virginia, 1862.


Brett S. April 29, 2006 at 8:29 am


Though I love Harsh’s books, this game is really more tactical in nature. Casualties do carry over from Cedar Mountain to Second Manassas to Chantilly, but the strategic aspect is not there. Mad Minute Games is doing Shiloh next, and they hope to add a strategic aspect that grows in each new game. I was the one who mainly compiled this list by asking the various scenario designers what books they used, so any similarities to The Gamers’ version of the battle (which is one of the CWB series that I don’t have, unfortunately) is purely coincidental. I’m glad we managed to use most of what they did, however. Dave Powell does a great job with every project he’s involved in.

Brett S.


Brett S. April 29, 2006 at 8:30 am


Maybe I misunderstod what you meant. I see that it is possible you meant that _Confederate Tide Rising_ would be a good source if you wished to study the Second Manassas Campaign. I wholeheartedly agree with that assessment.



Stephen Graham April 29, 2006 at 11:53 pm

I think Harsh comments usefully on the actual battle as well, though I’d have to go back and compare with Hennessy to gain a better perspective on how they complement each other.

Thomas Prowell is actually the designer of the current Three Battles of Manassas, although the 2nd Bull Run entry is still heavily influenced by Powell. All three of us in conversation have wished that Harsh was available when doing the 2nd edition.


Brett Schulte February 9, 2009 at 7:23 pm

For anyone interested in Take Command: 2nd Manassas who is reading this, make sure you check out the new Gettysburg game by MMG’s successor company NSD! The new game’s web site is:

Go check it out!


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