Now that I’ve had HPS‘ newly released Campaign Antietam for over a week, I wanted to post some screenshots of the various battlefields covered in the game over the course of a few posts. Despite being given the name “Campaign Antietam”, the game actually covers quite a few more battlefields, including First Bull Run (including Blackburn’s Ford, Henry Hill, and Matthews Hill), Second Bull Run (including Cedar Mountain, Brawner’s Farm, and Chantilly), and South Mountain.
Today I’m going to take a look at the offerings for the Battle of South Mountain in the game. After browsing through the Scenario Selection Dialog box, I saw the following (click to see the full image):
The full historical battle of South Mountain is available as a 40 turn scenario. Although I was disappointed not to see specific portions of the battle offered as smaller scenarios, this will provide ample opportunities for the modders among the gaming population. The three variants focus on the full force of either side being brought to into play in either a one or two day scenario.
I’m going to take a look around the battlefield and take some screenshots of the famous landmarks located there. First we have Samuel Garland’s Brigade in their initial positions protecting Fox’s Gap (click to see the full image).
This screen shot was taken using the “3D Normal” view.
Moving northeast, we can see Confederate guarding the National Road, which penetrates South Mountain at Turner’s Gap. Colquitt’s Brigade overlooks the National Road itself, while some batteries of D.H. Hill’s Division and Cutts’ Battalion of the Army of Northern Virginia Artillery Reserve provide some long range support. Note portions of Garland’s Brigade in the lower left hand corner of the screen. This should allow you to envision the placement of Colquitt’s Brigade in relation to Garland.
This screen shot was taken using the “3D Zoom-Out” view.
I wanted to provide a look at what the 2D views look like in the game as well. Here you can see Fox’s and Turner’s Gaps in that format.
The last portion of South Mountain which saw active fighting was Crampton’s Gap, to the south of the other two gaps. Here, William Parham led several hundred men of Mahone’s Brigade. They were faced with an almost impossible task in trying to stop William B. Franklin’s VI Corps, 12,000 men strong.
This screen shot, like the one of Garland’s Brigade at Fox’s Gap, was taken with the”3D Normal” view.
Now that we’ve seen the main areas of the battlefield, I want to show you the “jump map” used in the game. If you click on the screen shot below, the large image file is labeled with South Mountain, the gaps, Sharpsburg, Antietam Creek, and the Potomac River. You can see just how close these battles occurred to the site of the eventual bloodiest day of the entire war.
Note the presence of Confederate forces in red and Union forces in blue. The situation depicted is as of 7 AM on the morning of September 14, 1862.
These various views allow the player to see the overall picture or drill down to take a detailed look at a battle in progress.
I hope to present several more sets of screenshots over the next few weeks, one each for First Bull Run, Second Bull Run, and the main Battle of Antietam.
For further reading on South Mountain, I suggest the following:
Taken at the Flood: Robert E. Lee & Confederate Strategy in the Maryland Campaign of 1862 by Joseph L. Harsh
Harsh’s book doesn’t look solely at the battles on South Mountain, but I believe his to be the best look at the Maryland Campaign now in print. His is less a tactical study and more a look at the ways in which the battles for Turner’s, Fox’s, and Crampton’s Gaps affected and were affected by the campaign as a whole.
Before Antietam: The Battle for South Mountain by John Michael Priest
Priest’s book is a wargamer’s dream. This book covers only the battles for South Mountain down to individual companies and gun tubes. Some have questioned Priest’s accuracy in this and other books, as it is almost impossible to place each and every unit on the field of battle at a given time with any sense of exactness.
Undying Courage: Antietam Campaign in Miniature by Scott Mingus
Scott’s book is not only a wargamer’s dream, it is actually written FOR wargamers, miniature wargamers using Johnny Reb III to be exact. The book contains various orders of battle and maps showing unit placement for all of the battles of the Maryland Campaign of 1862, and several scenarios involving the battles for South Mountain are included.
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