zaterdag 20 september 2014

Battle of Lexington, 11-20, September 1861

This is an interesting scenario to play and though the Federal forces eventually surrender it does offer a number of interesting skirmishes for both players. To adequately position key locations, a double size board should be used.

The town of Lexington sits on a bluff 200 feet above the Missouri River. On the outskirts of town, the Masonic College and other Federal defense works are 15 to 20 feet higher than the town. For game purposes, the Federal position should be positioned on a number of low hills with the Missouri River as the northern board edge.

Lexington, as a BUA this would be classed as a “township with a dense grouping of houses” with no perimeter defences except fences. The town serves therefore as Rough Going which impedes movement but not shooting or combat. The earthworks surrounding the Masonic College and gun emplacements would be classed as a fort.  

Federal Forces under Col. Mulligan
23rd Illinois Volunteers, 13th Missouri, Col. Marshall’s Illinois Cav. regiment, det. 14th Missouri, 350 men Home Guard and one battery of artillery.

Missouri Home Guard - General Price
The same units present at Wilson’s Creek augmented by Routt’s force of 1,000 men. A further 10,000 arrive on the 18th.

A brief chronicle of events.

10th      – Col. Mulligan takes command, enlarges the defense works,
11th      - General Price approaches Lexington with 7,000 men plus 1,000 of Routts command, entrenching continues- reaches avg. 3’ to 4’ high
12th      - Forces clash at a covered bridge outside Lexington, bridge burned. Fighting continues near cemetery located south of town. In an artillery exchange the Confederates lose one gun and caisson. Lacking sufficient ammunition, supplies are sent for.
13th      - Friday, amid heavy rain entrenching continues and the Federals continue casting shells and making cartridges in the Masonic College. The Missouri Home Guard encamped at the fairgrounds have encircled the Federal position with a cordon of skirmishers.
15th      - Short of rations, Federal troops scour Lexington for supplies. Skirmishing continues.
18th      - Price’s command, now increased to 18,000 moves into a position encircling Mulligan’s command. The Confederates, at noon, seize the Anderson House (hospital). This was re-taken by Mulligan, but eventually lost later that day.
19th      - Firing resumed and continued all day despite the lack of water.
20th      - Confederates make use of hemp bales to close on the Federal position. Despite orders to the contrary, some Federal units hoisted the white flag. In the confusion Mulligan surrenders.  

From Battles and Leaders of the American Civil War.

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