Yesterday myself, Brian Buskell, Terry Moran and Dave Lowe played a great little battle known as the 'Battle for Blocher's Hill' or better known as 'The Defeat of Barlow's Division' on the first day at Gettysburg June 1st 1863. I took the scenario from Bradley M. Gottfried's book 'The Maps of Gettysburg' starting at page 125 for the set up of units. I tried then to make the battlefield represent the map as close as possible with Blocher's Hill in correct proportion to the ground scale..hopefully I got it basically right. It was hard however to have the correct amount of fences, as the battlefield had numerous fences criss-crossing the whole area, so on the western side I had to substitute post & rail for stone. In regards to rules we use a cross between RFF and Fortune & Glory. Mainly the ranges from RFF were used and the remainder were F&G which made for a nicely paced and easily played game. All figures were from John Maguire magnificent collection which he has been slowly purchasing over the last 12 months from a gentleman in the UK. Well they are in a good home now and have participated in many games. The terrain comes from both myself and Brian's collections and mostly scratch built.
Our battle for Blocher's Hill went basically as it did on the day with Von Gilsa's Brigade deployed and taking the brunt of the Confederate assaults on Blocher's Hill itself. He managed to hold on for about two hours of play and inflicted some nasty casualties on Gordon's attacking regiments. Next in line to try and stem the Confederate tide was Ames's Brigade, who in spite of receiving some well directed artillery fire managed to move up rather smartly in support of Von Gilsa's hard pressed Brigade. However with now both Gordon and Doles's Brigades converging on Blocher's Hill (9 veteran regiments) the numbers began to tell and by the third hour of play, just as Krzyzanowski's Brigade was mounting a counter attack, Ames's Brigade broke and the Barlow's Division was sent fleeing from the field. The day was won and victory achieved by both Gordon and Doles. All that was left now was to advance onto Gettysburg.
28th Ohio - Krzyanowski's Brigade
107th Ohio, Ames Brigade advance in support of Von Gilsa on Blocher's Hill to the right far ground of the image
Doles ans Gordon's Brigades can be seen advancing onto Blocher's Hill to the left of the picture, with Von Gilsa's troops already of the hill and Ames moving up in support to the right of the picture.
Blackford's Sharpshooters put up a solid fight on the Confederate extreme right flack but were eventually forced to withdraw due to heavy casualties.
Doles all Georgian Brigade move up through Blocher's orchard and up onto Blocher's Hill
Wheeler artillery battery helped hold the Union left flank
Having pushed the strong Union skirmish line back Gordon's Georgians charge up and over the fence to hit and eventually push back the 153rd Pennsylvania.
With more Union troops advancing in support of Barlow's Division the 21st and 44th Georgia change their direction of march to secure the brigade right flank.
153rd PA are forced to flee and Von Gilsa tries desperately to forma second line of defence.
Confederate Generals watch proudly as their victorious troops break another line of Union troops
Gordon's charging troops break the second Union line and the 31st Georgia capture four guns from Wilkeson's Battery....But a third Union line is now formed (Ames's Brigade) can they break them too?
With the battle raging hard on Blocher's Hill General Early pushes Hays's Brigade of five regiments forward in support of Gordon and in hope of out flanking the Union position
The third Union line is broken and fleeing to the rear....Barlow's Division is forced from the field. Victory to the Confederates
Krzyzanowski deploys his brigade in to line but is too late and with Barlow's Division in full retreat he is out numbered 3-1 and is force to withdraw.
Victorious Confederate troops from Hays's Brigade swing round the Union right flank
Blocher's Hill is taken and the victorious Confederate troops march onto Gettysburg.