Having broken from their 1864-1865 winter camps the armies headed further into Virginia, the mass of the Union forces always looking to outmanoeuvre the Confederates to expose Richmond and end the war. By late March a decisive battle emerged to conclude the Petersburg Siege, and my forces (General Ulysses P. Rickards) were dispatched to hold vital crossroads to the flank of Five Forks to prevent any last ditched effort to raise the siege by General Longman’s Confederate forces and the balance of General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia under General Pickett.
The Battle Of White Oaks Crossroads
My forces arrived and immediately hurriedly deployed into line of battle – as word had reached us of the approach of a Confederate force, no doubt General Longman’s! With limited intelligence I opted to deploy along a long front, to prevent the outflanking of my position. Longman’s Confederates came on hard and fast – concentrated in great numbers against my left flank (which I was holding with my more veteran, depleted regiments – making use of the cover of orchards along the roadside). I countered by ordering a partial advance on my right, to begin to turn the Confederate position…
The Confederates had luck and good logic with them this day and swept all before them – in a rapid battle they rapidly swept through my left wing, routed my forces, and overran my position, gaining control of the vital crossroads. My force rapidly withdrew in some disorder. Despite Union success elsewhere (at the main battle of Five Forks itself, and the following days breaking of the lines at Petersburg) which would effectively end the war, General Longman had achieved one last decisive and telling victory with his force before the Confederacy’s ultimate surrender.
Aftermath of White Oaks Crossroads
General Longman (Cam Millar) gained significant kudos and victory spoils (14 VPs), while I gained little reputation & benefit from this battle (4 VPs). Soon the war was over as Lee’s final breakout attempt failed and he had surrendered at Appomattox, and we previous protagonists would now reap the benefits of our service and reputation. I continued on in the army for a time and gained some small celebrity in my home state, before retiring to a life of running a General Store and writing my memoirs which went on to sell a grand total of 500 copies (Campaign Total 37 VPs).
Of General Longman, well he found fame and celebrity – quickly being nominated to his state’s Governorship, marrying the lady proclaimed in all of the Americas as the most beautiful and intelligent of the fairer sex, publishing his accounts of the war that sold in the tens of thousands, and rapidly becoming one of America’s first millionaires (thanks to investments in western railroads and gold mines). Last I heard there was talk of him being the running mate for the next Democratic Presidential candidate! I guess it shows what a winning reputation can do for you… (Campaign Total 63 VPs).
Longstreet: Thoughts & Conclusion
Both Cam and I really enjoyed playing this campaign – and enjoyed Longstreet in general as a wargame. It’s a fluid game that keeps both players involved and like Maurice before it the use of cards greatly expands the tactical subtleties and options without complicating the game. Scale-wise the game is comparable to Fire & Fury Regimental and the Johnny Reb series – forces based up for Longstreet are fully compatible with F&F Regimental and also the original Fire & Fury brigade-level game, and are easily usable with other sets like Johnny Reb. So if you play any of these already Longstreet can easily be tried with no effort. We were playing a late playtest version of both the rules and campaign – and these were updated part way through our campaign, and there were further minor changes prior to publication after our campaign had concluded – so all descriptions of mechanics in the preceding posts may vary slightly from the final game version.
At Sam Mustafa’s official Longstreet site you will find a free “Lite” Version of Longstreet and the Game Cards on the downloads page as well as information on how to purchase the full sets – and great support for Longstreet care of the Honour Games Official Forums.
All the figures in our Marching On Richmond campaign are 1/72nd scale plastics from the collection of Cam Millar, the terrain, buildings, etc, are a mix of items from both Cam’s and my collections. If you have not read all of our Marching on Richmond Campaign you can commence at the start with the original post Marching On Richmond Fast-Play Campaign.
Note: A full detailed account of our final battle (fought back in April 2013) is not provided due to some mishaps which saw me misplace my notes from the battle a couple of days after playing it, then subsequently lose (i.e. possibly delete) all the photos of the game at a later date.