Clash outside Churchfield
7th Virginia (166 men) - Colonel Shelton
2nd Virginia (194 men)- Colonel Ives
19th North Carolina (201 men)- Colonel Randolph
20th North Carolina (188 men) - Colonel Mayfield

Garrrent's Brigade


The men of Garrent's brigade had encamped in a small, nameless wood in Northern Virginia, outside the town of Churchfield. The mood was tense and uneasy. Orders had come down from the division commander.

Seize the crossroads and hold it.

Were the men of the brigade well rested?

Yes, and...

they were itching for a fight. They had marched north here to Churchfield with no prior enemy contact. The woods were filled with the smokey smell of campfires and gentle strains of music drifted through the trees. Garrent's Brigade was composed half and half of Virginians and North Carolinians, men native, or near this area. Who stands opposed to them?

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4 Regiments of Union infantry were reported to be in the area, almost entirely elite troops. It would be a hard fought battle, and would require careful coordination on Garrent's part. What sort of condition were his own men in?

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The North Carolinians were raw recruits, fresh from the Greensboro region, mostly farmers and farm hands. Not experienced to combat, but their rural upbringing did make them well suited for the rigors of war. The 7th VA under Colonel Shelton was his vest unit, veteran men, they had fought in a few small engagements previously, the 2nd VA hadn't seen any combat, but it has maneuvered with the 7th before, training was no substitute for experience though.

Who is leading the union forces?

Anxiously / Messy.

General Harper was the rumored commander, he was a man with a nervous disposition and somewhat sloppy in his approach, often relying on the personal skill of his men to carry the day rather than any sort of military insight. Garrent checked his watch, he kept it in close to pristine condition as possible.

8 = 3[d6]+5

10 = 10[d60]

It was fairly early in the morning. Is the weather clear?


A good day for a battle. Garrent went to his officer's tent and ducked under the simple flap. Inside, gathered around an empty crate serving as a makeshift table sat his four regimental commanders. Colonel Shelton stood, "General Garrent, sir," he said.

Fickle courtier who is as strong as you and whose motivation is to determine harmony, plunder academia, and indulge medicines; who speaks of knowing dislikes and is focused on your retainers.

Shelton was a Virginian like Garrent, a man who came from the traditional southern aristocracy, Shelton was a young man who made a name for himself as a amateur scholar and patron of the sciences. He was easy to displease, but made for a decent commander. Shelton had an intense dislike for the other colonel's under Garrent's command and felt himself superior to them.

"Colonel Shelton," Garrent returned the greeting and the adress the the group, "Gentlemen, any word of enemy activity?"

No, but...

Colonel Ives answered.

Pushy villain who is as strong as you and whose motivation is to hinder strength, produce deprivation, and accompany cowardice; who speaks of hostile reputation and is focused on your previous scene.

"We haven't seen hide nor hair of those damnyankees. We got so many clueless yokels in this brigade I'll be impressed if they could point the right end of a rifle at the yanks," Ives was a gruff man with a grating demeanor. Strong connections in Richmond had secured his officer's commission. Originally a native of Maryland, he had fled to Virginia during the opening stages of the war to join the Confederate army.

"I suspect if Colonel Shelton had spent less time preening hiself and more time in the field we may have a better understanding of the enemy disposition." Ives sent a glare to Shelton. The two men had an intense rivalry and little respect for one another.

Colonel Randolphh speaks up.

Affluent steward who is as strong as you and whose motivation is to persecute laziness, attend the populous, and secure distress; who speaks of mysterious doubts and is focused on your last scene.

"Petty arguments aside, we have heard the noise of a camp not too distant. The yankees must be nearby, we suspect previous reports of a brigade sized force are correct." Randolph said, casting a look to Ives who sat down in a huff. Randolph was a adamant methodist and called "the school teacher" by his men for his demeanour. He could not tolerate a fool nor idleness. He was the oldest of Garrent's commanders. Capable, but his convictions held him back from time to time as he questioned the validity of the war itself.

Randolph had been an abolitionist in peacetime, but in wartime felt his duty was to his state's defense. "I believe it would be advisable if we could all maintain a level of gentlemanly courtesy during these meetings." He added.

Garrent appreciated his candor in these situations.

"And Colonel Mayfield," Garrent addressed the last of his colonels, "have your men had a chance to scout the terrain between here and the cross roads?"

Yes, and...

Oblivious ranger who is much stronger than you and whose motivation is to advocate technology, proclaim academia, and strive communications; who speaks of hostile submission and is focused on your wealth.

Mayfield's men were known in the Brigade as "Mayfield's Rangers", men mostly from the backwoords of western North Carolina in the Appalachains, they were experienced hunters and trackers, making excellent scouts.

Mayfield himself was one of them, a backwoodsman with an interest in science, he was the owner of a small manufactury and signed on for the Confederate army as soon as the call went out. There was a small bit of strife between Mayfield and Garrent, Mayfield did not have the financial resources Garrent's family did and occasionally resented Garrent and his peers for it. However, his dislike of northerners made him bedfellows with the plantation aristocracy of the South.

"General Garrent!" Mayfield exclaimed, practically jumping to his feet, "I reckon my boys know every inch of that country now. We can sneak right up on them damnyankees if we need to," he gave a boisterous grin to punctuate this.

Garrent hoped he was right.

"What sort of terrain can we expect?"



"My boys found a copse of trees, set right in the middle of a field that'd make a fine place to hold out. If them yankees have any sense, they're dug into those woods so strong we'd have to burn them out."

It didn't sound promising, elite troops dug into prominent woods would be quite an obstacle.

"Any chance of bypassing those woods?" Garrent asked.


Mayfield shook his head sadly, "I don't see how, sir, they're sittin right on the only path straight to the crossroads. No way around I saw."

"Attacking them head on would be suicide," Ives said, "I'm not goin into a bloodbath."

"It won't be a bloodbath with the proper planning," Garrent said. hardly an ideal situation, but he expected there would be a way to overcome this difficulty. "Do you know of any way to approach the woods under cover?"


"There may be a way," Mayfield mused, "A sunken road passes naught but 50 yards from the woods, may be we can move along that,"

Garrent nodded, "Very well, if we advance via the sunken road and then take the woods in close order advance, we should be able to clear it without undue difficulty. The 20th NC under Mayfield will lead the advance down this road, after Mayfield, Ives and the 2nd VA will follow. After Ives, Shelton and then Randolph's men in the rear, we advance by road column and then assault the woods by regiment if need be. Assemble your men, we march in 20 minutes," Garrent stood.

His colonels rose to their feet and saluted as he left the tent. It was a risky plan, but Garrent couldn't see any alternatives at the moment. Plans were all well and good, but in Garrent's experience, the only place for them was the boardroom and map table. On the battlefield, a plan could do nothing but change or fail.

"General Garrent," Randolph had stepped out of the tent, the other three colonels splitting up to rally their men.

"Colonel Randolph," Garrent said, "I suspect we will have ourselves a battle before the day is over. Are your men ready?"


Randolph did not reply for a moment, surveying the men and boys of his regiment, just over two hundred of them, savoring what little breakfast had been issued to them or scrounged from the surrounding countryside.

"General, I think these men are more comfortable behind plows in tobacco fields than they are behind muskets in battlefields," Randolph looked away from the soldiers back to Garrent, his eyes a vivid blue behind a bushy blond beard, "They will do what they must, they are here to fight for their homes after all, they believe what they fight for."

Garrent looked away from the makeshift confederate camp and instead over the brightly lit farmland ahead. He could distantly see the green mass that was the wooded Copse the Union forces were supposed to have occupied. Beyond that Garrent knew the crossroad's lay, and just east, the town of Churchfield, its churches steeples. Distantly, near Shelton's regiment's camp, some group of souls struck up a rendition of "Bonnie Blue Flag."

"And what of you Colonel? Do you believe in the cause of the South?" Garrent asked. He knew it could be a sensitive topic in the confederate army, and in the south itself. It was an issue strong enough to split Garrent's home state of Virginia.


"I must say that I do General," Randolph said, "I believe in the cause of the states. I can't say I agree with all the reasoning of all the men in the Confederacy, but I do believe in our rights."

Garrent nodded, he knew that Randolph's feelings about the war changed regularly, but he knew that in this engagement, Randolphs convictions would be firm.

"I best see to my men general," Randolph gave a quick salute and marched off.

Garrent again eyed the countryside ahead of them. Deceptively cheery in the morning sun, already the sounds of men on the move had started, the rattle of metal, rustle of cloth, sloshing of drink in canteens, fires being snuffed and weapons readied.

Are the men ready within the planned time?


By 8:30, Garrent's brigade stood at the ready in a ragged, grey and butternut line at the edge of the wood, just under 800 strong. Virginia and North Carolina state flags fluttered beside the Stars and bars and Confederate battle flag. It wasn't much to behold, but it was the Brigade Garrent was given. He trotted up the line on his horse, giving a cursory survey of his men. He saw a lot of young faces, many not old enough to even grow a beard yet. Garrent stopped when he reached Mayfield's men.

"Colonel Mayfield, advance in column, I want this to be a silent march, no music. Godspeed,"

The regiment shifted into a marching column and was off, moving steadily down the dusty road.

Are there any difficulties with the other regiments getting on the march?

No, and...

Things go smoothly, they are proceeding faster than expected, after Colonel Shelton's men began forming in column, Garrent rode down the marching line until he caught up with Mayfield's men. Their rough clothes could only be recognized as uniforms because of occasional confederate issue gear, belt buckles, trousers and the like.

Up ahead lay the copse of trees suspected to be a union stronghold. Garrent tried to view the woods with his spyglass. Could he make out anything?


Had the Union occupied the woods?


From what Garrent could see, the woods were unoccupied. A classic mistake of the careless general Harper. With the woods clear, the path to the Crossroads was clear.

"Colonel Mayfield, the way seems clear. Take your regiment and advance out of this road in a skirmish line, the faster you can secure those woods the faster we can finish this day."

Mayfield gave his commands and his men jumped up and out of the trench-like road, fanning out and advancing cautiously in what they called "indian-style" loose ranks, something in Garrent's mind more akin to hunting than fighting, which suited these rangers fine.

Is there any trouble taking the woods?


The North Carolinian's had secured the copse of trees. Can Garrent see the terrain ahead?


the 2nd Virginia had arrived. "Ives, I want you and Shelton to advance line abrest, keep your flank anchored on this copse of trees." What was to the brigade's right?

Grassy Hill.

A hill partially blocked Garrent's view of the crossroads.

"Colonel Shelton's men will form up at the base of this hill and advance up it to cover your right flank."

Ives saluted and rejoined his men.

Shelton's men are just now starting to arrive. Is there any enemy activity?


Ive's regiment forms up in line to the left of the road and advances past the woods. Shelton's men are exiting the road and forming up in a line to the right of the road. Do they form quickly?

No, and...

There is some confusion in the ranks, poor position, men out of place. They take longer than they should and make more noise than should be necessary. Ive's regiment is standing with its 'Flank in the air' waiting for Shelton's men to assemble. Any sign of the enemy?


On cue, a soldier shouts for attention, he sees blue uniforms approaching. Are they on the hill?

Yes, and...

They are coming in force, full line of battle, fifes and drums are now audible, scarcely 300 yards from Garrent's position, and much closer to Ives and Shelton's men. Garrent counts their standards. How many regiments?

3 = 3[d3]

Three full regiments. Are they all elite?


Garrent called out two couriers, to the first he said, "Have Randolph march his men here on the double quick, I want them to form line of battle behind Shelton's men. His Greensboro farmers may make the difference," the rider saluted and took off for Randolph's regiment. Two the second courier, "Tell Colonel Shelton to form his men up and belay the order to advance up the hill. If required he may fall back in an orderly fasion,"

The second rider spurred his horse to action, heading for Shelton's command. What action have the Union forces taken?

Extravagance / A plot.

They unfurl their banners, the the musicians strike up the Battle Hymn of the Republic. So far they are holding position, but Garrent senses something is amiss. Shelton's men have finished assembling and now stand at the ready, the two Virginian regiments forming a unified front. Mayfield's men are still sheltering in the woods.

Garrent decides to withdraw his forces to make the best of the wooded cover, he feels he is over deployed and exposed.

Two more runners order Shelton and Ive's to fall back. Ive's men pass through the woods and finish their maneuver a good 50 yards beyond the tree line.

Release / Plans.

"General, reguards from Colonel Shelton, he requests that you give him free reign, he wishes to press the attack to the yankees and drive them from that hill." a courier said, riding back from Shelton's position, his horse fighting the reigns and spinning wildly.

Garrent couldn't help but smile at Shelton's audacity, as foolhardy as it may be.

"Denied, Shelton is to hold position, are Randolph's men formed up yet?"


"No sir, the 19th NC is still assembling."

"Damn!" Garrent swore and glanced around uneasily. The situation was bad, even numbers, inferior position, and inferior troop quality. His only hope was to lure the Union into the attack.

"Have Mayfield and his men hold position, keep their colors low, we want to lure the yankees into firing range," and with that, Garrent dispatched the courier. The Union regiments held firm at the top of the hill, looking across the grassy expanse to Shelton's men, and over the small copse of trees to Ives.

Are they lured into the attack?

No, and...

They continue to hold firm and appear to be digging in. Daring the southerners to attack. Is there any sign of the missing 4th Union regiment?


Randolph's men are finally finished assembling, forming a double line behind Shelton's men. Garrent wished he could ride to Mayfield's position and consult with him about possible flanking routes, but he couldn't afford to draw attention to the Ranger's position. Instead he looked on his own for a possible avenue of attack.

Crop Field.

Just north of the copse of trees were Mayfield's men sheltered, there was a field of corn that spanned the roadside to the left of the grassy hill. It was possible that a regiment could advance unnoticed through the cornfield and close to attack the Union flank. For that to have any hope of succeeding, a distraction was needed.

"Have Shelton and Randolph link regiments and advance to the base of the hill to give fire. Ives Regiment is to advance back through the copse of trees and attempt to apply pressure on the left."

The couriers rode off. Are there any problems with the first maneuver?

Yes, and...

Do any units panic?


2 = 2[d3]

Ive's men hesistate on the advance and some stragglers flee.

16 = 8[d10]+8[d10]

With Ive's men frozen in the fields, Shelton and Randolph advance alone. After moments the distant grey and tan line reaches the base of the hill. The Union forces deliver fire.

29 = 3[d10]+7[d10]+6[d10]+2[d10]+1[d10]+10[d10]

close to thirty men drop, the line wavers and a great rattle of musket fire echos across the field. A billow of smoke erupts from the Union rifles. Distantly, Garrent hears the command from his own regigments.


16 = 1[d10]+9[d10]+9[d10]+2[d10]-5

Now battle is joined, both sides hammering away. Do the Union hold?

Yes, but...

Garrent sees part of their line seem to waver. Perhaps they aren't only elite units on the hill. Do the confederates hold?

Yes, and...

Ives men rally themselves and advance through the woods.

"Once the 2nd VA passes, Mayfield is to swing his regiment through the cornfield and get as close to the enemy as you can and charge!" Garrent instructed a returning courier. He then spurs his own horse and rides toward the battle to give support as possible to Randolph and Shelton's men. The roar and din of battle grew louder as he approached until he was only 10 or so yards behind the rearmost rank of his men.

"Steady boys! Hold em steady!" Garrent shouted, trotting along behind the line. Musket fire all around, shouts and screams of the wounded.

Vengeance / Food.

The Union forces can proverbally "smell blood" and begin to advance down the hill. Garrent's men fire again.

16 = 6[d10]+4[d10]+3[d10]+3[d10]

Another volley and over a dozen men drop. Have Ive's men joined the fight?


a roar of muskets from the left is the answer.

15 = 10[d10]+5

A well timed shot chews away at the Union right. They halt and deliver fire on the confederates.

32 = 9[d10]+5[d10]+1[d10]+6[d10]+4[d10]+7[d10]

A devastating volley, again Shelton and Randolph's units are rocked. Do Randolph's men hold firm?


the 19th NC does itself proud, not giving any ground. Two of the Union regimen ts, with a tremendous shot, storm down the hill toward Shelton and Randolph's men.

Ranges are closing rapidly, Garrent can now make out features on individual soldiers, mostly young men like his own brigade. The Confederates fire a last, abortive volley.

16 = 4[d10]+3[d10]+4[d10]+5

It is not enough to stop the onrushing forces, do Shelton and Randolph's men hold firm?


Does Randolph's regiment crack?

Yes, and...

The ferrocity of the Union advance startles Randolhps inexperienced farmers who turn and flee in panic. Their sudden withdrawl sparks fear in Shelton's men who similarly flee the field, a few giving futile fire backwards at the oncoming Union regiments.

Has Mayfield's men attacked?


The rangers storm up the hillside at the last remaining Union regiment. Is it caught off guard?


The regiment had seen Mayfield's advance and manages to deliver fire.

8 = 3[d10]+5[d10]

Mayfield's men have been ordered to charge when in range, do they do so?


With a rebel yell, they speed their rush up the hill, bayonets flashing in the sunlight where they clash with the Union regiment.

"Ives is to wheel and fire on the two charging Union regiments, force them to turn and engage him!" Garrent ordered and raced across the battlefield to rally Shelton and Randolph's men.

He encounter's Shelton first, astride a fence, waving his saber in the air. "On me! Brave Virginians on me!" are his efforts at rallying his men succeeding?


Line officers and NCOs are joining his cry, assembling and dressing the line.

"Carry on Colonel! Garrent shouted as he rode by. "Do Virginia proud!"

Randolph similarly, further down the line holds his own saber high above his head, shouting encouragements to his men. Are his efforts successful?

No, but...

although the 19th NC hasn't rallied, they are stopping their retreat behind the fence line, a disorganized mass, but the first steps to reforming the regiment.

"Men of North Carolina!" Garrent shouted, "Have you not given an oath to defend your homes and families from tyranny? Will you let these Virginians bear your burden of the fight?"

Do Randolph's men rally to Garrent's efforts?

Yes, and...

With a cry, the regiment reforms, dressing the line on Shelton's men.

"We ain't out of fight yet, sir!" A soldier shouts to Garrent.

"Colonel Randolph," Garrent addressed the regimental commander, "I want you and your men to show me what Carolinians can accomplish!" This elicited another cheer from the men.

Meanwhile, on the far left, have Mayfield's men driven off the Union Regimen on the hill?


14 = 5[d10]+4[d10]+5

22 = 9[d10]+8[d10]+5

Mayfield's men continue to struggle with the Union troops on the hill. Ives regiment is still in the woods, firing away at the Union.

21 = 5[d10]+10[d10]+6[d10]

15 = 3[d10]+2[d10]+10[d10]

Has the 4th Regimen shown up?


Garrent imagined the 4th Regimen must be some distance away, perhaps garrisoning the town of Churchfield. The lines were now like an L-shape, Union forces stuck in the jamb.

What is their next move?

Oppose / Advice.

Clearly not wanting to be caught between the two wings of the confederate force, the Union regiments did not give pursuit of the fleeing rebels. They were still positioned across the base of the hill with the 3rd Regiment on the hillside struggling with Mayfield's men.

Garrent knew if Shelton and Randolph were to advance, the enemy regiments would simply withdraw up the hill, giving the confederates an uphill fight, but as it stood, Ives was locked in battle against 2 regiments.

"Brigade, Advance!" Garrent ordered, holding his saber forward. The two regiments marched forward dutifully toward the fight. Garrent only hoped Mayfield and Ives could hold until then.

This is my effort at running a war game using the solo RPG system, totally fictional aside from the Civil War setting, just wanted to see how it played out. Surprisingly seemed to work well. I felt this was a good place to post my results, will probably finish the battle when I have more free time, might do others. Also, forgot to show odds, I'll have to do that next time, but I felt like I was pretty accurate about setting odds. Oh, and for those who are curious:

Casualty report:
7th Virginia (166 men) - Colonel Shelton
-29 killed and wounded
17 Missing
(120 men left)

2nd Virginia (194 men)- Colonel Ives
-16 missing
-17 killed and wounded
(161 men left)

19th North Carolina (201 men)- Colonel Randolph
-30 killed and wounded
-11 missing
(160 men left)

20th North Carolina (188 men) - Colonel Mayfield
-30 killed and wounded
-5 missing
(152 Men left)

Union losses:
Union forces ~(600)
-63 Killed and wounded
-15 missing
Very enjoyable :-)

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