Saturday, March 17, 2012

ACW Campaign Update - From the Chicago Star, 24 June

It's hard to believe that the Bluffsburg Campaign, which I launched last November, is now just finishing its second full game day. At a rate of roughly 45 calendar days to one game day, I wonder how long it would take to do the entire Civil War? Maybe my grandson could finish that project for me.

One of my aims for the campaign was to impose a fairly severe degree of fog of war on the proceedings. One player has described the ensuing confusion as more London pea soup than Mississippi morning mist. I often wish I could tell players and spectators more about what is going on in the campaign. I have resolved that by allowing some correspondents to cover the campaign, and by ensuring that their reports lag two days behind game time, I can provide some commentary on the campaign as it unfolds, rather than waiting until God knows when for a series of "Now It Can Be Told" posts. That seems a viable compromise to me.

The first of our two correspondents is Mr. Wolfgang Blitzed of the Chicago Star. On assignment with the Union Army in Jefferson City, Mr. Blitzed will give the Union view of the proceedings. Miss Katty O'Kay of the Bluffsburg Mercury will represent the Confederate point of view. Neither correspondent has a clear understanding of OPSEC and both are highly partisan. However, they should give some additional views of the campaign to players and spectators alike.

Jefferson City, MS, 24 June
From Wolfgang Blitzed, Correspondent to the Chicago Star

After several weeks of inaction, it now appears that General Silas B. Moore has assembled sufficient forces to begin the next stage in cleansing this portion of the State of Mississippi of the viperous successionsts who infest it.

Readers will remember that General Moore began the war as one of Illinois' greatest hopes for military glory, having left his valuable work of linking the great and growing cities of the MidWest with ties of iron, and exchanging the work of an engineer for the work of a captain of arms. However, there was the unfortunate episode of the "Shilo Slows", when Gen. Moore and his command missed the opportunity to serve under General Grant in that great battle, through what, we are sure, was no fault of his own. However, Gen. Moore does labour under a cloud, and all proud sons and daughters of Illinois have hoped that he would redeem himself.

McCubbing House, Jefferson City, General Moore's Headquarters

Now it appears that fate and General Halleck have given him his chance. I have learned that Moore has called a council of war for his commanders this evening in the grand McCubbing House. It is only fitting the country seat of a notorious slaveowner and secesh panjanandrum should be the place where the plan to return this part of Mississippi to the Union should be hatched.

Readers will be interested to know that one of Moore's paladins is a prominent son of Chicago, Colonel Ulrich Von Daniken. A professional soldier and graduate of West Point, Von Daniken was called back from duties fighting Indians in the West to command state forces. Three of his infantry regiments, the 9th, 15th and 23rd represent our state, and they are brigaded with a brand new regiment raised in Ohio, the Fightin' 29th. Our Buckeye brothers will doubtless be tutored on the march by their Prairie State comrades. Von Daniken also commands the redlegs of the Chicago Board of Trade Battery, drawn exclusively from the merchants and factors of the Windy City.

Besides Von Daniken's brigade, Moore can field two additional brigades, those of Hemmings and Clapp, whose regiments also reflect the midwestern flavour of this army. Both Clapp and Hemmings are citizen soldiers, who like their soldiers thronged to the colors to save the Union. All have no doubt that they will give a good account of themselves. Among the cavalry regiments commanded by Lt. Col. Bruggeman, like Von Daniken a seasoned Indian fighter, are the 12th Illinois, known amongst themselves as the Sandhill Dragoons. They are fierce and elegant figures in their fresh blue uniforms gaily adorned with yellow piping, and they tell me that their sabres are freshly sharpened to put paid to Johnny Reb.

Another curiousity in this city is the presence of many sailors from the United States Navy's riverine fleet, who arrived here last week. They man a curious assortment of vessels, two of which resemble hulking and sinister black turtles, while others are converted merchant paddlewheel steamers which once plied the great river Mississippi in happier times. Their commander, Captain Edward Holquist, is a mariner who knows his business, and he will be present at the council of war tonight.
Besides the navy men, a considerable number of civilian riverboat steamers have been gathered together here and there is talk of an audacious move downstream to take Bluffsburg in an amphibuous coup de main.

In my next post, hopefully tonight or tomorrow, Ms. Katty O'Kay will report on the Confederate view of things.

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