The Battle of Raymond - 12th May 1863


In Spring 1863, General Grant and the Union Army of Tennessee set out to capture Vicksburg and in doing so, control the Mississippi River. Having crossed the river about 15 miles south of Vicksburg on the 29th April he advanced first in a north easterly direction towards the state capital, Jackson, where the Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston and his army were positioned. Grant wanted to both eliminate them as a threat to his siege of Vicksburg and also to capture and disrupt himself the railroads and supply lines that ran through Jackson.

As his army marched towards Jackson they came to Fourteen Mile Creek a short distance south of Raymond. His army, which in total consisted of three corps, was spread out across a broad front with Raymond on their far right flank.


The Confederate Brig.General John Gregg was dispatched to Raymond with a strike force of around 3,000 men with the orders to block and hold the Utica Road and to hit the flank of the advancing Union troops. However, poor intelligence had suggested that the Union forces advancing directly towards Raymond consisted of only a single brigade, when in actual fact it was the entire XVII Corps of almost 12,000 men.


First contact was made early on the morning of the 12th May when skirmishers from both sides exchanged shots across the creek, but by 9am the Union commander, Maj.General James Birdseye McPherson, decided that the Confederates were not just a skirmish line, but a larger force, and ordered his forces to form up for battle.



Suggested initial set up for the Battle of Raymond

ORDERS OF BATTLE - using a man to figure ratio of 20:1

Confederate Army

Brig. General John Gregg - Commander in Chief - experienced, good tactician, inspirational leader

1st Tennessee Regiment (420 men) 21 figures - veteran, battle hardened, steady morale, musket

Bledsoe's Missouri Battery (3 guns) 1 model - experienced, steady morale, 12lb cannon

7th Texas Regiment (300 men) 15 figures - veteran, battle hardened, steady morale, musket

3rd Tennessee Regiment (480 men) 24 figures - veteran, battle hardened, steady morale, musket

41st Tennessee Regiment (300 men) 15 figures - veteran, battle hardened, steady morale, musket

50th Tennessee Regiment (440 men) 22 figures - experienced, steady morale, musket

10th Tennessee Regiment (300 men) 15 figures - veteran, battle hardened, steady morale, musket

30th Tennessee Regiment (400 men) 20 figures - experienced, steady morale, musket


Union Army

Maj.General James Birdseye McPherson - Commander in Chief - veteran, experienced, good tactician, inspirational leader


Third Division

Brig.Gen John A. Logan - sub-commander - experienced, respected leader

1st Brigade

20th Illinois Regiment (400 men) 20 figures - experienced, well trained, steady morale, musket

31st Illinois Regiment (520 men) 26 figures - experienced, well trained, steady morale, musket

45th Illinois Regiment (500 men) 25 figures - experienced, well trained, steady morale, musket

124th Illinois Regiment (460 men) 23 figures - inexperienced, trained, musket

23rd Indiana Regiment (480 men) 24 figures - experienced, well trained, steady morale, musket

2nd Brigade

30th Illinois Regiment (500 men) 25 figures - experienced, well trained, steady morale, musket

20th Ohio Regiment (400 men) 20 figures - experienced, well trained, steady morale, musket

68th Ohio Regiment (480 men) 24 figures - experienced, well trained, steady morale, musket

4th Minnesota Regiment (400 men) 20 figures - experienced, well trained, steady morale, musket

78th Ohio Regiment (540 men) 27 figures - inexperienced, trained, musket

3rd Brigade

8th Illinois Regiment (460 men) 23 figures - experienced, well trained, steady morale, musket

81st Illinois Regiment (480 men) 24 figures - inexperienced, trained, musket

7th Missouri Regiment (400 men) 20 figures - experienced, well trained, steady morale, musket

32nd Ohio Regiment (510 men) 26 figures - inexperienced, trained, musket

Artillery

1st Illinois D Battery (4 guns) - 1 model - experienced, steady morale, 12lb cannon

1st Michigan H Battery (6 guns) - 2 models - experienced, steady morale, 12lb cannon

Ohio 3rd Battery (6 guns) - 2 models - experienced, steady morale, 12lb cannon

Ohio 11th Battery (6 guns) - 2 models - experienced, steady morale, 12lb cannon


Seventh Division - not shown on map but available to arrive as reinforcements behind the Third Division after 1:30pm

Brig. General Marcellus M. Crocker - sub-commander - experienced, respected leader

1st Brigade

48th Indiana Regiment (480 men) 24 figures - experienced, well trained, steady morale, musket

59th Indiana Regiment (520 men) 26 figures - inexperienced, trained, musket

2nd Brigade

17th Iowa Regiment (540 men) 27 figures - inexperienced, trained, musket

10th Missouri Regiment (500 men) 25 figures - experienced, well trained, steady morale, musket

80th Ohio Regiment (480 men) 24 figures - inexperienced, trained, musket

3rd Brigade

93rd Illinois Regiment (460 men) 23 figures - inexperienced, trained, musket

5th Iowa Regiment (540 men) 27 figures - inexperienced, trained, musket

10th Iowa Regiment (560 men) 28 figures - inexperienced, trained, musket

26th Missouri Regiment (480 men) 24 figures - experienced, well trained, steady morale, musket

Cavalry Battalion

2nd Illinois A & E Companies (80 men) 4 figures - experienced, well trained, steady morale, sabre, pistol and carbine

4th Missouri F Company (50 men) 3 figures - experienced, well trained, steady morale, sabre, pistol and carbine

Ohio 4th Independent Company (60 men) 3 figures - experienced, well trained, steady morale, sabre, pistol and carbine

The Rebel Charge by Mort-Kunstler

THE BATTLE AS IT HAPPENED

Skirmishing had started around 7am between the Union's vanguard and some Confederate militia from Raymond who were patrolling south of the Fourteen Mile Creek on the Utica Road. Despite a determined attempt to hold back the Union soldiers, the militia were no match for the regulars and found themselves retreating back across the bridge to the north bank, before eventually making their way back to Raymond. The defence of the creek was now the responsibility of Gregg's strike force.

As the Union skirmishers advanced down into the gully where the creek ran there was a sudden crack of volley fire from the trees opposite and three cannon opened fire, scattering the Union troops and sending them running back to their lines. This prompted Union Maj.General John A."Black Jack" Logan to rapidly deploy his division and bring the artillery forward to form a formidable battery of 22 guns. Despite being outnumbered, Gregg opted to attack rather than defend, and sent the 7th Texas Regiment forward to assault the bridge and Union troops advancing on the Utica Road, while the Tennessee Regiments all advanced along the creek and seized the bridge on the Lower Gallatin Road. The windless day meant the gun-smoke hung in the air and soon the battlefield was a chaotic disorderly fight with many units on both sides simply following their own junior officer's intuition rather than following an overall plan. The more experienced Confederates began to push back the Union line and almost succeeded in routing the entire Union Third Division, but in that critical moment, when all looked lost for Brig. General Logan as he rode among his fleeing men shouting at them to stand and fight, Brig.General Crocker and the Seventh Division arrived in support. Suddenly faced with five fresh Union brigades, the now exhausted and battle scarred Confederates began to fall back. Logan managed to rally the majority of his men once they saw their reinforcements arriving and combined, they counterattacked along the entire front. By mid-afternoon the Confederates had only one cannon remaining in action and some infantry regiments had suffered over 50% casualties. Fearing that even more Union soldiers may be yet to arrive, Gregg reluctantly ordered the army to withdraw, and in a fighting retreat they managed to pull back to Jackson and General Johnston's army.


WARGAMING THE BATTLE

This is a fantastic engagement to re-fight on the table, pitching the battle hardened Confederates against the more numerous but less experienced Union regiments.

There needs to be an account of time kept when playing the game, the battle started as per our map above at 9am and there should be sufficient game turns played to represent at least four hours of time passing before Brig.Gen Crocker and the Seventh Division begin to arrive. An agreed method of dicing their arrival would also be good as their advance on to the battlefield would have been gradual in a line of march.


We make no apologies for timing this Battle For Wargamers to wet the appetite of all those eagerly awaiting the launch of the fantastic new Epic Battles Range of ACE figures by Warlord Games in mid-March. The figures for that would lend themselves perfectly to this battle, simply changing the number of figures we have suggested with a number of bases instead to represent either small, medium or large regiments.


Use the discount code RAYMOND10 and get an extra £10 off our pre-order bundle

If you pre-order yours from us having read this battle, we are offering an extra £10 off our Epic Bundle (as above) and an extra 10% off all the rest of the range as well as our ACW books,

Use the discount code RAYMOND10 for the bundle and RAYMONDoff on other sets and books.