Miniature Wargaming Club Leuven
Schild & Vriend

'Schild en Vriend' is an old Flemish battlecry, used in the rebellion of the city of Brugge against the French, May 18, 1302. Legend tells that it was used to differentiate between the French-speaking (who could not pronounce 'schild') and Flemish-speaking citizens. Nowadays, historians tell us that it was probably 'Des Gilden Vriend'.

Battle report: the battle at McPheerson's Ridge

"The Clinch Mountain Boomers vs. The Mississippi Yankee Hunters"


This was a Brother against Brother ACW game played on a not so sunny summer evening. To make things confusing, all players, including the umpire, happened to be named Bart (blame our parents, we can't help it). Bart V took command over the Union Clich Mountain Boomers and Bart VB played the Confederate Mississippi Yankee Hunters. Bart D (yours truly) acted as the umpire. As you can guess Bart won the game.

Note: we did not have a camera available at this game, so there's no juicy pictures as of now.


May 1864. General Sherman, the commander of the USA armies of the Cumberland, the Tennessee and the Ohio, 99000 strong, is pushing towards the city of Atlanta. Opposing Sherman is General Johnston's Confederate Army of Tennessee, 60000 strong, who skillfully retired before Sherman, skirmishing at Dalton (9 may), Resaca (15 May) and Cassville (19 May). With these actions Johnston has succeeded in slowing down the Union's advance to one mile a day while suffering only minor losses against far superior forces. Sherman now intends to advance much faster, making it harder for Johnston to set up new skirmishing positions. This however leaves his supply lines somewhat under-defended.

Union Orders

Union SoldierTo Captain William Horatio Heath, commander of the Clinch Mountain Boomers, 'B' Company of the 6th regiment of New York.

After the battle at Cassville the rebels are still in constant retreat and our troops are in full pursuit. However it may be too soon to cry victory. As Confederate troops have pillaged these lands, our men are solely dependant on supplies coming from the North. This supplyline is getting longer and thus increasingly vulnerable every day. Confederate troops are doing everything in their power to cut these lines. This would undoubtedly turn things in their favor.

We have reasons to believe that they have plans to place artillery on McPheersons Ridge. This will enable them to fire on our supply caravans passing the valley. You must prevent these actions. We think that their artillery is not yet operational, so get the position before it is! After you've taken it you can use the cannons to open fire upon the confederates with the canisters stored in our depot.

I'm confident that you'll succeed,

Colonel Terrence Theodore Fornswhite,

Commander of the 6th Regiment of New York


Confederate Orders

Confederate SoldierTo Captain Bill McHinnock, Commander of the Mississippi Yankee Hunters, 'D' Company of the 7th Regiment of Mississippi.

After our victory at the battle of Cassville we are still in tactical retreat. It would be suicidal to launch a frontal assault on the enemy troops as we are outnumbered. Our plan is to lure these Yankee pigs deep into Confederate territory towards our defensive positions at Atlanta and cut them off from their supplies. After that they'll never be able to take Atlanta. We'll destroy that Yankee scum once and for all.

Your job consists in placing an artillery position on top of McPheersons ridge. From this position you can open fire on the Yankee supply route. Canisters will be delivered as soon as possible but this may, however, take a while, as it has to move through enemy territory. However there is a lightly guarded Yankee depot not far from McPheersons ridge. It might be a good idea to get some canisters there.

I'm confident you'll do the job,

Colonel Sander Crutchfield

Commander of the 7th Regiment of Mississippi


The Troops

The Clinch Mountain Boomers (Union)

Commander: Captain William Horatio Heath

1st squadSergeant Michael Cillmore Jr.
2nd squadSergeant Heinz von Trapsfliegel*
3rd squadSergeant Dwight Franklin More
4th squadSergeant William Vernon McBaisley
5th squadSergeant Theodore O'Connely
6th squadSergeant Morton McKinley

* Heinz von Trapsfliegel is an ancestor of Manfred von Trappstein-Hoehenschliefen, the famous WWI dogfighting ace. Apparently Heinz had two sons, Fritz and Albert. After some business involving Fritz, Albert's wife, wet celery and a piece of fresh fruit, Fritz had the choice of leaving the country or undergoing a rather unpleasant operation involving two bricks and a lot of yodling. He wisely chose the first option and returned to dzee fatherland Germany. To be more exact, he went to Steindorpf and changed his name to Trappstein to minimalise the risk of encountering a relative who preferred the second option. Two years later, he married the lovely (and rich) Walfriede Hohenschlieffen, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Mississippi Yankee Hunters (Confederate)

Commander:Captain Bill McHinnock

1st squadSergeant Robert Sonhill
2nd squadSergeant Vernon Samuel Quill
3rd squadSergeant Terrence Goodwill
4th squadSergeant Jack Bailey
5th squadSergeant Daniel Jenkins
ArtillerySergeant Herbert Withgate

The terrain layout and deployment

The game was played on geo-hex terrain, making use of the modular hill-set and seascapemat to build 2 hills and a river. To complete the scenery, trees, hedges, small walls and houses where added (all from the collection of Bart, BTW (-: ).

The terrain layout
The terrain layout, with the Mississippi Yankee Hunters entering the battlefield from the South, to the left of the field and the Clinch Mountain Boomers entering from the North

Union Deployment

The Union army already had one squad present in this neighbourhood. This squad had to be deployed on the north side of the road. The 1st squad under the command of Sergeant Michael Cillmore Jr. decided to defend the Union Depot and let the others do the dirty work of engaging the enemy in an all out frontal assault. They picked up their already loaded weapons and took position behind the hedge just north of the depot.

The other Union troops had to enter alongside the northen border, and had unloaded weapons. Captain William Horatio Heath, a wise man indeed, clearly had incomplete trust in Union intelligence, proclaiming the artillery "inactive", and decided to gather his main attacking force at the Western border of the soon to become battlefield. Two squads entered at the center to act as a pinning force (otherwise known as "target practice" squad or cannon fodder) to divert the Confederates' attention from the main assault. No better men for that job then Sergeant Morton "mad man" McKinley and Sergeant Dwight Franklin More: "Mad Man" McKinley, who - since he became a somewhat "incomplete" man after the Battle at Bull Run (his enemies call him "madam" McKinley) - had lost every healthy sense of caution and More who was just way too stupid to even begin to understand the concept of danger (but he could shout and shoot with the best of them, so they made him Sergeant - he was too stupid to refuse this appointment as well).

Confederate Deployment

While Sergeant Herbert Withgate and his men were busy cleaning their cannon for the fifth time that day (time passes slowly when you have nothing to shoot at, or to shoot with, for that matter) Confederate troops were rushing in to save his (and his cannon's) ass from the advancing Union troops. Captain Bill McHinnock, vigilant as ever, sent two squads towards the Union Depot. This considerably weakened his defence but the advantage of an active cannon would be overwhelming. All other squads rushed forward towards their defensive positions.

The Battle

It clearly was a good day for a battle, cloudy (so you don't have that irritating sun shining in your eyes) but dry (so your gunpowder doesn't get wet). Sergeant Herbert Withgate was just contemplating the reasons of life when he saw those damn Yankees coming towards him at considerable speed. Just as he's deciding whether to panic and run for his life in a chaotic fashion or leave his position in an ordered retreat, he hears the overwhelming voice of his Captain Bill McHinnock. Knowing what Bill McHinnock does with cowards*, Herb orders his men to keep their heads down and enjoy the upcoming manslaughter.

*In stead of shooting deserters, Bill McHinnock had them fighting butt naked with nothing but a bayonet. As nobody wants to die in such an embarrasing fashion, the Mississippi Yankee Hunters were renowned for their courage and discipline.

Both Captains clearly saw the importance of the Church. This position allows the Union troops to open fire at the artillery while benefitting from the hard cover and it is also the perfect defensive position for the Confederates. In the mean time McHinnock has a Union depot to raid. This devided the Battle at McPheerson's Ridge in two sections. In the east, for the control of the depot and in the west for the control of the church, while in the middle squads of both sides participate in taking shots at each other from behind their stone walls (boring!).

The struggle for the Union Depot (part I)

Struggle for the Union Depot I A view on troop deployment in the east. Bill McHinnock is rushing his troops towards the union depot, while William Cillmore Jr. and his men are preparing for the big clash. "Madman" McKinley, always in for some Confederate bloodshed, is closing in on the 4th Confederate squad.

The first thing the Union's 1st squad under the command of William Cillmore Jr. did was taking positions inside the depot. This building had only a single window at the South side and a door at the North side, allowing only two men to shoot at each side of the house. McHinnock knew it was vital to take this depot as fast as possible and rushed his troops forward. Jack Bailey and his 4th squad advanced towards the trees west of the depot. In the mean time Vernon Samuel Quill pushed way East, crossed the river and took position at the trees just South of the depot. All is ready for a major charge and McHinnock was just about to give the order as things start to go bad for the Confederates at the Church, which forced McHinnock to leave his position and to postpone the charge...

The fight for the Church (part I)

Fight for the Church I A view of the Union right flank. The Union Captain Heath has his heart set on the church, moving half of his forces to the west. When the Confederates realise that Sonhill is going to be a wee bit too late, the rest seeks cover behind the walls.

Both sides knew that whomever got the church first had a big advantage over the opposing side. Although the distance was less for the Confederates they were a bit slower then the Union troops accompanied by their Captain W.H.Heath. Maybe it was the general lack of good shoes or the absence of their Captain McHinnock, who was heading towards the depot.

Just as the Confederate Sergeant Robert Sonhill was about to enter the church, that damn Union wurst-eating Sergeant Heinz von Trapsfliegel and his men leapt out of the cornfield and gained control over this holy place of peace, love and nice firing positions. Robert Sonhill stood bewildered next to the church, in the open, without his Captain to order a charge of some kind and with yet another two Union squads coming at him. Before he could even grasp the extreme danger of this situation, US Captain W.H.Heath gave the charge order. In a frantic attempt to close his lines, Robert Sonhill got shot even before the melee started. Sergeant William Vernon McBaisley's squad plunged deep into Robert Sonhill's, who put up a great struggle, fighting till the last man and making a lot of Union casualties, but without their Sergeant, defeat was inevitable. Captain Bill McHinnock tried to correct things in the west but came too late. By the time he got there, Robert Sonhill's squad was no more. Captain William Horatio Heath, being encouraged by these proceedings, ordered Theodore O'Connely and his 5th to charge the central Confederate defences. Although the Union 5th got completely wiped, the central Confederate defence took a lot of casualties. Heath was warned though, this was not going to be a walkover after all...

The struggle for the Union Depot (part II)

While in the west a frantic battle between the two parties was fought, things were taking a somewhat bizarre turn in the east. First there was some harmless gunfire between Cillmore's men shooting out of the window and Quill's men shooting back. Then Cillmore decided to withdraw his two men from the window and to build a small party for his men inside the depot. The Confederate troops now had nothing to shoot at and, even worse, no Captain around to give them the charge order.
Just when things started to look very grim for the Confederates (this was about the 6th turn of the game), there appeared another Confederate squad (the 6th under the command of Theodore Fornswhite), carrying canisters, at the northen horizon. No need for the depot anymore, so McHinnock orders Quill and Bailey to plug the gap in the West...

The confederate 6th causes major redeployments
The arrival of the Confederates' 6th squad under the command of Sergeant Theodore Fornswhite, has caused major changes. The Confederates are leaving the Union depot and the Union's 6th and 3rd (somewhat uncomfortable with Confederate guns pointed at their backs) seek cover in the house and behind the walls. Meanwhile the Confederate 3rd (or to be more precise, what was left of it) couldn't take it anymore, risked eternal shame and butt nakedness and decided to skeedaddle.

The fight for the Church (part II)

After von Trapsfliegel had taken control over the church, he started opening fire at Herbert Withgate and his artillery. McHinnock realised that he had to do something to turn the tide in his favour. With reinforcements coming up, McHinnock tries to reorganise his defence, pulling Quill and Bailey back from the east so he could attempt a charge to clear the church from that German heretic. Unfortunately for him, a Union sniper clearly disagreed with his plans, took careful aim and shot McHinnock off of his horse. This was the Confederate's fatal blow. All squads kept their positions leaving a giant gap in the east. The Union Captain Heath did not hesitate and ordered Heinz von Trapsfliegel to charge the artillery position on the ridge. A few moments later McPheerson's Ridge was in Union hands, leaving Confederate troops scattered all over the battlefield...

The end
The final act. With Bill McHinnock as dead as a man can be, Confederate troops stand bewildered on the battlefield not knowing what to do. Heath seizes the moment and orders Heinz von Trapsfliegel to charge the artillery, ending this battle for good in the Union's favor.


Bill McHinnock clearly had a bad day. He couldn't decide where he was needed the most. Instead of staying in the east and charging the depot so he could get some canister ammunition, or staying in the west where he could arrange a charge on the church, he spent the whole fight running after the facts (and his troops). On top of this, he got shot by a sniper.

Heath on the other hand stayed where the action was - or, to be more precise, he made sure that the action was where he was, with a decisive victory for the Union Clinch Mountain Boomers as a result.


Clipart on this page was taken from the following sources:

The Civil War Clipart Gallery

The Savage/Goodner's Confederate Clipart Gallery

This page was written by Bart Dils and is maintained by Bart Vetters
Schild en Vriend Miniature Wargaming Club Leuven