With the battlefield set up, we move onto the next stage.
The Army of the Potomac is withdrawing down the Peninsular after the aborted attempt to capture Richmond. The whole army is on the south bank of the rising Chickahominy River, except for V Corps, commanded by Brigadier General Fitz John Porter, His Corps is large, comprising five divisions with a total of fourteen infantry brigades, seven batteries and a brigade of cavalry. but it is isolated on the north bank.
Not one to miss an opportunity, Robert E. Lee formulates a daring plan to destroy V Corps. He splits his Army of Northern Virginia into two wings, the right wing, led by himself is composed of Longstreet's and A.P. Hills Divisions. A total of eleven infantry brigades supported by two batteries of artillery. The other, and larger wing is commanded by Major General Jackson with no less than four divisions, giving a total of fourteen infantry brigades and four batteries of guns.
Lee's plan is to crush V Corps between the two wings...
Sound familiar, well it is the opening moves and OOB of the Battle of Gaines Mill, however the forces quoted are far too large for my tiny table, hence my fictitious piece of the peninsular, located in the area of St. Mark's Church. Even with each stand representing a brigade, I have had to cut down the size of the forces involved.
Union V Corps in all its glory, though truncated to three divisions of infantry, one of cavalry and five batteries of artillery.
The three infantry divisions of General's McCall, Sykes and Morell. With Porter out in front.
His five batteries of guns and a couple of supply wagons to represent his supply chain.
The two wings of the Confederate army have also been pruned to fit. The right wing now comprises of just Longstreet's Division and one battery of artillery. Jackson has two divisions of infantry and two batteries of guns in the left wing.
Longstreet's division of six brigades and artillery. General Lee is also with this wing.
Jackson's force of two infantry divisions and two batteries of artillery.
The two red arrows show the entry point of the Confederate forces, Longstreet on the lower right, and Jackson lower left.
Morell's division leads V Corps onto the table.
The Union column snakes along covered on its right flank by a brigade of cavalry. Gen Porter also takes in the scene.
Longstreet's division also begins to enter the field on the road next to St. Mark's Church.
The columns converge.
Where is General Jackson?
A good question General Lee, he has had problems reaching the area and may be delayed for some time.
So the scene is now complete with troops moving onto the table. A vastly superior Union Corps faces just a sole division of Confederates blocking their line of advance, When will Jackson arrive?
The dice will decide...
That concludes this part, I hope it has whetted your appetite for the coming battle and you will return to witness the Battle of St. Mark's Church.