Well that was a nasty delay.
On with the game though!
[color="Red"]Turn 33, Early August, 1862:[/color]
Ironworks constructed in North Carolina!!
(Fantastic news. +4 WS, but it's in Hillsboro, NC...which is pretty close to the front line. grrr.)
General Hooker sweeps through Mississippi!!
(You've all seen this already I'm sure. Great move by Soundoff, but I doubt it will have the desired affect.)
General Richard Taylor joins the cause!!
(I never fully appreciated this guy. His stats are decent 4-2-2. He trains troops and provides a +1 command point to everyone in his stack. I'll send him to join the AoK. Polk's Corps I think.
New militia regiments raised across the south!!
(The fall of Petersburg prompts Richmond to call on all state's to increase their home guards.)
Orders in the east:
Not as dire a situation as I had originally thought. The key being Burkeville. As you can see by my yellow highlight, the rails in Burkeville are broken! Which means Grant nor Hamilton can quickly rail back to protect their supply line.
Now, with that said. I'm quite sure Soundoff is aware of this situation and doesn't intend to keep Grant linked up with Washington at all. I think he intends to march Grant and Hamilton straight to Norfolk and take it. Where he can be easily re-supplied from the sea.
Burkeville is a very important region this turn and I hope to take it. So I will send just Lee and the HQ there to meet up with Stuart's cavalry. There is still the possibility that McDowell, Dix, Franklin and Whipple might assault Richmond from the north so I want to keep Jackson in a position to support Longstreet should that happen. If any of the above Union corps make a grab at Burkeville. Lee and Jackson will be tasked with stopping them. If I can hold Burkeville, I will be able to receive supplies via road from Garysburg, NC for the remainder of the summer and early autumn. The task will then be retaking Petersburg to open the rails back up.
Magruder's position has become too exposed and so I will be moving him west to join the rest of the main army around the Richmond/Petersburg line. Joe Johnson and his newly dubbed "3rd Corps" will hold in Garysburg just in case Soundoff gets clever and tries to sever my link to the Carolinas. At this point there is little I can to about Norfolk. If I rail Johnson there (Which I spent a LONG time debating) I will only allow the possibility of Grant cuttin him off too. While I would be denying supply to Grant's army, I would be opening up Garysburg, NC to Grant and Hamilton...which is far more costly to my army.
Overall: It's not time to give up Richmond yet. I still have a chance to defend it if I can just get my supply situation all wrapped up. In fact, if I manage to repair rails in all the right places and get another depot set up somewhere in western NC or southwest Virginia I might be able to continue operating in the theater.
In the West:
First, a look at the overall picture. It's obvious to me that McClellan is weighing heavily upon his Corps Generals' Strategic ratings and will probably remain inactive (at least in large part) for several turns. That combined with my ever strengthening line in west Tenn. means Soundoff's most likely push in the west will come through Central Kentucky. He doesn't have the strength for it right now, but if he were to get another couple of divisions to this area soon, he could make a very significant impact on the front line.
To more specific operations:
The Army of Kentucky will hold in western Tennessee. It's line is now very strong and mutually supportive. If Soundoff wants to flank it, he'll have to telegraph his move.
Devens and some Union cavalry popped up in central Tenn. My guess is he's going to try and cause some trouble with my supply line. I think Soundoff is going to do all he can to CUT me out of my line in the west by destroying as many depots as he can. I hope to counter this with General Colston and a pair of cavalry regiments.
Van Dorn, with the help of the Army of Kentucky could EASILY take Louisville. Buell looks to have only around 3,000 troops or so stationed around the town. I want to keep an eye on what troops are being stationed there. I have an operation in mind that could forstall the afformention Union drive into central Kentucky. But timing will be of the essence. The offensive would have to wait until autumn or just a shade before winter.
In the Gulf:
Well Hooker's drive was truly an impressive one. Either 4 or 5 regions in just 15 days while fighting and taking territory all the way. Forrest put up a meager defense at Jackson before Hooker moved on to Vicksburg. This was a very alarming move, but after much consideration I came to some rather obvious conclusions.
1. There's no way Hooker can stay in Mississippi much longer. He risks being cut off and I'm not going to bite with Holmes large division in New Orleans. So if he hopes to draw troops away from that important port...he's wrong.
2. The Vicksburg depot can easily be rebuilt using some transports.
As long as I can save the depot at Jackson...Hooker's raid will have been a mere thorn in my underbelly. Forrest is ordered to re-trace all of Hooker's footsteps and attack if he catches up to him. (Forrest's attack stat of 6 will make it a bit more even fight if Hooker manages to stay in offensive posture.) However Forrest is ordered only to probe Hooker and harrass his troops.
Beauregard escaped!! What a relief. I've now given him a HQ and formed the Army of Mississippi. It will be a very small army at first, consisting of around 6 to 7,000 troops, but a formidable force once all replacements are gathered and some additional brigades called up. Beauregard will first make for Montgomery, AL to rest and refit.
In the Far West:
Glad to see Stand Watie attracted so much attention. I will move him this turn to a better position to threaten the depot north of St. Louis (Forgot the town's name.)
Phil Sheridan is in play...his cavalry division will probably look to cause trouble in the Indian territories and in Texas if not be tasked with chasing down Watie's indians.
Will Grant move on Norfolk?? Will Soundoff assault Richmond?? Can Forrest catch up with Hooker?? Stay tuned...