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Black Powder ACW – The Battle for the Corn Squeezings

By Michael Cannon / February 28, 2011

Following rapidly on the heels of his stunning victory over Union forces at Snifter Station, MG Cornpone was promoted to head the Confederate Department of the Trans-Missibama. In an astute gesture of political sophistication, Cornpone sent a wagon full of his family’s Corn Whiskey to his friends and supporters in the Confederate Congress. Unbeknownst to him, however, Union loyalists sent notification to the commander of the enemy forces to the north. Thus came about another battle to add to the legend of MG Cornpone.


  • Six players – three per side
  • Distances and ranges as in the book but using centimeters not inches
  • All unit commanders rated at an 8
  • Units were provided to an overall commander and he allocated them as he saw fit
  • Roughly twelve infantry brigades, ten artillery batteries, and two cavalry brigades per side (FnF brigades of 24-36, not as shown in Black Powder)
  • Corn squeezing wagon moved random distance along the road
  • The winner was the side that controlled the wagon at game’s end – a player could destroy it, but that would be an automatic loss
  • Table size was roughly   five by nine feet

Union Left Flank/Rebel Right Flank

Wagon LocationThe battle began with the squeezin’s wagon by the Lutheran Seminary. Both sides weighted this flank so as to be able to move as rapidly as possible to sieze and hold the wagon. The Confederate Corps Commander placed his headquarters on this wing with the cavalry and despite a number of bad command roles, managed to push his cavalry forward into (or against) the objective. One brigade dismounted and formed a skirmish line in the open fields. The infantry was delayed by the woods and the the limits posed by the Lutheran Seminary.

The Union commanders reacted quickly and pushed forward a sizable combined arms force towards the wagon.  A brisk fight developed and one Confederate cavalry brigade dissolved under the Union attack, fleeing to the rear and losing one battery’s guns. It’s companion brigade fell back, remounted, and moved to support the remaining battery.

The successful Union cavalry attack was followed up with infantry support, but one cavalry brigade advanced too far, unmasking the unlimbered battery. The Confederates opened up and… only hit the squeezin’s wagon which exploded and inflicted casualties on the Union brigade. According to the scenario, the game was over with the Union not winning as much as the  Confederates  losing!

Bad scenario design in my mind….

But the battle continued…

union-attacks-succeedThe Union commanders swung more brigades into action and rapidly began rolling up the Confederate right as they were able to mass against them one at a time.  The Confederate Corps Commander raced from nit to unit in an attempt to shore up the sagging defense, but Union forces continued to advance.

Battle for the Center and Opposite Flank

The battle for the center and the opposite flank  developed  a lot more slowly as there was room to deploy and the commanders did not have an immediate objective to attack. The Union commander had placed himself on the right so he could control the maneuver against the Confederate left. Both sides suffered heavily on the right as short range firefights quickly escalated into back and forth hand to hand fights. By the time the Confederate left was starting to collapse, their right was turned by the Seminary and the Confederate ommander decided it was time to withdraw and conserve his force.

Center fight

Confederate Center Advances

Union Right/Confederate Left

(Some gamers have asked who MG Cornpone is. Please watch the video below for a full explanation.)

About the author

Michael Cannon

I have been wargaming as long as I can remember. I met my wife when I was 14 and had been gaming long before that so that should give you an indication as to how long it has been. One of the first games I owned was Anzio by Avalon Hill. I drove over to the hobby shop in the snow to pick it up as I finally had the money to get something! I can remember playing with Airfix figures and Roco tanks back in the 6th grade and before.

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