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 Post subject: Iverson's Brigade at Gettysburg
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:55 pm 
Does anyone else think the "D" rating for Iverson's Brigade at Gettysburg is a bit harsh? At Chancellorsville in May the same brigade has a "C" rating but just two months later they drop to a "D"? Their disasterous days at Gettysburg were due more to the failure of Alfred Iverson than the men in the ranks. Are they really deserving of the low rating?


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 Post subject: Re: Iverson's Brigade at Gettysburg
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:55 pm 
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I think the tendency of designers is to rate units acording to their record in a given battle or campaign, justified or not. You could make the case that the XI Corps units ought to be rated higher, given that most of the units were veterans, and their poor performance was due to being outnumbered and outflanked. No such justification could be made regarding their poor performance on the evening of the 2nd when Early attacked Cemetery Hill, though. Perhaps they were at high fatigue. A lot of Yanks already have heartburn over what they perceive as bias in favor of Reb units, but it seems to work in game terms in countering the usual Yank superiority in numbers of men, guns and ammo.

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 Post subject: Re: Iverson's Brigade at Gettysburg
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:10 am 
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This is an interesting question/debate.

Iverson's Brigade can certainly be regarded as a veteran unit. The Gettysburg performance was largely due to poor leadership at brigade and regimental level (this was the result of a number of factors). The brigade lost a significant number of officers at Chancellorsville and these posts had not been filled by 1 July 1863 - for example the highest rank in 5 NC on 1st July was captain and 5 NC was positioned on the brigade's vulnerable right flank. There are also references to the brigade over-indulging in whiskey & beer during their stay in Carlisle just prior to moving on Gettysburg prompting one Carolinian to say "one of the main causes we lost Gettysburg was liquor". Maybe the down grading from C to D reflects some of these.

The references to my statements are Gettysburg Magazine 5 "The Death of Iverson's Brig" by Gerard Patterson & Brigades of Gettysburg by Bradley Gottfried.

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 Post subject: Re: Iverson's Brigade at Gettysburg
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 11:15 am 
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Back when I put Campaign Gettysburg together Brett Schulte and I put together an OOB with ratings arrived at via an "objective" system which combined length of service, number of engagements, losses over the course of the war, and a couple of other factors. I ended up not using it as I felt folks would not like seeing some of their favorites under - or over - rated. e.g. 20th Maine rated out as a C unit, all units in the Iron Brigade didn't end up as A units, etc. I think there is something to be said for this, but, again, I didn't think it would go over that well with the folks playing the game.


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 Post subject: Re: Iverson's Brigade at Gettysburg
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 2:32 pm 
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Douglas Strickler wrote:
Back when I put Campaign Gettysburg together Brett Schulte and I put together an OOB with ratings arrived at via an "objective" system which combined length of service, number of engagements, losses over the course of the war, and a couple of other factors. I ended up not using it as I felt folks would not like seeing some of their favorites under - or over - rated. e.g. 20th Maine rated out as a C unit, all units in the Iron Brigade didn't end up as A units, etc. I think there is something to be said for this, but, again, I didn't think it would go over that well with the folks playing the game.

Thanks for the insight, Doug. Glad you didn't go with the system you and Brett came up with, as that wouldn't have reflected how some units such as the Iron Brigade performed well in their first battle, while other veteran units broke at first contact, like Bates' division at Murfreesboro during the Nashville Campaign. I'm sure a lot had to do with leadership, morale and other factors not easily quantified. I think General Stiles is probably onto something when he mentions the Iverson Brigade losses at Chancellorsville. But I always was under the impression that Iverson's Brigade was destroyed through the neglect of their commander to deploy skirmishers prior to advancing, thereby walking into an ambush. That had nothing to do with troop quality. What was left of the brigade (650 men) performed well during the retreat from Gettysburg. Anyway, I don't really have a problem with the quality ratings assigned the units in Campaign Gettysburg. There will probably always have to be some subjectivity involved in rating most of the regiments.

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