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Coming up that hill..


it is June 30, 1862..

Lt. Ames and his battery from 5. US Artillery reached the Malvern Hill.

Two guns cover the approach roads while the battery moves into position.
Next morning his battery will cause a terrible massacre there.

Later in the civil war Adalbert Ames left the artillery and became commander of the 20. Maine-Inf-Regt. You know; the soldiers that defended Little Round Top during the battle of Gettysburg. Exactly one year after the battle of Malvern Hill..
Ames was later promoted to general..

Re: Coming up that hill..

Great shots Gerd! Love the job you did and the backdrops. Kudos!

Re: Coming up that hill..

Fine figures, painting and modelling... and very fine photography. Great work Gerd!

Re: Coming up that hill..

Beautiful work from you Gerd! Captured the scene very well. Really does feel like your on a large hill, looking down at the town/village in the background. Its always nice to see well painted and displayed limber teams.

All this talk of going up hills has put that Kate Bush song in my head now!!

Re: Coming up that hill..

The lovely Kate is always a fine image to have in mind, hey Roger?!!

Brilliant stuff Gerd and a really positive and inspirational post during this time of stupid, unnecesary and wasteful 'real' war....

Cheers, James

Re: Coming up that hill..

Gerd, you do our hobby great credit, 10/10 from me ,superb.

Re: Coming up that hill..

Thank you all..

"....a really positive and inspirational post during this time of stupid, unnecessary and wasteful 'real' war...."

Yes, this is my opinion...and my message:

In our hobby we "create the war"....but we never wanted to injure or kill anyone...

We are peaceful people and we know what war meens.


Re: Coming up that hill..

What happens at Malvern Hill that day:

One soldier said, “the earth trembled and shook as though an earthquake had occurred.” Another recalled, “the eternal fires below seemed to have been turned loose about us.”

Union guns fired at will, and when they ran out of ammunition other batteries took their place. One of the Federal cannoneers remembered that the shells fired at the attackers “cut roads through them some places ten feet wide.”

Lieutenant Adelbart Ames commanded Battery A of the Fifth U.S. Light Artillery. Determined to fight the thing out, he would not move his guns, instead bringing up more and more ammunition. His 6 guns fired an estimated 1,392 rounds that day. Captain John Frank, commanding Battery G of the First New York Light, said his battery had fired 400 rounds of shell, 515 of spherical case and 66 rounds of canister.

Malvern Hill was a decisive Union victory, resulting in the slaughter of some 5,000 Confederate troops. The men in gray never seriously threatened the Federal position…. it was one of the most lopsided battles of the war.

General D.H. Hill would recall the bloodbath, saying, “it was not war, it was murder.”

Re: Coming up that hill..

Really fine work here Gerd. Your artillery pieces look incredibly detailed and stunning to the eye. The whole scene just looks very life like. Well done!

Re: Coming up that hill..

Absolutely Fantastic, Gerd! It took me 2 cups of coffee to enjoy the beauty of your set-up and the most interesting history you gave us. Thank you, and please keep it up. Everyone here is enjoying the fruits of your labor! :earth_americas:

Re: Coming up that hill..

Thank you, thank you...

I hope you enjoyed my contribution... :wink:

For those of you who might be interested in knowing more about the Battle of Malvern Hill in ACW, I've written a brief synopsis of that battle:

In June 1862 George McClellan’s union army was escaping from Virginia, because the raid against confederate capitol Richmond has failled. Dangerously exposed to enemy attacks, over 100,000 men, 280 guns, thousands of wagons, large numbers of wounded, and even a massive herd of beef were attempting to move safely to a new base on the James River.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee was intent on driving them from the Confederate capital, and he could use the largest army he would ever command.

McClellan’s army survived many of the confederate attacks and fought different battles from june 26-29, but was driven back step by step. But also the confederates suffered heavy casualties.

On june 30 the union army reached Malvern Hill, a gently rising ridge 40 meters high and about 2 km long. The terrain in front of the ridge was open and consisted of meadows and fields that stretched almost two kilometers from the ridge. On both sides of the ridge were forests with dense undergrowth, so the ridge could not be flanked.

The federal artillery commander Fitz John Porter saw the importance of the position and occupied it on June 30. He arrayed his guns along the ridge, and the gentle incline created a perfect field of fire for his guns. His 10 pounder rifled Parrotts, 32 pounder howitzers, and 12-pounder Napoleon smoothbores swept all of the cleared area on the hill, behind them the 20 pounder Parrots in second line.
The fire of this massed artillery guns could even reach the woods at the horizont, so the federal artillery completely dominated the landscape and the Confederate attackers would immediately come under massive artillery fire should they emerge from the woods and form columns. Porter could use his great artillery reserve, so the batteries that had run out of ammunition could easily replaced.
This allows him to post always 40-50 guns on the ridge firing at the enemy.

After General Lee and his staff had made a picture of the enemy position by a reconnaissance ride General D.H. Hill commented, “If General McClellan is there in strength, we had better leave him alone.”

But Lee could not allow his adversary the opportunity to re-form and strike again.
A frontal attack against those guns did not appear promising, so he and General Longstreet try to find a way to eleminate the federal artillery on the ridge. There were two small rises left and right in front of the confederate line. If they could get enough guns in this positions, the Confederates could catch Porters artillery in a crossfire and drive off his guns from the ridge, clearing the way for an infantry attack.

But the confederate guns generally had less range than those of the federal artillery on the ridge. Many were obsolete 6-pounders and howitzers. And most of the guns were dispersed among the infantry units. So it was extremely difficult to find these guns in the widely dispersed marching columns, send them the appropriate orders, and then quickly assemble them at the appropriate locations.
And so the planned infantry attack up the ridge was doomed to failure, because it was not possible to assemble enough guns. In addition, the few guns that reached their positions were directly destroyed by the massive enemy artillery fire.

And so the catastrophe began:
As General Armistead's soldiers charged enemy outposts, they let out their battle cry. This was intercepted by other units as a general attack signal, so more and more infantry units formed up and marched up the ridge.
Without cover, without own artillery support and unaware of the enemy artillery massed up there.... !!!

Lee and his General Staff lost control of his forces... and the massacre at Malvern Hill began...

The right flank of the Confederates was also fired upon by Union ships with their heavy naval artillery, which were about 3 km away on the James River and accompanied the retreat.

So 5.000 men lost there lives in 2 hours..

General Hill had already criticized Lee's aggressive actions during the war.
He also criticized Longstreet's and Jackson's operations, which were undoubtedly ingenious from an operational point of view, because from his point of view they required extreme marching performance from the soldiers, resulted in high losses of personnel and material and undermined morale in the long term.

The later statement by General D. H. Hill about the events on Malvern Hill ("It wasn't a war, it was murder.") should therefore not be seen primarily as an accusation against the enemy, but as a criticism of Lee's attack against such a strong enemy Position without systematic preparation and a clear picture of the situation.

To finish this story, i show one of my older pictures again....because it fits so well.