Wednesday, July 3, 2013

This Day 150 Years Ago in Rebel Raiders' History

This day 150 years ago in Rebel Raiders’ History –
Hours to Remember: 10:30 am, 1 pm, 3 pm….Vicksburg & Gettysburg

-Dedicated to Civil War episodes, battles, people, and ships that also appear in my game, GMT’s Rebel Raiders on the High Seas,  

July 3, 1863 -  For the South, The Saddest Day

            Historical Events:   

Vicksburg. At 10:30  in the morning, Confederate officers approached the Union lines at Vicksburg under a white flag.  They carried a request from General Pemberton for terms.   Although famed in newspapers as  U.S. “Unconditional Surrender” Grant,  after responding with that famous phrase the Union commander DID grant terms:  Pemberton’s men marched out but after giving their parole were left to go on their way rather than be interred as prisoners of war.    Grant was not necessarily being a gentleman – neither he nor Admiral Porter had any way to transport let alone care for nearly 30,000 Rebel soldiers.

Gettysburg.  At 1 in the afternoon the Army of Northern Virginia began the greatest cannonade yet heard in the Western Hemisphere.  For nearly two hours over 150 guns unleashed their fire upon the Union lines on and behind Cemetery Ridge.  As the barrage lifted, General George Pickett and 15,000 men from three divisions began that epic charge which Faulkner romanced so well in Intruder in the Dust:

 For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it's still not yet two o'clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it's all in the balance, it hasn't happened yet, it hasn't even begun yet, it not only hasn't begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox  look grave yet it's going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn't need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose and all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago; or to anyone who ever sailed a skiff under a quilt sail, the moment in 1492 when somebody thought This is it: the absolute edge of no return, to turn back now and make home or sail irrevocably on and either find land or plunge over the world's roaring rim.

            Game Connection:   While Gettysburg does not appear on the map for Rebel Raiders, the Confederate invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania is represented by the Lee Moves North card (CSN Card 77).  Vicksburg is on the map, and as noted in the July 1 post on this blog, many of the ships and generals and weapons take took part in that epic siege are represented by cards.  The loss of Vicksburg costs the Confederacy dear in Rebel Raiders, especially if Memphis and New Orleans have also fallen, as that triggers major victory point losses for the South at that instant, and during the supply phase of each subsequent turn.

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