Pea Ridge & McIntosh's Cavalry

by Eric Lee Smith, 7/4/2006

Bussey vs. McIntosh, Pea Ridge  


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(From Russ Gifford:) I always wondered about McIntosh's cavalry in Pea Ridge. Were the counters correct, or had the first GBACW game fallen prey to a printing error? So I got the chance to finally ask Eric Lee Smith, "should they [McIntosh's troopers] have a 'mounted cav' symbol on the back of the counter?

(From Eric Lee Smith:) It's a good question and the answer is interesting. The boys from Texas usually functioned more as mounted infantry than true cavalry. The marched (pranced?) onto the field with their horses, but fought dismounted - in what little fighting they did. Their performance was pretty disgraceful once their leaders were killed. I treated them as infantry and have left out the complications of horses, horseholders, etc.

Interestingly, they were dismounted totally for the Corinth campaign, but got their horses back later, in time to do nothing productive to prevent the fall of Vicksburg. They were a good unit, but the leadership out West was sorely lacking. They covered the retreat from the debacle at Nashville - probably their finest hour.

Cheers, Eric

(I also asked Eric about Bussey's role in the game, since I've not found a great place or position for his troops.)

Eric's answer was short and succinct: "Bussey's role is to slow down McIntosh's troops - or to die trying."

I've got the 'die trying' part down really well....