Fort Stephens day one. (Part one)

Fort Stephens day one. (Also known as the Battle of Ponchatoula) 

Word of the arrival in New Orleans of French forces had spread fast. Militia units from Mississippi and CSA regular units from Alabama moved quickly to block the bottleneck between Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas in LA. Field fortifications were rapidly thrown up in an effort to block passage Northwards. The forces were deployed, waiting for the invading French forces to arrive .

The French commander sent to clear the road was met by the local commander of the local Louisiana Militia who suggested an alternative approach. He identified a route around the north of Lake Maurepas, bypassing the bottleneck and arriving behind the defenders.


The battlefield was on a 6′ by 4′ table. To the West was Baton Rouge. To the East was Mobile, To the North was Jackson. New Orleans was to the South. There were victory points for each road exit from the table and 2 Victory points for holding village of Ponchatoula.

FortStephens Pre game.jpg

The table before the start of the game. North is on the left hand side. Half of the South table edge is covered by the edge of Lake Maurepas  and is impassible. Streams are passable by infantry (-3″) and impassible to artillery.  The dark green templates with trees are woodland. The light green templates with ponds are representing Marsh.

The road running north to south has a stream on it’s southern edge and swamp on it’s northern edge. In the the distance on the right hand side you can see confederate forces deployed, along with field fortifications. The Louisiana Militia and French forces will be approaching from the west. (Still sitting their box.) There are additional forces prepared for any other players that arrive later. One is a French force arriving from the West the other is a Confederate force from the North (Jackson) or the east (Mobile). The additional forces were not required.

French Arrive From the West.jpg

The French crossed the river, advanced to the small town and deployed ready to advance on the Confederates or hold the centre. The red markers in the village show the locations to be held for Victory Points. Closest to the camera is a unit of militia which has skirmisher stands (Cajun). The  French regulars deployed on either side of the village and expected to carry the bulk of the fighting. The French also brought had one piece of rifled artillery and a Mitrailleuse machine gun.

Confedeartes abandon Fieldworks.jpg


The Confederate forces abandoned the field fortifications when they realised they’d been outflanked during the night. They redeployed on a broad front heading towards the village.

The mixed force of Militia, State Regulars and CSA regulars spread out. Some headed for the woodland cover while most splashed through the swamp.

end – of- part – one





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