Kapiti Fusiliers: Battles of Rusty Creek and Gettysburg

Getty_9This weekend marks 150 years since the Battle of Gettysburg, the iconic battle of the American Civil War.  

To commemorate this historic engagement, you could re-visit two old postings about my time as a Confederate soldier during the massive 135th reenactment event way back in 1998, first here and then more photos here.


Or you could read the following one of my resurrected postings from the old Kapiti Fusiliers website describing a Civil War game. Originally posted on September 2005 by Fusilier Paul Crouch, who had recently moved up to Auckland, it describes a spectacular game played on John Berry’s 14′ x 6′ table …



We played an American Civil War game. There were four on each side, so eight of us all told, including all my old wargame friends from many years ago. Fusilier Mark Strachan was along there too.

The rules used were a set put together by the group up here. They really do work well and capture the flavour of the American Civil War and the ebb and flow of battle.


John and the boys certainly put on games ‘in the grand manner’ and there was no lack of troops on the table. It was a magnificent sight. As you can see from the photos we reckon there were up to two thousand 25mm figures on the table.  They were mainly Dixon, but Wargames Foundry were in there too.

I tried to focus as many as possible of the photos on John’s buildings to let you get the feel of them. Hopefully you can see the work he does on them. The close-up of the forge (below) is brilliant.  He scratch builds a lot of the stuff you see in these pictures. Also the limbers and wagons in the photos are all John Berry originals.

rustyforge close up

The game was a fictional encounter somewhere in Georgia called Rusty Creek, late in the war … a last desperate attempt to throw the Damn Yankees out. I fought with the Johnny Rebs, and held the left flank with two brigades of infantry and artillery.

I was attacked repeatedly throughout the game – in fact my flank was under pressure from the word go. I had three brigade generals killed during the day, a battery of artillery smashed to pieces, and one of my brigades shattered – but they all died gallantly for the cause!


Above: My own Confederate troops make a guest appearance on the left flank. Under pressure for most of the game, and suffering heavy losses, they held the flank with honour.


Above: Brewer’s Farm, the centre of the Confederate position.


Above: Confederate troops mass around Brewer’s Farm.


Above: Through the cornfields come the Rebels under the command of our host John Berry, on their way to prop up the left flank. This shot reminds me of a scene from the movie Gettysburg … stirring stuff!


Above: Union troops – loads of artillery. Note the wagons that John Berry has made.


Above: Reb cavalry under Forrest move out on the right – almost to a man these brave lads were wiped out before the Reb infantry arrived.


After the smoke died down it was decided that (as in all these large games) a fighting draw was the outcome. The Union hadn’t really coordinated their attacks, and the Rebs had defended stoutly in the face of the blue tide.


8 thoughts on “Kapiti Fusiliers: Battles of Rusty Creek and Gettysburg

  1. I had four ancestors who fought (or at least served) during the “War Between the States” . . . so I’m glad that Johnny Reb held their own against Billy Yank.

    When I say “served”, one of my ancestors, John Henry Hudelson, was issued a medical discharge mid-war . . . but not for combat. He was with the 19th Texas Cavalry and they weren’t involved in the war . . . they were a garrison force against Indians . . . and my ancestor had his leg severely broken in a regimental wrestling match.

    Great photos of your game . . . it looks like it was a real corker indeed.

    — Jeff

  2. Thanks for that, Jeff. And interesting go read about your ancestors.

    I must emphasise that neither the photos, nor the game itself, were mine. This is re-posting of an old article that Paul Crouch wrote about a game he played with a bunch of local gamers in Auckland, which is a day’s drive from here.

  3. Epic stuff, Roly. Visited Gettysburg last year, myself. I’m sure you will agree – so illuminating to see the actual ground on which the battle was fought (e.g., I was amazed to see how rough the ground was around Little Round Top).


    1. I had a very, very fleeting look at the real ground of Gettysburg back in 1998 when we popped in on our way to a nearby reenactment. However, my host had to hurry us off the battlefield when he realised he had forgotten he was carrying our black-powder muskets in the back of his car. It is strictly a no-no to have firearms in a National Park, and he was terrified his moment of forgetfulness would earn him a hefty fine if we didn’t hightail it as fast as we could!

  4. Roly hii
    Well done looks great .. and good to see Rusty creek revisited..
    RIP John Berry who is no longer with us but rolling dice on the Big Wargames table in the Sky ..
    He was a real magician with scratchbuilding equipment and buildings and scenery and Like you and me he loved the look of the game ..

    Wil be over there soon so will catch up for a glass of wine and a chat over old times

    Take care my friend .. Paul

    1. Thanks, Paul. I never met John Berry, but judging by your photos of his tables, he was a fabulous modeller and gamer.

      You’re welcome for that wine and chat any time.

I hope I've given you something to think about - please do leave a comment with your thoughts or reactions.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s