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American Civil War History Excerpts



American Civil War Cavalry Series by First Gear:

Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer and his hard riding troopers make their debut in this release. These figures capture the elan of the Union cavalry that was just coming of age at the time of the Gettysburg Campaign. Having repulsed the famous JEB Stuart’s cavalry at East field on the third day of Gettysburg the Union cavalry would go on to raid the Shenandoah Valley in 1864 (the South’s breadbasket) and cross swords with the famous Grey Ghost - John Singleton Mosby and his troopers. Custer ended up being reviled in the Valley for the harsh actions he took, often in response to raids and guerilla actions against his troops and supply lines.

Also debuting are Colonel John Singleton Mosby and his Rangers, who were the only organized Confederate military force in Northern Virginia, earning that area the nickname “Mosbys Confederacy”. By the summer of 1864 Union General Sheridan was sent to the Shenandoah Valley to put an end to Confederate domination of this vital breadbasket and highway to the North. A series of tit for tat retaliations in the Valley between Union General Custer’s men and Mosby’s resulted in executions of prisoners and the burning of farms and houses. The figure of Mosby appears with his characteristic plumed hat and two pistols



Jackson in the Valley (March 1862) by First Gear:

One of the most brilliant operations of military history, Jackson's Valley campaign was a strategic diversion to draw strength from McClellan's advance on Richmond (Peninsular campaign). Jackson's mission was to hold Bank's troops in the Valley. On March 23, 1862 Jackson attacked General Shields Union forces at Kernstown. Although Jackson suffered a tactical defeat it led the Washington authorities to make even more mistakes that benefited the Confederates more than if Kernstown had been a victory. It was the only defeat for Jackson in a 8 day, 648 mile odyssey that took Jackson's army into 5 battle against 3 separate Union Armies.

The Valley campaign is still studied today at West Point as a classic case of using maneuver and concentration to defeat superior forces. His campaign saved the Shenandoah Valley for the confederates and also tied up Union forces from Richmond and the Peninsula Campaign.



American Civil War Union Sets by First Gear (2008):

The famous Union Iron Brigade began earning its name at Brawner's Farm at Second Manassas where they stood up against attacks by a superior force under "Stonewall" Jackson. But it was not until Sept. 1862 at the battles for the gaps in South Mountain that it was first referred to by McClellan as being made out of iron. The name stuck and thereafter they were called the Iron Brigade. The Brigade consisted of the 2nd, 6th and 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana and in Oct 1862 they were joined by the 24th Michigan.



American Civil War Confederate Sets by First Gear (2008):

Lee's Army of Northern Virginia invaded the North twice. During both the Antietam/Sharpsburg Campaign and Gettysburg Campaign the crossing of the Potomac River was a symbolic event as it was the boundary between North and South. It was particularly moving for Maryland troops in the Army of Northern Virginia. Their home state remained in the Union and it was only on these occasions that many of them had an opportunity to return "home."