Battle of Seven Pines

Close up of the redoubt (original: John Banks Civil War Blog)

So looking at making some terrain features for ACW battles, I found myself drawn to the twin houses and redoubt that formed such a focus of the Battle of Seven Pines. While a few detailed photos taken in June 1862 show the twin houses clearly and from differing angles the redoubt that formed a contested focal point of the battle is difficult to make out in most of them.

The close up at right comes from the fantastic blog of John Banks, which I think of as essential reading for Civil War gamers and buffs alike. The photo shows a basically dirt rampart construction, it is difficult to make out if any internal bracing existed, though I suspect it in all likelihood did, and apart from the records that and maps that show the redoubt was occupied by artillery, (1 NY Coy A) other details of the redoubt are hazy. For the twin houses, I am going to try and replicate them in 3D-modelling software as close as I can before I print them for battlefield use. Given that the twin houses really are just a mirror of each other, I will design one, and just let the software flip the whole model for me.

Casey’s* Redoubt

Luckily I had already made a redoubt earlier and while it has less earth ramparts than the photo above and below suggest it will suffice for my needs. (see redoubt post)

Twin Houses

2 story square clapboard, brick chimney on east side, door on west (offset to the south), 2 windows upper and lower floors on north and south sides. 12 pane sash windows open (so only 6 panes visible). half circle detailed fascia, chimney detailing at top. hip roof, almost pyramidal. (Design note: 3 part print for FDM printers: roof, fascia detailing, main building.)


The Battle of Seven Pines is also a notable battle for the use of observation balloons by the Union forces, and while McClellan ignored much of the intel that came from the use of the balloon, I do think it would be a fun vignette to model for the table top. (So this is possibly something to add to the list for the future)

* Brig. General Silas Casey was the divisional commander when the redoubt fell to the confederate forces under D.H. Hill. Wrongfully blamed by a sick McClellan for turning certain victory into an inconclusive draw, Casey was to spend the rest of the war in largely administrative posts.

Reading (still): Welker, David A., The Cornfield, Antietam’s bloody turning point. (2020) ISBN: 978-1-61200-832-5

Lutheran Church I

Lutheran Church, Main St Sharpsburg Maryland 1862
(US Library of Congress)

Confession time, I have been working on a digital model of the Lutheran Church for probably the last two years. When motivation struck I would work on it, and when it would fade the model would just gather digital dust on my hard drive. Difficulties in maintaining a solid model* with such detailed geometry saw me start over a few times, but with renewed purpose I am going (to try) and commit to getting it finished.

Luckily John Banks has already done the work of providing close ups of the photo (right) on his blog post: Antietam battle damage at Lutheran Church, not so fortunate is that the close ups show that I had made a few errors around the windows and for the front door, namely I had made the sash windows both top and bottom as 9 pane glass while the photo clearly shows the lower sash is only 6 pane**, so these will need to be rectified.

Given that the church no longer exists and I have been unable to find any other photos I will make the assumption that the far side of the church is a mirror of the photographed side, and I will exercise some poetic license and the rear of the building can have an off centre door but will be devoid of windows.

Close up of front door and steps
(from John Banks Civil War Blog)

The front door is quite recessed and from the photo (left) it appears to be of a traditional design. While the steps are quite “rustic” and almost falling down, so I will need to make sure these are modelled in a quite rough manner.

Although not related to the church per se is the photo below that shows a differing view of Sharpsburg’s Main St and is taken from the right of the church and looking down the hill. The house on the right (in the church photo) is now on the left and there are a few buildings offering inspiration, though they are simply variants of each other, so possibly quite easy to model.

Sharpsburg, Principal St Maryland 1862.
(US Library of Congress)

* A 3D digital model needs to be “solid” to print optimally. Which is to say it does not have any “holes” that lead into its geometry and thus create a model of exposed planes, rather than a “solid”. There are websites and plugins that try to correct these errors in the mesh, but there is no substitute for creating the model properly from the start.

** I know I mentioned somewhere else that I want my models to be as accurate as possible, while remaining usable and printable. Sometimes to get a usable model that is printable will mean small compromises in accuracy but it is something I try to avoid.

Reading (still): Welker, David A., The Cornfield, Antietam’s bloody turning point. (2020) ISBN: 978-1-61200-832-5

Ratified Research

So the Waterloo Uncovered project had a bit of a write-up in the Dailymail, about their Waterloo Project Model and although not one of my usual reads, the photo above (left) really piqued my interest as it showed the front of the La Haye Sainte barn with an arched door and no chicken coup access unlike commercially available products.

Of more interest to me is that it is depicted just as my own research had shown and as I had designed for my kickstarter (at right) many years ago. So feeling a bit chuffed at the moment, which is a great way to improve the mood in these times of restrictions.

And yes, this is a blatant tooting of my own horn.

Reading (still): Welker, David A., The Cornfield, Antietam’s bloody turning point. (2020) ISBN: 978-1-61200-832-5