vrijdag 1 augustus 2014

A Corps level test - the late afternoon

Battle map, situation at 15.00 hours.

The Confederate reserve artillery moved up to support Beaumont’s anticipated attack but further movement was stalled by a dismal pip roll for Major General Windsor. This  bought needed time for MG Andrews to extricate the 11th Division and bring the 10th Division to a better position.

Battle map, situation at 16.00 hours

"It’s not over until the fat lady sings!"

Poor staff work or lack of communication between command and division let an opportunity to punish the Federal army slip by. General Wheeler’s cavalry brigade did keep pace with the Federal cavalry moving north, but divisions Beaumont and Claiborne remained content keeping the enemy occupied with long range artillery fire.

Map two, supplied by the Random Map Generator coughed up a line of dense and light woods straddling the turnpike. The 10th and 11th Divisions, now united were now moving toward that line of woods.

Battle map, situation at 17.00 hours

MG Andrews was content with his line of defense; dense woods protected both flanks and three divisions were now covering a two mile front.
Federal officers noted only the flags and glint of bayonets of Claiborne’s division were in pursuit. Small arms fire had subsided for a while, but that would be replaced by the sound of axes and spades transforming the line of woods into a fortified line of abatis and breastworks.

Battle map, situation at 18.00 hours

Working in rotation, half the units formed line while the remainder were at work felling trees or digging shallow trenches. Beaumont’s troops, seen through field glasses, were now deploying a mile away. 

Between the two lines dotted with small farms and fields was a perfect killing ground.

Four more hours until sunset. 


woensdag 30 juli 2014

A Corps level test - events elsewhere

Earlier that afternoon, 13.00 hours.

On the far left flank, General Claiborne moved out of march column to deploy into three successive lines. Artillery to the right of the column opened long range fire on a Federal cavalry brigade. General Daggett, commanding the Federal cavalry observed the Rebel column advancing on their position.

Daggett with an aide asked, “Stiles, do you see any high ground here?”

“Sir?, No sir, but if you could look to your right”.

Turning in his saddle Daggett could see through his field glasses dust clouds about a mile away and moving rapidly around his flank.

“Damnation. I didn’t think we had this many friends.”

Battle map, situation at 14.00 hours

Anderson’s division is still engaged in its struggle with the Union 11th, while the Federal right has withdrawn their lines further back. Daggett’s cavalry are able to extricate themselves and find their high ground facing the Rebel cavalry on the opposite side of a valley.
Both Claiborne and Beaumont are now facing the untouched 12th Division and their only support are the shattered units of the 10th Division busy reforming.

At this point, the Federal commander has another eight hours until sunset and the situation looks rather bleak.

Major General Windsor awaits the outcome of Anderson’s battle before executing the final stroke. By 15.00 hours, the reserve artillery should be in position for the final push. 

maandag 28 juli 2014

A Corps level test - Anderson's pursuit.

Battle map move at 13.00 hours

Confederate divisions, labeled as A (Anderson), B (Beaumont) and C (Claiborne) are in close proximity to the Federal front. Anderson has now engaged the 11th Division while far to the west, Claiborne and Wheeler’s cavalry are turning the Federal lines.  

Anderson moves on
Having mauled Gordon’s 10th Division, General Anderson moved toward the sound of the guns in a north-westerly direction. It did not take long to confront a second Federal division deployed and ready for a fight.

The terrain was very similar to what they had left; grassy plain with a horizon broken by low hills and two brigades were silhouetted in line formation with a third placed behind in support. In response, rebel troops formed one long line with the weakened brigade on the left, veterans in center the third on the right supported by the artillery.

Anderson’s right-hand brigade moved off at a brisk pace while the center brigade wheeled to their left. At the right moment, the third brigade would move from the cover of the hill to add their weight of fire supporting the veteran brigade.
The Federal line, divided in two wings had the veteran brigade and the artillery on the right with the two less experienced brigades in successive lines. The first line met the rebel volley fire. With the loss of a unit in that exchange, the Federal brigade began to waver.  

For a period of time (3 bounds) it seemed both sides were content to a fire fight, even the demoralized Federal troops on the left, held.

At 14.45 hours, the battle opened up with both sides seeing an opportunity for a decisive stroke. The Federal brigade finally bolted, but the line was held by the second line filling the gap. The Rebel brigade facing them now felt the toil of the day and crumbled in turn. The left Anderson with two brigades to finish the job.

Seeing the right-brigade retreat, Anderson pulled the artillery out and moved his two remaining brigades forward. Shooting as they moved forward, the plan reaped its harvest nearly destroying the veteran brigade, leaving one unit standing. The 11th Division had enough and began a hasty retreat. 

Next post, events elsewhere.