donderdag 14 augustus 2014

A Civil War project - Wilson's Creek, mid-morning

Situation at 08.00 – 09.00 hours
Having punished the rebel left flank, General Lyon thought it prudent to pull his right flank back to support his center. With both sides near breaking point victory would present herself to the side with the greatest determination. Unfortunately for both sides, neither side could make headway along the ridge.

Approaching the hour, McCulloch’s mounted troops having crossed Wilson’s Creek were intent on flanking the Federal position. That was not good.

Decisions, does Lyon gamble to break Price or take the better route to extricate himself from being encircled?

Despite having an advantage in number, the situation was touch and go for Price. The left flank had rallied, but too far back to be of use and though McCulloch’s troops were now threatening the Federal left, his centre was just barely holding.

Situation at 09.00 – 10.00 hours
General Lyon relieved to see his troops approaching the rebel left sent orders for the Rangers to help his endangered left flank. The centre was holding despite the intense vol.ley fire from the rebel line. The volley fire brought little results, but did sound like an angry hornet’s nest.

“The fat lady sings”
McCulloch’s brigade, now dismounted, were engaged with the Federal cavalry. Firing while moving slowly forward, rebel artillery were able to support McCulloch’s effort to clear the hill.

The rebel command under Price reached their breaking point, yet could still hold their positione. Then, as if by appointment (09.30 hours), General Lyon fell dead to a final volley from Price’s line.

Game  and historical notes:

A surprise attack on an encampment became a usefule exercise for an eventual replay of Shiloh. Troops within the command were despersed about the camp so initial bounds were spent collecting small groups to move out and engage the enemy.

The day before was spent on a fruitless march toward Springfield with the hope of catching the Federal troops napping. Rain curtailed that effort, so the troops returned presumably in their order of march.

Accounts are not clear when support troops arrived having crossed Wilson’s Creek, so for this test that was done at 08.00 hours.

General Lyon died mid-morning and the Federal troops broke. Despite a rebel victory, confusion wa s so rampant that Price could not organize a pursuit of the Federal army.

Sigel’s southern approach had a very low rate of success and this could be seen in the re-play. The attack reached a high water mark within the first hour, then the initiative slipped to the rebel troops. Reenforcements would double their number making Sigel’s effort a spent one. 


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