The next entry of the Civil War Diary follows. I cannot write another entry until after I have fought the skirmish battle on the table top, only then will I know the winners and losers. The battle, will I hope, be enjoyable, in a gaming sense of course, as some of the little soldiers already have a name and the beginnings of a character forming. This I think will add just that little bit more interest to the battle report that will be written, along with numerous photographs too. Maybe you already have a favourite character, or perhaps, one you wish to see knocked down a peg or two.
Balk Wood, South of Pocklington
25th March 1642. 7:30am
Once back in the woods, Septimus instructed Captain Hotham to send two troopers North-West along the York Road. They were to remove helmets and cover their uniforms with riding cloaks and if possible, travel alongside the road, rather than upon it. Septimus didn't want to be caught out by any force which, may at that very moment, be travelling from York to meet with the royalist convoy from Twiston Hall.
All the men had been given a hot breakfast of oats and now stood to at the fringe of the wood overlooking the road. Captain Watson and a sergeant had walked along the road, satisfied that they could not see any of the Foot regiment hidden among the trees and bushes.
Captain Hotham's regiment, had also eaten and had taken up a position to the rear of Balk Wood, out of sight of anyone who happened to pass along the Balk, to or from Pocklington.
The two captains and Septimus, now stood in a small clear area, to the rear of the waiting and silent musketeers and pikemen. All weapons had been loaded, checked and checked again. Each man had, when he stood to fire, a clear view of the road in front of him.
'Now we wait.' said Septimus in little more than a whisper. 'Once those troopers who are watching the convoy return, we can finalise the plan of attack. If that fool still has not sent scouts ahead or to his flanks, he is going to be in for a very nasty and costly shock.'
The two captains mumbled in agreement.
At that very moment...
One Mile away, South-East on the York Road.
Sir Royston was enjoying the fine Spring morning, the sun had broken through the thinning clouds and was now pleasantly warm on his right side. He was alone at the head of the column, he should really have invited the Major of the Horse Regiment, to ride with him, but the man was nervous bore and he didn't want this wonderful morning spoiled by that clucking old woman, bleating in his ear about scouts, pickets and the like. For goodness sake, he thought, we are only on a four hour journey, which will end with a triumphal entry to York. What could possibly go wrong?
Balk Wood. 7:50am
'Riders approaching sir!'
The call was quietly and calmly passed down the line of the waiting soldiers. Coming across the field at a good gallop, were the two troopers who had been shadowing the convoy.
The two dust covered and sweating men, reported that the convoy was exactly as before, no scouts or flankers had been sent out, and that it was less than a mile away.
'Gentlemen,' Septimus said to the two waiting commanders. 'We will allow the mounted men and the wagons to pass unmolested, the men are to stay hidden. Only when the foot regiment is passing before us on the road, will the men stand and fire a volley.
Captain Watson, nodded.
Septimus turned to Captain Hotham. 'Once you hear that volley, your men will charge from around the back of the wood, directly at the horse. They should by this time be in total confusion as to what is happening in their rear.'
This time it was Captain Hotham who nodded his understanding.
Septimus grinned, 'God and surprise are on our side today, let us not waste it.'
Both captains smiled back and hurried off to join their regiments.
The clatter of horses hooves and rumble of iron rimmed wheels could just be heard approaching along the road...