Thursday, 1 December 2016

OHW - The Campaign - Part Six

Scenario six is titled Flank Attack (1), in it a Union army is marching South along a road to attack a small Rebel force that is defending a supply depot. However, the Confederate general is aware of this and has massed most of his army on the enemy flank. To win the scenario, the union must have at least three units leave the Southern end of the table.

The table is very simple. the road runs North to South, with a small hill just to the West of it. The small defensive force has to be placed with the rectangle defined by the red discs, the attacking force has to be on the road between the blue discs. The rest of the defending army can be anywhere on the Western table edge.



The small hill to the west of the road.


On this occasion the Confederate forces consist of:

1 x Cavalry Unit
1 x Zouave Unit
4 x Infantry Units


For the Union, their force consists of:

3 x units of infantry
2 x units of artillery
1 x unit of cavalry



The defensive force protecting the supply depot is deployed, one each of infantry and Zouaves.



Not all of the Union force can be placed on the table yet as the deployment area is not large enough. The remainder are in column behind.



On the West edge of the table, three infantry and one cavalry unit appear.


Rebs in the distance!


The Confederate general is with the ambushing force.

'Opera glasses glued to his eyes, Bear Moulden watched the advance of the Union column. The tiny glasses, hidden in the huge paw he called a hand,  showed clearly every last detail. He had been bested at the Battle of The Two Brothers, but now with a fresh brigade, he was out to even the score.'

'Brigadier General Aubrey Jefferson II, scanned the two enemy regiments that blocked his path. He would deploy his two artillery batteries, out of musket range, to blow them away and march triumphantly through to the town of Bewick and destroy the Rebel depot there. 

He could already hear the adulation and congratulations for such a magnificent feat of military genius, he brushed off a fleck of dust, that had dared to attach itself to his handmade uniform jacket. 

Aubrey, the son of a New England senator disliked being in the field, it was so uncomfortable and personal hygiene was always a worry. He had drunk, womanised, gambled and danced his way through West Point, If those subjects had been included in the course, Aubrey would have passed out with a silver sword. But alas, they were not. The commandant had tried on numerous occasions to have the young man removed, as being totally unfit to be an officer in the US Army, but when your father is a man of great influence, doors are opened and even commandants do as they are told. 

He eventually passed out and commanded various desks in Washington, always managing to secure a promotion with each move. This was his very first field command and he wished to show off his military knowledge and prowess.'

The leading infantry regiment deployed into line as the first battery of artillery also deployed.



The rest of the column proceeded South along the Bewick Road.


Aubrey was surprised to see the small blocking force begin to advance toward him. His aide pointed out that they were not going to just stand there out of musket range and be blasted by cannon fire, they intended to hit back. The thought had never occurred to Aubrey.


If Aubrey was unsettled by the advancing blocking force, He was almost struck dumb, when informed the enemy was advancing on his flank.


This was not at all going as Aubrey imagined, he would have to use the other battery and a regiment of infantry to hold back the flank attack,


It was suggested that his cavalry be ordered to take position on the hill, both to anchor the flank and also keep open a route of retreat! Aubrey was horrified, the thought that he would lose and have to retreat, that would never do. He eventually gave the order to the cavalry.


Union infantry and cannon open up on the defence force, scoring hits.



Unfortunately for Aubrey, his dithering had allowed the Confederate cavalry to reach the hill first.


Bear was amazed to see his cavalry on top of the hill, they had met no resistance! He shrugged, and ordered the flank to continue the advance.


The Rebel blocking force, now returned fire. Men fell dead and wounded, Aubrey decided it prudent to pull a little further back from firing line. After all, it wouldn't do for him to be wounded or killed, who would lead the men?





Cannon balls fell among the dismounted troopers on the hill.


Once again the Union muskets and cannon opened up on the blocking force, causing more casualties. To Aubrey's amazement, they still stood firm.



The Confederate flanking force began to suffer casualties, but only a single Union regiment was facing three.

The troopers on the hill had no success against the now dismounted Union cavalry.


Now Bears flanking force could hit back, and hit back they did! Almost destroying the single regiment facing them.


Aubrey was uncomfortably aware of the fast approaching enemy on his flank, he could see the regiment he had placed there was reeling, how could that have happened so quickly?


His problems were not over, the force he was going to blow away and march triumphantly through, fired again, the infantry before him seemed to melt away under the storm of musketry.


An overhead view of the field at this point of the battle.


Once again the troopers on the hill took casualties, from both cannon and carbine.


Aubrey ordered his last regiment forward, more to put bodies between him and the incoming musket balls, that for any military reason.


The Union line fired again, but still the Rebels held the road.


Bear ordered his right flanking unit to advance, his intention was to aid the blocking force directly. the remaining two regiments would blast the Union troops from the flank.


The reduced troopers on the hill fought back, but once again missed their target.


Bear smiled, not something seen very often, He ordered his two regiments to volley at the single regiment facing him.


When the smoke cleared, the smile on Bear's face was even wider. The remains of the shattered Union regiment were reeling back towards the Bewick Road.



Even the blocking force got in on the act, assisted by Bear's right flank regiment, they shattered the Union infantry regiment on the road before them.


The gun crews were not spared either.


With the destruction of two enemy regiments, Bear was moving in for the kill,


Aubrey, stunned, pulled his mount to one side, to let the fresh regiment through. This could not be happening, the remains of two of his infantry regiments were falling back onto the road, closely followed by the enemy, who looked as strong as ever. The sound of three regiments firing as one, is something Aubrey would never forget, nor would he forget seeing the fresh regiment who had just passed him take the musket balls.


The unit had been shattered by the volley of three enemy regiments.


Even his artillerymen were falling like flies.


The rebel troopers on the hill took more cannon and carbine fire, they too were getting close to break point.


Aubrey's sole remaining and battered unit of infantry fired a ragged volley, scoring hits, but still the road remained blocked.


Bear's men quietly loaded their muskets and each man selected a target.


The rebels stalk the last Union infantry regiment.


The firefight on the hill continues.




Bear raised his sword, looked along the line, and dropped it, as one the muskets fired.


The final Union regiment was shattered.


Likewise, the artillery, was almost destroyed.



It was all too much for Aubrey, he ordered a general retreat, which he of course led.


Bear let them go, his cavalry were in no condition to chase them, and the Yankees were hightailing too damn fast for his infantry.


Brigadier General Aubrey Jefferson II, rode away from his first and last battle. He would command a desk for the rest of the war, much to his and Union Army's pleasure.


Only one regiment of Bear's flanking force had suffered any casualties, other than his cavalry of course, they had held the hill, tying up the enemy cavalry and an artillery battery.


The blocking force was almost spent, one more volley from the enemy would have probably been enough.

So the Battle of Bewick Road comes to an end. Bear has his victory and the campaign points now stand at 4 - 2 to the Union.

8 comments:

  1. Seems to have been a quite bloody afternoon.

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    1. Yes, these rules do produce bloody results.

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  2. Now of to visit Miss Bella as the Hero of the hour. Hussar.
    Cracking re-fight.

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    1. I thought you might enjoy it, let's hope Miss Bella does too. lol

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  3. Very good Ian really enjoyed reading through the report

    Take care

    Andy

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    1. Thanks Andy, it is fun to play and I really am enjoying writing the narrative.

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  4. That was a tough fight. Good narrative, Ian. I like how old Aubrey got canned from his command, lol. Nice one.

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    1. A great day for the Union Army and for Aubrey too. Commanding his desk is about his limits lol.

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