That’s the plan, and as ever it really did not work like that. The Rebs surprised me by going aggressive themselves and attacking, in force, right up the centre! Oh, my cavalry would be in the thick of it from the off, forced into the fight too soon as my flanks still marched up to assault range. Still, my cavalry did a fine job, dismounting and halting his Alabamans with carbine fire, then both his guns and mine unlimbered and started targeting each other with canister - we’ve never had guns so close to each other before. My reliable old Ohio boys moved into the overgrown briar thicket, but were soon under heavy fire and taking losses. The two main strike regiments, both my large units of fresh, eager, recruits of the 85th and 101st US Colour Regiments were moving up in column then formed into line ready to press home. In general, incoming fire against them was ineffective and they looked like a sledgehammer compared to the Rebel’s thin lines. But, the veteran Rebs had had the best of the opening exchanges.
No time to waste with the centre under pressure, go, go, go, my boys fixed bayonets and set too in an almighty charge into the Petersen cornfield, now a redoubt of Rebs defending on 3 sides. In went the coloured regiments and both won their melees, driving the Rebs back and destroying the Alabamans in detail, scattering them through the corn fleeing. But the smaller support charges fared badly. My New York Irish were repulsed by his dismounted cavalry and took heavy losses in doing so. I charged with the still mounted cavalry unit, headlong, only to be badly repulsed (cavalry head to head with formed infantry isn’t a good idea, especially when he has a stone wall card and a fire and brimstone preacher to aid them. My bold cavalry were shot down to a man, 6 stands all lost! Massacred.
The losses had been high on both sides in those melees, but higher for me. Now, with just 2 cards in hand, the Rebs unleashed a volley of musketry with ‘Withering Volley’ to aid it. The musket hits mounted, helped by the re-rolling misses, and carnage ensued as from 11 hits, he scored 8 casualties, blue-coats were falling left, right and centre around the field’s perimeter. The Ohio boys were wiped out to a man (having been with me since game 1, a sad loss)… and those punishing losses pushed the Union over its break point. Defeat, in a very quick game (1 hr, 15 mins). The Rebs had held their cornfield redoubt and inflicted over 2-1 losses on my boys in the process. 28 stands lost to just 11 inflicted.
Back to the drawing board for that plan. But again, huge fun, especially the blue-wave grand charge that looked like it might overwhelm the Rebs, but they hung on. Their next volley was crushing.
So, victory to the Rebs, breaking the run of defeats and making the campaign very close on results, with just 1 game to play for 1865. Still, I lead on Epic points… so an overall blue win looks likely, but we’d like to end with a win on the field.
Just a few shots, just didn’t have time for many, it was too short and bloody…
Rebs push forwards in the centre, hauling up a gun battery as well. My thin line of cavalry and a support battery of my own to hold them as the flanks advance.
The Union left, advancing through the cornfield to swing around right and attack the main Reb positions in the central cornfield (centre top here).
The centre, cavalry, about to dismount and guns coming forward. Rebs pressing forward quickly.
22nd Ohio take up position in the thicket, their final resting place. The right flanking assault troops are marching by in the foreground.
Reserve cavalry in column, to move-up, form line and attack up the centre if it looked weak enough (it didn't) or move to support another attack. It did on the right, and made an ill-fated charge, through the thicket, that turned into a massacre.
Petersen's field how thick with grey's. My dismounted cavalry have pulled back, clearing the route for the 85th... now in attack column, about to charge and keen for some vengeance.