Thursday, 2 May 2013

Fictional Battle of Miani

In order to give some form to individual solo games I conduct from time to time and usually with my War of 1812 collection, I have created the fictional Maywood River campaign, in which a large British force will move along the river to ultimately rescue a trapped failed naval raid along the American coastline.

This post describes the action on the Battle of Miani, 1843, Sind (NW India) in the old magazine WI #55 (1992!) by Colin Ashton which I happened to read while doing my morning constiblution....

My 89th Regiment of Foot (Old Glory British) in the main action against the mass of American militia waiting in ambush along an old watercourse.
The American militia await in the muddy gully
The action:
The British General Napier sought to move slightly inland.  To his right was a heavily wooded area with a very high fence with only one gate.  The fence was not loopholed and he sent a company of grenadiers to guard this gate "to the last man". the few militia in this area did not make much of a fight.  With his right secure, Napier had the artillery move up to silence the American militia artillery.  he seemed to be worried about the village to this immediate left front  seeing riflemen occupying the wood structures and moved in echelon with his left refused.

As the 89th Foot on the right advanced, heads were seen just above the level of the grassy field.  Unknown to the British, they were advancing not upon a bend of the Maywood waterway, but upon it's old watercourse, the river having changed its track since the maps used by Napier were made back in 1776!  The militia commander, thinking this a good defensive line, ordered his men to occupy the old river bed.  

Recent heavy rains had made the old clay very muddy and difficult to climb for the American militiamen in order fire over the crest.  Seeing very little fire from the front, Napier quickly recovered from his shock and ordered his troops forward.  With few casualties, the British reached the old waterway and poured a volley into the milling mass of militia in the bottom of the gully, then withdrew to reload then advanced again the few yards to deliver another volley.

Huntingshirt clad militia starting to panic from the advancing British [Knuckleduster 28mm]
 Meanwhile the Americans unable to climb the high bank due to the slippery mud and huddled in a mass, broke and managed to climb the somewhat drier (sun ward?) side of the gully and run from the slaughter.

Considering Napier had moved into a trap, the British came off very lightly while the American casualties were higher. 

(the actual battle went much the same way but substituting the muddy watercourse for a bone-dry river bed)

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