Thursday, 20 June 2013

Satan's Stones (fictional battle) part 2

The British attack consisted (from left to right) the Independent Company of Foreigners (ICF) historically a pack of bad boys (see details) , a company of the 95th, the Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles; the 104th and 8th Regiments of Foot in one brigade and the 89th and 41st Regiments of Foot in the other together with the Canadian Militia.
The 104th Foot --yellow colours (flag)-- with the 8th Foot in support crossing the stream to assault the US 1st Infantry Regiment among the boulders called Satan's Stones

The US 1st is notable in having few shako ornaments for many of its companies having not been issued them before their involvement in the 1814 Niagara campaign.

True to form, the ICF rolled double 1's and were uselessly disordered. They were subsequently routed by a unit of Kentucky militia.


But then the 41st Foot's drill must have been lacking as it was soon befuddled in the woods in front of 'Little Round Top' hill. Impatient, the 89th marched through them to take the lead.  While angered at this impertinence, the 41st's colonel, seeing the brigadier observe the shift and well knew he must stop to realign before reaching combat in any event.
The British 89th Foot leads the attack of the hill defended by the Colored Regiment.
Yet the British veteran regiments were heavily disordered by the rough ground near the stream and the woods so took much time to move forward. The Canadian militia protecting their right flank was reluctant to move often but as militia perhaps not much should have been expected of them.
The Canadian Militia regiment
 This should have been the advice given the deployment of the Kentucky and New York militia guarding the far side of the stream. With the exception of one unit of Kentuckians, the militia did not engage in combat and eventually routed back across the stream only to hinder the progress of the artillery limber moving in support of reserves of a uniformed NY state regiment and the US 17th moving up in column.
The American artillery hindered by their routing militia

While no significant combat was conducted on this flank, the Glengarries formed up to assault the New York militia only to have it melt away with the effects of this unit's very accurate fire (4 hits from 7 dice!) While it's officer somewhat hesitated for the attack (dice rolls...) it succeeded in capturing the artillery battery stationed on the hill as that crew became aware it had no support , the British in force and it's limber on the wrong side of the rough ground of the stream. They simply surrendered to the attacking green clad Canadians.
The American artillery deployed on the hill soon to be abandoned by the accompanying militiamen and captured!

Similar to the brigade to their right, the center regiments swapped positions but both were very disordered by the stream.  However the veteran 8th Foot and 104th Foot clambered on the large rocks and faced the US 1st.  The fight was vicious with 4 of 23 stands eliminated.


The Colored regiment witnessed the fight among the rocks and with the following rout of the overwhelmed US 1st, but only were slightly shaken by this and did not falter (I rolled a 6!)


Having bested the defenders, the colonels of the 8th and 104th were in a quandary.  They needed to reform their units but this was impossible among the rocks yet retreat was unthinkable and in any event dangerous as was advancing into range of the fast moving American reserve of the NY Regiment and the US 17th. Meanwhile the sergeants did their best.


On the hill nearby, the courageous Colored unit could not match the close volleys of the British veterans and were force to retire with over 30% casualties. So Little Round Top was secured by the British while the final drama was played out below among the boulders.

The 17th with support of the NY Regiment formed up and assaulted the disordered British deployed among the rocks. The British could not hold the charge and withdrew back across the stream with heavy casualties.
The US 17th Regiment still in their early war linen fatigue dress (which was worn by this unit in the historical Battle of Frenchtown in early 1813 and so which I have represented)

While still congratulating his officers, the commander of the 17th received word of the order to withdraw.  The collapse of the militia and the obviously still strong veteran British regiments convinced the American general to quit the field of battle before more severe casualties resulted.

As the New York Herald newspaper so brazenly declared the next day "the battle for Satan's Stones was a 'hell' of a fight!"




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