Mt. Zion Church - the focus of action for the remaining daylight hours.
I was quietly confident that McCook’s boys could dislodge the unsupported Rebel division as they had an advantage of over 2:1 in numbers. The men closed to within 300yds of the enemy line and both sides loosed off deadly volleys of musketry whilst my two artillery batteries poured canister into Cleburne’s right flank. My leading brigades now declared their intention to ‘ASSAULT’, this meant a further volley from the enemy followed by an assault morale throw. Willich’s brigade of Johnson’s division successfully drove off Colquitt but Sill’s brigade was held despite the presence in the front line of Phil Sheridan the divisional commander. Sheridan was my only ‘A’ grade commander on the field and as a result of taking this risk he was carried away cursing with a ball through the leg.
Sill's brigade in the foreground failed to dislodge the enemy brigade opposite them. Sheridan's command stand has a red 'broken' marker next to it to show that he has become a casualty - this changes the divisional command grade from an 'A' to a 'D'!
This card was useful during the volley firing phase of combat.
The Confederate line starts to waver.
Further volley’s and assaults followed over the next two turns but eventually the Federal weight of numbers told and Cleburne’s ‘veteran’ division dissolved into a sea of grey clad fugitives running for the safety of Black Elk Mountain. However, it was now the turn before nightfall and too late in the day for McCook to exploit his stunning success.
McCook's corps are now firmly in possession of Mt. Zion Church.
Playing this card wasn't enough to save the Rebs!
Cleburne's division are shaken...
...and then start to run away!
Meanwhile Rosecrans had continued to concentrate his forces and Thomas’ corps was now in the area of Hendrick’s farm where he could easily support McCook or move to the centre or left as required. Rosecrans had also decided to withdraw Barnett’s exposed artillery from Laurel Heights as it was losing the contest with the entrenched Rebel artillery on West Ridge.
The Rebel artillery reserve on West Ridge were particularly effective in counter-battey fire against my guns on Laurel Heights causing a 'tactical withdrawal' to a position out of range.
Thomas' corps move up to support McCook.
The arrival of two gunboats at Randolph's Ferry - these each have the same combat effect as a rifled battery but are currently out of range of the Confederates.
The next turn is a ‘night’ turn and both commanders will get to make some minor adjustments to their lines. This scenario does not allow for any SP recovery over night so all casualties will be carried forward into day two although all units will recover to good morale.
The situation just before nightfall at the end of turn 19 (click on the image to zoom in).