Saturday, 19 October 2013

Randolph's Ferry - Turns 36-41

On the first day of this scenario Ian had to rethink his plans in the face of Bragg's unexpected line of heavy fortifications. He had a major success in driving away Cleburne's division from Mt. Zion Church, and after a bit of a false start came up with an effective artillery strategy -  parcelling out long range guns across the entire front, and deciding to push 12 pdr batteries right up close to our lines in support of any assaults. Crittenden's big attack had failed in the morning of day two, and now it was McCook's turn to put pressure on the Rebel left at Black Elk Mountain.

McCook's men engage the Rebs on the slopes of the mountain.
McCook did not have assault orders as his mission was to keep Bragg occupied while the main Union attack on West Ridge was driven home. But he engaged us ferociously - General Breckinridge was shot dead at 4:30pm as he rode up and down to inspire the thinning grey ranks to hold the line.  Dibrell's dismounted cavalry brigade was soon put to flight, leaving Robertson's isolated horse artillery battery holding off the attentions of a whole Yankee division on the extreme Rebel left.

Robertson's battery - temporarily out of ammo but standing firm
 and seemingly bulletproof !

McCook's corps is now miles from the Union wagon park and re-supply is a headache.
If Ian hadn't routed my rifled guns I would be lobbing shells at this lot !

It was now mid-afternoon and Thomas' corps had struck the Confederate centre and overwhelmed the artillery positions. There followed a couple of hours of classic, dramatic Civil War back-and-forth infantry action to secure the bloodsoaked soil of West Ridge.

Thomas storms the West Ridge breastworks - it's all or nothing, Rosecrans
doesn't have enough resources remaining to try again ! 

The Federal troops that overran the guns are themselves routed
 as Confederate reserves move up.
Fresh Yankees take their place ...... Union Generals Fry and Negley
both take risks, and Fry is wounded.

Tactical card played by Scribner's brigade at 4:00pm, resulting in a loss
of a massive 6 strength points from Mercer's Reb brigade.
Scribner's men subsequently rout - but Spear's brigade comes up and it's the turn
of the weary Rebs to skedaddle. 

'A' grade corps commander, General Hardee, takes a mortal wound in the chaos of this see-saw struggle and in the end Union forces dominate the crucial West Ridge as twilight causes the fighting to fizzle out. They have also managed to get a foothold on Black Elk Mountain as a second night descends on the battlefield. Bragg's reserves have now been forced into a desperate new defensive posture to deal with whatever the Army of the Cumberland may throw at them on day three !

Confederate line across the old Pine Trail

Loring's division forms a new position around the perimeter of Franklin, close
 to the HQ of an increasingly nervous General Bragg !

Nightfall - Nov 11th (day two)

As we concluded turn number 41 (yes, count 'em, 41 turns!) and prepared for another night turn
the Confederate DM level stood at a precarious 5.5 ... just one and a half points from total defeat.
The Union level was a much safer 3.5 and stands as a tribute to Ian's tactical skill in turning around what looked like am impossible situation for the Army of the Cumberland ! 

1 comment:

  1. 41 turns! ....great game and really well written up. Love the pic of the supply train moving down the road.