General view of the north side of the battlefield looking west through Jackson's lines towards Sharpeville.
General Lee returned to the field with the air of a beaten man and this immediately lifted spirits at Pope’s HQ. I had felt that, although Dave was trailing 4 to 2 in DM points at this stage, the battle could still turn in an instant, particularly with two whole Rebel Divisions committed to assault my right flank at Hawk Ridge.
Pope's HQ at Sharpeville - the numbered counter by the courier shows he is about to leave with "Order No4", this
system helps us keep track of any orders issued by the C-in-C.
The Rebel position on top of Hawk Ridge looking towards the Union lines. The Rebs are finally bringing up some guns!
Turn 8 saw the fierce fighting at the Barnes Farm continuing with more heavy casualties caused to both sides. Hooker’s Division was barely combat effective by now and Kearny was in little better shape. The Rebels were weary too yet somehow the opposing battle-lines hung on with no further routs.
AP Hill's men slug it out with Kearny's Division in the fields around the Barnes Farm.
Jackson's line viewed from the south - Ewell is in the foreground (note the Brigade with the "1" SP marker - many of the Brigades on both sides were reduced to very low levels by now).
It was over on the Rebel left flank that things were about to be decided. Dave was still pushing Anderson and Kemper forward against McDowell’s line but they were receiving deadly canister fire and the end of Anderson's line was flanked by Tompkin’s dismounted cavalry. All this hot lead proved too much for the men in butternut and grey and with a string of failed morale tests they broke and ran!
The central part of the field looking west. Hood's Division (nearest the camera) are still in reserve and awaiting orders.
Anderson's flank on Hawk Ridge is "up in the air" and Tompkin's troopers are blazing away at it with their carbines while infantry skirmishers have sneakily worked their way into the enemy's rear!
Kemper's men take to their heels (their General has already been carried from the field with a mortal wound).
A quick count of broken units revealed a Confederate score of 6, enough to put them at their Army Demoralisation Level and so a Union victory was declared. The Battle of Sharpeville was over and to the cheers of his men General Pope claimed his 5 Campaign VP’s.
Another view of Kemper's men on the run - well it was my turn to choose the photos!
So what went wrong for General Lee? Well, of course President Davis will be holding a full enquiry but from the Union perspective it looks as if Dave’s ‘Porteritis’ cost him the battle. He kept a full 8 Brigades in reserve to counter a threat that didn’t exist allowing a numerically smaller Union army to succeed. He also failed to bring more than a handful of artillery pieces into play being hampered by the terrain whilst Pope managed to pound the Rebels continuously from both long and short range.
McDowell's batteries in action at the foot of Hawk Ridge. These lads broke the back of the Confederate assault.
Hood's men again - probably whistling Dixie but not doing much else!
The Confederates must now withdraw from the field and the strategic Campaign turns will continue. Don’t forget to follow our individual blogs Wilderness Tavern (Dave) and Road to Appomattox (me) to keep up with events.