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Rainbow Brigade Ep. 2, March 1862

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  • Ok, update incoming tonight.

    Last night went on a camping trip with my shift. Started with bottle of bourbon.....went really downhill from there. As soon as the hangover dies off I'll be updating.
    Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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    • March 18th, 0740hrs

      New Bern Map


      ------South to North---------

      As Holden and Bird continue to withdraw over the soft open ground to the main line of defense, Bates turns his men about and advances, crossing the railroad embankment to join Dee at his trench and make a sort of L shaped line with their men. Seeing that Holden and Bird are going to make a clean escape to the main line, Pruitt's Tar Heels swing into the saddle and withdraw as well, never having caused any casualties, but also not taking any. Men dragging or carrying their wounded, Bird gets to his arranged point in the line. Holden goes behind the line with his men to conference with the Colonel.

      Heard but not seen, the Yankees curse and crash through Bird and Holden's prepared nightmare of brambles and trips on the trails through the wood. The 25th Massachusetts, having the railroad itself to get out of the trees, advances in a column of companies straight at Dee and Bates. Now concentrated, Dee's Hussars start taking shots at the enemy as soon as they reach 500yds, focusing on volume of fire into the big square mass advancing in the open.

      Along with that steady rain of lead comes another rain. All across the line, men stuff rags or tompions into their rifles to protect the powder from a strengthening drizzle that ensures everyone is both wet and a bit cold in the fifty degree air.

      At 300yds, Bates men open up with their Calisher and Terry Carbines, adding to the din of Dee's Kammerladeren. Both Majors and their men accustomed to the sounds of battle, they rest secure behind their breastwork and pour a calculating and steady fire into the Yankees. The deep advance of companies stutters as the lead company is staggered by hits. The Yankee officers, frustrated with their lack of progress draw swords and lead the men forward at the double quick through the opening in the trees, desperately trying to close with the obstacle that has appeared in their path.

      With a roar they charge across the gap, 200yds, 100yds, and the men of Rainbow grimly set their feet and keep pouring fire into their ranks. Companies break and are shattered, but one manages to reach the works and ascend the piled earth and wood in their charge. Pistols come out of frogs and holsters, and more flashes blast them off the works as Dee's and Bates' men fire in two ragged volleys of buckshot at point blank range. With the works carpeted with bluebellies, the next Yankee companies fire their own volleys to try and soften up the works that must be manned by a whole battalion or more. In the continued din, Bates peers over the wall and sees a column moving up the railroad tracks, making good time in catching up with their bogged down comrades.

      ===============

      In the center, Finch regards Bird and Holden's arrival, then watches the woodline and the advancing Yankees to the North, knowing that the battle is quickly reaching his own lines, and maybe praying for a bit more rain......

      ===============

      Meanwhile, the rain might cause consternation for the poor bloody infantry, but the artillery, both on gunboats and on shore, isn't apparently affected. Rainbow's gunners, from the Brits to Gardner's men in the fort, are all taking advantage of the other benefit of overhead cover, and their gunners can mostly ignore the rain as a minor inconvenience.

      Tremayne's Brittanics, in between cups of tea, start up a brisk firing on the 10th Connecticut, their shells showing solid accuracy as they burst in and among the troops advancing for the fort. Gardner's gunners, going to a mix of shot and shell, hit the crippled Valley City but their shots are not as spot on this time and they simply tear up decks and superstructure.

      Leroy stands atop his works, watching the Yankees continue to roll forward, and his men cheer and jeer at every artillery shell bursting among them.

      Valley City and Philadelphia put some more rounds into the fort proper, tearing at the walls more and more with their guns. Valley City's commander begins to try to get her back, apparently using what little way he can make to inch his way farther out into the river, or maybe he's using a couple of boats to pull, but you can't see in the smoke on the water. Philadelphia and the Hetzel pass her and close up on the fort to keep the fire up and protect their beleagured vessels.

      Meanwhile on the ground, the yankees keep marching across the now quite soft ground, more men coming on line as what appears to be the second Brigade forms up behind them, along with a large mounted party that could be Burnside's command itself. Leroy can do little more than spectate for now, and encourage his men and the militiamen beside them. Tremayne can do more and does, his gunners stripping out of their jackets as the heat from the guns warms their embrasures. Some rounds strike home again, with more cheers from the lines, and others cleanly miss, but with regiment after regiment, Leroy knows that Tremayne can't drive them off without his Tigers getting into a big one.

      On the river, Gardner's men start to work on the Philly, but this ship is bigger and more properly a warship than a mere river ferry, and they're not having an enormous effect on her. Of course while a larger vessel, the Yankees have curiously armed her with only a pair of 12lb guns and she doesn't do much to the fort walls either. The Hetzel's 9in gun does tear a nice divot into Fort Thompson, however, and Valley City isn't down and out, still firing her own gun that she can bring to bear.

      As the Yankees draw to within 300yds of his position, Major Leroy tells his men to load and make ready with dry cartridges, and pull the tompions out of their rifle muskets. The Militia captain has his men do the same, as well as fix bayonets, their smoothbores only good for the final 50yds anyway. Looking through embrasures, Gardner sees two more ships on the water, as yet unidentified, and the looming Philadelphia and Hetzel, along with the limping Valley City and the listing Southfield, the latter still pulling away out of the fight while her men work.
      Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

      Comment


      • Examining the unfolding engagement and the growing Federal focus on the Fort, Fawcett turns to his dispatch riders and sends the last of them off in a flurry.

        1. (Fawcett -> Holden)

        Major Holden,

        Please advance your men to Tremayne's works and operate from there, providing what supporting fire you can to Fort Thompson. Your primary objective should be the security of Tremayne and his works.

        Reg, Fawcett


        2. (Fawcett -> Pruitt)

        Major Pruitt,

        Please dismount your men and occupy the works to your fore, south of the railway line. Dee will join you. Deny any attempt to turn our flank.

        Reg, Fawcett


        3. (Fawcett -> Dee, Bates)

        Gentlemen,

        Bates should withdraw at his best speed to the safety of our main line, then move north to occupy the works covering the gap between Finch and Bird. He is to hold his ground and be prepared to exploit any opportunities that develop to turn an enemy regiment's flank.

        Dee is to screen Bates' withdrawal and then join Pruitt's position as a flank guard.

        Reg, Fawcett


        4. (Fawcett -> Saddle Blazers)

        Captain,

        Please replace the Grenadier Guard at the river house, remaining in reserve until you are called upon. Keep your horses close to hand as you will be required to move swiftly.

        Reg, Fawcett


        Fawcett then turns his own horse towards his brave men at their house by the riverside. It was time to show certain officers exactly why the Confederate Army needed more Grenadiers under arms.

        (Fawcett's orders to Grenadiers will come later today)
        Captain Khryses, Silver Star Omnilift Wing

        Comment


        • "Orderly! We have orders to advance to the works in front of us. I want everyone on line. Tell the men to tie their animals to a picket pin, set it and come on! I want sharpshooters to aim for officers and NCO's. If we take out the Color Guard I will buy a couple of bottles of bust head for you after the battle!"

          Major Pruitt, Tarheel Legion Cavalry
          Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

          Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

          by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

          Comment


          • Maj Bird is a bit concerned to find out that the fortification on his right flank, the Brigade right flank, will only be manned with cavalry troops, not infantry.

            Nothing much he can do about it now, he thinks.

            Most of the Green Jackets behind his defensive work are laying low behind the cover and concealment offered by the defensive work. No need yet to show the Yanks how many troops are defending the position...And despite the rain and sound of artillery, some of the troops are sleeping!

            Maj Bird has a quick meeting with his XO and three company commanders to speak of his intent, his concern about the right flank and the importance of holding the line, leaving the Yanks break their assaults against their defensive line.

            "If we need to withdraw - and don't go back to your lines thinking we are! - we are going to move into the four buildings behind us." He pauses. "If we withdraw to the buildings, it is going to spell the end of the Green Jackets, as there will be nowhere else to go to. It may also mean the end of Rainbow" he says looking in the eyes of each of his captains to make they understood the significance of such withdrawal order and the importance of holding the current line.

            Looking at Capt Walsh, his XO, "Pat, take the three 2Lts from the companies and go have a look at the buildings. Figure out a defensive plan and which building the companies would move in. I figure one building by company - or what is left from each of them - and the fourth one we can leave to Dee, Pruitt or someone else. Have the quartermaster staff, including the civilian cooks, do whatever they can to build defensive works in the building."

            "Any questions, gents?" asks Bird. "No. Ok, back to your lines. Keep smiling and lets go beat the Yankees on this beautiful rainy day."
            Last edited by Capt AFB; 10 Nov 17, 10:32.

            Comment


            • As the Yankees are now under 300 yards from the works, I order my gunners to discharge the rounds they have loaded and load canister. "Let those Yankee bas....d's have some! Aim at their hats boys!" I add to ensure the canister hits them at that range. If the Columbiad can bear on the infantry, it's to load double grape and let the infantry have a taste of iron.

              I figure, the closeness of the Union infantry is such the gunboats can't fire over them without risking hitting their own men.

              Comment


              • Finch will sound the signal for his skirmishers to withdraw, since their positions at the edge of the woods and railroad bank are now occupied by other units.

                They will withdraw in the manner they see fit and then form a 4th line 50 paces behind the main unit.

                When done the battalion should be formed in 4 ranks, roughly 140 men each across the length of the breastwork, 1st rank in front of it parallel to the enemy, 2nd immediately behind following the angle of the works, 3rd 20 paces behind that; 4th 50 behind again.

                The rear ranks can kneel or even lie down as their captains see fit to avoid fire for the time being, make sure to keep your powder dry.

                The first rank can withdraw as soon as it comes under pressure from the enemy, they should file to left and right creating a gap for the men behind them to fire through at advancing enemy and form up again at the rear.

                The goal here is to hopefully force enemy into a turning movement under fire or otherwise at least allow us to fire into their deployed ranks at an oblique angle.

                Finch will direct fire and movements personally, on horseback.
                Last edited by Snowygerry; 10 Nov 17, 04:20.
                Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

                Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

                Comment


                • Fawcett storms up to the river house astride his mount, Clemency. There he finds his men resting in their scratch positions and the house itself, and waves them up to attention.

                  "Alright boys, they need us at the front! Old Burnside is barreling down the road with all his Yankee raiders, and it's time to show him what southern courage and marksmanship can really do!"

                  Handing his horse off to his junior Lieutenant - his arm still injured from a bad spill a few weeks before - Fawcett takes his position at the head of his column as they march eastward toward the sound of the guns. The enter Fort Thompson from the west, and ready themselves to take position on the walls and pour fire into the enemy at Fawcett's command. The Colonel moves up onto SE corner of the wall and takes in developments.
                  Captain Khryses, Silver Star Omnilift Wing

                  Comment


                  • Bates should withdraw at his best speed to the safety of our main line, then move north to occupy the works covering the gap between Finch and Bird. He is to hold his ground and be prepared to exploit any opportunities that develop to turn an enemy regiment's flank.
                    With his men firing their last volley at the charging enemy. He waved to Dee to signal his retreat. With his bugler calling it, Bates emptied his revolver at the Yankees and took off with his men.
                    From Devastation - Knights Twilight Warhammer 40,000 Quest
                    Rear Admiral Sander Van der Zee, Commander of Dutch Far East Theatre
                    "There is never enough firepower!"

                    Comment


                    • Taking refuge behind their works, the Hussars reload their brace of pistols before resuming their rifle-work, using their accurate firepower to keep the Federal soldiers at bay while Bates begins his retreat.

                      Once they have cleared the field then the Hussars are to vanish quickly, using their horses to rush back to the fortifications with Bates' men and take up another position there - and secure some more ammunition as well to make up for all the close in fighting they'd just gone through.

                      The goal is to keep the Union from mounting a charge while they are in the retreat. One large volley before they leave should help prevent the Union soldiers from following in their wake too quickly. But once they were on their horses and moving at speed, in the light rain, they should avoid any punishing return fire.

                      Comment


                      • Deadline

                        Official deadline will be Monday at 1600est. However if everyone can get in orders this weekend, I'll resolve and get us back on track for our regular schedule.

                        ........


                        General Branch rides up to colonel Fawcett as he's dismounting to take his grenadiers into battle. "I see that things are getting heated colonel. Do you have things well in hand or should I take command and bring in my brigade since the irrepressible sennef got called away?" There is only a little challenge in his voice, and the same disdain that has plagued the privately raised Rainbow since her inception..... especially in the way he looks at the grenadier guards and the odd Prussian officer marching with them.
                        Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

                        Comment


                        • The cacophony of thunderous sounds piercing the air above the battlefield was never more pleasant to Major Holden's ears than before. Holden was grinning from ear to ear as he observed his men making their way to the fortified line. The hard fighting in past few hours swelled Holden's pride in his men as he knew they inflicted more casualties on Yankees than they did on his men. Taking out numerous Yankee officers in Holden's estimation helped to slow down the Yankee advance toward New Bern, but the real hard work was yet to come.

                          Major Holden took his second-in-command and searched for a place to make few last observations of oncoming Yankee units clear of smoke from gunfire and artillery pumping out shells. Holden wanted to get a good feeling of where Yankee officers and hoped to spot General Burnside's command. Now that Yankee high command was within the sight, Holden just needed to pin down their location, he chuckled, "Well, boys, let's send them our early Christmas present, I think they like it wrapped in lead, right?" The second-in-command nodded. Holden then issued his orders after receiving a dispatch from Colonel Fawcett.

                          Player's Orders:

                          1.) Order Badgers militia to man the fortified works in front of Fort Thompson. Secure the works and cover the gap between Finch's works to south and Fort Thompson. Badgers officers is to coordinate the manning of the works with Tremayne's Brittanics.

                          2.) They are to target the officers of fine 10th Connecticut.

                          3.) Holden will take a few of his men and direct them to the location of General Burnside's high command behind Yankee lines and take it out if possible. Holden believes they're now within the long range of Whitworth rifles.

                          Special note to Tac: Since you mentioned the possibility of General Burnside's command in the large mounted party, I trust that the party is observable through the scopes on Whitworth rifles and Holden's own personal telescope. It looks like maybe slightly over 700 yards but less than 1,000 yards away. With that information in hand, I assume it's plausible for Holden to order few of his best sharpshooters to take a chance to knock out some of Yankee high command despite the smoke from muzzle fire and artillery duels.
                          Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

                          "Aim small, miss small."

                          Comment


                          • If that Columbiad can fire on the union troops, a double grape (2 x stands of 9 balls weighing nearly 3 lbs apiece...) will definitely give them something to think about... Those will easily carry to 750+ yards...

                            Comment


                            • Yes it can major garner. So do that?
                              Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
                                General Branch rides up to colonel Fawcett as he's dismounting to take his grenadiers into battle. "I see that things are getting heated colonel. Do you have things well in hand or should I take command and bring in my brigade since the irrepressible sennef got called away?" There is only a little challenge in his voice, and the same disdain that has plagued the privately raised Rainbow since her inception..... especially in the way he looks at the grenadier guards and the odd Prussian officer marching with them.

                                Colonel Fawcett eyes the supercilious senior officer before responding with cool courtesy. "Thank you General, Rainbow has the engagement well in hand. We do appreciate the loan of your militia - they ran most convincingly from the enemy - but we don't require any more of that kind of support in the engagement ahead."

                                Their conversation is punctuated by the thunder of heavy guns on the water, and he casts a glance out at the river.

                                "Perhaps you could devote your men's attentions to the water, and leave the Federal army to us?"
                                Captain Khryses, Silver Star Omnilift Wing

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