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Rainbow Brigade Ep. 2, March 1862

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  • Finch’s Company (Maj. Finch)(Snowy)(Veteran)
    485 Infantry (Variety of Homespuns, good boots)
    35 Casualties
    1853 Enfields/Bayonets
    Shovel or Axe per man
    If nothing else happens, and after reporting to the Colonel, Finch will inspect his battalion in the morning.

    Nothing much in the way of refitting, replace the fallen if possible, and whatever gear and horses we lost.

    "Gentlemen,.. "

    "A stellar performance there, you stood like a wall, moved like Prussian grenadiers and shot like lightning, .."

    "Thrice the enemy came at us, and thrice we saw them off, and although we admittedly did not face the brunt of the enemy attack, none of you could have done more in defence of your land and your loved ones.."

    "I doubt the Yankees will give up, and I'm sure there's more to come, but here today we showed them there will be no easy gains, and a line of true blooded Southerners who know what they're doing, is damned hard to dislodge..."
    Distribute shots of gin or brandy as available, and see guard posts and pickets are set around the camp.
    High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.

    Comment


    • War Council

      Rainbow officers are having a war council at a table set atop the ruins of Fort Thompson, general Sennef presiding.

      Gentlemen, the SITUATION: is as follows:
      Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
      There are three major 'zones' within the North Carolina Coast.

      The Northern part, which covers the Intracoastal (inland sound) waterway to Virginia and communications down to Beaufort and other ports. Roanoke Island is right in the middle and who controls Roanoke controls most of the Northern Outer Banks and movement in the sounds.

      The Central Part, think New Bern and Morehead City/Beaufort. Port areas.

      The Southern Part, Wilmington.

      That lays out how important both Beaufort and Roanoke are to the war effort. It was something that wasn't even really thought about until the coast was lost to Burnside's Expedition.....it made the blockade a lot more effective with the loss of the best smuggling territory in the Confederacy.

      Fort Macon-----

      It was captured from the Federals without a shot early in the war. It's a masonry fort surrounded by low dunes. Current garrison size is a large battalion, or around 500 men, and it has a number of heavy guns. Also there's militia in the area around Beaufort that will probably help make a siege uncomfortable, especially without significant naval support.

      Roanoke Island----

      In February around 2500 poorly equipped troops were holding it. The whole Coast Division, 10,000 strong, dumped on them with the fleet assisting and captured it relatively quickly and handily. The island is 8 miles long and 2 miles wide, with small forts at either end. It's unknown how many troops Burnside has put guarding the island, or their quality.

      Enemy:

      Rainbow captured the enemy plans to assault Fort Macon
      The letter doesn't outline siege lines or a plan, only the intention that once New Bern is complete to go to Fort Macon and capture it in the April Timeframe. The plans detail that Foster's 1st Brigade with supports, around 4000 men, was to undertake the operation.
      Based on casualty figures, we suspect that the two Brigades we know about is around 4000 strong, and an additional 3000 or so are in Reno's 2nd Brigade which we don't know a location for (yet).

      Own Troops: PM
      So: 3 CoAs present itself:
      CoA1) Rainbow can pursue the Federals we saw leaving the field and try to bring them to battle in the next couple of days. We will only have time for the men to provision and clean their weapons before we have to move, and won't have time to replace losses. The Yankees are hurting badly, both in men and morale, but we saw several regiments still in sizeable numbers and good order. Estimates of Federal Strength at the outset of the battle were around 6000 men.

      CoA2) Rainbow captured said packet, possibly dropped when General Foster fell, detailing plans to seige Fort Macon with a Brigade and capture Beaufort within the next month. We can make rapid replacement of losses with new recruits (full penalties will apply even to replacing losses, not just to adding new troops) and march to Beaufort, with a plan to engage Burnside again at Fort Macon.

      CoA3) Rainbow can trust that with the damage inflicted to their army and fleet, Burnside will not be able to force Fort Macon, and that we will have time to reorganize Rainbow and train new recruits (Penalties will only apply to recruiting more than 10% above pre-battle strength). Roanoke Island is the Linchpin for most of the North Carolina Coast, and was captured back in February. If Rainbow waits to refit and train back to full strength, an operation to recapture Roanoke is almost certain unless Burnside is able to make further progress.

      Commanders Intent:

      Given our own weakened state and that we saw several enemy regiments still in sizeable numbers and good order, I do not feel much for a war of attrition, so IMO CoA 1 is off the table.

      This leaves us with COAs two and three. I must admit to having a slight preference for CoA2:

      2) Replace Losses and Resupply and accept full penalties to experience (no time to train replacements). Advance to Fort Macon/Beaufort NC and counterattack the Brigades that had attacked New Bern within a couple of weeks....captured plans show enemy progression was to capture New Bern then Beaufort.

      But if you gentlemen can come up with good arguments, I am willing to take CoA3:

      3) Trust that Fort Macon can withstand the much reduced Federal land and sea forces that Rainbow handled. Rest, Refit, and Train recruits for an anticipated attack against Roanoke Island in the June/July timeframe. Standard penalties to recruits/experience will apply (replacements incur no penalty, after a 10% increase units incur penalties to experience).

      Thoughts?
      BoRG

      You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

      Comment


      • We'll have a few days to discuss this I imagine ?

        Or is it an urgent war council
        High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post
          We'll have a few days to discuss this I imagine ?

          Or is it an urgent war council
          {OOT}: I guess we have, that is the fun of such games.
          BoRG

          You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

          Comment


          • OOC obviously, IC this council should take place the day after battle, maybe even in the early morning.

            But in real life, such discussions take time, from experience.

            Also,

            I'm somewhat torn, between the Rainbow tradition of attack despite all odds, and the way I set up Finch as essentially a farmer with no love for professional officers.

            He just wants to take as many of those farm boys back home, while I off course want to advance to Washington before the mud dries
            High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.

            Comment


            • Major Pruitt likes Option 3 the best, although he is curious how Cavalry can swim?

              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


              • Just in case if anyone missed my opinion on Rainbow's next plan.

                Originally posted by Cheetah772 View Post
                Major Holden's opinion on what to do next:

                Before I declare my position, it has been my observation that the best offense is a good defense. To that end, we should aggressively gather all intelligence on Yankees' next movement and keep up the pressure on them as to prevent them from getting much rest and reorganized to their best ability.

                Furthermore, it is not in our nature to trust Yankees to grant our wish in getting our forces rested and reorganized. We should always assume General Burnside has something up his sleeves despite his forces being bloodied and demoralized. We need to keep our enemy on its toes.

                Therefore, I propose we get our forces up to full strength again and set out for Fort Macon. If we can scout ahead and lay down fortifications to make sure our defense is secure, General Burnside may feel he has no choice but to attack us, thus once again giving us an opportunity to reduce his numbers in troops and materiel.

                In my view, it's a compromise between immediately setting out to engage Federals so soon after the engagement at New Bern and trusting the enemy to leave us alone for a month or so and compelling ourselves to launch an offensive to capture Roanoke Island. Going on offense, in my opinion, is not something we should eagerly seek out as I believe Rainbow Regiment is best suited to playing defense.

                Let Yankees come to us and we'll show them to their new graveyard!
                Let me add further thoughts on the subject:

                General Foster's captured plans did say that once New Bern is captured, then it'd be on to Fort Macon. Since that's not the case anymore, as New Bern remains in our hands, so I do wonder if General Burnside's plan will change at this point. It may be that he realizes General Foster's plan fell into enemy's hands, so his plans will change accordingly.

                Since we can't be sure of anything, what assets do we have that we can keep an eye on General Burnside's movements?

                I think at this point, it might be prudent to wait out a bit longer until we get all information we need to take initiative in launching an offensive to capture Roanoke Island. I got to admit that I think there's a golden opportunity to strike back and force Federals to react to our movement just for once.

                Nevertheless, I'm still more partial to the second COA -- to march for Fort Macon.

                What do you say?

                Major Holden
                Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

                "Aim small, miss small."

                Comment


                • Fort Macon is a typical brick fort of the period and mounts dozens of large cannon. It would take either siege artillery or a major naval bombardment with a prolonged investment of the fort to take it. I'd stay away from that unless the Union chooses to invest it, in which case we might assist in the relief of the fort attacking union troops that are investing it.

                  Comment


                  • It does look rather imposing in person. I've been there a few dozen times.
                    Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

                    Comment


                    • Maj Bird reviews the CoAs in his mind. CoA 1 is immediately eliminated.

                      With an understrength Green Jacket battalion, his preference is CoA 3.

                      However, listening to Maj Gardner, he is open to CoA 2 if it means that Rainbow is the only option to assist Ft Macon.

                      On another subject, as a fine businessman that he is, Maj Bird intends to equip each of his men with a revolver at the first opportunity to compensate a lack of manpower with more firepower.

                      Comment


                      • I am also wondering if I can replace Kerr revolvers with Colt 1851 Navy revolvers? I understand they were extremely popular with Confederate officers.
                        Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

                        "Aim small, miss small."

                        Comment


                        • Notes, and an Article

                          (Since it seems that CoA 1 is right out, I can continue to move this along a bit while you two decide between CoA 2 and 3)

                          Other happenings in the area, as told by various reports and newspapers:

                          -Elizabeth City was raided by elements of Reno's 2nd Brigade around the same time as the Battle of New Bern.

                          -Scouts report that elements of Federal Fleet passed through Ocracoke Inlet headed out to sea to the North, some ships visibly listing.

                          -General McClellan is known to have a sizeable force in the area of the Virginia Penninsula, with an attack anticipated.

                          -Telegraph to New Bern from Morehead City that there are some Federal Troops at Cape Lookout. The commander of Fort Macon is only mildly concerned for now and has 56 heavy guns and 430 men ready for action, though he notes that his ammunition stocks are low and he couldn't take on a large fleet for more than 3 days. Transport Ships have been seen in the Intracoastal Waterway moving between the area of Cape Lookout and the Shackleford Banks and the Roanoke Island area, but only a couple of warships.

                          =======

                          An article, published in the New Berne Gazette, sensationally details the exploits of Rainbow Brigade under the visible and colorful leadership of Colonel Fawcett and the late-arriving General Sennef. Especially played-up are the David and Goliath battle between a lone Confederate battery and Federal "Frigates" which resulted in the sinking and mauling of numerous ships. The militia attack which seized the Philadelphia, one of the first times in known memory that militia carried a warship in boarding is also well noted, along with the valiant stands by such names as Tigers, Finches, Green Jackets, and Irregulars against impossible odds. Equally exaggerated are the officers fighting at the front, with the stalwart Major Bird and the very Colorful Major Leroy both credited with personally killing dozens of men in hand to hand combat.

                          There's also a darker undertone in the article, an indictment against General Branch for refusing to send men forward into the lines. While his position is noted, that he offered to take command of the battle from Colonel Fawcett and bring up relief regiments and was refused.....the phrase "And General Branch watched the whole battle, behind the lines, standing beside the fresh 26th North Carolina, the Governor's Own Regiment, and refused to send them forward.

                          ========

                          -The paper is evidently distributed a bit more widely than maybe the Generals would have liked. Orders come down from the Department of North Carolina ordering General Branch to go to Raleigh....undertones of a board of inquiry. Word also comes from Governor Vance that he expects all officers to do their duty regardless of personal quarrels. Governor Vance also orders the remainder of the special battalion of NC Militia to be made available as replacements to Rainbow.....in addition to any success with recruiting efforts. The Governor also sends his personal thanks to the officers and men of Rainbow Brigade and his apologies that duty did not allow him to be present at the fight.

                          In total, 400 men are available to replace losses currently. Any recruitment drive will take time to show results, we don't have a large major city after all.
                          Last edited by TacCovert4; 23 Jan 18, 21:31.
                          Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

                          Comment


                          • I think it might be a good thing if we did go to Fort Macon. This does presume we have a few days on arrival to throw up some proper works to support the fort itself. Giving it an outlying redoubt and line of breastworks would undoubtedly bolster its defenses greatly.
                            On the downside of that, the ground beyond the fort is mostly soft and marshy, not good ground for cavalry, and the general condition of the land on an island of the Hatteras is not conducive to good health.

                            Comment


                            • Poll Placed

                              General Sennef stands up, raises his hand and announces:

                              Gents,
                              I have placed a poll in another thread to facilitate and keep track of our discussion.
                              Last edited by Colonel Sennef; 24 Jan 18, 03:14.
                              BoRG

                              You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

                              Comment

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