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Rainbow Brigade, Ep. 5, Maryland my Maryland

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  • Updating in 6-10 hours if anyone would like to join Fawcett's charge....Currently have the Badgers and Green Jackets moving up on the firing line with the Guards.
    Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene


    • Blues will follow Fawcett's orders.
      Wisdom is personal


      • September 17th, 1500hrs:

        Smelling blood in the water, Colonel Fawcett orders a general advance, and the other units in his sector join in. The Badgers move up and start skirmishing forward at range. The Green Jackets, Blues, and Grenadiers rush forward into line and open volley fire at a middling range. Expecting a collapse, they're shocked to find that the Union regiment they're up against stands firm despite the withering fire, pouring out fire at will against the Green Jackets and Guards. Men falling on both sides and the Blues stepping back as they start to take fire and casualties on their paltry remnant, Fawcett sees that there is only one regiment left on this side of the water and orders his guard forward to throw grenades. They get there, but at a price of fifteen more fallen. The remaining Union officer, his regiment blasted by fire and by grenades, orders his ragged line to throw down their arms. Rainbow had decisively thrown the Yankees back across the creek, but at what cost?

        Gardner's Battery and Richter's Battery fire into the Federal forces again and again, shells crashing back as the gunners start asserting control of their own positions, though regiments are moving up to the creek and hiding behind whatever small cover they can find. After a few minutes, a rider appears on the bridge with a flag of truce. With a quick conference, both sides agree that neither can force the other's position and further combat would only cause casualties to mount for no gain. With both sides warily eyeing the other, regimental surgeons lead parties to tend to the wounded in both blue and grey.

        Taking stock of what troops they have remaining, Rainbow sees that counting the lightly wounded who are likely to return to ranks, they have the following:

        Gardner’s Battery (Maj. Gardner)(TAG)(Wounded)

        2 x 3.5in Blakely Rifles

        4 x 10lb Parrott Rifles

        1 x 20lb Parrott Rifles

        1 Wagon

        65 Men

        Tar Heel Troop (Maj. Pruitt)(Pruitt)

        133 Cavalry

        Dashwood’s “Light” Cavalry (Capt. Dashwood)(Dashy)

        100 Cavalry

        Bird’s Green Jackets (Maj. Bird)(Capt AFB)(Businessman Bonus)(+2 Musketry)

        300 Infantry

        Finch’s Battalion (Maj. Finch)(Snowy)(+2 Musketry)

        231 Infantry

        Bates’ Irregulars (Maj. Bates)(Sen)(Businessman Bonus)

        103 Infantry

        Tiger Rifles (Maj. Leroy)(Fritgern)(Soldier Bonus)(+2 Melee)

        220 Infantry

        Georgia Badgers Militia (Maj. Holden)(Cheetah)(Businessman Bonus)(+2 Musketry)

        129 Infantry

        Orleans Blues (Maj. Freeman)(Businessman Bonus)(Wounded)

        110 Infantry

        NC Grenadier Guards (+2 Musketry)

        85 Infantry

        Additionally, Major Finch discovers that in the final artillery duel, Captain Richter was killed, leaving his 34 remaining men leaderless and available to be redistributed. Quite a number of rifle muskets were captured, as well as a smaller number of cavalry carbines and a few pistols. Major Gardner's sergeant comes back to tell him that there are four Napoleons and three Ordnance Rifles that can be easily made serviceable and ready to go.

        Overnight, Colonel Fawcett receives word from General Stuart that a hundred stragglers and teamsters have caught up with the Division and designates them to Rainbow, citing a dearth of horses to mount them all (only 30 can be mounted). Ammunition stores are still dangerously low, though between captured rounds, gleaning from the field in the evening as the Badgers picket out as skirmishers, and the Tigers and remaining Guards feverishly making rounds for their specialist rifles, a moderate quantity is secured in the ammunition crates.
        Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene


        • Epilogue:

          Skirmishing lasts through the night and into the 18th, Lee convinced that McClellan will take another shot at his army after gathering his full strength, a fear that is never realized. Perhaps McClellan believes that it was Lee that was going to go on the offensive, and on the 19th pickets observe that the Army of the Potomac has pulled back North and appears to be withdrawing. Evidently the Yankees were hurt more than you thought.

          On the night of the 19th, officers gather at Lee’s Headquarters to discuss the direction of the campaign. The Army of Northern Virginia is down to not much more than forty thousand effectives. Estimates of McClellans army vary from fifty to seventy thousand men. And with his performance, Lee has some confidence that the mercurial Lincoln will soon replace Little Mac, but with whom? The various senior commanders converse amongst themselves, giving different ideas as to how to finish this campaign.

          A.P. Hill suggests that the Army withdraw across the Potomac. You’ve accomplished a primary goal by taking Harpers Ferry, and with the Army of the Potomac defeated at Sharpsburg, the Army of Northern Virginia has beaten its Yankee counterpart three times in the past two months. Better to let the Army recover and remain a strong force than to risk destroying all that you’ve accomplished by further advance. The other Generals are against this, saying that this is the chance to end the war before there is too much bloodshed.

          J.E.B. Stuart wants to pursue the Yankees North. The Cavalry, now finally concentrated, is in the best shape of any division in the Army. By pursuing McClellan North, he wants to force him to give battle again and hopefully destroy the field army. The counterpoint made is that the infantry corps are not able to maintain such an excellent speed as the cavalry to pressure him and thus McClellan only need turn on ground of his choosing. There is much concern that he might find a terrain which suits the defense and from which he can counterattack with the superior numbers he will undoubtedly be able to muster from state militias being called up.

          James Longstreet wants to stay near the Potomac, where the escape route is close and supplies might be able to be mustered. Instead of pursuing McClellan further North, he wants to go Southeast. Move against Washington and the forts there from the West. He believes that doing so will force McClellan to turn and pursue, allowing Lee to fight another battle on ground of their choosing. Defeating the Army of the Potomac a fourth time before the audiences that are sure to be watching from the city and forts could break the spirit in Washington and cause a panic and collapse. The others reply that the Army will find itself in a pincer between the Washington defenses and the Army of the Potomac, and that McClellan will be able to draw more supplies from the excellent rail systems he will be passing by in pursuit of us.

          Finally, Jackson gives his opinion. He advocates that we abandon our supplies after getting the wounded over the river, and strike due East. Baltimore is to the East, and what little intelligence information we have is that the city has been a hotbed of pro-Confederate sentiment. A move on Baltimore would sever all communications between Washington and the rest of the United States, and the city is likely to be less defended than Washington. Undoubtedly McClellan will follow, but with his characteristic sluggardness, certainly an army living off the land will be able to outrun him. Jackson suggests that seizing Baltimore, and de facto besieging Washington on the eve of the election will cause the political will to collapse and force Lincoln to give terms. The others counterpoint that going for Baltimore is risky, and if it fails the entire Army of Northern Virginia will be cut off from any hope of returning to the Confederacy, thus ending the war decisively for the Unionists if we fail.

          Lee hears his Generals, and then turns to the lot of you. “I would have spoken with General Sennef, but alas he is gone before his time. With Rainbow being the brigade in the best condition, you will be the vanguard of the Army. And as such, I will take counsel of your opinion as to what course of action we should take.”

          1. Retreat back to Virginia
          2. Pursue the AotP directly
          3. March on Washington City
          4. March on Baltimore
          Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene


          • Late in the evening of the 19th, a short column of grey marches into the camp leading a couple of small wagons of supplies. It seems that the Crown Prince of Prussia has taken an interest in Rainbow and helped outfit a unit to experiment with this combined-arms force. One thing noticed is that the marching orders are barked in German, and that a number of the men in the unit appear to be stone-faced soldiers rather than the typical farm boys that make up most new battalions in the ANV.

            Jaeger Volunteers (Hpt. Augustus)(Soldier Bonus)

            160 Infantry (Grey Frocks, Grey Trousers, Brogans, Grey Hats)

            1841 Dreyse, Bayonet
            Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene


            • OOC:
              Well, if the next episode is to be the last would make little sense to go for any other option that Baltimore or Washington.
              Wisdom is personal


              • Fawcett blinks slowly, surprised at the sudden attention from their commander. Taking the invitation to the command council as a tribute to the brigade's ferocity in the battle just past, he had been considering the different advice put forward by the senior commanders - and then abruptly Rainbow was in the fore of the discussion as in combat.

                "General Hill, I take your point as to the importance of this Army. thrice victorious and with the arms from Harpers Ferry in our train. This army is a weapon, and should it break then Richmond is left at a disadvantage. Yet the same can be said for the Army of the Potomac, and after three solid drubbings - the last on Northern soil - I am not minded to let them slouch off and rebuild to come at us again.

                "General Stuart, I take your point - the enemy is defeated in his own mind, and your division is excellently prepared to press him. The other generals are correct however; the Army of Northern Virginia will surely not be able to keep up with you, and should Little Mac find his courage again or be replaced by a doughtier man, we may find ourselves forced to fight the enemy on his chosen ground or turn and retreat before him.

                "General Longstreet, I feel, has the right approach in mind. By the courage of our men we have seized here a hard-fought opportunity and the Yankee guard is down. The time has come for a bold stroke to end this war... yet I fear that as the other generals say, that if we march to the gates of Washington that Little Mac will come down behind us and sit astride our lines of support. If he refuses to engage, then we will be forced to attack him in his chosen positions and risk a column from the Washington Defenses descending on our rear.

                "I concur with General Jackson; the army's greatest opportunity lays at Baltimore. If the bulk of General Stuart's division harries the Federals northwards, the army is freed to march east along the Baltimore & Ohio to the northern city. Northern Maryland is sympathetic to our cause and well able to supply our army on the move, and once we cut Washington off from the states in her thrall the Federalist will to continue their war of aggression will be snuffed out like that."

                He snaps his fingers.

                "Undoubtedly there will be one more battle in this war - but let us make it the last battle, God willing."
                Captain Khryses, Silver Star Omnilift Wing


                • Administration

                  Rainbow Brigade is organising into sub-groups; two regiments, a squadron, a battalion and independent artillery.

                  1st Rainbow Regiment - Major Bird commanding (brevet Lieutenant Colonel)
                  Bird's Green Jackets
                  Georgia Badger Militia
                  Orleans Blues

                  2nd Rainbow Regiment - Major Leroy commanding (brevet Lieutenant Colonel)
                  Finch's Battalion
                  Bates' Irregulars
                  Tiger Rifles

                  Rainbow Squadron - Major Pruitt commanding
                  Tar Heel Troop
                  Dashwood's "Light" Cavalry

                  Reserve Battalion - Colonel Fawcett commanding
                  North Carolina Grenadier Guard
                  Jaeger Volunteers

                  Independent Artillery - Major Gardner commanding


                  Gardner, how many and which guns would you take with you if you were given all Richter's experienced artillery men? What would the whole battery be?
                  Captain Khryses, Silver Star Omnilift Wing


                  • I would think that two batteries would be better. One battery of 4 Napoleons (6 would be better if we could get an additional two or add 2 of Richter's howitzers if any survived. The howitzers would definitely be a second choice to 6 Napoleons) using Richter's men to man them, and a second battery of rifles (2 Blakely 4 Parrott or Ordinance rifles) would be best.

                    The 20 pdr and excess rifles we've captured could be turned over to the state or government at Richmond for use elsewhere.

                    A single battery larger than 6 guns would be unwieldy to maneuver on the battlefield, and mixing rifles and smoothbores would play to each's weakness rather than give a strong battery.


                    • OOC: Only issue with a second battery is someone to command it. As GM I can't authorize creation of a battery with no one commanding it.
                      Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene


                      • T. A. Gardner

                        We'd be happy to support the manning of an 8-gun battery if that would be useful to you? Either 8 rifles or the 4 Napoleons and 4 Howitzers as you prefer?

                        That would bring you to 80 men or so in manning, and we have the expert gunners to avoid a malus on veterancy.

                        I'm considering taking after the Swedish model with the assets we have to hand, and attaching:
                        • A pair of smoothbore field guns to Bird
                        • A pair of smoothbore field guns to Finch
                        • A pair of howitzers (or napoleons if available) to Holden
                        What are your thoughts, gentlemen?

                        (also on which course the army should follow - Fawcett is expressing his opinion, which isn't necessarily yours)
                        Captain Khryses, Silver Star Omnilift Wing


                        • If it's going to be an eight gun battery I'd prefer 8 rifles to a mixed battery, preferably all of one type if possible or a mix of Parrotts and Ordinance guns using common ammunition.


                          • I'm sure if you were to ask, another battery would gladly trade you a 4th ordnance rifle for your pair of blakeley guns.
                            Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene


                            • Upgunning Rainbow

                              Okay, so in this instance we have:

                              Gardner's Artillery:

                              8 rifles (4 ordnance, 4 parrott) using common ammunition. +15 expert gunners, bringing manpower to 80.

                              1st Rainbow:

                              2 howitzers + 12 gunners attached to the Badger Militia

                              2nd Rainbow:

                              2 howitzers + 12 gunners attached to Bates' Irregulars

                              Rainbow Squadron:

                              2 howitzers + 12 gunners (+ 24 mounts) attached to Dashwood's "Light" Cavalry as galloper guns

                              Note that to remain within the rules, these guns cannot operate detached from their parent formations. They can move and fire with the formation, or the unit can leave the guns behind (and reclaim them later) but they cannot be manned or in operation except when with the main body.

                              Other Reinforcements

                              We've spent 47 of the available 134 reinforcements and 24 of the 30 potential mounts, leaving 87 and 6 respectively.

                              Reserve Battalion assigns 15 men to bring the North Carolina Grenadier Guard back up to 100 men.

                              30 additional reinforcements are assigned to 1st Rainbow to be divided as those commanders see fit.
                              30 additional reinforcements are assigned to 2nd Rainbow to be divided as those commanders see fit.
                              6 additional mounted reinforcements are assigned to Rainbow Squadron to be divided as those commanders see fit.
                              6 additional gunners assigned to Gardner's battery.
                              Captain Khryses, Silver Star Omnilift Wing


                              • Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
                                I'm sure if you were to ask, another battery would gladly trade you a 4th ordnance rifle for your pair of blakeley guns.
                                I'll do that because the commonality of ammunition will help things rather than dealing with a mixed battery.


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