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Rainbow Brigade, Episode 6: A Bridge on the River Patapsco

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  • The Tarheel Legion search the wounded and dead for ammo. Pistols are reloaded and the men mount their horses. The Major leads his shrunken command to the right edge of the map and forms the extreme Right of the line.

    "I want the men to dismount, with Horse Holders to the rear. Hold off on using pistols until they close with us! Once again, I want enemy officers and color parties identified and killed. Men it has been a Lovely War!"

    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"

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    • 0800hrs, North to South:

      Capt. L'Rojik rallies his cavalry, reforming them in the safety of the lee side of Mount Catons. With a few moments to get water and rest the mounts, the general morale of the unit is improved. Taking stock, he is able to determine that he has 60 men fit for action. The other half of his cavalry are either lightly wounded and escorting prisoners to the rear, dead, or back at the surgeon's tent with a variety of wounds.

      Once again, the Green Jackets find themselves on the crest of the hill, crouching in available cover as parties begin working to improve it. For now the Yankees are choosing not to pursue them up the hill, though after a few minutes mortar shells begin falling around them but without the range. Freeman's exhausted men begin working to try to maneuver the 20lb parrotts out of their embrasures and down to the Green Jacket line, but it's tiring work and will likely take most of an hour to complete, especially with men ducking with each howl of a mortar shell.

      Taking mortar fire, the badgers waste no time when they're ordered to fall back, and after a minute or two of running to the rear they find themselves no longer under fire and able to slow their headlong pace as they work to regroup and cover to the East.

      Gardner's battery recovers from its loss and opens up, first on the reformed yankee battery immediately facing them, the siege guns being far at the edge of his effective range. Repeated fire eventually dismounts some of the guns and causes the crews to flee....again. However, the siege guns have the range, and two of gardner's guns, along with much of their crews, are obliterated in a crash as a 30lb shell explodes directly between them. The other crews are shaken, but firm for now.

      Between loosing a canister volley from his guns and the firing of his carbines, Bates easily fixes the Federal regiment to his front, and while their own fire is relatively ineffective against the covering federals, the bayonet and/or cutlass charge by the Tigers comes as a complete shock, and the federal troops flee in disorder down the hill. Finally having their head, the Tigers pursue the broken formation until they find themselves caught in a crossfire between two battalions, and have to drop to the prone and begin firing to prevent being chopped to pieces in the lead grinder. Though they lose a score of men in a minute, their rapid and disciplined fire begins to tell on the Marines and soldiers facing them as they retrograde to where they can take them both from wide angles to the front.

      Bates opts to simply pivot his Napoleons and take the trench under direct fire from his elevated position. Shells begin to pound the Federals in the trench, pinning them in place in the only cover for quite some distance. Using his respite, Major Snowy pulls his battalion out of the line, establishing a position closer to the reverse slope.

      Riding all the way around the line again, General Fawcett can see a mob of men being reformed under the eye of a wounded lieutenant with his arm in a sling. A motley bunch of men from nearly every unit on the field, most of them are wounded, limping, arms slung, or heads or bodies bandaged. Maybe 90 men stand or sit as they're organized into an ad hoc company near the surgeon's tent.

      Major Pruitt moves his decimated Tar Heels forward, spreading them thin in a skirmish line to cover the far flank of Rainbow as the battle on the South Hill of the saddle continues to rage. With a mounted party, presumably a Brigadier, visibly waving swords to urge the men forward, the Sailors begin advancing again in an open order as the Marines trade shots with the Jaegers. Still awaiting General Fawcett's arrival, the remaining officers and NCO's in the Grenadiers, Legion, and Jaegers work to form a cohesive unit out of their broken formations. But despite the success of the Jaegers in disrupting the skirmishing Marines by fire, when the navy charges again, the winnowed Confederate forces are pushed back by the weight, the few remaining men willing to skirmish but for once unwilling to close into hand to hand fighting with an overwhelming force.

      General Fawcett arrives to find his men off the hill entirely and firing from the light cover of scattered trees near Finch's new reverse-slope position.

      https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1...it?usp=sharing
      Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

      Comment


      • Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
        0800hrs,

        Using his respite, Major Snowy pulls his battalion out of the line, establishing a position closer to the reverse slope. ()

        General Fawcett arrives to find his men off the hill entirely and firing from the light cover of scattered trees near Finch's new reverse-slope position.
        "It's high time to organize a fall-back position behind the river General..."

        "We can hurt them once more as they come over the ridge, but once they establish their artillery on Southern Hill our position here will become pretty much untenable.."

        "I suggest once again we examine the bridges to see which ones can be destroyed or mined in a matter of hours..."

        "Any news from that rider ?"

        "It seems crucial to know the distance from here to Stuarts flank..as well as to find out about any enemy activity in our rear.."

        Last edited by Snowygerry; 20 May 19, 07:35.
        High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.

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        • This is so much better than the GOT series finale! Continue on.
          Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

          "Aim small, miss small."

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Cheetah772 View Post
            This is so much better than the GOT series finale! Continue on.
            Well thank you, but do feel free to resume commanding your company.....
            Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post

              "It's high time to organize a fall-back position behind the river General..."

              "We can hurt them once more as they come over the ridge, but once they establish their artillery on Southern Hill our position here will become pretty much untenable.."

              "I suggest once again we examine the bridges to see which ones can be destroyed or mined in a matter of hours..."

              "Any news from that rider ?"

              "It seems crucial to know the distance from here to Stuarts flank..as well as to find out about any enemy activity in our rear.."

              "You're not wrong, Lieutenant Colonel - and I will see about sending some folk back to begin sabotaging the bridges as soon as the situation here is stabilised. The Mount Catons wing seems stable, but we truly cannot permit these gentlemen to retain possession of the hills before we're ready to move off. There isn't good defensive ground this side of the river if we concede the hills and they get their heavy artillery on them."

              "No specific word from the General, but from what he doesn't say I feel he remains largely uncommitted and is likely a large part of their local reserve. If he feels secure that we have this approach covered, he is empowered to intervene more heavily in Jackson's engagement."

              "If you can put your company in the hands of a trusted subordinate, maybe you could ride down to the bridges now and determine how swiftly they could be collapsed. Can we simply fire them, or do you need some sturdy men with axes to undermine the structure before it becomes a combat area?"

              With the situation on Mt Catons largely stable - and the pressing concern of the stability of the bridges now in the able hands of Finch - Fawcett allows himself to focus on the risks on the southern flank of their position.

              Gardner - To withdraw behind the crest of their position and cover the open flank between this hill and Mt Catons. We cannot outrange the siege artillery and we dare not close on it.

              Leroy - Withdraw by lines under fire - one line fires from a low crouch while the other retires, then reloads as the first line falls back and fires as it passes their position. Repeat until they are safely up on the slopes of the hill and likely disengaged.

              Bates - To drive into the flank of the Yankees pressing Finch, pressing them back out of the gap while not moving too far from the hills himself.

              Pruitt - To feint at the Yankee left on the hilltop, skirmishing without committing.

              Finch - To wheel right once relieved and drive the disordered Federal mass back across the southern hill in full retreat. Supported by:

              Ad Hoc Rainbow Guard - While battered and freshly driven, these are elite troops and eminently capable of supporting Finch's advance, provided they are relieved from the direct pressure of enemy fire for a time.

              General Order for Finch and AHRC: Ammunition in limited supply, use aimed fire and cold steel to shift the enemy from their position.

              Fawcett will accompany Finch's advance in lieu of their commander, if he goes to inspect the bridges.
              Captain Khryses, Silver Star Omnilift Wing

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Khryses View Post
                "If you can put your company in the hands of a trusted subordinate, maybe you could ride down to the bridges now and determine how swiftly they could be collapsed. Can we simply fire them, or do you need some sturdy men with axes to undermine the structure before it becomes a combat area?"
                "I'd rather command them myself General, I'm not an engineer after all, I'm a farmer..."

                "I'll give the order shortly."

                Finch - To wheel right once relieved and drive the disordered Federal mass back across the southern hill in full retreat. Supported by:
                Once relieved Finch will lead his men to a new position suited to carry out such an attack.

                Important will be to avoid the fire of the enemy now occupying our former trench, so keep the ridge line between us and them.

                Our first objective will be the woods with the blue "cloud" of enemy there, there we will establish ourselves for the main attack.

                To conserve ammo and make speed, our first objective will be taken, not in our traditional fire-and-move routine, but a simple column charge with bayonets fixed.

                Once the wood taken, redeploy there in 3 lines and prepare to attack.


                Edit, the strangest thing just happened there...I actually saw the units on the map moving real time, didn't know that was possible

                Where there was a "cloud" of enemy before - there's a line now ...?

                I'll give them some time to "settle" and review the new situation this afternoon..
                Last edited by Snowygerry; 24 May 19, 05:20.
                High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.

                Comment


                • 0820hrs, North to South:

                  On Mt. Catons, the men continue to improve their position even as light howitzer and mortar fire falls around them. Over the few minutes of a completely unbalanced artillery duel, Freeman's pair of light howitzers manage to hit and maul some of the navy gunners and severely hurt their rate of fire. However, after a while the mortars find the range, and Freeman and Bird find their commands being hammered by shrapnel fire that puts the men huddling the ground in their rude scrapes with one howitzer's carriage shot to pieces, leaving just one remaining. Work to move the 20lb guns into position is nearly complete, though quite a few men have fallen killed and wounded in the effort under fire.

                  Meanwhile.....

                  Gardner's Battery, relieved at the order to take their relief, begin immediately to prolong their guns back into a reverse slope position, happy to get out of the fire of the big guns. Another gun is dismounted, leaving the battery with 4 ordnance rifles in action and nothing else. However, the remaining guns and gunners manage to withdraw out of the line of fire.

                  The federal troops occupying Finch's Trench are fired on by Bates guns, but there are no visible effects. Finch also fires on them before advancing, again, with no visible effects as the entirety of the remaining Yankees are safely below ground. With effective fire coming in, they're unable to wheel, Finch not willing to expose his flank to the certainty of being pounded with lead. It takes several volleys from Bates guns to begin to have a visible effect on the Yankees, finally forcing them to retreat in conjunction with aimed fire from Finch's flanking company.

                  The Tigers, seeing the potential peril, begin a disiplined retrograde while continuously firing to keep their enemy's heads down. They lose a bare few casualties, but by their weight of fire they halt any attempts to close as they continue to steadily fall back onto the Northern hill of the saddle.

                  The remaining Rainbow units, along with AHRG, solidify their position in the grove north of the Pike. Finally able to wheel, Finch's battalion finds itself facing what appears to be a continuous line in the grove on the south of the Pike as a mounted party can be seen organizing the sailors into ranks as the Marines move up and take their position on the right of the reforming formation. Fawcett commanding the motely collection of units and individuals, they continue to skirmish as Pruitt's men cautiously advance towards skirmishing range on the Yankee Flank.

                  Fawcett and Finch can both see that a ragged line of men in apparent civilian clothing have reached the hill, along with the banners of another unit which had been seen off earlier in the morning. A report from his surviving supply sergeant is that they only have ammunition in the wagons for the Dreyse rifles, and cartridges for all other guns are now expended, though most of the men should have full cartridge boxes or close to. He opines that Freeman is probably the most desperately short on ammunition, since Bird's rifles fire a different cartridge but Bird has his own wagon and typically has plenty of additional ammunition. Looking to his right as he plans to send men to inspect the bridges for demolition, Fawcett bespies a mounted column larger than a company coming over the bridge at Ellicot's Mills.......

                  https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1...it?usp=sharing
                  Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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                  • I see - seems I jumped a turn there, disregard my post above, I'll write new orders based on the new situation after the weekend
                    High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.

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                    • Seems Dashy's boys have no orders, so we will continue to reform, let the horses get their breath back. stay out of the line of sight of the artillery, and keep an eye out for an open flank
                      Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

                      That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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                      • Finch - To wheel right once relieved and drive the disordered Federal mass back across the southern hill in full retreat. Supported by:

                        Ad Hoc Rainbow Guard - While battered and freshly driven, these are elite troops and eminently capable of supporting Finch's advance, provided they are relieved from the direct pressure of enemy fire for a time.
                        Not sure if K. wants to review his orders given the changed situation, but I'll be gone four days after tomorrow so if applicable, use these orders below.

                        Finch orders his men in column and around the flank of the enemy in front of him.

                        Using the AHRG as screen of skirmishers, at running speed, he moves West, then South keeping his column at a distance of 200 yards untill they turn the enemy flank.

                        Form up, face East, at the double, close the distance to enemy before they can wheel their front.

                        Finch will dismount again and command on foot, personally taking command of the 3rd rank with fixed bayonets.

                        If my men have practiced their rebel yell, this would be the good time for it...

                        While he will probably will not be able to keep most of his men from firing at will as they close, his object is to hold the fire of this last rank untill they are virtually on top of the enemy, then fire and follow up with close-quarters attack.

                        Those men armed with pistols and axes will follow those attacking with bayonets.
                        Last edited by Snowygerry; 28 May 19, 04:18.
                        High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.

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                        • I'll be updating Thursday unless something happens to change this. Have all orders in by then.
                          Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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                          • Alright... my inner Fawcett is urging me to advance, advance, but under the circumstances (and with the identity of the mounted party approaching from the west uncertain) it seems a moment of caution may be in order.

                            Rainbow South

                            We cannot outgun the Federal heavy artillery to our fore, and presently do not have the weight to carry a charge into the teeth of them without unacceptable losses. Withdraw all foot elements behind the crest of the ridge we are currently on and around, with Finch and Bates fortifying themselves along a line between Bates' current right and Gardner's position. Leroy is to form the Brigade reserve, forming in the interior of the line as a rapid response force while the tatterdemalion Rainbow Guard are to dig in in place and reorder themselves.

                            The JDL and Pruitt's Tarheels are to form a skirmish line covering the rear of our position, less out of any illusion that they can hold a substantial assault and more that, on the off-chance that the column approaching from the direction of our army is not one of Stuart's elements, it will give time for Leroy and others to reorient ourselves.

                            Rainbow North

                            Under relentless enemy fire, the elements of Rainbow North are to retire to the northern crest of Mt Catons and fortify facing southwards, with the Badgers taking up positions in the hayfield.

                            They are advised to hold the eastward road open, as we anticipate redeploying towards Baltimore later this morning.

                            Rainbow Scouting

                            Fawcett sends a junior lieutenant off on his mount westwards to get a better view of the uniforms proceeding towards us. He is not to close with them however friendly they may appear, but is to report back to me immediately with any identification (from uniform hue to visible banners).
                            Captain Khryses, Silver Star Omnilift Wing

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                            • Originally posted by Khryses View Post
                              () Withdraw all foot elements behind the crest of the ridge we are currently on and around, with Finch and Bates fortifying themselves along a line between Bates' current right and Gardner's position.
                              Once again - ignore my orders above then.

                              Finch instead orders his men quickly to the assigned position, after lining up with a good field of fire, the rear rank is ordered start digging again, covered by the other two.
                              High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.

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                              • Apologies, the whole family has been sick the last few days. I'll be updating this within 18 hours.
                                Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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