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

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  • 0840hrs (North to South):

    Rainbow has been on the march for nearly 18 continuous hours, and fighting for the last 6 or close to it, with many of the men digging deep into their reserves of constitution and endurance on the warm September day. With mortar fire continuing to steadily rain down, and Bird able to see wagons arriving and departing from Catons, presumably with more ammunition, the Green Jackets retrograde on Mount Catons out of range of the fire. Freeman has his men take cover in the Federal battery works on top of the hill, and being able to spread out to take advantage of the cover prevents many additional casualties while they retain control of the single 20lb Parrott in anticipation that they might have opportunity to use it. Receiving their orders, the Badgers once again fall back to the hayfield, keeping any eye on the Elysville Road for any further federal incursions. Meanwhile, in their sheltered position on the lee of Mount Catons, Lieutenant Rojik continues to rest horse and man, letting the troopers organize a water party for their horses as they cool down.

    Fawcett's aide rides towards the unknown column coming down the Pike and finds that it peels towards him. He rides back to the General, though by the time he arrives Fawcett can clearly see the Stainless Banner flying from the front of the column and receives a galloper. "General Hampton approaching on orders of General Lee to inspect the situation, along with six score troopers Chiswell's expatriate Marylanders Sir. Lee thought you were dead sir"

    Exhausted, Finch withdraws his men out of the line of fire and then back into a reverse slope anchoring Bates to Gardner's battery. Bates merely has to pull his guns back off the crest of the hill, just in time as the pair of big Federal guns begin to fire ranging shots into the hill. Looking south towards the Federals, Finch can see that the Marines have taken up position in his old trench and are anchoring a half-moon shaped federal line that is forming up across the Pike from Rainbow.

    With their wagons emptied, the teamsters drive them up near the lines, and then with the help of the remaining Guards, Jaegers, and the wounded Rainbow Guard unit, they flip them on their sides to firm up the barricade and fortification in the treeline. The teamsters then join the Rainbow Guard to add a little bit more fire from their carbines to the mix if necessary. Leroy pulls his battalion back, only lightly expended and with nearly full cartridge boxes, to be the reserve.

    Firing from Rainbow is practically non-existent, the sergeants encouraging the men to conserve ammunition as the last of the ammo is passed out to the Dreyse-armed troops and some of the other men begin taking apart Dreyse cartridges for their components as makeshift cartridges for their own rifles. Most of the lines are out of sight or range of one another anyway, with only the longer ranged rifles able to reach.

    Pruitt, reinforced with the JDL, observes a battalion of regulars come over the hill, practically pushing what appears to be a battalion of militia or recruits in front of them as they begin to cautiously make their way towards the thin skirmish line.

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

    Comment


    • "Gentlemen, let us be thankful for all of these targets! I want the Yankee mounted officers and color guards killed! I want you to keep at least one revolver in reserve for when they come to grips! My Compliments to the Jeff Davis Legion Commander and send a messenger explaining what we are trying to do!"

      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


      • Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
        0840hrs (North to South):
        Exhausted, Finch withdraws his men out of the line of fire and then back into a reverse slope anchoring Bates to Gardner's battery.

        Firing from Rainbow is practically non-existent, the sergeants encouraging the men to conserve ammunition...
        Give them a turn of rest then - send runners to see if we can acquire new ammo.

        The order to start digging again can be delayed untill they have recovered, given our new position is not in immediate danger.
        High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.

        Comment


        • Oh I think we can be a little more ambitious than that. At least, if we move quickly enough.

          "My compliments to General Hampton, and let him know that the rumours of our demise are grossly exaggerated. The situation is, however, fraught and we would welcome the assistance of Chiswell's brave Marylanders while the General is surveying the field."


          1. Screened by available cavalry (possibly including Chiswell), Finch is to withdraw to the Baltimore Pike bridge, looting the seized Federal positions east of the crossing of charges, rounds and powder and using quantities of these as well as their tools to weaken and then blow the bridge with all Rebels safely on the western bank. They are then to move north along the western bank of the river to weaken the northern crossings, leaving one company of dismounted cavalry behind to contest the crossing as required. If there is a great quantity of powder or charges in the enemy position, take some with them to set up at the northern crossings.

          2. Leroy takes up positions to the right of the Rainbow Guard, extending our line against a possible left hook from the Yankees to our immediate south. By and large Rainbow's position at the Pike hill is developed and held, while Gardner withdraws to the wooded hill east of the northern crossing.

          3. Greenjackets loot enemy artillery ammunition, charges and powder from the Mt Catons positions, leaving Freeman enough to work with while transporting any excess to the rear (north) of their position and assigning manageable portions out between squads.
          Captain Khryses, Silver Star Omnilift Wing

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post

            Give them a turn of rest then - send runners to see if we can acquire new ammo.

            The order to start digging again can be delayed untill they have recovered, given our new position is not in immediate danger.

            Tac advises new ammo is approximately 22 hrs away by wagon. Recommend looting the fallen or captured where possible.
            Captain Khryses, Silver Star Omnilift Wing

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Khryses View Post
              Tac advises new ammo is approximately 22 hrs away by wagon. Recommend looting the fallen or captured where possible.
              22 hrs ?

              It'll be a long day then…...

              Well at least we'll have time to loot, but first a turn of rest, exhausted men are useless


              Finch is to withdraw to the Baltimore Pike bridge, looting the seized Federal positions east of the crossing of charges, rounds and powder and using quantities of these as well as their tools to weaken and then blow the bridge with all Rebels safely on the western bank.
              Understood.
              High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.

              Comment


              • Waiting for orders sir. I think another 30 minutes would do my men and horses well, and having a reserve would not hurt, but we are ready if needed.
                Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

                That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

                Comment


                • "1. Screened by available cavalry" - at your own discretion whether your cavalry is ready to move at this time, but once ready for renewed service please proceed to screen and support Finch's operations.

                  I'm trying for longer-range orders now, allowing active subordinates the freedom they deserve to husband their resources and complete their objectives in their own manner.
                  Captain Khryses, Silver Star Omnilift Wing

                  Comment


                  • Sir, my compliments for allowing my boys to have the honour in proving their valour again in that operation, but we were roughly handled and now sit as the only mobile force between our boys on both hills. With heavy heart I ask that we remain where we are as a mobile reserve to make sure those people cannot and will not drive a wedge into your command.
                    Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

                    That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

                    Comment


                    • Looks like orders are pretty much in, I'll give another 24 hours or so for edits before I do the update.
                      Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

                      Comment


                      • 0920hrs, North to South:

                        General Hampton remains with General Fawcett to observe the situation. He dispatches Chiswell's cavalry to accompany, assist, and screen for Finch's men as they form column and march to the rear towards the bridges. While the sheer discipline of Rainbow's troops shows in their remaining in place, the Sergeant Major reports to General Fawcett that there is a quantity of grumbling in the ranks as it appears that Rainbow is about to retreat in the face of the enemy, something that they are ill accustomed to.

                        Meanwhile, small parties of Green Jackets empty powder from the magazine at Mount Catons for approximately 10 minutes while there is a lull in the mortar fire inflicted on the position. With mortar fire resuming, they withdraw to meet with Gardner's gunners, who are all too happy to fall back considering the brutal casualties they've sustained today. With the balance of the Green Jackets to the rear of the position, and Freeman's remaining troops huddling in bombproofs or behind the dirt walls, the mortar fire is steady but relatively ineffective. Freeman is able to observe that the mortars have moved significantly closer and are now well within range of his single 20lbder if he ever gets an order to open fire.

                        Bates keeps looking over the top of the hill for an opportunity to open fire on the Federals reforming and starting their approach to the saddle once more. However, slow but continuous fire from the siege guns keeps him from rolling his guns back onto the crest, as with frightening regularity the gunners are hitting the spot where his Napoleons would be able to fire from should he attempt to use them from the hilltop.

                        Down in the wood, the fire from the siege guns pushes the walking wounded of the Rainbow Guard to fall back deeper into the trees to avoid being spotted or struck by splinters. Everywhere else, Rainbow simply hunkers down in place, as if waiting for the other shoe to drop. Leroy moves his Tigers into position, but in the open and without Finch's plethora of tools, they're unable to develop much of a covered position as they spread out slightly and kneel or go prone in anticipation of combat.

                        An ill-equipped unit of militia comes off the southern end of the saddle, and despite taking some casualties from fire by The Tar Heels and Jeff Davis Legion, their numbers pushes the dismounted cavalry screen back even as a unit that appears to be more regular takes position in line opposite the Tiger Rifles.

                        https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1...it?usp=sharing

                        Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

                        Comment


                        • Finch takes stock of his unit, ammo is counted and the number and physical readiness of his men verified.

                          After that they head for the "“grey cloud"” west of the bridge since I’'m not sure what that is...

                          A team with some knowledge of basic engineering is formed and they are to investigate the Baltimore Pike bridge, and come up with a plan to bring it down when the time comes. (Is it a stone bridge, metal or wood, beams or suspended, is the river fordable that sort of things…)

                          After securing the West bank, a skirmish line is formed East of the bridge anchored on both buildings on that side, while the rest is to systemically search the buildings, fallen, prisoners and abandoned positions both sides of the bridge for ammo, food, or anything that might be useful in the next 22 hrs, or to destroy or if need be, barricade the bridge.
                          Last edited by Snowygerry; 25 Jun 19, 04:18.
                          High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.

                          Comment


                          • The Grey Cloud represents Prisoners.

                            You observe that the bridge is formed of heavy timbers atop abutments made of brick and mortar.
                            Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
                              The Grey Cloud represents Prisoners.
                              Tnx.

                              See if we can get a few of Chiswell's troopers to march them off the map, I'd rather not put them to work in sight of the enemy.

                              You observe that the bridge is formed of heavy timbers atop abutments made of brick and mortar.
                              Well have my engineering team draw up a plan to start deconstructing at least the deck of the bridge, cut support beams and remove girders etc. so the men can be put to work efficiently when they're done foraging.

                              Collect any material recuperated on the West bank.

                              Keep in mind our infantry must still be able to cross even if only on a single beam, inform our artillery and cavalry they may have to cross in the north if they wait to long.

                              Tell my foraging parties to look out for useful stuff like pickaxes, rope, anything that can be used as counterweight or lever, draft animals etc. in addition to explosives, ammo and food obviously.


                              Last edited by Snowygerry; 26 Jun 19, 03:57.
                              High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.

                              Comment


                              • For clarity Tac, did our cavalry receive Fawcett's orders but simply decline to follow them?

                                Or are they operating a (very) "forward" screen?
                                Captain Khryses, Silver Star Omnilift Wing

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