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

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  • TacCovert4
    replied
    Family emergency slowed this down. However update first of next week.

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  • Snowygerry
    replied
    Finch : continue under present orders.

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  • TacCovert4
    replied
    1040hrs, South to North:

    At General Fawcett's direction, most of Rainbow in the South reforms in place, warily eyeing the federal troops on the other side of the road, but neither side budges from their defensive positions, or in Rainbow's case, hasty defensive Works. The wounded of the Rainbow Guard begin to slowly aid each other in ambling for the Baltimore Pike bridge. Bates manages to reform his forces, and Leroy gets control of his Tigers, mustering them back into formation. Lt. Rojik refuses to be denied his glorious saber charge, however, and leads his sixty troopers directly at the nearest formation of Federal Infantry. Pitching into them, his men have become disorganized and strike them as a bit more of a mob than as the perfect knee to knee formation of sabers needed for the classic charge. The Federals however, are equally disorganized, unable to wheel in time, and the battle becomes pitched. Finally the Federal Infantry break to the rear, but the cavalry are in no shape to follow, with only thirty men remaining in the saddle, and Lt. Rojik only barely, considering bayonet wounds to his sword arm and his thigh.

    The Badgers continue to take pot shots at the Union infantry, Major Holden reluctant to leave his cover to trek back to the Elysville Road. After a couple of minutes of giving some very steady but devestatingly effective fire, the first 30lb shells crash into the trees, sending splinters flying. Taking their last shots at the union infantry now falling back into the cover of the town, the Badgers move out, scattering as they move to deny the artillery a clean shot, and the heavy shells go well wide of the darting and small targets.

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

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  • Khryses
    replied
    In brief (and apologies for my tardy remarks):

    -Leroy to reform in situ with Fawcett's praise for their stirring performance. They should be ready to continue their assault shortly against the exposed unit to their south.
    -Bates to reform in reserve, standing ready to go back in if either flank of Rainbow's thin position is threatened
    -RGC to retreat west instead of to Gardner, occupying the town west of Finch after Finch drops the bridge.
    -Gardner to prepare to move, but remain unlimbered and deployed at this time.

    -Bird's local command at Mt Catons reasserted
    -Jaeger and NCGG to conserve their fire as practical.

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  • TacCovert4
    replied
    Update in the next 36 hours, depending on baby Tac's sleep schedule.

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  • TacCovert4
    replied
    Update will be tomorrow or Saturday if I can get done with a few things IRL.

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  • Rojik
    replied
    The flank boys! Hit them in the flank and hit them hard! Make those boys run home to their mammas!

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  • TacCovert4
    replied
    Bird: From your position, you know that the Blues can deploy an oversize platoon or seriously undersize company. The Green Jackets are at approximately half strength, though they've had some time to recover their composure and fatigue. The Badgers are pretty much at full strength when they stepped off, and you observed that the militia were thrown back rather abruptly from their attack on the Badgers in the woods, so you'd presume they're not seriously reduced. Overall, you estimate your regiment has 300-320 men remaining in ranks from a starting strength of 580 or so. In ammunition, you can only presume that the Badgers have gone through around a third of theirs, and the Green Jackets have a basic load of 40 rounds per man with all reserve ammunition being handed out. The Blues have 20-40 rounds per man remaining in their cartridge boxes after all reserve ammunition has been handed out.

    As for the rest of Rainbow, from your position you wouldn't know, but you can presume that Rainbow has taken some losses in the hard fighting around the saddle. You know Gardner's battery was almost out of ammunition when the wagon train got partially burned and wrecked his resupply, and you saw 4 guns withdraw from the 8 that he came onto the field with. Dashwood's Light Cavalry you estimate at around 50 or so when you watched them ride away.

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  • Capt AFB
    replied
    Bird's runner comes back and explains Maj Holden surprise to the counter order, but the Badgers will carry the new orders out.

    Lt.Col. Bird understand the reaction. With the Blues moving back and little movement to the South, the counter order was necessary to ensure that the sniper company does not get isolated and away from any help. His intent is to bring the Badgers on top of Mount Cantons and offer a better and higher position for the long range rifles to score.

    Rainbow cavalry seems to be busy SW of his position. And detonations to the South may be an opportunity to attack the enemy.

    (Tac: How strong is Rainbow now? And what is the X NE of the town of Cantons? Thanks.)

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  • Snowygerry
    replied
    Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
    () Major Finch returns to his duties, his men steadily cutting away at bridge supports and digging holes to place gunpowder. Before long, Finch knows that his efforts will make this segment of the bridge a dicey proposition to cross with heavy wagons or artillery, even before explosives are used.
    With his position guarded, men well at work and no immediate threat from the East - Finch will ride out alone to inspect the northern bridges, as ordered earlier.

    My skirmish line is told to sound alert if the enemy should move on the South Bridge, so he can return in time.

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  • TacCovert4
    replied
    1020hrs, North to South:

    Lt. Col. Bird gets a sense of ease and control over the remnants of the Orleans Blues, sending them in column to the Elysville Rd and on their way to Gardner's Battery. The Green Jackets settle down, for the first time today able to rest in ranks outside of the range of any fire.

    Bird's runner reaches Major Holden and his Badgers, with orders for them to withdraw to the cornfield from whence they had only recently advanced. Hearing the orders, Major Holden looks to his front, where his skirmish line of skilled riflemen continue to steadily pour out fire at Yankees sitting at near optimal range. After a moment's consideration, he sends the runner back with his compliments that he will withdraw in due time. Firing from cover, the Badgers first focus on the militia cowering in the town, though their effectiveness is limited by their quarry also being in cover. The mortar battery moves to retrieve their pieces, and the Badgers calmly cut them down with precision fire. Momentarily not under fire, and with the fire being ineffective, the Militia push out, heading for the Badgers position to overwhelm them with numbers. Firing at the fast moving mob, dozens go down but they press on, reaching the grove as Holden bellows "Pistols" and the Badgers draw their revolvers, rapidly firing six volleys into the militia, causing them to shatter and run to the rear at the suddenness of the firepower.

    With the fighting on the northern front is also a series of small detonations near the heavy artillery battery, as rounds or powder charges cook off in the flames. There is no great conflagration, however, and after a while men can be seen bringing buckets of water to extinguish the remaining fire.

    Calling upon his old company, General Fawcett sends the Grenadier Guards to pass behind the Jaegers and replace the 'barely' walking wounded of the Rainbow Guards. The leftmost files of the Jaegers fire on the Yankee regulars as the Rainbow Guards ever so slowly make their withdrawal with what men are still capable of moving under arms, or using their arms to help them move. While the Grenadier Guards take yet a few more casualties to their riven numbers, the shock of steady men firing as they move up in the trees forces the Yankees to reconsider the strength there and they withdraw in good order.

    Hearing orders to 'clear the yankees from the hill', Leroy orders his fresh battalion to load and advance at the double quick, passing behind the lines just as the Grenadier Guards begin firing upon their own foe with the Jaegers. Bates own force is beleagured and quickly losing ground, and eagerly run to the rear at the sound of retreat. The pressure suddenly slackened, the Yankees crest the hill and find themselves facing a steadily advancing battalion in ridiculous pantaloons. A hasty volley is fired, followed by Leroy's own halt and volley, and then with a guttural roar the Tigers charge as one, bayonets or cutlasses drawn, slamming into the still reloading Yankees and forcefully driving them down the hill until they are fleeing. This time, Major Leroy lets his men have their head, and the federal troops scatter, pockets surrendering or throwing down their rifles to run faster. After all the recent fighting, the Tigers are now a bit more ragged.....and visible gaps have appeared in their ranks as they reform.

    Hooves are heard thundering up the road and down from the North as Chiswell's troopers begin returning to the lines, and Dashwood's remaining riders, Lt. Rojik at their head, ride down towards the sounds of combat. A few of Chiswell's riders escort the prisoners to the West, assisting the teamsters that had been nervously watching them all day. Major Finch returns to his duties, his men steadily cutting away at bridge supports and digging holes to place gunpowder. Before long, Finch knows that his efforts will make this segment of the bridge a dicey proposition to cross with heavy wagons or artillery, even before explosives are used.

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

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  • Rojik
    replied
    Seeing the general's gesture Rojik draws his sabre. Boys! Now is our moment! You have your orders. You know your job! Sarn't, sound the bugle! Dashy's boys are going to make history today!"

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  • Capt AFB
    replied
    Lt.Col. Bird comes out of his hazy mind. So many things have happened and they seem to roll on with little direction from him. A good indication of the quality of his troops.

    Reading Fawcett's orders, he sends his directions to the Blues to reform and ready to retire to Gardner's position. He will wait from them to reform properly, and with some form of direction, as the last thing he want to retire back is a mass gaggle of demoralized soldiers not stopping at their new position but panicky continuing to run away across the bridge. He walks among them giving them word of encouragement, as officers and NCOs reforms them.

    He also directs the Badgers to the cornfield NE of Mt.Catons.

    A sense of ease and some morale boosting happens in the GJ ranks, as they see their commander becoming lively again.

    (Sorry for the absence - Time at the hospital and catching up with things at work and home kept me away for a while.)




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  • Khryses
    replied
    If receiving Rojik's request, Fawcett returns his approval for the attack - gesturing grandly with his hat to encourage Dashwood's old formation to move at once.

    Leroy is congratulated for the brisk defiance his men have offered the Northern aggressor, and directed to reorient his formation towards the north east, advancing along the back of Rainbow's formation and the RGC and then clearing Bates' attackers from the hill.

    Bates is sorely pressed, and his men are instructed to fall back fifty paces once Leroy is in effective range, allowing Leroy's men to strike the foe with his full force. Bates' men can regroup and provide supporting fire as required.

    The NCGG withdraw from the line and replace the RGC, who move at their own pace back to Gardner's hill to set up a supporting picket.

    Word is sent to Bird's command on Mt Catons to withdraw the broken Blues to Gardner's hill where they can regroup. Bird is to continue to defend his position to the best of his capability and (if I haven't heard from Rojik), Dashwood's cavalry is directed to strike vigorously at the routed Yankees and then targets of opportunity, moving and avoiding getting pinned down without support.

    We call Chiswell up to screen our right, remaining mobile if threatened by enemy foot but preventing the enemy from simply passing around our right.

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    Major Pruitt holds his Tarheels where they are.

    Pruitt

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