Wednesday, August 21, 2013

ACW Campaign: Battle of Baltimore

On day 11 of the campaign Lee has arrived at the gates of Baltimore.   The Union's VI Corps of 9 units of raw troops with 2 batteries, plus VII Corps of 4 units of trained infantry sent from the Washington garrison have hastily dug in in front of the city.  14 units of militia with 6 half batteries occupy rudimentary defences on the edge of the city.  1 cavalry brigade guards the flank of the advance force.

Lee's 1st division of 8 veteran inf & 2 batteries plus his 5th division of 5 veteran infantry & 2 batteries have come onto the table on turn 8 of a 24 turn day.
The 1st division deployed to their left to form up for the attack.  The 5th division moved up on their right beside the creek. 
The Union cavalry advanced and dismounted to fire across the creek at the Reb 5th div's flank.  Two infantry units turned to face the cavalry and broke them, but the cavalry had disrupted the division's advance.  The 1st division attacked the right of the Union line and soon broke through and rolled up the Union VI Corps which then broke.  The Reb's 3rd division of 6 veteran infantry & 2 batteries has also come up and has deployed behind the 1st division.
The Union VI Corps on the left of the line withdrew towards the city as the Reb 5th division resumed its advance and their 1st division moved to their right to make room for the 3rd division to advance onto the left flank of the Reb line.  The Rebs' 4th division has also arrived and is marching down the road.  The Union's V Corps has also arrived on the table - off shot to the left.  It has 8 trained infantry units and 2 batteries marching down the Washington road
The rebs are attacking the NW corner of the city with their 1st & 3rd divisions while the 2nd & 5th are preparing to attack on their right.  The militia line is mostly broken, but the VII Corps has redeployed as a second line in the NW corner of the town and Union V Corps column has entered the town. The Reb cavalry division has arrived on the table, but is kept in reserve.
 The Union commander on the right ponders his options.
By nightfall the Rebs have taken the entire militia line north of the creek and broken the Union VII Corps to gain a toehold in the NW corner of the city.  But the Union V Corps has held a line within the city.  The Union has lost VI & VII Corps and all the militia north of the creek.  The Rebs have had 5 units break, but no divisions have been broken.

The result leaves the campaign still in the balance.   The Union have just 1 Corps left to hold the city.  Their broken corps will not be fit to fight until the day after tomorrow.  The Rebs will outnumber the defenders in the morning, but their divisions will be weakened by fatigue and the losses of the first day's fighting and they fear the arrival of more Union Corps.

The Rebs have the option of claiming some victory points, breaking off, and trying to get back to Virginia past McClelland's much larger army to claim a minor victory in the campaign, or keep on going to try and take Baltimore to claim a major political victory before the Union arrive in force.

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