Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Battle of Baltimore Day 2

At nightfall on day 1 the Rebs had gained a toehold in the NW corner of the city.  Overnight the 5 Reb divisions regrouped.  The city was still defended by V Corps and the militia still held the forts on the SW half of the city.  The Union I Corps had forced march overnight and was crossing the Patapsco bridge at dawn in a desperate attempt to join the defence of the city.
The brave Union commander leans on his crutches and ponders his options.  I Corps has just crossed the bridge on the far side.  The Reb cavalry is about to cross the 2nd creek to try and intercept them.  The Reb 1st Divison is about to cross the first creek while the other 3 Reb divisons line up their brigades to attack the city.
In the foreground the Union I Corps has had to deploy to face the Reb cavalry (road column is the one infantry formation that cavalry can ride down in this era.  Between the creeks the Reb 1st division has broken a hole through the militia line.   On the far side the Union V Corps is putting up a stirling defence.  The Rebs are losing a lot of casualties, but the numbers are on their side.
With the city looking about to fall, I Corps had to take a risk and part of it has marched down the road in road column.  Reb cavalry has charged the column & although the cavalry charge is beaten off, the infantry had to deploy and was further delayed.  Meanwhile the Reb's 1st division has broken into the city and is already formed up to face I Corps if it gets past the cavalry.
After a gallant fight, V Corps has finally broken.  They inflicted heavy casualties, but there were just too many Rebs.  The city fathers surrender the city.  I Corps retires back down the Washington road.  The Reb cavalry is too badly hurt to stop them, but they had done their job.

This result ends the campaign as the Rebs have fulfilled a condition for a major victory - taking Baltimore.  In this campaign, General Lee got his army past McClelland, won a race to Baltimore and then took it before enough Union troops could arrive to defend it. 

The campaign has been a very interesting exercise & good fun for all.  The campaigning was done by email, the battles were all fought at Camp Cromwell using our house variant of Hail Caesar for ACW.  The small battles used 15mm figs, the large battles were done with 6mm figs.
Those involved were:
Campaign umpire: Peter Williams - by email from Canberra.
Battle umpire: Jim Gandy.
Confederates:  CIC Nick Bowler (by email).  Battlefield commanders: Mike Nash & Barrie Macdonald.
Union: CIC Mark Oakford.  Battlefield commanders Steve Jendrich & Chris Arthur.

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