Thursday, May 5, 2016

Battle of Williamsburg May 5, 1862 Morning: Hooker's Assault on Fort Magruder Part 1

Williamsburg on the Peninsula.

~Orders of Battle~
Union Forces

BG. Cuvier Grover's Brigade

11th MA Inf                        7 stands
26th PA Inf                        7 stands
2nd NH Inf                        7 stands
5th NJ Inf                          7 stands


Confederate Forces

BG Richard H. Anderson

Palmetto (SC) Sharpshooters                  5 stands
5th SC Inf                                               7 stands
8" columbiad                                          1 stand
42lb gun                                                 1 stand
8" siege Howitzer                                  1 stand

McCarthy's (VA) Battery 10lb parrots      2 stands
On the night of May 3, 1862, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston, ordered a withdrawal from the Warwick Line and the evacuation of Yorktown. Union General George McClellan wasn't immediately prepared for a pursuit. He had been inching his siege guns over the muddy terrain into position for the past month. On May 4, 1862 He ordered Brigadier General George Stoneman and his cavalry brigade to pursue the retreating Confederates. On May 5, 1862 the Confederate Army under Johnston was making slow progress due to the muddy roads. Johnston deployed a rearguard detachment to take up positions at a redoubt that was named Fort Magruder. This five sided earthen fort was armed with a 8" columbiad, a 42lb siege gun and a 8" siege howitzer. complete with fifteen foot walls and a wet moat, it straddled the Williamsburg Road from Yorktown. Brigadier General Cuvier Grover's Brigade from Brigadier General Joseph Hooker's Division made contact that morning.

Turn 1 Federal Initiative. The first turn is automatically the Federal Turn. They are set up in the woods an the brigade moves forward. The Government Road runs straight the length of the table. The Penniman Road runs diagonally across the Federal brigades front.

General Joseph Hooker orders General Cuvier Grover to drive the Confederates off the line.

"Battalion, at the quick step... Forward...... March!"

The Palmetto Sharpshooters in the trenches that connected to the fort

The situation represented in Fort Magruder.

The 5th South Carolina in the trenches on the other side of the Fort defensive line.

Brig Gen R.H. Anderson commands the Confederate force defending the line.

Turn 2. Federal Initiative. The orders are given and the Federal brigade continues to advance forward.

The artillery in the Fort make their preparations for the coming battle..

Turn 3. Confederate Initiative. The Confederates elect to pass on their initiative and the Federal Brigade continues to surge forward. General Grover orders the line to lengthen. He knows that the Confederates will open fire when they are in range. He doesn't want to expose his brigade in a tight target for the enemy. Extending the front will also bring more of his fire power in line.

"Keep your intervals! Stay in line!"

Turn 4. Federal Initiative. They Federals continue to move forward. two of the lead regiments cross the Penniman Road to their front. on the Federal left flank two regiments in line of battle travel up the Government Road. In the distance. The Confederate commander looks through his field glasses and waits. He wants the Federals a bit closer when he orders the cannoneers to "open the ball."

To be Continued........

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