Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Battle of Williamsburg May 5, 1862 Morning: Hooker's Assault on Fort Magruder Part 2

When we left off, Brig Gen Cuvier Grover was bringing his brigade to bare on the Confederate defenses on the Government Road. Fort Magruder blocks the way to Richmond and victory.

Turn 5. Confederate Initiative. Brig General R. H. Anderson, looking through his field glasses, watches at the blue wave of men surge forward. slowly he raises his hand and he continues to watch the advancing line. with one quick movement, he lowers his hand and signals the guns in the fort to open fire. The combined fire from the fort guns and Compton's Battery have very little effect on the blue horde. However, during the initial cannon volley, a small piece of shrapnel passes through the hat of General Grover. His aide comments how good fortune is with them. General Grover keeps his nerve and continues his men forward.

Turn 6. Federal Initiative.  The federals continue to move forward. the artillery of the defending Confederates gains accuracy and frequency. The shells begin to rain closer into the men. Each of the regiments begins to take casualties as men fall from the ranks. The 26th Pa Infantry takes a heavy barrage. Their colonel is killed outright and the Regiment routs from the field. The ground is covered by abattis and is rough going. 

Turn 7. Federal Initiative. Brig General Grover becomes concerned with his lines as the enemy fire continues. He needs to get closer in order to effectively open fire on the defenders. The Confederates on the other hand continue to fire their cannons. The 2nd New Hampshire Regiment becomes shaken.

Turn 8. Federal Initiative. General Anderson continues to watch in awe as the Union brigade bravely presses forward. His heart sinks as he watches the artillery rip holes in the enemy's line. This is a horrible way to die.

"Keep moving, Don't Stop. Keep going!"

Turn 9. Confederate Initiative. It is slow going for the Federals The infantry on both sides haven't fired yet.

Turn 10 Confederate Initiative Finally, the order is given and the Sharpshooters on the Confederate right and the 5th SC on the left open fire. the volleys are devastating. General Grover orders his men to halt and return fire. The sound of battle is deafening. and the regiments are slow to respond. 

Turn 11. Federal Initiative The intensity of the engagement increases. The continued barrages from the artillery and the musketry creates a "Hell on Earth" for those involved. The back and forth firing causes the casualties to mount. The attackers seem to pay for each foot of ground. 

"FIRE BY THE COMPANY....Commence Firing!"

"Fire by Rank.... Rear Rank, Ready.. Aim... FIRE..... Front Rank, Ready... Aim... FIRE!"

On the Federal Left the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment Routes and leaves the field. on the Federal right, the 11th Mass Infantry follows suit and quits the field. General Grover pulls his remaining men back. General Joseph Hooker watches from the safety of the rear with disappointment.
As General Grover's Brigade crumbles and melts away. General James Longstreet arrives with his Brigades. A counterattack is being formed. If they can hit the Federals now, while they are already shaken,They may be able to drive them back to to Yorktown.......

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