Thursday, May 26, 2016

Battle of Williamsburg May 5, 1862: Morning: Longstreet's Assault Part 2

When we left off, the Union Army under MG Joseph Hooker is putting up a good fight holding off the attack of Confederate MG James Longstreet's Division. Longstreet must push his division forward and break the Federal front before reinforcements arrive.


Turn 7. Confederate Initiative. A.P. Hill's Brigade surges forward past the stalled out brigade of BG Wilcox on the Federal left flank. The leading regiments of Taylor's Brigade break and run. The 70th and 73rd NY Regt. leave a gaping hole on the Federal right flank. Patterson quickly orders his reserves forward to steady the line. MG Hooker looks over his shoulder back down the road in the direction of where his reinforcements should be coming from. At this moment, BG Hill leans forward in his saddle. yelling for his runner to come up. Suddenly he is knocked from his horse and lands on his back.. Hill's aide yells for the doctor to come up as he leaps from his horse to his generals side. "Are you hit, General?" The General slowly sits up, blinks and says. "I think I'm okay." He painfully stands up as the two men notice his sword in its sheath is bent, saving the Generals life from a ball.

The 70th and 73rd NY infantry retreat from the line.

The 7th VA Inf Regt from General Hill's Brigade opens fire on  Dco US Artillery and rout it from the field.

The combined confederate brigades fire on the Union front. The Confederate Left Flank is pushed forward by BG A.P. Hill. One regiment will fill it's first volley and reload as the supporting regiment pushes through. the process is repeated as the Virginians move closer to the tree line.


BG A.P. Hill slowly climbs back on his horse and directs the attack.

Turn 8. Confederate Initiative.  Hill orders The 1st Va Inf Regt. to move through the 7th VA Inf. They reform up and open fire on Hco US Artillery. Both batteries take heavy casualties and break. General Hooker, begins to panic as his right flank comes unglued. He orders Taylor and Paterson to hold the line at all cost. 

General Taylor knows his soldiers are back enough into the woods that the Confederates cant see them. He holds his men in position. Hoping that if they can close the distance, maybe his opening volley can do some damage.

BG Hill rallies his soldiers as they push forward again. The Rebel Yell is heard louder this time.

Wilcox's Brigade continues to move forward with Hill's Brigade. They move closer to the tree line.

.................................ready boys. Here they come.......

Turn 9 Federal Initiative. Patterson orders his New Jersey Brigade forward. with an oblique right march, a fresh regiment comes into line to face off with the 1st Va Inf of Hill's Brigade. The 72nd NY Inf Regt. from Taylor's Brigade moves to the edge of the treeline to the surprise of the 19th Mississippi. The 72nd Opens fire with their first volley and devastates the Mississippians.

The Colonel of the 19th Mississippi has his kepi shot from his head.  He orders his men to return fire. "FIRE BY COMPANY, READY, AIM..... FIRE!" The 72nd is not immune to the volley as they take massive casualties. 

Both Regiments are locked in mortal combat as they both continue to exchange volleys. The cries of the wounded and dying are drowned out by the rattle of the muskets.

BG Patterson's Brigade moves forward to extend the line.

General Hooker looks on with anticipation as the events unfold before his eyes. he calls for a runner. As he looks over his shoulder, he sees a sight that almost brings him to tears.

BG Philip Kearny  arrives with the leading elements of his division..  General Longstreet's aide calls the generals attention to the new banners waving in the afternoon breeze.with the arrival of Kearny and his division, General Longstreet must halt his attack and strengthen his lines. So close............. as the musketry begins to die down, the sounds of battle are heard far off to the east of General Longstreet's position.
Brigadier General Winfield Scott Hancock has crossed Cub Creek and advanced forward looking to turn the Confederate left flank. What he found was  Longstreet's Reserves under  Major General Daniel Harvey Hill................. To be Continued...

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