Saturday, June 18, 2016

Battle of Williamsburg May 5th 1862: Afternoon: Hancock's Assault Part 1

~Orders of Battle~
Union Forces

BG. Winfield S Hancock's Brigade

49th PA Inf                        6 stands
6th ME Inf                        6 stands
5th WI Inf                         6 stands
7th ME Inf                         6 stands
33rd NY Inf                      6 stands


Confederate Forces

MG D. H. Hill

MG D.H. Hill Brigade

5th NC Inf                   5 stands
23rd NC Inf                 5 stands

BG Jubal Early's Brigade

24th VA Inf                    7 stands
38th VA Inf                    5 stands

While General Joseph Hooker was fighting with Confederate General Longstreet in front of Fort Magruder, BG Winfield S. Hancock crossed Cub Creek on the Federal Right flank and pushed into the unoccupied line of defenses. Hancock's Brigade was set up in a position to threaten Longstreet's Left Flank. Major General Daniel Harvey Hill was in command of Longstreet's Reserve force. Hill was with General Jubal Early's Brigade on the grounds of the nearby College of William and Mary. Upon hearing the sounds of battle, General D.H. Hill ordered General Jubal Early's brigade forward. The two commanders split command of the brigade and attacked Hancock's formation.

Both Brigades set up in Brigade battlefront.

BG Winfield Hancock and his brigade.

Confederate Major General D.H. Hill

Confederate BG Jubal Early

Turn 1 Federal Initiative. General Hancock orders his brigade forward. In response, General Hill also orders his brigade forward. He orders his men into column formation  in order to move to a forward position more quickly.

General Early's men slowly pressing forward.

Turn 2. Confederate Initiative. Each of the armies continue to close the distance with each other. The ground is in a good condition and the troops have no problem traversing the ground. General Hancock considers taking one of the redoubts and holding it. 

General Hill continues to move his two regiments forward in the hope of deploying at the edge of the freshly plowed field. 

Turn 3. Confederate Initiative. General Early's men marching in line of battle, clear the field they were crossing. General Hill deploys his regiments into line of battle at the edge of a filed to their front. General Hancock decides against holding position and decides to use his numbers to his advantage and press forward. He orders two of his regiments, the 7th ME and the 33rd NY into column formation to utilize the road and move forward faster.

General Hancock surveys the ground. He watches as his men move into the enemy.

General Hill with his regiments.

General Early at the lead of his advance. In the distance he spots the dark blue Federal uniforms in the distance.

Turn 4. Federal Initiative. General Hancock continues his forward movement. The 7th ME and the 33rd NY move past the redoubt and deploy forward of the position. the 49th PA, and 5th WI and 6th ME move up in support. General Early brings his men up and clears the house. One of his regiments goes around the back end of the house in the hope of gaining position of the Federal advance.

Turn 5. Confederate Initiative. General Hill orders his men to load and prepare to fire. General Early anchors his line between the fence and the house. The 38th VA advances forward to deploy into line across from the fence.  Hancock's brigade continues to move forward at best possible speed. the 38th NY wheels right in order to take up a position behind the fence and counter the advance of the 38th VA Infantry.

General Hancock looks out across the field. The stage is set. The band is in tune. The ball is ready to open...
To be concluded.

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