Sunday, June 26, 2016

Battle of Williamsburg May 5th 1862: Afternoon: Hancock's Assault Part 2

Last turn saw Brigadier General Winfield Scott Hancock bring his brigade onto the field and into line. The combined force of Major General Daniel Harvey Hill and Brigadier General Jubal Early stand fast to meet them on the field. Hancock's men move into musket range.

"Forward men, Let's Go!"

"Hold your fire.......... Hold your fire."


Turn 6. Confederate Initiative. The Confederates open the ball with the rattle of musketry all along the line. The Federal Brigade takes massive casualties. 

The 33rd NY Infantry fail their cohesion test, break and rout from the field. This causes the right flank of the Union Battle line to weaken. Hancock's only option in to shorten his line or try to extend enough to protect his weakened flank.

During the Federal Army Turn of Turn 6. One of the supporting Federal Regiments is ordered to take the position of the routed regiment. They go into column formation and quickly move to the right.
Turn 7 Federal Initiative. A change of plans has caused a serious disadvantage for the Federal side. Feeling that the Brigade has pushed far enough, Hancock orders his men to open fire. with the new regiment taking the right flank of the line. the regiment that held the center collapses and retreats leaving a new hole in the center.

General Hancock rallies his men.

Turn 8 Federal Initiative. Hancock calls up the supporting regiment as the left flank folds up and runs. With no more reserves and a front line that is shortened. It seems long odds that the Confederates will be driven from the field.

The Federal right flank, behind the fence, exchanges fire with Early's men. 

Major General D.H. Hill rallies his troops as they continue to keep up a strong rate of fire. 

Turn 9. Federal Initiative. Brigadier General Hancock decides to disengage. the right flank ceases fire, goes into column and marches along the road away from the fight in good order.

"At the Double Quick, March!"

Hancock sits in the saddle disheartened as he watches his right flank fall back down the road. Soon he will order the regiment to his front to fall back as well.

Turn 10. Confederate Initiative. With no enemy in range to their front. General Hill and General Early order a cease fire. Their men have fought hard and have earned a victory. Each regiment calls for water and ammunition.  The only chore left is the ghastly duty of recovering the dead and the wounded from the field.

The combined engagements during the Battle of Williamsburg  result in a 2-1 victory in favor of the Confederates. Historically the battle resulted in an overall draw. The first two engagements that I fought, Hooker's Assault on Fort Magruder, and Longstreet's Afternoon Assault, both basically ended historically accurate. The final engagement, Hancock's Assault, strayed from the historical lines. I enjoyed the battle and hope to come back to it later on. I believe that some of engagements can be reworked a bit to give more leeway. Adding a few more turns in Longstreet's assault for instance could allow a player to bring Kearny's division onto the field.

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