Sunday, September 11, 2016

Battle of Front Royal May 20, 1862 Part 1

~Orders of Battle~
Union Forces                            

Col. John Reese Kenly's Brigade          
 approx 1,200 men

1st MD Inf (US)                       5 stands
29th PA Inf                               5 stands
E Battery Penn Lt Arty             2 stands  (12lb Nap)

Confederate Forces                          

MG Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson
 approx 3,700 men

BG Richard Taylor's Brigade

6th LA Inf                                5 stands
7th LA Inf                                4 stands
8th LA Inf                                5 stands
9th LA Inf                                4 stands
1st LA Bn (Wheats's Tigers)    2stands

BG Isaac Trimble's Brigade

15th AL Inf                    6 stands
16th MS Inf                    6 stands

Independant Command

1st MD Inf (CS)             3 stands
6th VA Cav                     4 stands

On May 21, 1862, The Union Army under Maj General Nathaniel Banks was deployed at Strasburg, Virginia.Approximately 12 miles away a small force of 1,063 men under Colonel John Kenly were deployed at Front Royal. "Stonewall" Jackson Sent Col. Turner Ashby to the area of Strausburg and cut telegraph lines. he then returned to the main army by way of crossing the Massanutten Mountain at New Market Gap. On May 22, Jackson's Army of the Valley with 16,500 men reached just outside of Front Royal. Jackson Sent his other Cavalry Commander, Col Thomas T. Munford and his regiment east to close off the Manassas Gap and Cut telegraph lines between Front Royal and Washington D.C. With the lines of communication cut, the smal isolated brigade will either fight of run. If they run, Jackson will cross the South Bank of the Shenandoah River and be able to move at will towards any target he chooses. MG Nathaniel Banks cannot afford to have Jackson get behind him and his supply line.

Turn 1. Federal Initiative. Battery E opens fire on the advancing Confederates at long distance. the 6th LA infantry suffers casualties but holds. Jackson orders both brigades forward. In order to keep the brigades in formation you are only as fast as your slowest unit. Some Regiments are in plowed fields which is rated as rough terrain. The 6th Va Cav speeds up the Old Richmond Rd to the bend and leaves the road for the field. The South Bank of the Shenandoah River can be seen at the top of the table. the smal town of Front Royal is at the center.

MG Jackson with his brigades moving towards the town.

The 1st MD Inf (US) deployed at the southern end of the town.

The 29th PA Infantry deployed midway through the town

Two companies of the 5th NY Cav on the road north of town. the rail road line can be seen in the background.

Col. Kenly with the 1st MD Inf (US) in town.
The 6th Va Cav attempting to flank the defenders by going off the road and around the town.

BG Isaac Trimble and his brigade advancing.

"Load and come to the ready!"

1st Special Battalion Louisiana Infantry. Also known as "Wheat's Tigers."

Named for their bold commander, Major Chatham Roberdeau Wheat. The 6ft 4 inch Major was a giant amog men. Aveteran who loved to fight. He fought in the Mexican American War in 1848. Later becoming a Mercenary and fighing in Cuba and then again in Mexico against Santa Anna. He was fighting in Italy under Garibaldi but left when his state left the union. Only Company B wore the distinctive Zouave uniform.

Battery E Pennsylvania Light Artillery firing at the 6th Louisiana Infantry.

Louisianaians advancing across the field.

Turn 2. Confederate Initiative. The Confederate forces continue the advance towards the town. the regiments of BG Taylor make a slow go of it in the freshly plowed fields. BG Trimble has the same issue on his side. The closer they can get to the enemy before they let loose with their first volley the better chances they will have to do some real damage. The Federal Commander on the other hand has no intention of letting this happen and orders his men to open fire as soon as their targets are in range. E btty continues to fire on the advancing 6th LA infantry. the 29th PA fires on the 7th LA infantry and inflicts casualties. The US 1st MD Infantry opens fire on the advancing 16th MS causing light casualties. al units on the recieving end manage to pass cohesion and press on. The 6th Va Cav on the far right has advanced as far as the rail road line.

US 1st Maryland Infantry.

The 6th Va Cav on a flanking mission.

The situation is beginning to heat up. The opening shots have been fired. The situation is still managable for the Federal defenders. The Cavalry Regiment on the Federal Left Flank is a cause for concern.

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