Sunday, October 9, 2016

Battle of First Winchester May 25, 1862: Ewell's Attack Part 2.

When we last left off, The Confederate forces Under MG Richard Ewell were advancing towards the Federals outside of Winchester, Virginia.

The Confederate left flank advancing

Colonel Dudley Donnely gives the signal for the artillery to open fire.

Turn 4. Confederate Initiative. The Confederates know that their enemy is deployed in a good defensive position with two regiments behind stone fences. The only chance the advancing Confederates have is to close the distance with the enemy and increase their chances to hit their enemy. With this, they continue to close to the enemy. During the Federal  turn The Pennsylvania Artillery open fire on the 15th Alabama Regiment with cannister. severe casualties are taken but the unit rallies and continues forward. on the Federal Left, The 5th Connecticut Infantry open fire on the 15th Alabama as well. This causes even more casualties. In the carnage of battle, BG Isaac Trimble is killed. Shot in the chest, he is slowly lowered to the ground by his men and shortly dies thereafter. The moral of the brigade drops as word spreads of their beloved General being killed.

Colonel Donnelly calls the 28th NY Infantry up to extend the Federal left flank and deny the flank

The 16th Mississippi on the opposite side of Town creek attempts to bring their muskets to bare.

The Murderous Fire from the Pennsylvania Light Artillery.

46th Pennsylvania waits for the advancing Host

In the excitement of the events of the battle I forgot to get a picture of the field for the 5th Turn. It started out with the Confederates having the initiative. Despite General Trimble being killed, both the 15th Alabama and the 16 Mississippi surge forward towards the enemy. General Ewell's flank also moves forward. Both of the Cavalry regiments also advance. More shooting is done by the artillery and the Connecticut Infantry.

"Forward Men!! yells General Ewell.

Turn 6. Federal Initiative. F Battery Pennsylvania Artillery adjusts fire onto the advancing 21st North Carolina Infantry. The casualties are high and the regiments moral is shaken. The 46th Pennsylvania opens fire on the 21st Georgia and also causes high casualties. All along the line the Federals open with musketry. The 5th Connecticut pours such a volley into the 15th Alabama, they break and rout from the field leaving a hole in the line. The 16th Mississippi catches Hell from the 28th New York. In return, the 16th Mississippi opens up with their first volley. The 28th New York on the receiving end takes heavy casualties and routs The 6th Cavalry on the Confederate left flank attempts to flank the Federal Line. by traveling in the woods. This is slow going through the rough terrain.

16th Mississippi Infantry brushes the 28th New York from its front.

21st Georgia and 21st North Carolina lets out a Rebel Yell as they close to the enemy positions. 

1st Maryland (CSA) regiment advances with the 6th Virginia Cavalry attempting to flank the Federal line.

46th Pennsylvania firing.

Turn 7. Federal Initiative. The Pennsylvania Artillery continue to fire with cannister shot at the North Carolina Regiment in their front. The Tar Heels take heavy casualties and barely pass their cohesion test to "stick in the fight" The 46th Pennsylvania Infantry fire into the advancing Georgians. They barely pass their cohesion as well but come out shaken.  On the Federal Left, The 5th Connecticut Regiment reverse wheels in order to bring their facing towards the Mississippi regiment on the flank. General Ewell couldn't get the line to advance any further. The 1st Maryland (CSA) moves up into line with the Georgia Regiment. The Cavalry continues in column to get through the woods.

Turn 8. Confederate Initiative. General Ewell orders the line to pen fire on the Pennsylvania Infantry behind the stone wall. The 1st Maryland (CSA) opens fire with a devastating volley on the 46th Pennsylvania. The 21st Georgia and 21st North Carolina Do the same. The Pennsylvania Regiment takes casualties but maintains their cohesion and hold the wall. The 16th Mississippi Infantry open fire on the 5th Connecticut Infantry and cause serious casualties. During the Federal Phase of the turn. The Pennsylvania Artillery and Infantry's combined fire manage to break and rout the 21st North Carolina and 21st Georgia. This leaves the Maryland Regiment on the line by itself. The 5th Connecticut responds to The Mississippians early volley.

The Confederate left flank before it crumbles.

Turn 9. Federal Initiative. Minor fighting continues as  General Ewell realizes that the assault is now hopeless. Three of his attacking Infantry regiments have been routed and left the field. The Federals only had one regiment to rout. In the end, The Federals managed to hold the line just barely.  

~AFTER ACTION~      The Federal Force managed to squeeze a victory of the numerically superior Force under General Ewell. The loss of General Trimble played a part in the Confederate brigades moral and cohesion. In hindsight, The Confederate force should have deployed and concentrated to either the left or the right Federal flank in the hope of overwhelming the defenders with massed numbers. This will be a possible scenario in the future
The Federal Deployment behind the stone fences played a major part in this engagement.  The rule set gives "stone fences" the highest defensive value of any obstacle on the field. The only way to attempt to defeat the defensive value of a stone fence is to close the distance and hope the modifiers help with firing at close range, or attempt to go around the obstacle.
Historically, General Ewell was able to drive Colonel Donnelly from this area while General Jackson's larger force engaged the main Federal force to the left of this engagement.

NEXT TIME: We will see how General "Stonewall" Jackson's Attack is progressing on the outskirts of Winchester.

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