Sunday, November 13, 2016

Battle of Hanover Courthouse May 27, 1862 Part 2

44th NY Infantry in action.

"At the double Quick, MARCH!"

BG Martindale Rushing up and down the line giving orders to his Regimental commanders.

Turn 4. Federal Initiative. The 44th NY fires into the advancing 7th NC. Their aim was a little high and the balls passed without effect. The 25th NY attempts to oblique left fire on the 18th NC in line of battle. They are out of range and have no effect. the 2nd ME opens fire on 33rd NC causing high casualties and they rout from the field Basically the whole Confederate Left flank falls apart. 
Turn 5. Confederate Initiative. The 7th NC opens fire on the 44th NY and rakes their line with devastating effect. The 44th routs and retreats.Latham's Battery finally lands some shots into the 25th NY causing them to rout as well. The First of the Federal reinforcements comes onto the field by way of the Courthouse road.

Latham's Battery fires on the 25th NY and hits the mark. The 7th NC goes into line of battle on the flank of the 44th NY.

The 9th Mass Infantry comes onto the table passing by the temporary headquarters.

The 7th NC Infantry lets loose with musketry.

Turn 6. Federal Initiative. The 9th Mass Infantry moves at the double quick into line. The 2nd ME Holds it's position as they resupply and straighten their lines. The North Carolina Brigades straightens their lines and begins their advance across the field. Latham's Battery adjusts their fire onto the 2nd ME Infantry with no effect. The 52nd Penn Inf arrives on the field as well.

"Forward, March!"

"Straighten up boys, here they come."

Turn 7. Federal Initiative. The 9th Mass Inf holds position. The 62nd Penn Inf, moves at the double quick. Latham's Battery fires on the 2nd ME and they rout. The North Carolina Brigade makes slow progress as they move through the field towards the Federal positions.

Turn 8. Federal Initiative. The Federal force continues to get into position and wait for the enemy to close the distance. Latham's Battery fires into the 9th Mass Inf and causes some casualties.  the 62nd Penn Inf moves into line on the right of the 9th Mass extending the line.  This places two relatively fresh regiments in a good defensive position waiting on the advancing North Carolina Brigade.

The Confederate force closes slowly with the enemy.

BG Martindale directs the Pennsylvania Regiment to form up on the right of the Massachusetts Regiment.

Ever closer to the enemy. The Confederate Colonel knows he has to get in close to make the most of his volley. The closer he is the more deadly his fire will be. The downside is it works the same way for the Federal Line. The next turn will be a toss up on who will be faster at bringing their guns to bear on the enemy.

".................Steady....... Steady....."

The Confederate Colonel Halts his men. he rushes up and down the line with his sword straightening the line. He yells at the top of his lung. "READY!"

Turn 9. Confederate Initiative.  Right before the storm.

"AIM!!  FIRE!!" The Confederate line opens up and the musketry is deadly. Casualties fall all along the Federal lines. The Massachusetts and Pennsylvania respond in kind with their own volley. 

The fire fight is hot all along the long.

Turn 10. Confederate Initiative. They continue to go back and forth with the musketry. Most of the men begin to fire at will. Finally, and inevitably, someone had to blink. The 7th NC takes heavy casualties and pays a heavy price for the advance they made. They fail their cohesion check and quit the field. The 18th NC Inf being the only regiment left now faces heavy odds.

Turn 11. Confederate Initiative. With the Confederate force in the wind. The order is given for the 18th NC Inf to withdrawal. They begin to fire and retreat by rank. Latham's Battery hitches up their artillery pieces and follow suit. This battle was hard fought and the carnage on the field shows the price paid by both armies.
~AFTER ACTION REPORT~ This battle was fought mostly the same way as it was on the table. McClellan's plan to secure the route for which his reinforcements where to arrive was shelved. He did however manage to claim Hanover Courthouse as a "Major Victory" over "Overwhelming Forces." Once again his inner demons allowed him to believe that he was facing a much larger force. MG Irwin McDowell's I Corps reinforcements from the direction of Fredericksburg never came.  Confederate MG Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson soundly whipped MG Nathaniel Banks force at First Battle of Winchester and threatened the approach to Washington D.C. Because of Jackson's action, 40,000 Federal troops remained in Northern Virginia away from McClellan and his Army outside of Richmond.

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