Saturday, 8 October 2011

Regimental Fire and Fury ACW (6): Gettysburg - The Rebels Second Surge

With both sides drawing breath at Little Round Top the focus of attention shifted to the opposite end of the battlefield where the Rebels were assaulting the reformed (but "worn") Union line. Denied favourable terrain "the fence line" (hiss, boo to the Umpire) as more troops were fighting outside of the feature ("fair cop" in retrospect, see below) the combat was one the Union desperately needed to win. The Union defensive fire was poor and the Rebels got in with just a bit of disorder:       

The results of the combats was very telling (see below):

For a second time the Union line had been smashed, only one "worn" Union regiment was left on the opposite bank of the stream, or rather after second thoughts "in it" (see above). The flank of the Union position on Little Rond Top itself was now exposed. To make matters even worse two Union regiments failed to rally and actually routed another move away from the Rebels. The broken Union troops can be seen (bottom left, above) in a very sad state of affairs. Union troops were looking very thin on the ground.

Meanwhile blissfully oblivious to the "adverse roll of luck" to their comrades the 20th Maine trade insults and desultory musket fire with their southern cousins.

Prudence being the better part of valour the 20th Maine retire to their defensive works. This was a debatable move (in hindsight), as rather than press on with at best a 50:50 attack on the Confederate regiment Chamberlain (or rather me) sought to seek "safety" in preparing for a better odds combat later(?),  this however passed the initiative to Johnny Reb.

The Confederate commander decided that Chamberlain's men were just too tough a nut to crack frontally and he formed his remaining fresh regiment up out of sight of the Union troops (visibility in woods is only six inches) and then skirted round the Union flank. A very astute move the Union player had to admit, as now the Rebels knew where the end of the Union line lay they could easily turn it through manoeuvre.  Their only drawback being effectively "of of command", however this was offset by their freshness and being in column. One good command and control roll should do it!

It is certainly not nice to have a hanging flank!


Paul said...

Go the South!

Rodger said...

Great photos and report.

Bard said...

Exciting stuff. Sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see if the troops on Little Round Top hold.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Glad you are liking it

Does the Union commander seems to detect a alight pro-confederate bias?

Bard said...

Heck no, not from me. My sympathy always lies with the valiant band of men about to be overwhelmed as they desperately try to hold a vital piece of ground (whichever side they're on).