Both sides spent a difficult night in St. Stephen. Under cover of a truce, parties moved through the streets assisting the wounded and clearing away the dead. One can only picture the horrors of chipped paint and broken muskets not to mention the possibilities of snapped ankles which they must have encountered. The game of war is not for the faint at heart.
By dawn, the armies faced each other across the narrow streets of St. Stephen. The Schoeffen-Buschhagen forces had been reduced to one amalgamated regiment split between the embattled cottage at the foot of the bridge and the far bank and a weak squadron of Hussars gathered from the remnants of the original 4 squadrons.
The Rosmark forces were deployed with the 2 companies of Queen's regiment in town supported by MacDuff's on their right and the King's Regiment in reserve. The cavalry and artillery were posted on the far right in anticipation of the arrival of the main Pragmatic force returning from their raid on St. Michel. They did not have long to wait.
Fitzjames' Horse spurred forward at the first sight of the enemy cavalry and a swirling melee soon filled the narrow gap between the Norwood and the fields surrounding the town. A force of pursuing cavalry from St. Michel was soon at hand and both sides fed squadron after squadron into the churning battle.
While the Pragmatic cavalry held the Northern Allied cavalry at bay, their infantry columns marched on heading for the bridge.
As the King's Regiment was forced to retreat, MacDuff's extended themselves in an attempt to cling to a foothold in town. It was to no avail, increasing Pragmatic pressure, including a fierce charge by the Grenadiers, drove MacDuff's back to the outskirts of town.
The retreat of MacDuff's left the Rosmark battery exposed. In a flash, a squadron of Wachovian Hussars charged only to be met by their old nemesis, the Yellow Hussars. Another prolonged melee saw the final destruction of the Wachovian Hussars but they had done their job. Under cover of the cavalry melee, the Wachovian infantry had deployed and advanced on the guns. As the victorious Yellow Hussars rallied back, the guns had to retreat with them to avoid being over run.
At last, there was a break in the main cavalry melee as the remnants of 2 Pragmatic regiments broke to the rear and the exhausted Rosmark troops rallied back. Both sides brought up fresh cavalry reserves but the bulk of the Pragmatic army had already passed by and their path over bridge was open. The Pragmatic Army's escape had been bought by the lives of their cavalry and the bravery of the veteran Schoeffen-Bushhagen infantry. The Northern Alliance warchest had been saved and the enemy chastised though not destroyed. Honour had been served and further blood shed would serve no further purpose. The Northern Alliance cavalry was called back to wathc as the weary Pragmatic Army marched over the bridge towards home. The Raid was over, further retribution could await another day.
EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)
"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."
-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013
Friday, March 26, 2010
CW2010: GAME 5 The Retreat From Rosmark
Born and raised in the suburbs of Montreal, 5 years in the Black Watch of Canada Cadets, 5 years at the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean followed by 4 in the navy. 25 years with CPC in IT simultaneous with 23 years running a boarding kennel. Inherited my love of toy soldiers from my mother's father. Married with a Whippet, 10 Italian Greyhounds, 4 cats and a bird. Prematurely retired and looking forward to leisure to game, garden and sculpt in our 150 yr old farmhouse.