Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Battle of Lookout Ridge

The following is an excerpt from an anonymous journal thought to have been penned by an officer in the Hochelaga Fusiliers who participated in the little known Cyprus Hills Expedition.
The first shots are fired as the Canadians advance into range. we approached the ridge the order came to deploy into a single line with no reserves. "A" battery formed on the left of the infantry, the lancers of the NorthWest Constabulary formed on the far right. When all was in order the bugles rang out and we started forward.

Every once in a while we caught a brief glimpse of a rapidly moving figure on the crest but it was hard to tell how many were there and what there intentions were. As we neared the foot of the hill though the skyline erupted in smoke and a positive hail of bullets rained down on us.  Quickly the gunners opened up driving back a taggle of ragamuffins from their right flank. All along the line the boys advanced, fired a volley then fixed bayonets and drove the enemy off the crest with a cheer. The sight from the top soon sobered us up though.
The Canadians seize the ridge as American reinforcements appear.
From the top of the ridge we could see the enemy we had driven back but also a force twice their numbers rapidly marching towards us, complete with artillery. We lay down on the crest and opened up on the enemy before us while behind us the guns limbered up and rushed to the right passing the Lancers who were galloping towards our open left.
The American force is stubborn under fire and deadly accurate but their General is having trouble coordinating an attack on the ridge. 
The American fire was deadly. Our Colonel went down as we hit the crest and many other good men were helped back down the slope to be bandaged but we held firm and they seemed unwilling to get too close. Seeing their flank open the Lancers rode forward and launched a rash attack. The Americans quickly turned and shot down the half of them. Recoiling they tried again and again, until none were left in the saddle. Perhaps mounted Riflemen would have been more useful in modern war.
The American counter attack has stalled under heavy fire and the need to deal with the flanking cavalry.
At last after two gruelling hours of intense fire, the Americans seemed on the point of launching an assault.  As we braced ourselves, Colonel Marten himself rode up and called out " Fusiliers! Lets see these buggers off. Fix bayonets and follow me!" He spurred down the hill and rising up, we followed cheering. It was too much for the Fenian rabble in front of us and they turned tail and ran.

With their flank wide open and half their companies scattered to the winds or limping to the rear, the Yankee regulars had little choice but to fall back as well. It was over.
The end.
Note: these pictures are of a recreation of this engagement fought out with 54mm figures and the Square Brigadier Rules. The Blue and Red dots indicate where stands or Officers were removed. More discussion of the tabletop battle to follow.


  1. Great looking table as always. I enjoyed your narrative write up

    1. Thanks Jeff. Hopefully things will line up for me to make it down the valley to a game sometime in April.

  2. A great action and narrative - makes me proud to be British!