OBERHILSE REOPENS HOSTILITIES
Brooklyn, 9 Sep 1867. On Friday, the 8th, I learned that General Milne was hastening to Whitebridge to oversee the recall of a substantial portion of Colonel Otter's Column from their posts along the Little Blue River and decided to accompany him to the front. There appeared to be little indication of Blue activity in the North East. The main army, including troops from both Oberhilse and her nominally independent ally Hougal, was reported to be gathering in the centre.
The garrison in Whitebridge consisted of five companies of infantry drawn from the Belmont Rifles, Victoria Rifles and the York Volunteers, supported by one squadron of the Queen's Lancers and one from the Kapelle Mounted Rifles who had been sent back from the Oerberg Frontier as the threat of renewed war with Oberhilse grew. A train which was on its way to collect the infantry was rumoured to be carrying a Naval Landing party with one of the new Gatling Guns to reinforce the defences.
|The troops scheduled to rejoin the main army were already fallen in by the Station when the Blue guns suddenly galloped into sight, deployed, and opened fire.|
A courier soon arrived with an order for the Belmont's to commence boarding and depart as soon as possible. This order was greeted with a murmur of dismay but it was obeyed even though a second column of Blue troops had now appeared some distance south of the town.
|The Belmont Rifles depart to re-enforce the main army.|
At last the Guard Lancers, resplendent in their gold laced, blue hussar tunics and fur caps, emerged from the woods and trotted forward. Lowering their lances, they charged forward, routing the Queen's Lancers and then driving back the Mounted Rifles. It was a magnificent spectacle despite the unfortunate defeat of our brave men.
General Milne himself was forced to rally our horsemen in person while ordering the Gatling to deploy and cover the gap.
|Modern warfare, the Gatling routs a company of the Blue Guards.|
|Stubborn fighting as Blue regroups and attacks again.|
As Blue's infantry was forced back all along the line, Blue's gunners took up the duel, forcing the Gatling to retire with heavy losses.
Blue's General took advantage of this to finally launch his infantry over the bridge. If only the Gatling had been entrenched at the head of the bridge, how could any troops force the bridge against such firepower?
Recognizing the value of the Gatling, and never forgetting the need for reinforcements for the main army, General Milne ordered the Gatling to fallback, escorted by the Mounted Rifles, and march to the main army.
|As the sun sinks, the fighting in the town rages.|
Gathering the tired survivors, General Milne put himself at their head and led them forward with the bayonet in a desperate counter charge. Alas, a bullet found the brave General and those young Riflemen lifted him back onto his horse and retreated.
|'B' company of the Victoria Rifles escorts the wounded General Milne to safety.|
Behind them the bloodied Blue soldiers regrouped and began to dig in. Was this attack a distraction or is this where the main thrust of a new offensive.