Sunday, November 25, 2018

Fierce Fighting across the Duck River

General Douglas Strikes !

Local Irregulars gather to oppose the Queen's men.

After the repulse of their latest probe, the Rebels had fallen back to the Duck River to regroup. There is only one bridge over the Duck and the marshy banks are not feasible for an attacking army. It appeared to be a strong position so a flank march was called for.

The Grey Zouaves  throw themselves onto the enemy but at heavy cost.
Hopes that the enemy might be caught napping proved false. As the flanking column emerged from the woods and began to form for the attack, they came under fire from local rebel Sharpshooters and columns of Rebel infantry could be seen pouring onto the battlefield.

The Rebels counterattack !

The Rebel forces quickly began a series of disjointed counter attacks and sent a company over the bridge to clear off the Glooscap Rifles.  The Fusiliers were nowhere in sight and so, under heavy pressure from enemy sharpshooters and artillery, Douglas was forced to pull back his left and start  sidling towards the bridge.

The Fusiliers have arrived!
At last the Fusiliers arrived and retook the bridge with their bayonets. Rebel reinforcements continued to arrive and General Lannigan sent them forward through the woods on his left to unleash a hot fire on our men. 
Fierce firefight on the banks of the Duck.
At last 'A' Battery was in position and their hot fire held back the enemy sharpshooters while the Fusiliers pushed over the bridge leaving the two companies of sharpshooters firing in support at any Rebel who showed himself in the woods.
"Forward men!" Reinforcement rush to join the fight.
As the line reformed along the river, a stream of Blue riders burst through the clouds of smoke and threw themselves onto the remains of 'A' Company of the Highlanders. These steady veterans of many a fight, with MacDuff and Cu Mor at their head, held firm and unleashed a deadly last minute fire which sent the Blue riders reeling.
The repulse of the Rebel cavalry. 

There is no doubting the courage of the Rebels though and the Horsemen rallied while the Grey Gunners redoubled their efforts and then, like an avalanche, they flung back the highlanders and were checked only by the arrival of the Governor General's own Horse Guards. As dusk closed in, the Rebels launch one last desperate charge up the road in an attempt to take back the bridge but the Fusiliers held firm.

The final Rebel assault.
Gradually the firing died away as the Rebels fell back on the town.  A truce was declared until morning while the wounded of both sides were collected for treatment and the dead laid to rest. The cries of the wounded were terrible. Ambulances and field hospitals are needed and if Her Majesty's government has no money then her subjects must raise the funds themselves. 

News of this great victory was swiftly sent back to the capital but it seems to me that we lost more heavily than the enemy and, despite our small bridgehead, we are in no shape to continue the advance until strong reinforcements are received. The enemy does not show any intention of retreating and if he entrenches or brings up reinforcements, well, it looks to this reporter like we might be better off back on the other side of the river behind our own entrenchments.


  1. 'Another victory such as this,' said Charles James Fox of the Battle of Guilford Court House, 'will see the ruin of our Army!' A stirring action, but though defeated, the rebels seem to have much to encourage them. As usual, your battlefields make it easy to imagine the type of country that forms the theatre of war.

    1. Indeed. According to the scenario victory conditions the game was a draw but it's better for a general's career if he can get away with claiming a victory in his reports!

  2. Hurrah for the gallant grey zouaves! I've always been a rebel at heart.

  3. Replies
    1. It's slowly starting to look more like the image in my head.

  4. Ross Mac,

    A classic battle report, which I read during a break in the last Napoleonic battle that will be featured in my PORTABLE NAPOLEONIC WARGANE book. Great reading ... and the stage is set for the next stage for the campaign.

    All the best,


  5. Thanks Bob, I'm looking forward to this winter's campaigning season.

  6. Huzzah for the Rebels! Huzzah I say! Once again my great, great grandfather General Lanniogan strikes a blow for liberty and the right of all men to wear silly clothes.

  7. As always, your games are inspiring!

  8. Outstanding, as always! Nice to see General Lannigan on the field of battle. I have his distant ancestor, Father Lannigan stirring up mischief amongst the United Irishmen in Ballykillbilly for the '98.