FULL PHOTO ALBUM OF MATCH: (Photos by Steve Raynor)
David Bonk’s AAR:
Let me provide a quick game summary to go along with Steve’s very nice photo’s. The premise of the scenario was that in September, 1781 British General Cornwallis decided to attempt to break out from his Yorktown encampment. The British pushed west towards Williamsburg where Lafayette waited with a 3 brigade division of VA militia, Wayne’s PA brigade, Lafayette’s light infantry brigade and a brigade of French made up of converged grenadiers and chasseurs, along with two battalions of fusiliers. Seven brigades of British, led by a brigade of light infantry, and including Tarleton who left his position at Gloucester Point, advanced against Williamsburg.
The British light infantry and a brigade of Hessians entered the field on turn 1 and advanced against the VA militia deployed behind a line of farm fence and hasty works, while Lafayette and his light infantry entered on the American turn. For the next several turns the VA militia delayed the British lights and brought the Hessian advance to a standstill. The Carnage and Glory rules system reported the battle was too close to call for the first hour (4 turns). A second Hessian brigade entered the field along with another British brigade of regulars while Wayne’s PA brigade arrived to reinforce the American line. The newly arrived British brigade advanced boldly towards Wayne’s waiting men and several regiments were roughly handled, forcing them to recoil. At the same time McPherson’s Legion cavalry and Armand’s Legion cavalry worked their way around the British left flank into the British rear hoping to force Cornwallis suspend his advance. As they moved into contact they found two British regiments halted in confusion in their path and the American cavalry charged into their rear, forcing one to scatter into nearby woods and another to retreat.
Tarleton, with the British Legion and Queens Ranger cavalry arrived on the field the next turn, too late to counter the American cavalry, but they slowly worked their way around the American left flank, in coordination with the advance of a second Hessian brigade that forced the VA militia to abandon a farmstead strongpoint, shifting the initiative back to the British despite their continuing troubles in the center. Army morale for both sides slid down towards the 75% mark, within 3 points of one another throughout the game, until after nearly 3 hours of fighting American army morale collapsed. Even the arrival of the French regulars could not stem the cascading morale loss causing the remaining American militia, along with the cavalry that had broken the British center to abandon the field. Lafayette had no choice but to order a fighting withdrawal.
The British were assessed a minor victory, having suffered 800 dead, wounded and captured compared to only 600 for the Americans. Although Cornwallis had a fresh brigade to send into the battle several other British brigades were in disarray and they had only captured one of the two road exits that were their objectives. While Cornwallis may have been able to push through Williamsburg and escape the British was in no condition to turn north to confront Washington and Rochambeau and would have been forced to limp south into North Carolina.
That was my recollection but I invite all those who played to weigh in with their assessments.
Bob McCaskill’s AAR:
From: BG Weedon
My brigade was assigned to defend the Johnson Plantation and the Richmond-Williamsburg road. We were able to prepare hasty works on the road and occupy the Johnson farmstead. Colonel Williams Fredericksburg Rifles occupied a stone wall on the edge of the plantation. Colonel Hayes placed his Culpeper militia in the Johnson house and prepared it to be a strong point. Colonel Halimon with the Lancaster Militia formed behind the works with Captains Bolton’s Dinwiddie battery of 3 pounders to their side. Colonel Shelby with the King Williams militia deployed ins support in the Johnson farm and Colonel Gaston with the Hanover militia deployed in support behind the Colonel Hamilton on a wooded noel astride the Raleigh road.
Shortly after sunrise we observed the enemy advancing to our front. With the morning mist, it was difficult to determine their route of advance. As the mist lifted we were able to see that they were Hessians. They green coated jaegers lead their advance followed by their slow moving but steady musketeers. They inclined to our right. BG Muhlenberg was able to fill in the gap between us and BG Stevens brigade. Between his light infantry support and Captains Bolton’s fire, we were able to stop the enemy’s advance. As a second mist lifted we saw both of the Hessian musketeer regiments halted or retreating leaving their artillery and jaegers to provide covering fire.
Our boys barely had time to re-arm, get a swig of water and remove our wounded to rear before a 2nd Hessian brigade appeared to our front. They advanced slowly directly to our front. Captain Bolton was able to get a fire that halted one regiment. But our rifle and musket fire proved ineffective. Through the smoke we saw one regiment charging forward with the bayonet. Colonel’s William’s rifles were able to get off a feeble fire and relocated to the rear of the Johnson farm. The enemy continued their charge into the Johnson home. Colonel Hayes order to fire was somehow not passed on to his men. In the insuring combat his men fought bravely but only having knives and no bayonets too left the farm to fall back on the Richmond road.
The enemy next brought u their artillery and fired on Lancaster militia. They next charged with their second regiment. The Lancaster militia gave a ragged volley and too fell back. Captain Bolton was also able to get in a defensive fire but was soon overwhelmed by the enemy. With the help of honorable General Lafayette we were able to rally our force and attempt to make another stand on the Richmond road. Off to our left we could see the enemy’s cavalry advancing on our flank. They were led by that despicable Bloody Ben in the ‘Green Coats’. Our filament fire must have hit some of their junior officers as more than one squadron stopped or moved to the rear. To my amazement, Colonel Williams was able to form to meet cavalry. Their rifle fire continue to disrupt the British Legion and Queen Ranger’s squadrons. But after fighting for more than 2 hours and their ammunition running low, they too prepared to leave the field. While we were able to reform on the Richmond road the Hessian’s continued their charge. Though supported by the King William County militia, the Hanover militia was no match for these bayonet armed Germans.