Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Battle of Godly Wood

I was able to get together with Vidal last night and play some more War of 1812 with my 28mm collection. I chose to use the Godly Wood scenario about which I had written an article a few years ago. Oddly, I had never actually played the scenario. For more detailed info about it, look here. In short, after the British victory at Bladensburg in the summer of 1814, Major-General Ross chose to try his luck with Baltimore. In September, his army was disembarked on the peninsula astride Baltimore (North Point) and began the march to the city. On the way, Ross was felled by a militiaman's musket ball and subsequently died. The British army continued its advance under Colonel Brooke and ran into an American delaying force under Brigadier Stricker at Godly Wood (the battle is also known as the Battle of North Point). The 3rd Maryland Brigade sat astride the only road to Baltimore. The British had little room for maneuver or flanking movements since the peninsula had seriously narrowed at this point. As Colonel Brooke's regiments debouched from the heavy woods of the lower peninsula into the open area chosen by Stricker, American guns began to play amongst the redcoats. Vidal chose to play the Americans and yours truly worked with the Brits. The Americans in Field of Battle are all raw class with the exception of the artillery and the 1st Maryland Rifle battalion, (regular) deployed as skirmishers on the American right flank. The British are all regular class except for the Light Brigade, both regiments of which are crack.

Order of Battle American Army – Major-General Samuel Smith

3rd Maryland (City of Baltimore) Brigade – Brigadier-General John Stricker
5th Maryland
6th Maryland
27th Maryland
39th Maryland
51st Maryland
1st Maryland Rifle Battalion
5th Regiment Maryland Cavalry
Baltimore Union Artillery ( 6 x 4 lb guns)

2nd Maryland Brigade
4 x regular & militia regiments
1 x artillery (6 x 6lb guns)

British Army – Major-General Robert Ross; Lt. Colonel Francis Brooke

1st (Light) Brigade – Major Timothy Jones
85th Foot (light infantry)
Converged elite companies (4th, 21st, & 44th Foot)

2nd Brigade – Lt. Colonel Thomas Mullins
44th Foot
4th Foot
Provisional Battalion, shipboard Marines
Naval Landing Party

3rd Brigade – Lt. Colonel William Patterson
21st Foot
2nd Battalion, Royal Marines

Rocket Section, Royal Marine Artillery
Royal Artillery Company (4 x 6lb guns)

For this game, I added to the American Order of Battle the 2nd Maryland Brigade. These troops represent the substantial reinforcements available a few miles away in the Baltimore defenses. They didn't actually take part in the battle but were an asset for the American commander. Stricker's intention (and that of his superior, Major-General Smith) was not to fight the British toe-to-toe. Rather, he wanted to merely delay and test the invaders. In game terms, the Americans could not begin to withdraw from the battle until the beginning of the third turn. The game proceeded fairly closely to the historical battle. The British advanced on the fence-line and pushed the 3rd Maryland Brigade back but were unable to quickly take advantage of the situation. The Americans ultimately failed their Army Morale Check and withdrew, which in a way was a sort of victory for them since they hadn't intended to remain anyway.

Initial Deployments! The limitations of the mapping program deny me certain images. The purple trees indicate impassable water courses (in fact, arms of the surrounding Chesapeake). The American line was also sheltering behind wooden fences.

The initial American deployment along the fence-line.

The British 1st Light Brigade begins to advance and the 2nd Brigade debouched from the woods and starts to deploy. American cavalry moves forward to threaten the British skirmishers.

2nd Brigade moves forward to the American line and looses a volley.

2nd Brigade begins to push the American militia back from the fence-line. The American reserve arrives on-table. The Light Division continues to occupy the American right wing.

Light Brigade battling for the fence-line.

The Americans had just established a second defensive line with the reserve brigade when they failed their Army Morale Check because of excessive casualties.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice. I really hope you smashed the American terrorists, whoops, I mean rebels, into the dirt!

    Vive le roi!