Battle of Stones River 1862

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6.00am.

Well, here we are again........,looking at the extreme right of the Union Army. Johnson's 2nd Division is posted here, comprising Willich's 1st, Kirk's 2nd and Baldwin's 3rd brigades;a supporting brigade of dismounted cavalry under the command of Lewis Zahm is also nominally under Johnson's command for a total of 14 regiments of infantry and 3 of dismounted cavalry. The 1st and 2nd Brigades are nicely arrayed on the edge of the larger Gresham woods with a good open firing field before them ,and of course, a -40% defensive bonus in the tree-line cover. Each brigade has a complement of 6 guns attached,so there is enough firepower support.
I have opted to play Scenario no.17, which with hindsight, would be a better choice, than the actual historical one; as by playing it, you are more likely to get a historical result, at least by degree, on the Union right. After that, decisions you make will determine how things go. It will also be more difficult for the Union player as the Confederates gain the use of Stevenson's Division, quite early on, which gives the Rebel side a bit more option capability as to the deployment of extra strength. The judgement of how this division will be placed will be made by a trusty roll of a dice, ( Good enough for Menander, good enough for me ) with the percentage odds being in favour that they will stay in a reserve position near Murfreesboro , or if I throw a 6, then they can be used in any fashion. Rosecrans is expecting an early and easy start to sweep the rebel lines back and take the pro-confederate Murfreesboro, depriving Bragg of a useful supply base; Bragg has other plans............as the cold morning mist begins to dissipate......................

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6.20am.

Willich's 1st Brigade is first to draw blood. Seven rebs are cut down as they move into sight of Belding's 1st Ohio battery. A lively fire opens up between the tree-line and 3 visible confederate regiments within firing range..The lead rebel regiment has already suffered a 14 man loss due to opportunity fire, ( moving within range ), and also a defensive fire loss of 14 men due to the fact that they opened fire on the Union gun battery. The only units allowed to move at this stage are Col. Lewis Zahm's cavalry brigade. Since, I really do not like the one kilometre distance between Baldwin's and Willich's brigades; it is a foregone conclusion, that the Smith house with it's fields has to be occupied. The lower Gresham woods would work nicely too, but you give a defensive area to the enemy and being parallel to Willich can give him some flanking support. Apart from that, you really need to tie up the rebs somehow until all the brigades are released and the further forward you do that, the better.

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6.40am

Belding's 1st Ohio Battery has been swiftly meleed by a rebel regiment who lost about 34 men before the guns were silenced ( A ) . Willich's lead regiments are pouring fire into the rebs before them and are already becoming anxious over the sighted unlimbering of 2 confedearate batteries within medium distance. This is probably why the rebel regiments to the right of the small rise before Willich are holding back. Obviously, this rebel commander knows what he is doing, ( unlike the A.I. commander ). I would like to move Baldwin up, ,or at least his battery, but he is fixed, without any orders. Zahm's men are edging forward to the Smith house and will hopefully not run into any rebs with minimum visibility of 4 hexes still applicable.



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7.00am

Zahm's brigade have barely moved into position behind the fences of the Smith house fields , when rifle fire is erupting before and to the right of them from the direction of the Puckett house. Col Lewis Zahm on reachinng the 1st floor bedroom of the house, is horrified to see a swarm of rebel cavalry approaching the creek from the south-west. As a seasoned cavalry man, he estimates their numbers to be be not short of a 1000 sabres. He sends one rider to Col. Baldwin and one to General Johnson with this information. Baldwin can already hear the artillery fire to his left and paces up and down, waiting for orders or information. The rebel batteries near the Hickey house are firing shell rapidly and those that do not hit their intended target, crash through the branch canopy, making as much noise as when they were fired. One of Willich's regiments have fled while another is still fixed - hopefully, they will hold, ( Willich holding - and pigs and elephants can fly, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt ). Any support from Kirk's brigade cannot happen, as his regiments are also being assaulted. Johnson will only be fully aware of the scale of the rebel assault by the next turn.

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7.20am

Willich's brigade is suffering from the combined effects rebel shelling and close quarter rifle and musket fire, ( some of the rebel regiments have only the use of muskets with a 2 hex-200 metre firing range ). Kirk's brigade is holding well. Baldwin's brigade is still fixed apart from the 5th Kentucky regiment which is receiving fire from the rebel horse artillery, near Puckett's Creek. With only one regiment routing, things are steady for the moment



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7.40am
Johnson has at last given orders to Balwin to engage the enemy to his front. Zahm's dismounted cavalry are still holding the Smith house and fields with losses about equal. Willich has seen two regiments break but is still preventing the rebel line from moving forward.Edgarton's battery attached to Kirk's brigade is pounding the unfortunate rebels in the field before them, so it is likely that some sort of flanking move will be made by the enemy or a costly frontal assault to overrun this gun position.
 
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You also have to be a member and logged in to see stuff apparently - that's how exclusive my Aars are now.....:laugh:

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8.00am

Zahm's brigade at the Smith house are starting to take disproportionate loss to that which they are giving, the wounded are growing in numbers while the fence lines are looking bare of blue uniforms. It is unlikely that Col. Zahm will hold this position for long, being on the receipt of close battery fire , frontal fire and enemy support fire from along Puckett's Creek. It will probably be of little consequence now, as Willich has had to withdraw those regiments that have not fled, 300 metres to the rear. The posed threat of an enemy assault against Edgarton's battery by a large-ish rebel regiment has meant that they are withdrawing, just in case.



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8.20am

Zahm's dismounted cavalry brigade has abondoned the Smith House leaving the dead and seriously wounded behind. The sight of another mass of Rebel cavalry approaching Puckett's Creek and mounting loss made the defence untenable. Unfortunately, a union regiment which routed behind the rebel lines is running in the wrong direction, at least to cover. If Willich can hold his present line, then the situation for Johnson's division will be quite good. His orders from General Rosecrans are simply to hold and delay the rebels for as long as feasibly possible and to keep in close contact with Davis'1st Division.


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8.20am

General Davis' regiments have been standing to, for over 2 hours . His men listeningkeenly to the sounds of battle to his right. He rides up and down his linest twice to question his brigade commanders over the readiness of their men, but more to reassure those whose nerves are becoming tense in staring out into the trees watching for the slightest glimpse of unnatural movement ........at 10 minutes past the hour,
the enemy lines come forward in a mad rush and then stop,while crackling fire begins and the bodies begin to slowly drop......their turn has finally come.......


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8.20am

Maj Gen Crittenden's wing is starting to become engaged with rebel forces before them, althoiugh very lightly at the moment. A rebel battery on Wayne's hill has opened up on Wood's division but with minimum effect' probably because of bad shooting. General Van Cleve's 3rd Division has been ordered to cross the Stones River and engage any rebel forces they find; their primary target being Wayne's Hill, which will be a nuisance when Rosecrans orders a central assault later on. For the last 20 minutes, two regiments of Capt Morton's Pioneer Brigade have been firing at dismounted rebel cavalry attempting to cross Mcfadden's Ford. They have taken heavy loss from the guns of the Chicago Trading Board Artillery firing at minimum distance. Van Cleve has sent two support regiments of Woodruff's 3rd brigade to support. Since McFadden's ford is being contested , Van Cleve will cross the river further upstream at a ford unknown to the rebels. ( Scenario 17 seems to be more historical than scenario 15, as Rousseau's division is still fixed in position, so you are kind of naturally forced to use Van Cleve to cross the river, to get an early assault. )


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8.20am

General Stevenson's Confederate Division has arrived astride the Lebanon Turnpike , north of Murfreesboro. His division has 7714 effrectives and 16 artillery pieces arrayed within 4 brigades under the command of Barton ( 1st ), Tracy ( 2nd ), Taylor ( 3rd ) and Reynold's ( 4th ). This addition to Bragg's command means that the Union army now only has a 2300 man superiority, or roughly 3 hours worth of casualties differential, so now Rosecrans cannot afford to make any major mistakes, which would be lessened if he had his original 10,000 man majority. Bragg will not make a commitment of this division, ( i.e. dice roll ), until after noon by which time, the battle will be more fully developed and the percentage ratio of commitment will be more realistic than if Stevenson is given movement orders now. Apart from that, no commander worth his salt, would commit a reserve division so early in the battle. Hmmmm !


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8.40am

Johnson's 1st and 2nd brigades have all but fled, faster than you can spit in the eye of two chipmunks running in opposite directions. This is a quite a bad rout and no doubt will be exploited by the rebels and could possibly lead to Balwin being isolated. Johnson will have to rally his men quicly or face a tricky situation . Kirk's artillery were wise to move back and lucky that one regiment has remained in position to cover their retreat.....very lucky !.
 
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8.40am

Johnson's 1st and 2nd brigades have all but fled, faster than you can spit in the eye of two chipmunks running in opposite directions at the same time. This is quite a bad rout and no doubt will be exploited by the rebels and could possibly lead to Baldwin being isolated. Johnson will have to rally his men quickly or face a tricky situation . Kirk's artillery were wise to move back and lucky that one regiment has remained in position to cover their retreat.....very lucky !......This is what happened historically, so you cannot get more realism if you tried.


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8.40am

Davis' division is starting to unravel with a couple of regiments routing from Post's brigade, which is being pressured on it's right flank. The 2nd brigde is hoding it's line well..but Woodruff's 3rd has just lost the 4 guns of it's 8th Wisconsin battery ( A ). The rebels have every intention of putting firepower pressure on many points. This method of attack is much more cost effective as meleeing fresh Union infantry with a woods defensive bonus is very costly.....I can see some rebel players following the same pattern of bunching up regiments for melee assaults at specific points like the A.I. does, but this is short term effective and allows Union regiments to flank you and in one to two hex visibility, is a very dangerous practice against a sneaky Union player who shows a single regiment for melee assault and when you have done so, walking into the hex, you are then faced with a large regiment or two with a gun battery. A couple of Sheridan's regiments have begun to fire on the advancing rebels, but as yet , no attempt to move against the Union centre has been made...


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8.40am.

Two regiments of Price's 3rd brigade are moving down to McFadden's ford on the east side of Stones River and may catch the reb cavalry off guard, but it is more than likely that they have posted picquets and anyhow, the second rebel regiment has moved off somewhere, perhaps to block this flanking move.


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Loss Report 9.00am.........

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9.00am
Most of Willich's and Kirk's brigades have stopped running but are out of position and now unaware of where the rebels are in strength due to Fog- of -War visibility. ( People whinge about these games but you only have to remember cardboard counter battles, wherein even if you had a human opponent, you could still see his entire army and he yours - where is the skill and bluff in that ). Although Johnson would like to stay in position; orders from General McCook state that the line should withdraw to the larger Gresham wood, so that a firing line in open ground against the rebels can be utilised, at least on the right side. Two Union regiments , ( 49th Ohio and 29th Indiana), are still unaccounted for, having routed southwards.........

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9.00am
Post's brigade is starting to break-up. He has difficulty in keeping enough men together to forestall a complete rout. The 2nd brigade is holding firm, while the 3rd has lost it's support artillery. Sheridan on hearing of the wide assault on Davis has committed Sill's 1st brigade to make sure that Davis' left flank is not left hanging. The overall kill rates seem to be about the same, with the rebels making some foolish melees. ( This is always a problem in wooded terrain , as the defender always has the defensive bonus advantage, and a wise player should be sure of numbers and use melee very carefully and selectively, or the loss rate will creep up without you realising it ).






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9.00am
The Chicago Trading Board battery is still sighted on a rebel unit on the height beyond the McFadden Ford. Hopefully, this unit will be caught unawares by union regiments moving from northwest. Rousseau's 1st division is arriving along the Nashville Turnpike and will be immediately deployed on the front line to make a pre-emptive assault on the rebel entrenchments blocking the Turnpike.
 
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9.20am
Rebels are launching a large attack on Zahm's dismounted cavalry within the smaller Gresham wood. Baldwin's artillery are for the most part dissuading any frontal assault, but the rebs have gone to ground below a rise and are no doubt regrouping. behind the log cabin. Edgarton's gun battery has beeen captured by a surprise reb assault, leaving Johnson with only one third of his guns left.




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9.20am
Gen Davis' 1st Division is still heavily engaged with it's right collapsing into rout. A union battery on the far left , albeit with infantry support fire has felled 70 rebs in one turn, the highest loss I have seen so far....nasty.!



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9.20am
Van Cleve's infantry are now on the eastern side of the Stones river, the artillery just about to cross the upper ford. Price's lead regiments have scared away the reb cavalry before them, or maybe they have routed. Orders from General Crittenden are clear; that the rebel position on Wayne's Hill must be taken at the earliest opportunity. Van Cleve has decided to post Col. Samuel Beatty's 2nd brigade at the small creek about 1km southeast , along the track which ends at Murfreesboro itself. This force will protect against any attempt by the rebs to move to the fords and of course the flank-rear of the main assault. Wayne's hill will be attacked by Price's 3rd and Fyffe's 1st brigades. Rosecrans has allowed the deployment of Minty's cavalry brigade and Capt. Morton's Pioneer brigade to the assistance of Van Cleve's assault. It is hoped that the Wayne's Hill position will be taken before noon.
 
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9.40am
Baldwin's 3rd brigade is slowly pulling back to the greater Gresham wood.Willich and Kirk's brigades are trying to form a conjoined line. Due to a messenger being shot by enemy fire; Zahm's dismounted cavalry regiments are still trying to contest the smaller Gresham wood against ever increasing rebel numbers.



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9.40am
Davis' 2nd and 3rd brigades are still pinned into close quarter firing with the enemy. Carlin's 2nd about to be flanked by those rebs who have pushed back Post's men. Union losses are starting to get higher here.


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9.40am
Rousseau's 1st Division has been ordered to deploy immediately on Wood's right and advance to take the rebel position before them. Price's lead regiments have walked into a unit of rebs ,but they should disengage with the numbers that are approaching.



Cannot delete item below ???????????
 
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10.00am
Two of Zahm's cavalry regiments have had enough and taken to their horses are riding fast into the larger Gresham wood. Baldwin is waiting for his support artillery to unlimber and Zahm's last regiment to withdraw before his brigade will deploy along the tree-line. The smaller wood and ground is hiding the rebels for the moment, so no telling where the next assault will hit the hardest.



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10.00am
Sheridan's entire division is now engaged with the enemy; Sill being in the forefront, his brigade being overtaken on both flanks by rebel lines. Davis' 2nd brigade is stubbornly holding a defensive line but is being strongly pressed and without support, is more than likely to break. Half the 3rd brigade is routing, so the situation is becoming perilous.

10.00am


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10.00am
Minty's cavalry brigade has arrived at the round forest whereupon written orders to join Van Cleve on the eastern bank of the Stones river are given by a rider from Crittenden's command staff.
 
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10.20am

Johnson is trying to establish a new defensive line amid reports of Davis being pressed and buckling. Two of Zahms cavalry regiments are still routed, the third rejoining Baldwin's infantry. at the tree-line the rebs will take greater loss attacking Baldwin , even if they reach the fields with a -10% defensive bonus in their favour.

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10.20am
Joshua Sill still has 2 of his regiments and a gun battery in the Gresham wood but can obviously see rebel troops firing from the trees on both flanks, so will be obliged to fall back, although that said, they are holding steady. Sheridan's remaining brigades are presenting a relentless fire wall against the rebels who will think twicw about crossing the open ground before them. Davis' division is still unbalanced and cannot hold for long. Rosecrans will have to make an immediate diversionary attack on the center, simply to divert rebel attention and possibly gain a flank against Bragg's attempt to wheel back his right.


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10.20am

Van Cleve's brigades are marching towards their destinations as far a s movement points allow.
 
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10.40am

The rebels are launching two strong attacks ; one , in the fenced fields before Baldwin’s brigade and the other approaching the fields held by the tired and depleted regiments of Willich’s brigade. Rebel artillery is more plentiful now and at medium range, are felling many. Post’s brigade has just reformed but is well out of position to supportr Davis’ 2nd brigade and the rebs have the advantage of tree cover to hide their main movements forward, but there are a lot visible in the trees within 100 metres.

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10.40am

Davis' 2nd brigade has become isolated by the rebel advance and the panic of having rebs in their rear has spread fast, leading to a wholesale rout effect. Sill's men are still stubbornly holding onto their bit of wood, causing a welcome baulwark against the continuous success of the rebel advance. Three Union regiments have been meleed while in rout and have been overrun, captured - very nasty rule....with the 2 union regiments gone awol south of the lines, that means a whole brigade is out of action - routers were mostly from Carlin's force.

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10.40am

Minty's cavalry brigade has just crossed the upper ford on their way to join Van Cleve's 2nd brigade. ( These units move quite fast along tracks, definitely useful for wide flanking ) Price's 3rd Brigade has run into some rebel infantry, blocking their march southeast, no sign of horses , so it could be a infantry brigade strength. Mounted confederate cavalry have been sighted blocking the Sinking Creek track, which is not a good sign......

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11.00am

Confederate artilley shelling is telling; willich and Kirk have conjoined to hold the Gresham track. Two thirds of Zahm's cavalry are moving off to the north-west , just in case of a rebel wide flanking move.



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11.00am

Rousseau is deploying his lead brigades into attack position.

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11.00am

Minty's cavalry have arrived at the Sinking Creek and *it has been decided *with Col Beatty to move around the right flank of the rebel positions , having the rise and woods cover their movement' while Beatty pins them to his front..
 
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11.20am

All positions holding well enough. Gen. Johnson has been appraised of the arrival of Col. Stanley's cavalry, who can now join with Zahm's troopers at the cemetary to make a good baulwark against any rebel moves in the vicinity. Men from Kirk and Post,s brigades are starting to break and run.



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11.20am

Rousseau' s two lead brigades under Colonels J. Beatty and Shepherd are steadily advancing on the rebel positions before them, having the rise before them and trees as protection for the moment.

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11.20am

Van Cleve's 3rd brigade has walked into a firefight with rebel regiments in the woods to the right of wayne's Hill. Minty's cavalry under cover are riding to the north-east.
 
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11.40am

Baldwin's guns have limbered up for a swift withdrawal before reb units can melee them.


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11.40am

Rousseau's 2nd and 4th brigades have walked into a hailstorm of reb fire' ;bluejackets are dropping by the dozen. ( Just like to point out that the things that look like white rocks are not entrenchments, just white rocks - the rebels do have the advantage of height nevertheless )

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11.40am

Van Cleve's 3rd Brigade commanded by Col Price is arrraying itself against ever increasing rebel numbers. I t looks like his 1st Brigade will have to attack the Wayne's Hill position alone. Van Cleve has ordered the Pioneer Brigade forward to support.
 
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Noon.

Willich and Kirk's brigades have again broken. Baldwin 's 3rd Brigade, although holding well, will now have to withdraw. A new defensive line is being made aligned between the cemetary and the Asa Gresham house. General McCook is asking Rosecrans for support and it looks like General Negley's command will havr to move to support Johnson's Division.

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Noon.

Rousseau's division is taking appaling casualty rates due to superior rebel firepower. Wood's 1st Division is being prepared to try and break through the weakened rebel line before Rousseau. Rebel artillery fire is still hitting Wood's men from Wayne's Hill.

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Noon.

Fyffe's 1st Brigade is now engaged with rebel units. The news pouring into Rosecran's command post is quite bleak from all three wings............some sort of decisive manoeuvre has to be made.
Stevenson's Confederate division will now be deployed according to the will of fate; a dice roll. As his is a reserve division, on a roll of 1,2,3 and 4, he will protect Murfreesboro. On a roll of 5, he will join the confederate left ( a small chance as there are already a lot of rebel units deployed here). On a roll of 6,7 ,8 and 9, he will join the centre and on a roll of 10,11 and 12 , he will join the right. Joining the left will be almost game over for Rosecrans, the centre will make life difficult and joining the right will be nasty for Van Cleve, but the advantage will be lost with a defense by the Union army of the fords. Rosecrans cannot react to this rebel deployment until contact is made between any Union unit and Stevenson's division.
To be honest , the rebel player in this particular scenario does not need them, but again, the A.I. has bamboozled me into thinking that the confederates under Bragg are too weak.....you live, play and learn. :crosseye:
 
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12.20pm

Brig. Gen Willich has been captured during a melee skirmish and has been replaced by the next senior officer available, Col. William Wallace. A rider has been sent to Baldwin to urge his immediate withdrawal to the main line.

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12.20pm

Rousseau's division is fully engaged at the white rocks and is taking fearful loss from rebel firepower.

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12.20pm

Minty's cavalry brigade are halfway through the woods and have so far not been detected. Price's men are starting to break and it is evident now , that rebel strength here is of equal measure and they are not willing to give up the Wayne's Hill position without a protracted fight.
 
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continuation
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12.40pm

Baldwin's 3rd brigade is withdrawing slowly, his unit being the largest in Johnson's division, and still able to hold their own in firefights with rebel regiments.

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12.40pm

Only 3 regiments of Rousseau's division are left before the white rocks and will have to withdraw as their position is untenable.

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12.40pm

Routing in Price's 3rd brigade has left a big gap in Van Cleve's line.
 
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View attachment 37136

1.00pm

General McCook has set up a new defensive line and awaits rebel moves.

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1.00pm

Wood's 1st division is slowly moving across to the right to take up from where Rousseau left the attack on the white rocks. He is being constantly hit by rebel artillery fire from Wayne's Hill. Even 2, 3 or 4 hits begin to add up, especially if other sectors of the battlefield are not progressing. Wood's can see the carnage and littered field of dead and wounded from Rousseau's assault and so has to ride with Col Hascall's lead brigade to steady their morale.

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1.00pm

Two of Minty's cavalry regiments have cleared the woods and are in a position to attack the rebel line from behind, breaking them up a little bit.

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Not really surprised with Union loss, most of the damage taken by McCook's wing. With the ever present threat of Stevemson's division , yet to be deployed; the best that Rosecrans can hope for is a minor victory, albeit , if a strong change in attitude is displayed. Van Cleve is stymied, the right is on the defensive, so any breakthrough has to come through the centre. Willich has saved his reputation by being captured; at least he led from the front. Woodruff was captured at about 11.40 am by a rebel melee in the woods. With 22 Union guns captured, Bragg is at this point winning the battle and more importantly, deciding the flow of battle....................:(
 
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View attachment 37140

1.20pm

Rebel units are flooding out of the woods in large numners and the situation here is getting very dicey.

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1.20pm

Negley's division is moving across to the right of Sheridan's to support what is left of McCook's wing. Rosecrans has ordered a increased shelling of rebel positions in preparation of an extensive assault. Palmer's 2nd division is moving to the left of Sheridan's position to maybe force open a gap in the rebel lines.

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1.20pm

Price's 3rd Brigade has mostly routed and Fyffe is heavily engages.

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[video=youtube_share;Eklqp7HqIxc]http://youtu.be/Eklqp7HqIxc[/video]

Let's hear it for America..................:yummy: :whist::flag::banana:
 
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