Turn 20 was a night turn - we have some rules for re-deploying at night but unless there is a hotly contested area we don't often need to employ them, preferring to negotiate and horse trade to get what we want - and of course attempting to behave realistically ! All morale and ammunition levels were fully restored, a few new orders were allowed to reach their destinations, but no strength point recovery was permitted.
Cleburne's division, roughly handled by McCook's Corps at Mount Zion Church, was able to retreat across the slopes of Black Elk Mountain and go into reserve near Franklin. McCook himself drew up a new line menacing the Reb's left flank, to which Bragg responded by extending his entrenchments westwards on the Mountain and transferring Wheeler's combat-weary troopers to the extreme left.
|Midnight behind Confederate lines - looking NE from Bragg's HQ at Franklin|
towards the Union lines at Mt. Zion Church.
|The Rebs catch some uneasy sleep in the fortifications at Rane's Farm.|
|Wheeler's threadbare cavalry division watches Leggett's Mill for any |
sign of an enemy flanking manoeuvre.
|McCook's corps spends the night west of the Church, looking like they|
mean business for the morning.
As the early morning mist began to clear on November the 11th, Ian started to put the new Union battle plan into motion. To my surprise McCook stayed put, and it was Crittenden (augmented with one of Thomas' Divisions) whose corps launched a heavy attack on the extreme Confederate right. To much Southern amusement it was Palmer's 'green' troops who were first to come up against our entrenchments. No need for embarrassing detail - let's just say those Ohio farm boys really know how to run . . . .
|Crittenden's corps forms up to attack south of the Conrad House .....|
|..... and benefits from a timely tactical card.|
|Battle is joined - a Federal corps level attack in echelon. Palmer in the |
foreground, Van Cleve just beyond.
|Green troops against entrenchments ? It's not going well .....|
|Wood's division is the last to strike the Rebel line.|
A bloody close-range firefight ensued with both sides having plenty of artillery in position to add to the carnage with cannister. As you would expect, our rules make it slightly harder to hit men in entrenchments, and there is a bonus to their morale die rolls. This is not an insurmountable advantage if you have large numbers of troops to throw against them - which Ian certainly had - but he just didn't have luck on his side and the attack faltered quickly. Union brigades with 'assault' orders could not maintain good enough morale in the hail of fire to press home with the bayonet.
On the opposite flank the bulk of Thomas' Corps is moving to support McCook and it seems likely that Rosecrans plans to attack there next if Crittenden fails.
|General Thomas (centre) pushes the divisions of Fry and Negley westwards. |
None of these brigades have been engaged yet.
|- Click to enlarge -|
Situation : Turn 27 : 11:00 am : Day Two
(Union reserve artillery batteries now distributed among corps)