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The Beast at the Gates: Drewry's Bluff 1864» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Bloodbath at Drewry's Bluff rss

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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
Ransom’s division crashes into the Union right flank. Cole’s cavalry is scattered. Heckman backs off but shatters Gracie. Wead’s brigade though is thrown back in a fierce battle. Weitzel counterattacks; Wead’s brigade is out of commission and Wistar is depleted, but the Confederates suffer greatly. Ransom’s attack has stalled but Colquitt’s division is ready.

There is a lull in the battle as Colquitt comes forward. Drake’s brigade moves to support Heckman on the Union right. In the fog Lewis’ brigade withdraws back towards Drewry’s Bluff, preventing Ransom from attacking.

Devens takes over Weitzel’s division.

Fog clears and Ransom has reformed. Whiting arrives after making a hard march from Petersburg. The Army of the James is in danger of destruction.

Artillery duels erupted along the battle line. Results are mostly even, with neither side gaining an advantage despite some accurate Rebel shooting. Ransom though, when he attacks, is unable to get his division on line, and only Fry’s brigade attacks on time. Yet, they are aided by Colquitt and from the south, Wise’s brigade from Whiting’s division. Fry’s brigade is shredded by a volley, but Wise forces Heckman back, capturing a few artillery guns.

Colquitt’s attack is beaten back. The Confederate assault has failed. Butler though is nearly captured by Dearing’s cavalry. For now the Rebels hold a positional advantage.

Martin secures Half-Way House with Whiting’s artillery, while Wise and the rest of Ransom’s division try to crumple the Union flank. Devens’ division falls to pieces in the round of brutal attacks. The fighting around Gregory House has been some of the most savage of the war. Turner’s division is sent to bolster the right, leaving Terry, with Sanders’ brigade, to hold off an expected attack by Hoke.

Confederate attacks continue. Ransom and Wise fail to press further, but Union losses are high. Hoke strikes, his brigades getting the best of the battle, and ripping apart Terry’s thin lines. Johnson’s brigade wins the greatest laurels, bagging several batteries of artillery.

Drake’s battered brigade, directed by Devens, holds back the Confederate attacks on the right flank.

The battle between Hoke and Terry devolves into a shoving match, with Terry’s division breaking but after inflicting heavy losses on Hoke. In the fighting Terry is captured and Hoke is severely wounded.

The Union army’s direct retreat lanes have been cut off. Butler decides to concede the field, his army withdrawing to the south in disarray.

Final victory point total
Union 12, Confederate 21. Minor Confederate Victory.

Union: 4,400. Weitzel wounded, Terry captured. Likely around 20 cannons captured.
Confederate: 4,800. Hoke wounded.

The Confederates lost more men here than in history and are unlikely to put up a full pursuit. That said, Union withdrawal is likely disorganized and there will be plenty of deserters for the Rebels to scoop up in the days after the battle. Overall, this was a bloodier battle than the actual fighting, but the effect is roughly the same as that in history: Butler will be forced back into the Bermuda Hundred lines and Beauregard will be able to reinforce Lee just before Cold Harbor.
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Mark Walker
United States
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'65 Squad Level Combat in Vietnam. On Kickstarter!
Re: Bllodbath at Drewry's Bluff
Nice, Sean. THanks for the AAR.
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