For parts 1 to 3, see www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/288278 , www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/289420 , and www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/289909 . For units and commanders, see part 1. For the first day's battle, see www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/269269 .
Attacked by Day, Wofford routs through Rose Woods, losing most of his men. In return, Greene breaks under Ewell's artillery barrage and routs off the summit of Culp Hill, taking Candy and the guns with him. Despite Slocum's presence, Greene fails to rally, his broken troops congesting the turnpike. With XII Corps joining the ranks of destroyed Union Corps, Meade belatedly takes the decision to order a general retreat to the other side of Rock Creek, and issues orders accordingly. However, he seems to have lost the confidence of his subordinates, as not one accepts his orders : Reynolds because he has no men ; Hancock feels he has a good position ; Sickles is still collecting stragglers ; Howard has conflicting orders ; Slocum is still embroiled on Culp Hill ; Pleasonton because he's incompetent. Before the order can reach Sykes, he sends Barnes to take Little Round Top, and Ayres to attack over Plum Run. Vincent takes moderate casualties, but Anderson is swept from the Top : Hood has only stragglers left, and a few guns. Barksdale is disorganised.
Leaving his guns to cover his retreat, Longstreet pulls McLaws' (repl.) division back towards Rose Wood and Devil's Den, while his reserve artillery sets up on the Emmitsburg road. Hood joins Lee at the Spangler farm, where he will attempt to collect stragglers. Brockenborough guards the Army HQ against an incursion from Stannard, lurking in Spangler's woods. Weed is wrecked by pointblank canister fire from the rearguard, but Day crosses and recrosses Plum Run, taking the Rebel battery in the rear. He spikes several guns, but the remainder repulse him. Ayres then leads Burbank on the same mission. This time, the battery is almost destroyed, but the crews fight back sufficiently fiercely to cause Burbank to pull back, allowing them to hitch their guns and cross the stream, where Sweitzer and the V Corps artillery finally catch and destroy them. Hancock accepts his orders from Meade, but doesn't immediately move as he is army rearguard. Thinking that Hancock is about to uncover his line, Sickles sets his men in motion to cross over Rock Creek. De Trobriand arrives just in time to join the retreat.
Without the vantage point of Little Round Top, Lee is unable to tell that Meade is withdrawing, and goes through some anxious moments waiting for a massed Federal attack. He receives a very welcome reinforcement as Stuart enters, but Pickett and the supply wagons are still hours away. Reynolds, Howard and Slocum still prevaricate over their orders, but Pleasonton finally sets out in search of Sickles' supply trains. Little Round Top falls to the V Corps ! Having fulfilled his mission, Sykes rests his men. Ewell commences a bombardment of Howard.
The bombardment continues, costing Howard some guns. Lee still refrains from formulating any orders, waiting to see what Meade will do. Laws finally arrives, as do the Pennsylvania Reserves and the balance of Gregg's cavalry and artillery. Sickles is now in position on the far side of Rock Creek. His supplies are found by the 1st Cavalry, who provide close escort. Meade realises that Sykes either hasn't received or is ignoring his aide-delivered order, and resolves to issue the order in person.
Meade joins Sykes and directly orders him to withdraw. Sykes complies immediately - Ayres moves out with the baggage train, with Barnes to follow. Reynolds also moves out, in order to comb out the rear area for his stragglers. Lee meets Stuart along the Emmitsburg road : " Well, General Stuart, you are back ".
Longstreet's artillery observers report Union retrograde movement beyond Trostle's wood, but no change on Little Round Top. Is Meade planning to circle the Round Tops and take 1st Corps in the rear ? Lee orders Stuart to scout around the Round Tops to find out, but Stuart requires a little time to water his horses and allow his artillery and trains to catch up. Seeing Reynolds depart, Howard decides that discretion is the better part of valour and departs too. Only Slocum hasn't accepted his orders yet. It's now apparent that Meade is withdrawing, apart from Slocum only Hancock remains in position, hidden in the woods, plus Barnes on Little Round Top.
Stuart decides to move off without waiting for his trains. Slocum still refuses to move, leaving his battered Corps terribly exposed. Certain now that Meade is retiring, Lee rides over to Ewell, to prod him into kicking XII Corps off Culp Hill. Law espies Stannard near his line of march, and deploys. An accurate volley disrupts Stannard, leaving him just 200 men fit for duty. Impatiently waiting for Slocum to move, Hancock sends his supply train to the rear. Barnes marches off Little Round Top.
Lee orders Ewell to attack onto Culp Hill with Johnson, while Rodes holds Cemetery Hill and Early moves to Benner Hill to cover the army flank. Ewell complies immediately ! Johnson sends most of his brigades on a frontal assault against Slocum's remnants, while he and Jones move towards the summit. The Stonewallers take a few casualties, but Williams is wounded and Candy is wrecked, with most of McDougall's men heading for the rear. However, Slocum still refuses to retreat ! The renewed battle on Culp Hill threatens to suck in the rest of his brigades. Geary takes Candy to the summit for a heroic last stand. Amazingly, Candy survives - in the thick foliage, sort of ammunition, Johnson's men have trouble hitting their targets. Looking down on their heads, Candy has no such trouble, and wrecks Jones. Howard's last columns cross Rock Creek at the Toll House bridge. Hancock realises that Slocum is about to be destroyed and moves his troops onto the roads, ready to march. Stuart gets to the edge of the plateau behind the Round Tops and sees the III & V Corps spread out below him in the river valley. Sykes's columns hurry their pace, not wanting to be caught by a cavalry charge in march formation. Kilpatrick enters along the Baltimore pike, ready to carry out orders which are now obsolete : defend the army flank south of the Round Tops. If he is not stopped, he may run straight into Stuart....
Kilpatrick crosses Rock Creek and deploys upon seeing Stuart's columns. Not expecting such obdurate resistance on Culp Hill, Ewell pusillanimously calls off Johnson's attack ! Lee hears the fire slacken, and thinks the hill is taken. Ewell's artillery does manage to kill Kane and his remaining men. Shaken, Slocum finally orders a retreat. The II Corps follows, Hancock surprised to find any XII Corps survivors.
Stuart decides not to interpret his orders and tackle Kilpatrick, and rides back to Lee to report that Meade has taken his army across Rock Creek. Lee can now concentrate on reconstituting his army, and then decide whether to take the fight to Meade, or wait for Meade to attack him. With Stuart moving off, Kilpatrick mounts up and heads for the Round Tops.
Virtually all movement ceases, as both sides wait for stragglers and reinforcements to come in. Lee instructs Stuart to get some rest, then ride north to find the extent of the Union position. Lee wishes to find out if Meade can be outflanked to the north. Meade realises that his army is too weak to attack Lee head-on, and must instead manouevre to a flank in order to roll up the Rebel line. He would like to attack from the north, to threaten Lee's supply lines, but doing so would uncover his own. Kilpatrick takes up position south of Big Round Top, and comes across Stannard's exhausted survivors, with a tale of horror from the last stand on Cemetery Hill.
Meade orders Pleasonton to use Gregg to scout to the north, to find Lee's edge. Since no sound of firing has come from Kilpatrick's direction, he assumes that Lee is still north of the Round Tops. Sedgwick and Pickett both arrive on the field of battle, and Stannard reaches the main Union lines with important information about Lee's whereabouts. Lee summons his commanders to a conference.
Lee is displeased to find that Ewell called off his attack on Culp Hill, and orders him to take it with Rodes. Johnson is attached to Longstreet, Jenkins is returned to Stuart, Stuart is to cover the southern flank, and Hill and Longstreet are to defend the line of the Taneytown road from Cemetery Ridge to Little Round Top inclusive. Lee hopes to ride out a Union attack, then counterattack. All Confederate movement is to take place at night, to render it invisible. Meade determines to wait until midnight for his own conference. He plans to assemble a powerful force to crush one of Lee's flanks - Stannard's information suggests the Rebel right flank, where Kilpatrick already provides a cavalry screen.
Gregg probes north and west as far as the Hunterstown road, but fails to find the Confederate flank. However, his movements have been spotted by Gordon, and Ewell has sent Jenkins out to block any southwards movement behind his Corps. Meade is still weighing his options as his units collect thousands of stragglers. Stuart sets out for the Round Tops.
Lee frets about a possible night attack on Ewell, and eventually rides to his HQ for a first-hand report. With twilight descending, Gregg discovers Jenkins and realises that the Confederate army flank rests on Benner's Hill. Outnumbered 2 : 1, Jenkins stands his ground. Pleasonton takes Gregg across Early's front to the Hanover road - he has seen enough, and wants to report back to Meade. Ewell has still not accepted his new orders, due to the uncertain situation in his rear, but the rest of the army starts to move.
At last, Ewell follows Lee's orders. Rodes moves up onto Culp Hill and sets up for allround defence. Longstreet takes up position behind Little Round Top, cutting the Union supply road. In line to the north, the order is Hood, McLaws (repl.), Pickett, Heth, Pender and Anderson. Alerted by noise from Kilpatrick, Stuart deploys, cautiously envelops Farnsworth, then hits him from the rear on both flanks. Fitz Lee's right wing is disorganised and pushed back, but Farnsworth is shaken and pushed back too, with many stragglers. Meade summons his Corps commanders to him, still undecided on his best course of action - save his own supplies, or threaten Lee's ?
Meade is aware that Little Round Top has fallen, since his artillery ammunition isn't getting through. He decides to create a strong wing formation of Sickles, Sykes and Sedgwick, plus one of Hancock's divisions attached, to retake Little Round Top and reopen his supply route. Once it has fallen, he will order the remaining Corps to hold the ground won, while Sickles, Sykes and Sedgwick strike out for the Chambersburg pike, forcing Lee to retreat. Meade is relying on obsolete intelligence, however. He doesn't know that Longstreet has been reinforced by Pickett and Johnson, and he has neglected to use Pleasonton's cavalry as a screen for his movements....
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AAR!? Heck, it's a better read than that tripe Ghingrich & pard cobbled together!