Wednesday 7th February
We ventured out this evening to a rather snowy Bellesquarry to re-enact one of the smaller encounters early on in the American Civil War-The battle of New Berne which was part of Ambrose Burnside's adventures which were part of General Winfield Scott's plan to closing blockade running ports on the Outer Bank.Burnside's forces consisted of New England forces backed up by the North Atlantic blockading squadron.
|A beauty but just there for show.|
We arrived to find the table all set up and the presence of a nifty Union monitor just passing the time of day.That was going to be a game changer if used but playing the naive southern gentlemen we had to wait to find out what part it was going to play.
|Our naval guns awaiting the non arrival of the Union navy|
|whilst Johhnie Reb comes marching home.|
The sides were divvied up and I was paired up with that true gentleman of the south Mr Ray Neil and we were opposed by Donald Adamson playing the part of Ambrose Burnside sans sideburns and a tad more grey hair.His subordinates were in the form of Colin Jack and Bill Miller
|The Union supreme commander showing a bit more daydreaming than elan|
|whereas the Confederate commander shows off the new line of headwear 40 years before its creation.|
The battle went practically the same way as the original with a mass attack by the Union against fortified positions albeit defended by understrength militia.
|Colin's cannon fodder making their way forward|
|Bill's lads coming into range of my guns.|
The game kicked off with Colin and Bill's forces heading for our defended walls with Donald doing his usual skulking at the back using the excuse of waiting for Colin's forces moving up in order to bring his forces on.All us gallant Confederates could do was wait for the Union to get up close and personal meanwhile using our depleted artillery for some sniping.
|Donald's zouaves coming on ever so slowly.|
|"Colin the plan is for you to go forward,get shot too pieces and I'll come up and steal the glory"|
Colin's forces true to historical form headed for the centre of the wall hoping to engage the gun crews in hand to hand combat which after a few turns succeeded in doing.Bill's infantry advanced towards my defenders but I had the luxury of a river helping in my defence.This proved an initial godsend but as the game went on proved a hinderance to myself as I couldn't maneuver my cavalry to come to our defence.
|Onwards and upwards.|
With Colin's lads nearing the walls Donald had the opportunity to bring his army on with Zouaves to the fore hoping to steal the glory on the back of Colin's misfortunes.Bill's army were moving forward slowly under the cover of his artillery who were expanding their ammunition as though it was going out of fashion.Meanwhile Colin's artillery had become the evening's first casualties of the evening giving the beleaguered defenders some false hope.Still no sign of the Union navy though which meant our naval batteries couldn't be used against the land forces.
|Bill's infantry wondering if they can walk on water.|
Colin's infantry finally made a breakthrough against the central artillery battery causing a gap that we couldn't plug due to the inability due to the rules of the game.The fact that our cavalry were next to useless had nothing to do with it.
|Union forces about to break through.|
|My cavalry ready to plug the gap-wishful thinking!|
Donald took advantage of this dilemma to move his forces through the gap in the defences at the point were the railway crossed the wall and because his lads were all infantry could maneuver better round the river, came pouring through the gap basically meaning the end of the struggle.Although Ray moved infantry over the wall to take Colin's forces in the flank and due to some good shooting my lads pushed Bill's forces back the sacrifice of Colin's forces meant that Ambrose Adamson's lads took the day and the glory.Skulking at its best.
|Dismounted cavalry trying to plug gap|
|First line of cavalry head for hills leaving 2nd line to face the onslaught.|
A great game using the Bonnie Blue Flag rules which were simple to use albeit with a too basic shooting rule meaning you could only shoot at targets straight in front of you rather than a 45' either side.Ces't La Vie.
|The big gap.|
Figure came from the collections of Bill Gilchrist,Donald 'Ambrose'Adamson and our favourite rock star Mr Ray Neal.
Also many thanks to Bill for providing a nice meal before proceedings as our usual hostess Helena was still recovering from a minor operation on her finger.All the best for a speedy recovery.
See You All When I See you.