Thursday, May 10, 2012

Stoney Creek, 1813

I attended the Huzzah Wargaming Conference in Portland, Maine last weekend and ran the Battle of Stoney Creek, June 6, 1813 using the Carnage and Glory II computer aided rules.  It came off very well. We had two British and two American gamers involved in this low density night action.

Note wooden US Artillery officer, a gift from my wife.
The action took place in the Niagara penninsula in the early morning of June 6, 1813.  The United States Forces under General Dearborn had just conducted a highly successful combined arms amphibious assault on Fort George, forcing the British to retreat up the peninsula to Burlington Heights.  The battle depicts the US pursuit lead by General Chandler which follows. The US forces camped willy nilly in the Stoney Creek area, without sentries.  A British scouting force lead by Colonel Harvey recommended a night assault on the scattered and sleeping Americans.
The British staring point as they enter from the North. They are heading toward the campfires in the distance.  To better simulate night manuveres I had the British players roll a dice.  Movement was limited to 100 paces during the night. With a 1-2 they veered to the left, 3-4 went straight ahead, 5-6 veered to the right. It took about four turns each representing 15 minutes of real time begining at 2:30 AM to come into contact with the US camp.
The 49th Regiment of foot is about 500 strong in this scenario and split into two units, one representing the light and grenadier companies (49th Elites) and the other representing the reamining 5 companies. It is commanded by Major Plenderleath. The Elites charged into the camp, scattering the cooks who had used the balance of the split rail fences in the area to start their camp fires, and waking Hindman's US lights (Artillerymen trained to fight as light infantry).  Other US troops would soon awaken to the sound of gunfire and stagger disordered and confused from their tents as they formed up to repell the night assault.
On the British right flank the Kings 8th Regiment of Foot, Major Ogilvie commanding, deploys into line supported by Canadian Militia in green uniforms, and native allies.  The native allies cross the creek and fire upon the US Volunteers stationed in the Gage Cabin.
The 8th Foot charges forward against two US units, the 16th and 23rd regiments who have taken post at the top of a 20' rise.  The militia and Native Allies continue to engage the US Volunteers in the Gage Cabin.  One of Towson's two 4 gun batteries has finally been manned.  The other artillerists as still slumbering, perhaps firing all of those 6 pounders have deafened the crews?
The 8th regiment of Foot, supported by a company of the 41st Foot on their left have seen off the two US Regiments from the top of the slope.  Meanwhile the US Volunteers have dispersed the Native Allies and cause the Canadian Militia to fall back 300 paces shaken.  The second artillery battery has been manned and is preparing to receive a close assault from the 41st. The 41st assaults and the guns fail to fire due to the light mist having dampened their powder. One gun is taken in the assault and the rest of the battery heads to the rear.  The balance of the US troops rally and extend their lines in order to combat the 8th Regiment of Foot (King's Regiment).  Their actions are hampered by the having been interpenetrated by their retreating colleagues and the line formation in front of them keeping the troops from firing to full effect.
The 49th, after dispersing Hindman's Lights and taking a few casualties in the process; crosses the creek and engages in a fierce fire fight with the 650 man strong US 25th regiment lead by Major Milton, who falls mortally wounded in the first exchange of gunfire.
The close range firefight proves too much for the exhausted 49th Regiment of Foot, and they quit the field bringing the battle to a conclusion at 8:00 AM.  A minor US victory is declared.  The difference between the actual battle and this recreation being that the US Commanders, Generals Chandler and his second in Command General Winder, were both captured in the night combat. In our game the British lost Major Plenderleath and the US lost Major Milton, which didn't cripple their command structure.  In the real battle, the British lost more troops than the US, but with their leadership in tatters a hastily called council of war decided that retreating to Fort George was the better part of valor.

No comments:

Post a Comment