Brother against Brother – First Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas) AAR Part 3

By Wargamer Staff 30 Apr 2015 0

As we left the battle at the end of part 2 of this AAR the Union’s attack had stalled somewhat, however, so had the plans of the (AI controlled) CSA and the battle had gone relatively quiet whilst both sides took stock and prepared to renew the fighting. This third, and final part of the AAR will see how the battle moves to its conclusion and whether the historical result of a Union defeat can be avoided.



Turn 21, at 4.40pm - while my attacks are starting to pay off as I push back the CSA defenders, I again get attacked in the rear and have to defend. My morale suffers and I may have to hold or rally a few units to recover them.



Turn 21, at 4.40pm - end of turn report. My scouts uncover a large build up of CSA troops around Lewis Ford but I am not sure if they are reinforcements for there or Henry's Hill at the moment.



Turn 22, at 5pm - I spot CSA reinforcements around Mitchell's Ford and around the area of Blackburn's Ford so place all units in the area back onto Brigade Hold for now and wait while I scout out the area.



Turn 22, at 5pm - end of turn report. As I see new units approaching Henry's Hill I feel this battle may be slipping away from me. I have used all my reinforcements and my morale isn't too high. I place all units in Brigade Hold orders and wait to see who and what comes while I send out my scouts to check.



Turn 23, at 5.20pm - Henry's Hill get approached on two sides by CSA units so I try and make my lines shorter. Blackburn's Ford also gets CSA reinforcements and troops cross over Mitchell's Ford in strength. The CSA reinforce Lewis’ Ford and attack still at Ball’s Ford where I am hanging on with a thread, with next to no morale. Another push here and my men will fall back.

So again I reform my lines and wait to be attacked.



Turn 23, at 5.20pm end - of turn report. I seem to get attacked everywhere except at the stone bridge, so I pull some units back, rest others and change some mauled units into Rally to keep them in the battle a bit longer. What use they will be in a fight is a question I hope not to have answered.



Turn 23, at 5.20pm - end of turn report. The battle tempo starts to rise as CSA seems to be getting the upper hand and is pushing me back in places; in others I’m holding my own for now. However, 3 of my units rout this turn.



Turn 24, at 5.40pm - both Henry's Hill and the Lewis and Ball Fords area get CSA reinforcements and they advance on my positions. It is quiet at Blackburn's Ford at the moment as I’ve counted the unit's in my rear, for now any way …



Turn 24, at 5.40pm - end of turn report. My defensive box in front of Lewis’ Ford gets attacked by multiple CSA units, while the units at Ball’s Ford gets left alone for now as I pull them back. Elsewhere the number of CSA units arriving surprises me as I thought they were weaker with little morale left, but they do some light probes and the odd attack to let me know they are still in the fight.



Turn 25, at 6pm - time is running out and I find myself spread too thin. So I again try to shorten my lines and ensure my troops are better defended against the oncoming CSA approach. With most units in either Rally or Hold mode I only have a few units around Blackburn's Ford anywhere near rested enough to change into Attack mode, and this is the only place where's it's quite.

As I end my turn I see a lot of messages about the CSA commanders rallying their troops so I guess there's a push coming, but where is anyone’s guess. I send out scouts and alter a few units stance and facing but mostly keep my units together for better support and keep my guns out of harm’s way for now so I can support my infantry once the CSA engages me. While contact isn't at close quarters just now, as I move back the CSA keeps moving forward. The ground isn't great and I always try to keep my units in better ground, I have the heights, but not in the depth I want as I’ve sent brigades off elsewhere and they have got bogged down in fighting so I can't bring them quickly back.



Turn 25, at 6pm - end of turn report. I'm mindful of my morale at the moment so won't risk too many attacks, but alter all units to Hold orders and dig in for what I know will become tough fighting towards the end of the day. I need to hold on to what I have but don't wish too many units to rout and make my line fall apart so will need to be careful now. A few units from both side rout and the battle is now for the wooden bridge. My lines elsewhere hold for now.



Turn 26, at 6.20pm - again movement is seen from Blackburn’s Ford and Mitchell's Ford, and again they try and probe my units from the rear. All fords and the wooden bride see more action as both side now seem to perk up as the light starts to fade in the last hour of the battle. The main CSA attack goes in around Lewis’ Ford, they seem to be going all out to push me away from this area at any cost - and do a good job of it. I withdraw in almost good order and again shorten my lines here, while I move units that were covering Ball’s Ford to support Lewis’. I can't do any more as I just don't have any units nearer. All my units that have come back from being routed are moved this way as well, but they will be too weak to use in heavy fighting but can plug the gap that is now left at Ball’s Ford for now.

2 more of my units rout from the Lewis’ Ford area so I need to pull the line back to better ground, with more defence if I wish to hold the CSA attackers.



Turn 26, at 6.20pm - end of turn report. With almost all my units now in Rally mode or Hold I yet again pull back and shorten my lines. All my units are starting to get closer together which helps their defence and for now it seems to be holding the CSA, but as my morale drops I keep a careful eye on my casualties as this may decide the outcome of this battle as the score is currently even.



Turn 27, at 6.40pm - it seems that both sides units are now routing from almost any hard combat, so I try and rally any unit that is low on morale. I would love to replace them or pull them out of the line, but just don't have the strength to replace any I did. With so many units that have already been rallied after routing once, I’m in no fit state for many units to mount anything other than defence now.



Turn 27, at 6.40pm - end of turn report. Last throw of the dice it seems for the CSA as again they probe and do light attacks at what seems everywhere on the map. But my units hold and the battle is almost over now for both sides. While the butchers bill is high, most are only wounded so will live to fight another day and battle in Brother against Brother, the Drawing of the Sword.



With the battle over you are able to review the map and your troops and see who did what and to whom, with scores and damage to units also able to be reviewed.



And the result of all the fighting is that it was a draw. So a better esult for the Union than in the real battle.




So ends my Battle of Manassas AAR. Hope you enjoyed it.



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