|Major General (Gentleman Johnny) John Burgoyne|
The campaign lead to the French intervening in the American War of Independence, as well as revealing the military talents of a certain Benedict Arnold, who, through his leadership, was a major factor in driving the American forces to their eventual victory in the campaign. His subsequent fall from grace has probably led to his obvious talents for leadership having been overlooked in the intervening years, and his lack luster performance wearing the redcoat of his former enemy leaves us with a rather enigmatic character from this period of history.
Thus it was that the AWI 15mm collection came out to re-fight the pivotal battle of the Saratoga Campaign, The First Battle of Freeman's Farm, using the Seven Years War/AWI Module from Carnage & Glory (C&G), a computer moderated set of rules designed for this period. More information and thoughts on using C&G II for historical games are on JJ's Wargames where I have lots of posts looking at using the rules and scenario downloads containing the files to play the games we have reported on, including this one. In addition you can find more information about the rules on the C&G Yahoo Group and you can get a copy of the various rule set modules from the Carnage & Glory Website
The scenario was based on the events of the battle with an approximation of the forces involved with the setup based on the map below. Thus we had General Hamilton's Wing deployed around Freeman's Farm, facing Colonel Morgan's and General Poor's Wings emerging from the treeline. On the British right we deployed General Fraser's Wing in column of route able to move after turn one, and opposite them on the American left flank was General Learned's Wing again emerging from the tree line. Off table and able to test for arrival was General Riedesel's Wing whose units would arrive on the American right flank, each unit needing a 5 or 6 on a D6 to arrive from turn two. The orders of battle show the commands in detail including their formation at the start.
|Major General Benedict Arnold|
|Map - British Battles.com|
|General Hamilton's wing in and around Freeman's Farm await the Americans|
|General Fraser's wing approached the battle on the British right flank|
|General Learned's wing on the American left flank|
|General Arnold oversees the attack on Freeman's Farm|
|General Poor's wing attacks the small hill next to Freeman's Farm|
My son Tom was commanding the British centre and displaying his skill developed using the Napoleonic module for C&G, he started to pull back his front line of British infantry behind their supports to replace them with his second line through skillful passage of lines. However these British battalions were battalions in name only and with about 250 men each they simply couldn't take the damage being dished out in this maelstrom of musketry. In desperation the Royal Artillery attempted to support their infantry by deploying to the flank of the American Wing and General Burgoyne stayed close at hand to aid General Hamilton in his task of keeping the ranks steady.
|The 1st Connecticut Militia look on as the fight for Freeman's Farm intensifies|
|General Riedesel arrives on the American right flank with Regiment von Rhetz|
|Brunswick riflemen enter the woods on the American right flank|
However the toll of battle was taking its effect on the American centre and the three Continental battalions were refusing the entreaties of their officers to advance on the British and end the fight for the Farm.
|The fire fight is deadly around Freeman's Farm leading to General Burgoyne being mortally wounded|
|General Fraser assaults the lead units of General Learned's wing led by British Lights and Grenadiers|
Again the British commander looked to his left flank to see if General Riedesel was coming on in force and was relieved to see yet another unit arrive behind the riflemen. The Regiment von Rehtz, quickly deployed into a three rank line and advanced towards Dearborn's Lights and the 1st Connecticut Militia.
|Regiment von Rhetz helps Shepperd the American army off the field of battle|
|General Burgoyne's staff attempt to rally General Hamilton's wing around Freeman's Farm|
|Having repulsed the American left General Fraser organises support for the British centre|
|General Hamilton's forces start to fall back|
|The Connecticut Militia in reserve|
|The Brunswickers hold the field.|
Honours went of course to the British Grenadiers who were unstoppable once unleashed in the charge and to Morgan's Riflemen who were everywhere in the battle inflicting casualties as they went.
W denotes No Advance
R denotes Halt or Retire
Y denotes Routing
D denotes Dispersed or removed from the field
Thanks to Tom, Steve L. and Ian for a very entertaining afternoon of war in the colonies.