The dawn broke over the small stream that ran along the front of the tree line before rolling into the leafy forest.Men in blue coats quickly finished filling canteens and returned to their 'Colours' as drums beat a call to arms.
The Union troops finished badly cooked breakfasts and packed away tents.
After their defeat at 'The Cornfield' in June the Union Brigade had withdrawn north back to join Pope's Army of Virginia. They had not been present at the debacle at 2nd Manassas and had now become part of the Army of The Potomac.
The Brigade was now operating again as an independent Brigade tasked with defending the logistic centre near Boonsboro
Now as the Union army under command of 'Little Mac' went into action at Antietam Rawlin's Brigade was preparing to defend the town supplies concentrated nearby from a rouge Confederate Brigade that was approaching from the north west. Were they intending on raiding the supply depot or were they simply hurrying to the sound of the guns blazing away near Sharpsburg?
It really didn't matter why the Confederates were there, only that they were there and looking for a fight.
Across from the federal position the confederate brigade prepared for battle. Their artillery was positioned so as to provide fire support to the massed Reb infantry. It was apparent to the union commander, Brigadier Rawlin, that about 3000 rebel infantry intended to advance on the center of the union line via the woods and broken ground in the center of the field of battle. The rebel cavalry appeared to be tasked with protecting the rebel artillery just in case the Yankees decided to go on the offensive, or maybe exploite some opportunity if it presented itself.
"We will keep the Marines in reserve" Brig Gen Rawlin gestured to an aide and his horse was brought to him. "I expect the Rebs wil fall on our center. The 1st Maine and the 11th New York will meet them. I will use both batteries to fire into the flanks of their assaulting columns as the come on as I know the will. The 14th Brooklyn will counterattack the left of the enemy attack and the new boys from Utah will strike the right. The cavalry will hold our right flank. Hopefully the 1st Minassota will arrive soon, but we need to be ready to fight this day without them. Those people over yonder mean to drive us off. They're arrogant people. Today we must stand firm"!
Rawlin settled into his saddle. "I'm confident we will prevail men, with or without Minassota".
BELOW: The Rebel Deployment.
ABOVE AND BELOW: As the Confederates emerge from the small wood they are confronted with an unexpected swamp.
The 11th New York Volunteer Infantry 'Fire Zouaves' lead the charge against the Rebs! The 1st Maine supported them on their right flank!
It was an tough battle for the Rebs. Even with my largest battion off the table, (the 10 based 1st Minnesota) it was always going to be hard for the Confederates to succeed in driving the yanks away.
After the battle both Brigades reordered themselves and recieved reinforcments and rplacements. As usual sicknes in the camps took as many lives as battle itself.
Brigadier General Rawlin formed a provisional Regiment out of the remains of the US Marines and the 14th Brooklyn with the three remaining companies forming a small 6 company Battalion.
The Utah Volunteers fought like demons, and were upgraded to 'Veteran' status.
News of the arrival of a small Regiment from New York and a 4 gun (2 base) Light Rifle Battery was very welcomed news.
As 1862 slipped into 1863, 'Rawlin's Brigade' now looked like this:
11th NY Fire Zouaves: Seasoned Veterans 6 bases
The Provisional 14th Brooklyn & 1st Marines: Eager Veterans 6 bases HERO!
1st Maine Heavy Arty: Eager Veterans 5 bases HERO!
The Utah Volunteers: Eager Veterans 6 base
1st Minnesota: Eager Recruits 10 bases
6th US Cavalry: Eager Recruits 3 bases
5th US Artillery Company. 2 bases (1 6pdr gun & 1 Howitzer)
9th US Artillery Company. 2 bases (2 x Howitzer)
44th New York Infantry: Eager Recruits 6 bases.
2nd US Artillery Company. 2 bases (Light Rifles)
As for EPIC POINTS, Brig Rawlin's total was 9. (three from each battle) and he had achieved one Promotion (after the 2nd battle).
Despite his success at this engagment no promotion was forthcoming.
Total EPs 9.
Promoted to 2 Eagles (Brigadier General)
Stan and I also decided on a new HOUSE RULE:BAD SURVEYING: Can not used in the enemy deployment zone and can not be place in an area between a enemy and TARGETED friendly unit once that those units are within 16cm of each other.