After successfully pushing through two rebel positions, Haberghan decided to push on to the mountains despite his first rate light infantry battalion taking a severe mauling. Rather than wait for reinforcements (it was doubtful Cornwallish could spare him any troops), the lively Yorkshireman pressed his advantage over the Americans. If he could seize the crossroads at Tyburgh he would possess one end of the pass through the mountains and severely inconvenience any support for the rebels from Kantuckee.
Haberghan was joined by Lieutenant Colonel Edward Ponsonby, despatched by Cornwallish to assess the situation and help him decide where his priorities lay. Ponsonby was not known for an optimistic disposition, and became known amongst his peers as ‘Pons Nay’. Haberghan rolled his eyes as he saw the General’s emissary approach, but knew he could use Eddie as an extra pair of eyes in the increasingly broken terrain.
‘Hannibal’ Smith on the American side had not been idle and knew command of the pass was vital. His experience in the French & Indian Wars counted for something. He was also joined by reinforcements. A further brigade of militia would help pad out the line, but even more welcome was a splendid new regiment of Continentals. More locals and mountain men arrived to fill the gaps in the other militia brigade and Boss Hogg’s Rifles. The only thing he lacked was artillery, having only one pair of six-pounders.
|Overview of Tyburgh, British in the east (bottom), Americans in the west (top). The ground gradually rises to the rest but the transverse road is sunken.|
A few hundred yards from the town Haberghan’s column comes under ineffectual fire from guns on the road ahead. There must be rebel infantry nearby so the column was ordered to deploy. The 10th Foot to the front and right, the Lights behind them and the 69th on the left and refused. The guns accompanied the 10th in their left, still limbered. Pons Nay was given immediate command of the 10th and guns.
The 10th and the guns advanced and as the Yellowbellies climbed the fence they came under a raking fire from the Continentals in the wheat field. Rather than immediately charge, Ponsonby ordered the 10th to return fire whilst the artillery deployed.
|The Americans open fire first causing disorder in the British ranks. (See the D6 showing 4 D points). Haberghan is able to personally supervise the redressing of the ranks, mitigating some of the effects.|
|The Americans have suffered heavy casualties in the firefight and now the 10th go at them with the bayonet! Hurrah!!|
The plan seemed to work after a while. The combined fire of the foot and the guns at short range inflicted significant casualties on the Americans and then Ponsonby times the charge to perfection routing the Rebels from the field. “Do you see how they wun sir! Wun you wascals!”
The Continentals clear the sunken road, over the next fence and up the further slope. Hannibal Smith had ordered the second regiment of Continentals to march from their position in reserve and try to beat the Britishers to the fence line.
Ponsonby was beginning to enjoy this. Haberghan, a decent chap even if he had a twace of a Yorkshire accent, had given him this chance to excel and overcome the perception that he was slow in seizing the initiative. He took his chance with both hands and a ‘view halloo!’ Spurred the 10th on. The victorious foot bounded over the next fence line with the Lights following. In game terms I would have slowed them down but their movement dice roll meant they had to clear the fence. This put them on the American side of the fence just as the second Continentals formed line.
|A new firefight opens up. First blood to the Americans causes 3 disorder points meaning it would be risky for the Brits to launch a bayonet charge, so they return fire hoping the arrival of the Lights will swing things their way.|
Disaster struck the British! Three balls struck Ponsonby. One harmlessly removed his hat. The second struck his left hand causing him to drop his reins. The third pierced his shoulder and threw him from his horse. Hors de combat the colonel would play no further part in the action. In game terms this meant the British lost the 3 Command Points that come with a ‘brigadier’. This meant that the troops in this wing had no orders and no help rallying off DPs. Haberghan had to abandon the centre and left and make his way to the faltering attack on the right.
Losses built up on the 10th.
Over on the American right Hoggs rifles were ordered to the other side of the road where they could support the Continentals. They made it before the 69th could get close to them and the riflemen appeared in the rear of the 10th and Lights. And Haberghan was caught on the wrong side of the cordon!
|No way out!|