Saturday, August 23, 2014

Battle of Ripley's Station RFF Report

Ripley's Station is a vital rail hub northeast of Richmond.  In April of 1862 the Army of the Potomac has launched a major offensive to seize it.  This has caught the Army of Northern Virginia somewhat by surprise.  The attack force is made up of a division of cavalry and two divisions of infantry.  The Confederates have rushed a division of cavalry and a lone division of infantry to drive off the attackers.  The action begins at 6:00 A.M. on April 18, 1862.

Turn One: Smith's brigade of the 1st U.S. cavalry division leads the attack.  It rapidly marches up the Jonestown Pike northwest of Ripley's Station.  Smith's task is to clear any enemy units west of Brittle's Run.  McMichael's small brigade of Condederate cavalry is desperate to hold off Smith's men and buy time for Grupier's infantry division to arrive and form a defense of Ripley's station.  Purdy's 2nd brigade of rebel cavalry is also approaching through the town.  Purdy's inferior leadership skills are apparent as his men sluggishly meander through the town.  This stall's Turner's men.
The 1st Ga moves up the Jonestown Turnpike to head off the Yankee invaders.

The 5th NY leads the way for Smith's brigade.
Turn Two: The 3rd Ga launches a rash attack against the 5th NY.  In the confused fighting, the rebs are fortunate to push back the bluecoats.  Purdy arouses his men to a more fervent effort, allowing Turner's men to get through Ripley's Station.
Turner's men move west of the town.

the 3rd Ga and the 5th NY collide on the Jonestown Pike.

Purdy's cavalry pick up the pace
Turn Three: It is now 6:30.  After two rounds of combat, the 1st Ga is defeated and forced to retreat.  But their sacrifice has allowed the other two regiments of the brigade to dismount to defend the crossroads. Roger's brigade of U.S. cavalry is following up Smith's brigade and moving to the left hoping to capture a small bridge over Brittle's Run.  The 1st Ma charges headlong into the 1st Va on the bridge and is able to force them back.  But while this is going on, two of Purdy's other regiments are able to dismount and prepare defensive positions on high ground.  Meanwhile, a second Confederate infantry brigade, Parker's, arrives on the field.
Parker's Brigade.
Turn Four: Roger's is unsuccessful in restoring order to the green 1st Ma.  This is unfortunate because it allows the rest of Purdy's men to come into line along the other dismounted regiments.  Further to the south, Smith puts his horsemen into line in preparation of charging McMichael's dismounted troopers.  Turner's Georgians advance onto the flank of the 5th U.S. and deliver a volley into their flank, but this merely disorders them
Purdy's men prepare defenses along Brittle's Run.

Rebel horse artillery unlimber on high ground ahead of Rogers' attack.

Turner's Georgians fire a volley into the flank of the 5th U.S., but to little effect.

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