Campaign 1776: The Battle of Princeton (Updated)
|Mercer's brigade moves into contact with the reserve force of Gen. Cornwallis' army of New Jersey south of Princeton.|
We pick up tonight's gaming action on Turn 6 just as the American forces under Washington move into contact with the British reserve force guarding Princeton, New Jersey.
TURN 6 - 8:25 AM
Colonel Hutchinson and the 27th Massachusetts, part of Mercer's Brigade, march into the British line extended between Worth’s Mill and the ford there and W. Clark’s Orchard. Musket fire is exchanged with 1 American casualty.
Col. Stone’s 1st Maryland (also of Mercer’s Bde) advance in column until they are within 600 feet of the British line and then they form their own line in preparation for a general advance next turn.
Col. Rawlings Maryland/Virginia volunteers move into reserve along the Quaker road.
Further south, and off screen, moving along the Quaker road are the Pennsylvania militia under Cadwaller as well as Glover's very experienced brigade with Gen. Washington riding with them.
Turn 7 - 8:30 AM
27th Massachusetts is engaged in 2 directions. To the north within 200 feet of Worth’s Mill 1st company of the Mass regt has run into two companies of British regulars from the 55th Foot.
Col. Stone’s 1st Maryland moves within 200 feet of the British line, which is also now enfiladed by a company of the 27th Massachusetts and opens fire, with the exchange of muskets moving from right to left along the American line. Seven British regulars are killed in this exchange of fire.
Col. Durkee’s 20th Connecticut which is moving north and west around W. Clark’s orchard observe British dragoons moving to block them along the Post road.
Col. Rawling’s men move past the Quaker meeting house trying to reach the higher ground behind Stone’s advance. Mercer plans to send them into the line between the 27th Massachusetts and the 1st Maryland.
Hamilton’s battery with it’s two six pounders reaches the Quaker Meeting House just to the rear of Mercer's advancing brigade.
Col. Bradley’s Connecticut men having swept along the woods to the east of Mercer’s Brigade. march to rejoin Mercer along the Back road.
|Mercer's brigade forms a line and exchanges fire with an unknown British force.|
Turn 8 8:35 AM
Bradley’s regiment is past the woods and reforming south of the Back Road.
Col. Hutchinson’s 27th Mass. reforms within two hundred feet of the Worth’s Mill objective. They have only suffered light casualties but two of the regiment’s four companies are in disarray.
Stone’s 1st Maryland links with the 27th Massachusetts line. The Continental line is now over 1,000 feet long and in a V shape, advancing on the British line.
North of the orchard, British dragoons have dismounted.
Colonel Hand’s Pennsylvanians, the largest regiment in Mercer’s Brigade, have marched to within sight of the Quaker Meeting House.
The big tactical question confronting my American forces is should I ford the Stony brook south of Worth’s Mill and march on the objective from both sides. And if I do this, can Wayne and Williams' Pennsylvania militia companies hold their own or do they need the support of Hand’s Pennsylvania regulars.
I’ve also made the decision to move Glover’s brigade further east of Mercer and bypass the fighting around the orchard. This brigade is marching in 3 columns on Princeton over farmer’s fields and open ground. General Washington is riding with them.
So far, the British have lost 16 regulars and the Continental army has lost 13 men.
Turn 9 – 8:40 AM
Hutchinson has been driven out of the woods south of Worth’s Mill.
Colonel Rawling’s Maryland and Virginia volunteers are marching in column to take their place.
There seem to be at least two British regiments in the vicinity of the orchard and the Mill. They are withdrawing in good order towards the Post Road.
Durkee’s position north and east of the orchard seems fortuitous. I am going to move him into a blocking position along the Post road and attempt to cutoff the British retreat to Princeton.
Stone’s Marylanders move into contact with the retreating British forces and exchange fire.
|Turn 10 - Mercer is fully engaged and may have cut the British force at Clark's orchard off from the main body.|
Turn 10 – 8:45 AM
Col. Rawlings regiment is deploying in the woods to the left of Hutchinson’s 27th.
Durkee’s 20th Connecticut has deployed into line extending over the Post Road, cutting off the British regiments from Princeton.
Wayne’s Pennsylvania militia have crossed over the Stony Brook and are now marching north towards Worth’s Mill.
Concerned about British troops approaching Durkee from behind along the Post Road, Bradley’s volunteers will be sent to protect the flank of Mercer’s advance. Hand’s Pennsylvanians will establish a blocking position along the Back Road.
Glover’s brigade continues to follow the planned route around Mercer’s flank towards Princeton. Washington is increasingly concerned this use of Glover was a strategic mistake and that the battle will be over before they are joined in combat.
Turn 11 – 8:50 AM
At the end of turn 11, American casualties stand at 48 and British losses are 38.
3rd Company from Rawlings volunteers seizes Worth’s Mill and the ford across Stony Brook. The rest of the regiment hurries along the forest road to reinforce them.
With the fall of Worth’s Mill, the Pennsylvania militia are withdrawn from the western side of Stony Brook and sent along the Quaker/Princeton road towards Princeton.
Stone continues to engage the British force around the orchard and Durkee’s line is volley firing into the advancing British force which seems to be making an attempt to breakout to safety.
Mercer's brigade has been engaged for almost an hour now and some units are running low on ammunition. Hutchinson's 27th seems the worst off and they are being pulled back to the Quaker Meeting House.
More to follow...