|Brigades of Sterling, Stephens and Fermoy advance along the Pennington Rd to Trenton
I refought the Battle of Trenton this weekend as a solo game and reached a definitive conclusion by Turn 8. The after action report will be posted here in installments. So here is Part 1, which takes us from Washington's opening attack early in the morning of December 26, 1776. Washington had divided his army into two wings once he had crossed the Delaware. Sullivan's division advanced along the western side of the table, parallel to the Delaware River, on the River Road. Greene's division, to which Washington accompanied, advanced along the eastern side of the table on the Pennington Road.
The picture at the top of this page depicts the opening advance of Greene's division along the Pennington Road
Sullivan's division attacks Trenton along the western edge of the town, easily brushing past a piquet of jagers. The American army gets the initiative on Turn 1 and again on Turn 2. Rall's grenadiers automatically activate on Turn 2 since they can hear the sound of musket fire within 24 inches of the town. The von Lossberg and von Knyphausen fusilier regiments can only activate on a roll of "3" or less on a D6 die. Both fail to activate on Turn 2.
|St Clair brushes aside a Hessian piquet of Jagers, who do manage to get off some warning shots, but inflict no casualties.
|Ground level view of the Jagers and St Clair.
|Sargent (left) and Glover's (right) brigades of Sullivan's division.
|The von Lossberg fusilier regiment tries to form up at the base of King Street. Colonel Rall's headquarters were in the stone house on the left.
Once firing is heard, the Hessians have one chance to wake up Colonel Rall and have him order the dragoons to ride south on the Bordentown Road to secure help from Colonel von Donop's command. A roll of "3" or less is required to send the orders. The Hessians roll a "1", so off go the dragoons, as seen below. We roll another D6 to determine how many turns it will take for von Donop's reinforcements to arrive. I use the number of pips on a thrown D6 and add "3". The Hessian player rolled a "6" so it would take until Turn 9 for von Donop to arrive. Neither side knows if or when von Donop will arrive. Only the game judge is privy to this intelligence.
|A pair of British 16th Light Dragoons gallop off to Bordentown to get help from Colonel von Donop.
|The Rall grenadier regiment was already on duty that morning, so they easily form up and are ready for action on Turnn 2.
The Hessians win the initiative on Turn 3, so Colonel Rall orders his grenadiers to attack the American infantry and artillery at the head of King Steet and Queen Street.
Mercer and St. Clair are advancing into the town on the River Road, where they get into a firefight with the two companies of von Lossberg who are blocking the road.
On the eastern side of town, Hamilton is deploying his 6-pounders - one on each of King and Queen streets so that they can rake both streets with cannister. They are supported by Stephens' brigade. Fermoy's brigade continues its march east on the Pennington Road, heading for Princeton, so as to cut off any Hessian retreat in that sector. Sterling's brigade advances down King Street to take on the 3 companies of von Lossberg and its regimental 3-pounder.
To the west of town, Sullivan sends Sargent's and Glover's brigades across Assunpink Creek in order to cut off any Hessian retreat to the south along the Bordentown Road.
|Sargent and Glover cross Assunpink Creek to cut off any Hessian retreat.
|Von Lossberg is activated on King Street. Three companies and the regimental 3-pdr face down the advance of Sterling's brigade up King Street. Two more companies hive off to block the entry of Mercer's brigade into the town.
|The Rall Grenadier regiment (center) advances towards the American position along the Pennington Road.
The Hessians win the initiative on Turn 4 and continue to attack towards the east (Greene's division). The von Knyphausen fusilier regiment marches down Queen Street, forcing Fermoy to halt his flanking march and deploy facing Queen Street. Fermoy is supported by a section of Hamilton's battery. Stephens deploys into line along the Pennington Road and finds itself in a fire fight with the Rall grenadier regiment (see below):
So by the end of Turn 4, Colonel Rall has managed to set up a battle line facing east, where it engages Greene's division (Fermoy, Stephens, Sterling brigades and Hamilton's artillery battery). His line has the von Knyphausen fusiliers on the right in Queen Street, the Rall grenadiers in the center, and 3 companies of the von Lossberg fusilier regiment on his left in King Street. His rear area is protected only by two companies of von Lossberg, who face off against two of Sullivan's division (St Clair and Mercer's brigades). Sullivan's other two brigades (Sargent and Glover) are crossing over Assunpink Creek to its west bank. Their objective is to control the two bridges that cross the creek to the west and south of Trenton.
Part 2 will be posted tomorrow and take us through Turns 5 through 8 and the game's conclusion.