General de Division Jean 'le Rouge ' McCann, the son of a former Irish Jacobite and the scourge of the Vendee, defeating the original invasion near St Nazaire and putting the Royalist rebellion down ruthlessly, arrived overnight with a battalion of Garde Nationals de Nantes and a battery of artillery . He took command, demoting General de Bouzille to take over the brigade left leaderless after the death of their commander in yesterday's battle. Around 100 Emigres had been captured, including the Duc de Choisil. The Duc was to be guiloutined once he had witnessed the destruction of his army. The others were summarily shot.
|The Representative en Mission interrogated his captives, the Duc de Choisil and The English cavalry commander.|
During the night the battered units of the French army had regrouped, with stragglers returning to their battalions quietly. Engineers threw a flying bridge across the river north of the stone bridge and the horse artillery and a full demi-brigade were in position on the Coalition side of the river by dawn.
|The French left, reinforced by a battery of cannon to replace those lost the previous day.|
|The English and Emigré lines as seen from the French position.|
|The survivors of the Salm-Kirchberg and Choisil Hussars on the Coalition right.|
|Chouan who joined the Coalition force overnight, but will they stay and fight?|
|Before dawn the French crossed the river with a demi-brigade and battery of horse artillery.|
|The bridge thrown across the river by French engineers during the night.|
|The much battered highland brigade (right) and the Loyal Emigrants, the best Emigré unit on the field.|
|The French also managed to sneak a battalion of combined grenadiers into the woods in front of the Scots.|
|The left and centre of the Coalition line. The coaching inn is garrisoned by the Rohan regiment and a section of Royal Artillery.|
All was set for the final fling. As is the norm I will let the photos tell the gloomy story of French élan and Coalition ineptitude!
|On the French right the demi-brigade already across the river rushes towards the woods.|
|Grouchy's cavalry had recovered somewhat but this was not cavalry country.|
|The veteran brigade on the French left pushed across the river and bridge as fast as it could, covered by skirmishers and the battery of cannon on the hill to their rear.|
|John quickly brought his troops up to storm the coaching inn, attacking from two sides with well-supported battalions after whittling down the garrison by artillery fire.|
|On the Coalition right a long range firefight developed, with the honours going to the swarms of veteran French skirmishers who kept most of the English brigade disordered.|
|John brought his horse artillery up to within musket shot of HM 79th Foot and began pounding them relentlessly, forcing them to retire from the hedgerows they were defending.|
|The French CinC was everywhere on the battlefield providing support to his generals.|
|The garrison of the coaching inn was overrun and put to the bayonet.|
|I immediately launched the Loyal Emigrants in a counter attack to retake the inn with a 'follow me' order. Sadly they were beaten back and withdrew shaken, and their commander was killed at the head of his men!|
|The two Highland battalions were in trouble. Their commander was seriously wounded leaving them leaderless for a move.|
|HM 79th had been standing in front of HM 92nd but after taking grapeshot and musketry at short range failed a break test and routed. The already shaken 92nd meant that this brigade also was out of the game.|
Back in the French camp the Duc de Choisil met his end with the guillotine as had been decreed, and any surviving Emigré prisoners were, as was the custom, summarily shot.
So, the end of my mini Vendee campaign. An interesting series of enjoyable games, the result of each leading on to the next with numerous random events thrown in each campaign 'move' to allow for reinforcements, the weather, which decisions to take and so forth. It was of course a victory for the Republicans.
Black Powder are still in my view perfectly suitable for biggish games of this nature as its possible to get a result in an afternoon, evening or whole day. They're not perfect and certainly not suited the the FRW as written, but I'm happy with the house rules that have been applied.
The next FRW game will most likely be whatever is next after the action of Raismes, which I think is Famars (aka Valenciennes), although I may be in a position to get the Sikhs on the table in a few weeks time.