Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Battle of Picket's Mill - 7th May 1864

On the 7th May 1864 a small but fierce battle was fought between the Army of Cumberland's VI Corps 3rd Division (under the command of Brig. General T.J. Wodds and the Army of Tennessee's Hardee's Corps Maj. General Patrick R. Cleburne's Division. General Cleburne would successfully defend the Confederates extreme right flank and deliver a resounding victory over the Union Army. Our battle last Sunday afternoon would deliver the same results.

Brig. General Daniel Govan inspects his troop's positions prior to the impending attack.

Brig. General Daniel Govan's Brigade deployed to the left of Brig. General Granbury's Texan Brigade and behind the cornfield.

Union Commander Brig. General W Hazen deploys his eight regiments in preparation to attack the Confederate lines.

The eight regiments of Hazen's Brigade 

Directly behind Hazen is the six regiments of Col William Gibon's Brigade.

On the far left of the Union line is another Brigade of six regiments from Col Benjamin Scribner's Brigade.

In defence on the extreme right flank of the Confederate line is four small regiments of Brig. General John Kelly's Cavalry Brigade.

Full view of the Union deployment prior to the launching of the attack.

General Cleburne converses with his commanders and confirms the deployment of the only artillery battery of the battle. It was to play a major part in our battle for the day.

Confederate dismounted cavalry exchange shots with Union skirmishers

The stone walls represent Confederate works and proved good cover for the men behind.

Confederate artillery deploys

Union troops of Haven's Brigade start their advance but think woods and numerous gullies soon disrupt their well formed lines.

With the woods slowing and disrupting the Union advance the Confederates have time to improve their defences and co-ordinate the defence of their line.

Scribner's Brigade charge the Confederate dismounted cavalry but are repulsed on a number of occasions and receive the first causalities of the day.

But weight of the Union attack will slowly push back the dismounted cavalry 

Kelly's dismounted cavalry put up an outstanding defence of the Confederate right flank and slow the Union advance almost to a stand still. 

Hazen's Brigade slowly pushes through the woods

But soon hit the Confederate line, which is defended by Granbury's Veteran Texans

Three attacks on the Texans are made and all three are repulsed with heavy causalities.

The next attack is on Govan's Brigade and the Union regiments are again repulsed with heavy causalities. 

Attacks by Hazen's Brigade is conducted all across the Confederate line but are repulsed. However the Confederate take plenty of causalities also, which in turn forces them to change their line and relieve the front line regiments with those in reserve. 

An attack on the guns is made by a brave Union regiment but they are cut down in scores. 

The first attack stalls and Hazen's Brigade after taking heavy causalities starts to disengage. 

The next Union Brigade, under Gibson, starts to advance through the withdrawing Brigade, but this disrupts them and slows their advance.

Over on the Confederate right flank Kelly's dismounted cavalry have pushed back the Union troops and redeploy along Little Pumpkin Vine Creek, just across from Pickett's Mill. Their position threatens the Union left flank, which in turn takes essential Union troops away from the main attack.

Gibson's Brigade struggles to force their way through Hazen's withdrawing troops and the woods

But soon their disrupted regiments reach the Confederate lines

But Govan has advance forward of his counter attacks the isolated Union Regiments.

Heavy pressure from repeated Union attacks forces Cleburne to redeploy Lowery's Brigade on the extreme right flank. Here they come up against the advanced regiments from Scribner's Union Brigade and the fight is fought hard to clear the wheat field of union troops. 

Govan begins his attack on the Union left flank

Union regiments from Gibson's Union Brigade stand fast only for a limited time before they are overwhelmed. 

On the Confederate right flank fierce and desperate hand to hand fighting erupts across the line 

The last Union attack in again repulsed with heavy casualities

Lowery's Confederate Brigade retakes the wheat field

As the battle for Pickett's Mill winds down Granbury's Texans make one last charge the breaks the Union resolve. One Texan regiments charges three separate Union regiments and defeats them in turn capturing countless prisoners. 

Victory to the Confederates. 

Thanks must go to John Maguire for the use of his incredible collection of ACW figures, Dave Lowe and Terry Moran for commanding the Union forces and to Greg Blake for conducting an outstanding defence of the Confederate line and again for winning the Battle of Pickett's Mill 2019.