After a break of several weeks the Chiraz campaign has restarted. The action now moves to the vicinity of Cressay where the Electoral forces (under the command of Lord Percy Wimppe), are attempting to secure a second crossing of the Cressay river. Opposing them are the Lorraine forces under the command of General Poisson. The Lorraine troops had arrived at Cressay with enough time to take post on the hills to the south east of the town, with their artillery commanding the road from Midie, down which the Electoral forces would advance.
Lord Percy's scouts reported to him that the enemy seemed to strongly posted on their left and centre, but their right flank forces must be behind the high ground in front Cressay.
Determined to discover the extent of the forces facing him, Lord Percy ordered one unit of light cavalry to advance on his left flank; towards Cressay, moving round the western flank of the hills. He supported this move with two brigades of infantry and a light artillery battery.
His centre would be held by his remaining infantry brigade, field artillery and two dragoon squadrons, with his right covered by his second light cavalry unit. His jaeger would cover the deployment in the centre.
As the Electoral forces moved into position, General Poisson, perhaps misled by the atmospheric conditions, ordered his artillery to open fire. The shot fell short and merely warned the advancing troops that their current positions were safe from artillery fire. On the flanks the Lorraine forces displayed a little more of their strength by advancing two grenadier battalions to bar the advance of the Electoral light cavalry. Aware of the dangers of advancing too close to these elite troops and lacking any supports, the cavalry reined in and observed from a distance.
Lord Percy's troops were now marching into position and the advance on the seemingly unoccupied ridge began. This was the opportunity for General Poisson to show more of his hand. He ordered the infantry brigade commanded by the Chevalier de St Urgeon to advance onto the ridge and block the advance of the Electoral Infantry. The troops moved forward in line over the crest forming an impressive barrier to their opponents advance. This manouevre had unfortunately brought them into range of the Electoral artillery and with impressive skill the first salvo fell amongst the Lorraine infantry, causing severe casualties. The Electoral advance continued and to aid the infantry, Poisson ordered one of his dragoon brigades to advance on the enemy left. Sweeping around the western slopes of the ridge they were flanking the Electoral battalions.
In a desperate attempt to buy time for the infantry to react to this threat, Colonel Muller of the Electoral light cavalry ordered his men to charge the dragoons. Outnumbered two to one, by heavier opponents, this was not universally welcomed by his men. However, even the partial advance caused the dragoons to pause and by the time they collected themselves, Muller, realising that most of his men were not following him, fell back. The dragoons were now faced by steady infantry, ready to contest any further advance and as the Electoral troops moved forward, they fell back around the ridge.
To relieve pressure on his right Poisson ordered the brigade of the Duc de Haique (picture above) together with the grenadiers and supporting dragoons to advance and threaten to cut the road to Midie and Lord Percy's lines of communication.
So that is where matters rested at the end of the first night's gaming. All set up for the decisive moves next week.
For more pictures of this and other games follow the usual link www.flickr.com/photos/wargameamateur or the "Photo Archive for Games" link under useful links above.
Daniel Defoe Memoirs of a cavalier (1720)
23 hours ago