I commanded the American forces, 4 brigades of infantry, Woodford, Smallwood and Maxwell in the front line (left to right), with Carter in reserve. The close terrain favoured the defence, but I decided not to defend too far forward. Only Woodford placed troops across the river, two battalions were on the wooded hill in the bottom left of the photograph below.
|The view from the American left|
Steve, commanding the British had his force organised into three brigades, Von Donop's German troops on his left, British line battalions in the centre and the elite grenadiers and converged light companies on the right.
First into action were Von Donop's men who pushed across the bridge to try and secure the field beyond. The Jaeger made good progress, driving off the American riflemen and then turning their attention to the supporting battalions of militia. The German fusiliers fared less well. They deployed under fire and then moved towards the field only to be sent back across the river by telling volleys from the continental infantry. The Americans did not have long to savour their victory; a battalion of grenadiers took the place of the fusiliers and after firing a volley they moved forward to cross bayonets with their opponents.
|The grenadiers attack|
In the centre there was little action, the British brigade was making slow progress through the terrain, deployed to meet a threat that didn't materialise. Smallwood's men, lining the hedgerows and fences readied themselves for the firefight to come. The British 'right hook' was also making slow progress. Woodford's men waited until the British were in close range and then opened fire. The grenadiers suffered some losses, but their NCO's kept the men in formation and undaunted the grenadiers continued their advance. Faced by this steady advance, the American line began to waver, especially as they lacked bayonets and could see that the British did not.
|Woodford's men oppose the British advance|
In the centre, the British were at last making progress, two battalions were moving in support of Von Donop, whilst the remainder pinned Smallwood's men in position. The skirmishers were particularly effective. Their fire forced one of Smallwood's militia units to fall back and then they turned their attention on his artillery, which had been proving a nuisance. The American gunners took to their heels, abandoning their guns, much to Smallwood's annoyance.
|Smallwood's men hold the centre|
|A view from the American right at the end of the action. Carter's men are forming a rearguard.|