Armstrong deployed his force with Cavendish's British brigade on the left and Von Stalheim's Hessians on the right. Each brigade had 4 battalions (two line, one grenadier and one light/jaeger) and a light gun. Ahead of him, Armstrong saw one unit ensconced in the grounds of Emmanuel Chapel and two more on the ridge. The units on the ridge were behind cover and had artillery support. He needed to advance on one or both of the roads available as quickly as possible.
|Armstrong's force prepares to advance|
|Revolutionary forces on the ridge|
The attack began with the advance of light troops towards the woods. On the left, the British light troops encountered no opposition as they advanced and closed up to the wood. However, the Hessian jaeger were not so fortunate. As they neared the wood they were fired upon by riflemen. Casualties were light and undeterred, the Hessians fired in return , fixed bayonets and charged. Resistance was brief and the riflemen fell back through the wood and attempted to rally in the open ground beyond.
As the light troops advanced on each flank, the line battalions began to advance. They were presented with a dilemma, should they advance in column or line. The former would be quicker, but leave them vulnerable to artillery and musket fire. Line may incur fewer casualties, but lead to delay. Cavendish opted for column, hoping to get some screening from the light infantry once the wood had been cleared. Von Stalheim decided on line and as a consequence his advance was slower and his leading unit, Rall's Grenadiers, found its right flank companies impeded by having to move through the edge of the woods. Each brigade had ordered one unit to wheel and begin firing volleys at the enemy holding the chapel; Cavendish used the 71st Line and von Stalheim the musketeer regiment von Trumbach. This fire seemed to have little effect on the defenders, but it did draw fire to the units involved, thus preserving the strength of the units who would have to assault the ridge.
|The Hessian artillery begins to fire on the chapel|
|The Hessian jaeger driven back|
|The militia fall back from the chapel|
Cavendish's light troops had seen the advance of the continental infantry and managed to get a couple of volleys at the advancing troops before they could deploy from road column. Losses at the head of the column were very heavy and the leading unit had to fall back to recover. The light troops now shifted their focus to the militia on the ridge and soon began eroding their resolve. Cavendish's grenadiers, (now in line) began firing at the second unit of continental infantry and after a few volleys forced them to withdraw as well. When Collins saw that the 28th had now crossed a fence was advancing on the ridge in partnership with the light infantry he realised that he could do no more. Orders were sent for all units to fall back towards Bridgeford in partnership with the continental infantry and to try and delay the Royal forces as long as possible.
|Cavendish's troops begin to bring pressure against the militia on the ridge|