Friday, 15 July 2011

Battle of Bakersville

Well once again my camera decided to play dodgy b****rs and decided not play. Yet when I got it home it suddenly decided to work. think its time for a new one as its let me down once to often. As for the battle itself. A resounding victory for the Confederated.

Detailed below is the letter the commanding officer (Bayley) wrote to General Lee about his victory:

'General R.E. Lee,
Sir it gives me great satisfaction to inform you that We have met and destroyed the better part of 2 Union Corps at Bakersville. The Union were in a very strong defensive position situated on 2 wooded ridges. Having marched through the night and with an early breakfast I ordered Maj General Rodes and Maj Gen Johnson to assault what I deemed to be the biggest threat, the Union position overlooking Bakersville itself.

The Union Corps was entrenched with riveted artillery on the high ground. Maj General Johnson led the assault with Maj General early in close support. At this stage I was unaware that Maj General Rodes had been delayed but was coming up hard and fast on Early’s left. The initial assault was checked but our boys held firm on the Union ridge. I was dismayed when the Union cavalry, 2 full brigades advanced towards Rodes in the centre and a second Union corps advanced from cover on our far left to threaten Rodes too.

Maj General Early led his division in person and encouraged his boys to charge again. Johnson was re-aligning his boys to cover a threat from Union troops advancing from behind the Union ridge to threaten his right. Rodes re-deployed his division to cover the Union cavalry and second infantry corps threat.

It was relief I can tell you when I heard artillery over by the river. It would seem Longstreet and 1st Corps had arrived, albeit 3 hours late. They assaulted the second Union held ridge and gave my corps much needed respite from both Union corps.

The Union cavalry attacked the flank of Early’s left brigade but were held. My Corps artillery finished the Union cavalry brigade and they fled the field. The second Union cavalry brigade foolishly charged the guns of Rodes division and suffered a similar fate. Hit on 3 sides by combined artillery and Kentucky long rifles they too were destroyed.

Early and Johnson stormed the ridge and what remained of the Union corps were heading north. We estimate the Union suffered in the region of 5,000 casualties whilst our own were modest at just over 2,000. Lt General Longstreet is pursuing the enemy north whilst I will rest my 2nd Corps at Bakersville before moving in support of him.

I have included copies of my orders and personal correspondence so you are fully apprised of the situation.

Yours respectively Lt General Ewell, Commander 2nd Corps.'

That pretty much summed up how it went.

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