Second Battle of Santiago
After our last battle for Santiago ended in stalemate, with the French still in control of the town, the allied forces withdrew out of cannon range.
After discussion, the allies withdrew south being followed by a "victorious" French force.
several days, and many miles later the allied plan was revealed. They were only marching to met up with the remainder of Beresford's troops. The Portuguese doubled in size over night and the French decided to go back north!!!
This time it was the allied turn to chase the French, but they wanted to catch them and did, s few miles south of Santiago. The French were attempting to retreat by crossing 2 rivers and were caught between them, battle on!
The French deployed and their left flank was across the rivers already and attempting to hold the allies as long as possible, The centre was split between the 2 sides of the river and the right stuck between both rivers.
The allies deployed as follows -
Right flank was the Portuguese, whose entire 1st Division along with Cavalry and Artillery from the second Division on table and the remainder left off table in reserve.
A nice line of 10 gun batteries faced the "thin blue line"
The centre and left were needed to deploy on the far side of the first river, which gave the French an advantage, however there were plenty of guns to be used too.
The centre ready to go
The left faced the hardest fight as the French were deployed well forward in an effort to hold up the allies, whilst inflicting lots of casualties.
The left fight was the hardest with Bob suffering from poor dice and good French resistance. Initially, Bob sent a cavalry unit around the flank to try and get in the rear. However, march column, traverse shot inflicted casualties, followed by a French cavalry counter charge saw the end of that!
The remainder of the Divisions struggled to get across the bridges.
But did find a ford and by the end had started to get across.
The centre fared a bit better, managing to cross in several places.
Stubborn French cavalry charges, combined with infantry and artillery fire, slowed the advance down and it became a bit of a mess in the centre.
The centre were finally able to push through the town and had started to cross the far river after som e hard fighting.
Unfortunately in their eagerness to get across and into the French baggage, the gallant French defenders in the town were ignored and managed to escape under cover of darkness.
The Portuguese fared a lot better and were frustrated in not being able to get at the French, who deployed over the river, with the only bridge well defended, whilst being rigged to blow. The French infantry suffered under the constant gun fire as the Portuguese slowly approached behind a rolling fire of cannon.
The infantry were thankful to be ordered to withdraw out of range, but this left the artillery to suffer instead. On the far right, the Portuguese tried and tried to cross the bridge to no avail. Finally leaving it to the artillery to deal with the stubborn cavalry holding them back, but too late to get the Portuguese across.
Luckily for the Portuguese, their first attempt yielded a ford and the first brigade streamed across, with the Cazadores finishing off a gun battery with close range musket fire. By the end of the day, 1 brigade was over and being closely followed by another.
The battle soon ended after this and was declared a draw. unfortunately, most of the dead French were able to recover and re-join the army as were the allied.
Once again luck was with the Portuguese and took no casualties, I'm sure their luck will run out soon.