Monday, March 26, 2012

The Battle of Braemar: Our second battle in the Jacobite Rebellion of the '15


The Table before the Deployment

After Deployment: Jacobites on the Left, Haonoverians on the Right

The Brothers assembled on Friday evening to continue the current campaign. The Jacobite Commander, The Earl of Mar, (Paul) had taken to his camp tent with a case of the virulent Flux (or was it the Pox?) and his second in command  The Laird of Borlum- (Ralph) stepped up to take command with  his trusty subordinates  Geoff ( as Rob Roy McGregor) and Richard ( John Cameron, Chief of Clan Cameron).......




The Outskirts of Braemar


The men of Clan Campbell, who joined the Hanoverian cause

Both sides had hidden deployment and the Scots had a number of ambushes prepared.  The Duke of Argyll had very explicit orders to ‘get stuck in’. So he did. From the start the Redcoats advanced and found themselves initially up against the two veteran French regiments who held their ground as the British regiments emerged disordered from the wood located to the front of the French. In a series of fire fights two British regiments broke and withdrew. Throughout most of the battle, one of the big factors that would decide the outcome was the two veteran French regiments that would hold the centre left  and would absorb enormous amounts of punishment…..in the end  they were for all intents and purposes wiped out. The pitiful survivors would be amalgamated into the bloodied remains of the Irish Bulkeley Regiment.

The Centre of the Hanoverian Line

The Center of the Jacobite Deployment


While they held the left centre the Hanoverian troops were drawn closer and closer to the waiting clansmen hiding in the woods on each flank of the French veterans. Miraculously their smell did not give them away. Although the Redcoat advance was measured and supported by the three Dragoon squadrons (commanded by Phil) they suddenly found themselves being swamped by hordes of plaid clad screaming clansmen who were met by measured volleys. In centre where Orrey's ( 21st )Regiment stood on a hill with artillery support three waves of Highlanders launched a screaming attack. Two regiments were thrown back, but the third bravely ploughed  on and slammed into the defending regulars- and sent them running. By now three redcoated regiments were either routing or withdrawing.



One of the Advancing Redcoat Regiments


Center of the advancing Redcoats


The Jacobites had lost two clan  and one French regiment as Morrison's  ( 8th ) Regiment  -  Veterans- with  a brisk volley saw the last of the French veterans off, but not without casualties. They then came under sustained attack from the Highlanders  and in a flurry of Lochaber axes and Claymores, the regiment also broke.  By turn eleven, fully half the redcoat regiments Shannon’s (25th), Morrison’s(8th ), Montague’s(11th) and Orrey’s (21st) had routed/fled or been forced to  retire.

On the Hanoverian left, the redcoats (commanded by Nick) were involved in some seesaw action with Ralph’s troops. At one stage of the battle Nick was forced to withdraw the advancing Prestons’ regiment as its flank was being threatened by some Jacobite cavalry. There were cries of disbelief as Roger exclaimed that it was the first time he had ever known Nick to retreat voluntarily. ‘Who would have though it? ' he said shaking his head in disbelief.



The Dragoons advance in support

General O'Brien commander of the two French Veteran Regiments: The Irish Bulkeley and the Royal Italian.



Hanoverian Artillery


Jacobite cavalry


Ross, the Duke of Argyll, even though he realised that he was too heavily committed to make an easy withdrawal, was forced to bite the bullet and order his troops out of the action .
For the loss of 3 clan regiments, the two French veteran regiments and one Highland Horse unit, they had won a victory, a Pyrrhic one, but a victory nevertheless and the Redcoats lost four foot regiments,  a squadron of Dragoons and two batteries of guns.  

Rumour has it that the Captain General , The Duke of Marlborough, despite the fact that he gave explicit orders for Argyll to ‘get stuck in’ wants to conduct a court of inquiry into the battle and Argyll’s leadership. Argyll's conduct was, for all intents and purposes, exemplary on the day and he found himself in personal danger from marauding Highlanders on a number of occasions-  he obeyed his orders willingly and with determination and confidence from the start. Hopefully Argyll will be exonerated and allowed to continue his campaign!! As for the Jacobites, they await the arrival of a French fleet and more reinforcements! So kudos to Ralph for his conduct of the battle....and the Earl of Mar had best be careful....if the Old Pretender decides..he may replace the Earl with the Laird of Borlum!  More in the next blog.



The British form line.


Jacobite Reserve Line

Rear of the Veteran Irish

Rear of the Royal Italian Regiment- on loan from Louis XIV

The Old Pretender confers

Hanoverian Line under pressure

Action on the Jacobite Right

General Action on the Hanoverian Left- the fire fights between the Hanoverian line and the Veteran French troops in the back right corner of photo.

2 comments:

  1. Seems like a fascinating campaign, well run and loads of fun- but can the Jacobites win? I've been gaming with a Jacobite army (for the '45 admittedly) for years...and they are a tough lot to get a string of victories together....they lack the firepower of the adversaries. Good luck the Scots!

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  2. Thanks!..it could go either way!It's been commented on by a number of the participating players on the problems the Highlanders face when caught out in the open by Hanoverian firepower. That's why in the end I decided to add in the regular French units.

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