Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Action at Ballyboggin - part 2

From Captain Hoehmann’s discussions with Major Lowe and Captain Barner.

After discussions with the priest we assembled our men and followed him across the moonlight countryside towards Ballyboggin. We had decided that the British would be likely to expect an attack from the south, so we would concentrate our attentions on the North with the light companies all assaulting that side with the rifles covering the east to ensure that no one left to the east to warn the rest of the British forces.

We arrived rather exhausted in position outside the village just before dawn and the priest took his leave to try and raise the locals in our support. The lights advanced cautiously but despite their best endeavours a sentry spotted them just before they crossed the final hedgerow before the village and fired raising the alarm.

It then appeared that the two closest houses in the village were held by the militia and they were well prepared to defend them against the advance of the first and second companies the third company meanwhile with further to cover attempted to flank these buildings to the west. The first two companies were now caught in disadvantageous combat with the militia and the rifles attempted to outflank the buildings on the east.

As they just came into position to outflank the buildings they were surprised by a charge of the dragoons on foot with drawn sabres and beat a hasty retreat to some nearby woods. The dragoons then unslung their muskets and proceeded to inflict more casualties on the first light company, which then withdrew behind a hedge. Meanwhile second company had suffered severe losses attempting to entry the village and had pulled back entirely from the action.
Meanwhile the third light company had advanced steadily but found the building ahead to have been occupied by militia following the alarm and therefore just traded fie with them while looking for an opportunity to enter the village.

It was at this point when all seemed bleak and Major Lowe was considering withdrawal that the British were confronted with a new attack from the south led by the priest. All the British forces were deployed to the north defending the village against our troops. So immediately two militia companies were ordered to save the wagons and moved to head off the villagers. Given the proximity of the wagons the militia charged rather than relying on musketry and this was their downfall. The villagers were mostly armed with scythes and pikes with a few assorted firearms so they were better suited to hand to hand combat. Led by the priest who did personally smite several militiamen with his cross the two companies of militia were routed.

Te departure of the militia company to defend the wagons allowed the third light company to outflank the militia company that had just driven off the second company and rout it. Meanwhile the rifles had position themselves to make better use of their weapons and were taking an increasing toll of the dragoons who then fell back into the nearest building.

So the British were left holding the two buildings at the eastern end of the village, but it was still likely to be a hard struggle to eliminate them. It was at this point that the villagers set light to the wagons in the west of the village, luckily for them the ammunition wagon was to the east so they unaffected by the blast when the fire spread to the ammunition. The wagon was just next to the two building held by the British and the explosion killed or badly maimed all the occupiers.

As a result the day was ours and although a lot of good men had died, the wagons were destroyed, we had secured the dragoons horses and the remaining militia had been put to flight with little chance of rallying. Some must have escaped to the east, but this can only dishearten the British forces.


Frankfurter said...

Argh! They be Boggins in them houses!
Nice action ..

Bluebear Jeff said...

Sounds like a very lively action.

-- Jeff