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Father General's AAR and why the Confederates lost at Harrisonburg

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Father General's AAR and why the Confederates lost at Harrisonburg

Post  Father General on Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:16 pm

Dear Sir,

I have the pleasure of reporting the courageous sacrifice of my most valiant brigade upon the field of battle. While our losses are significant, this sacrifice should serve as a signal example to all how men should make war. The spirits of those who fell this day shall now join ranks with us as members in the Host of Providence which surely aids us.

The initial orders for our brigade were to move three regiments by road to Seminary ridge, whilst retaining the fourth on the west of town for the purpose of deceiving the enemy and luring him into town. I protested these orders on grounds of cowardice, lack of faithfulness, and the following reading from the Book of Habakkuk, Chapter 2.

4 “See, the enemy is puffed up;
his desires are not upright—
but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness—
5 indeed, wine betrays him;
he is arrogant and never at rest.
Because he is as greedy as the grave
and like death is never satisfied,
he gathers to himself all the nations
and takes captive all the peoples.
6 “Will not all of them taunt him with ridicule and scorn, saying,

“‘Woe to him who piles up stolen goods
and makes himself wealthy by extortion!
How long must this go on?’
7 Will not your creditors suddenly arise?
Will they not wake up and make you tremble?
Then you will become their prey.
8 Because you have plundered many nations,
the peoples who are left will plunder you.
For you have shed human blood;
you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.
9 “Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain,
setting his nest on high
to escape the clutches of ruin!
10 You have plotted the ruin of many peoples,
shaming your own house and forfeiting your life.
11 The stones of the wall will cry out,
and the beams of the woodwork will echo it.

But these protests were rejected.

So I obeyed my masters and scouted forward with my staff as ordered, after setting three regiments in motion to watch from a shameful position upon a hill.

Fortunately, time was our friend and we encountered the enemy immediately. In fact, my wanderings to the enemy became so close, the whizz of sharpshooter’s bullets alerted me.

Returning to my brigade, I observed that by using roads and following a circuitous route, my good staff major had kept the retreating element nearby for action. Very commendable.

We could no longer move by direct route anyway, the enemy was too near and should have intercepted us alone without the support of allies. While this would not have troubled me, I did not want to independently upset the careful and delicate cowardice of our plan with a singular act of courage, lest I face reprimand.

So I then elected to support this skulking ruse by moving my brigade entire to the south, through Harrisonburg. This undoubtedly misled the enemy.

Once south of town and out of the enemy’s filthy, sinful, and covetous sight, we turned west and made haste to gain the low land behind Seminary ridge. We did so.

Then we turned north, screened by the ridge, to move to the position we were forced to occupy. This movement took an exceptionally long time. I then received the joyous news that the scales had fallen from my commander’s eyes and he was going to depart the ridge for to strike the enemy! However, my sudden elation turned to despair as I was ordered into reserve. Naturally I protested this.

Luckily, I did not have to wait long, as the developing situation compelled us to be immediately cast into battle. The men could not run downhill fast enough.

We smashed into their lines with Col. Joshua Ray on our right flank. The ensuing battle was a fantastic symphony of shot and shell and bayonet. On several occasions, I ordered charges and believe we displaced several Colorado regiments of savages. How curious! Must they employ such imps to fill their depraved ranks? What will they think of next? Maybe they will in desperation next employ the Sons of Ham to fight for their cause, with no other Sons of Israel willing to join?

The engagement was a delightful victory as their units were smashed, and I saw them send fresh brigades into the slaughter. Specifically their eighth and ninth brigades were punished by us and their second returned to receive their licking.

It was a most excellent situation, as Providence had delivered the foe to us!

Yet it was at this same moment that I observed Ray’s Texans, on our right, falling back in disarray. This was an annoyance as now my flank was exposed. Still, we continued our fight. Moments later, I observed other units withdrawing in the same fashion.

This perplexed me. I received no order to stop fighting, so we held position and fought with those of us who remained until all were spent.

Our divisional commander fell, refusing to gallop away from the advancing enemy. Most commendable.

Eventually, the unit was lost entirely, but gave such an excellent account of itself that the enemy must surely be impressed with Southern gallantry.

I understand they must whip their minions to fight us.

My staff and I had the misfortune of escaping, and we eventually picked our way, with great reluctance, to Seminary ridge where a general retreat was in progress. I aided the escape of the guns, guiding them around the approaching enemy.

How sorrowful to see that the advice from scripture was ignored. As my units reform around this position, I can only hope that we next discern our plan of battle from the pages of scripture rather than concoct cowardly schemes that leave men standing idly on ridges.

We are in fine shape. The enemy has the Devil to pay. We shall charge him the full balance!

-Col. Matthew Neal
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Father General

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Re: Father General's AAR and why the Confederates lost at Harrisonburg

Post  Mr. Digby on Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:35 pm

Sir, less of the Book and more knowledge of tactics is called for! Your men behaved abominably in battle and were the first to run, screaming for the hills while my brigade was attempting to cover the withdrawal of the left flank. Shameful, sir, shameful!

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Father General's AAR and why the Confederates lost at Harrisonburg

Post  Father General on Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:39 pm

Mr. Digby wrote:Sir, less of the Book and more knowledge of tactics is called for! Your men behaved abominably in battle and were the first to run, screaming for the hills while my brigade was attempting to cover the withdrawal of the left flank. Shameful, sir, shameful!

A duel!
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Re: Father General's AAR and why the Confederates lost at Harrisonburg

Post  Uncle Billy on Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:57 pm

I'll be happy to hold Father General's coat. Pay no attention to that layabout. Your men performed in a most excellent manner. They were fleet of foot. It is hoped that you are given the command of another division soonest. Err...your last one seems to have disappeared.

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