This is an an account of an action fought using Simon Clarke’s innovatory battle system for the horse and musket era.
NEW BURTON HERALD
November 10th 1862
Battle of Beech Hill
“Only Godless Yankees would attack in Winter “ commented Gen. Gregory Beauregard after his reverse at Beech Hill.
Federal General Achilles Clarke 3rd had set off in the early hours from his base at Bass Springs to seize the railhead at SmallHopes with some 6000 men by surprise. Frantic efforts by Gen Beauregard enable him to get some 4000 troops to make a stand at the Beech Hill Bluffs to defend the Small Hopes railway. His troops were exhausted especially the Tarheels of Groves brigade who had made a particularly hard route march to shore up the flanks of the force.
An initial cannonade by the Confederate batteries was ineffective but this was answered by a furious bombardment of the hill, throwing Coopers Brigade into disarray and dismounting several guns in Joshua’s battery. The Union forces came on and started a steady firefight with the grey ranks which were wavering. Cooper’s brigade fell back from the crest of the hill and rallied behind it. On the right the Tarheels essayed a firefight and were repulsed while on the left their fellows dug in to face the Union onslaught.
Coopers brigade returned to the fight but were driven back and their compatriots to their right broke and fled. Some confederate stragglers were joining the battle and tried to establish a line on the crest but were once again driven off.
With darkness falling , the Confederate centre was retiring and it was proving impossible to control the troops on the flanks A general retreat was sounded. Due to the failing light and the absence of cavalry most of Beauregards command escaped though hopelessly disorganised.
The railhead fell to the Yankees