Sunday, November 20, 2011

Battle of Lago Bosque

Date: 19 Noviembre 1810/2011
Location: Campo Lago Bosque {Field of Lake Forest}
Situation: The Battle And Aftermath
See Previous Dispatch:
The dispatch to Major General Pettygree of the 17th. instant stated the French were breaching the defile at Lago Bosque with an Advance Guard estimated at four battalions, eight squadrons and a battery of eight pounders. Though outnumbered, the Britannian Observation Corps hurried to block the defile where was fought....

{Lake Forest}

The first to arrive was a three section Royal Horse Artillery Battery of 6 Pounders. The battle opened with their first salvo into French light cavalry causing the latter to break into open order. {Elite Miniatures from the collection of Der Alte Fritz}

The RHA Battery is just off screen to the right in the above image. A Shore Party of Royal Marines occupied a walled hacienda whilst the Light Company of the 83rd Foot was posted between the guns and the walled enclosure.

The Grenadier Company of the 83rd Foot protects the right flank of the RHA. In the distance the remnant of Britannian Hussars flee from the oncoming wall of French after having scattered all the French light cavalry. Their charge caused the French advance to pause and bunch up.

The French response? Bring forward the 8 Pounders and settle the affair. As a result the RHA Battery prolonged to the rear past a covering rise of ground to their limbers before being shot at.

Soon the roar of cannon fire shook the area as round shot battered down the front wall of the hacienda. Debris flew amongst the Royal Marines who luckily lost not a man. Covered in dust the Marines withdrew over the back wall. 

Britannian units were allowed hidden deployment. A surprise might pop up anywhere. Indeed the hill at the top left of the image bristled at first with a company of riflemen and later with half of the 83rd Foot. A French battalion has just given fire at the riflemen above the top of the image.

Britannian riflemen did not survive the French volley and while the French climbed the hill, the 83rd Foot departed believing it would be better to fight another day. They had done as much as could have been expected to divert French forces from exiting the defile quickly. Indeed the French advance had been slowed though not stopped.

At this point there was nothing left to trouble the French. Cries of "En avant, vite, vite, mes Amis!" were heard. {Advance, quickly, quickly my friends!}

French cavalry pour out of the defile supported by a battalion which had struggled mightily to ascend and descend the steep slope at the upper right the image over the wreckage of another Britannian rifle company.

Where is the rest of the Britannian Observation Corps? If we back up a moment in time....

Here is Lord Paget's Light Cavalry Brigade calmly waiting for orders. Unseen behind the light cavalry is the rest of the 83rd Foot. Also unseen is a significant body of French cavalry and another battalion of infantry just exiting dense woodland to the oblique right of the upper right-hand Britannian Squadron.

{Note French battalion previously mentioned atop the steep hill before its descent.}

There was no way to properly engage the foe coming from the flank and soon also from the front. With the approval of Major General Pettygree, Lord Paget bellowed, "BRIGADE! BY SQUADRON. BY THE LEFT WHEEL. MARRRCHHH!" You see the brigade after the wheel; fun to do at 1:10. Observe proper intervals to do this!

The whole force was taken off the battlefield.

Here we see the 2/16th Light Dragoons in retreat.

Both squadrons are now in view. 1/16th is leading.

The regimental commanding officer observes the procession. Later....

Major Bollinger: "Colonel! May I have a word?"

Colonel Shackleton: "What news Major?"

Major Bollinger: "Lord Paget's compliments Sir and he would be obliged if you would hasten back to our base at Pueblo Marrón Ciervos. {Village of Brown Deer}
He desires you to take charge of evacuation of all possible supplies and lingering personnel. Destroy what can not be gotten off. The rest of The Observation Corps will be your rear guard."

Colonel Shackleton: "It's that bad Major?"

Major Bollinger: "I'm afraid so, Sir. Boney's marching hard with a small Corps d'Armée. No way to stop 'em just now."


1.See Der Alte Frit'z blog for more images and information.

2.Pettygree's Orders: "Slow the French and cause them to disperse by clever use of concealed units suddenly arising to trouble the foe."


12 Cavalry {Bill P.} + 25 Infantry {Earl K.} = 37.

9 Infantry {Keith L.} + 22 cavalry {Jim P.} = 31.

4. Comments welcome below.


  1. Simply glorious Bill!
    Lovely to see the project moving forward so magnificantly. Are you thinking of publishing BAR amendments for the napoleonic period next year?
    best wishes

  2. Now I wish that I had enough castings on hand to paint another regiment of British. :)


  3. Great battle narrative. Really enjoyed it.

  4. A great spread on the table and wonderful narrative.

    Best Regards,


  5. Où allez-vous Anglais chiens? Se battre! Vive l'Empereur! :-) Seriously, a hard day for the French light cavalry. All at the hands of the 16th LD? Anxiously awaiting the next battle report.

  6. Very interesting narrative and as usual great pics, more please!!!!!

  7. Thank you Sirs,
    Comments, etc. are always appreciated. These stimulate further efforts. Otherwise this kind of thing as fun and satisfying as it is, would be like showing a movie in an empty theatre. Something like that. Thank you all for looking in and leaving remarks.
    Sorry no. I've published three sets of rules over the years. BAR was my magnum opus and drained the tank so-to-speak.

    Also on my mind is the overwhelming trend and demand for super color graphics/photographs. This new WOW factor is designed solely to please visually and convince the buyer the rules are also super. This is not necessarily so.

    If I ever reprint BAR, I will consider redoing all the photos in color.

    I think I just made a speech! I beg your forbearance, if you please, everyone.
    For USA viewers.

  8. Great looking game, lovely pics.

    -- Allan


Comments Here