Date: April 30, 1903
Location: Channelside House; Gen. Pettygree's Home
Situation: Surajistan Report By Col. Chartwell
Rules: Colonial BAR
See Previous Chapter 63 Here:
The day began simply enough. One could say it was similar to many days since my permanent arrival home more than two years ago. I no longer thought much about future days being different. Retirement and family life were my proper new duties. Mary and I rose early, breakfasted, additional plans for Channelside's renovation were discussed, lunch followed and in the late afternoon we walked our land.
As we were about to go in for tea, an officer dressed in ceremonials of the Third Dragoon Guards rode in requesting my attention. Colonel Chartwell had been sent from Horse Guards with a report concerning my former command in Surajistan.
I knew Mary was thinking I might receive orders to return to the Army. For the moment it was best to excuse her from specifics. Not wanting to burden her with military matters I suspected might be upsetting....
We rode to and from The Channel Coast nearby to talk.
Chartwell: "It's the wretched Thugees General. Their devilish allies too. The Armistice was broken by them a fortnight ago. Fort Grant, Colonel Smythe and the garrison were severely attacked. We received copious news until the 15th. ultimo when the telegraph...."
Pettygree: "Went dead! No news since?" [Chartwell gestured no.] What do we know?"
Chartwell: "Apparently Colonel Smythe suspected something."
Chartwell: "On the 13th., he ordered the entire 9th Lancers out for a dawn scout eastwards."
Chartwell: "Senior Captain Paget led four squadrons to the bridge and...."
Pettygree: "I can see it in my mind from memory; crossed there many times."
Chartwell: "As the Sun rose, leading squadrons began to deploy when...."
Chartwell: "Concealed Thugee horsemen charged across a great distance."
Pettygree: "The vexing fiends!"
Chartwell: "At first our sowars held their own. One account even remarks an enraged Bengal Tiger attacked and dismounted some Thugees."
Chartwell: "The enemy began receiving the worst of the combat. Their northern body fled and though Paget tried to hold one squadron, they pursued the foe cutting them all down. I presume the enemy's horses were blown from their long charge."
Chartwell: "Elsewhere the melee was general; the foe coming from several directions."
Chartwell: "Colonel Smythe had the garrison stand to sending several companies to support the lancers. Fire from the fort was effectual so I am told Sir."
Chartwell: "As Paget's sowars returned from their merry pursuit, it was all but over. The Tugs were beaten and flying eastward. Our lancers pursued willy-nilly all over the countryside."
Pettygree: "Was that devil KHAN in command?"
Chartwell: "Yes Sir. --- When the regiment reformed, wounded were carried into the fort, a halt was ordered and afterwards the regiment continued its scout."
Chartwell: "That's all we know about the battle and the Lancers on the 13th. Sir. On the 14th the Guru's Main Body arrived before the fort."
Further conversation and nuanced speculations which would bore the reader returned us to the stable. As we reentered Channelside, Mary met us ordering that we dress for dinner and repair to the banqueting hall to await the first course.
Left to right: Major General Pettygree and Colonel Chartwell.
Chartwell: "Before I resume Sir, would you give me a gallery tour?"
Pettygree: "Splendid. --- However, Mary is coming in just now."
Mary: "General Pettygree and Colonel Chartwell, you both do wonders for my morale. The Army should never have done away with the resplendent red tunic in favor of that dreadful new service green. What were they thinking?
Pettygree: "Quite so my dear."
Chartwell: "Thankee. I am at your service Mrs. Pettygree."
Mary: "I am afraid dinner will be delayed a half hour. Jameson informs me our renovations have not applied as well as could be expected to the kitchen and we shall sup in the smaller dining room too."
Chartwell: "I look forward to it mam."
Mary: [Smiles] As do I Sir. Meanwhile gentlemen, may I reluctantly abandon you to your interesting military stories? Duty calls." [The men bow as she departs.]
Pettygree: "The tour then. On the left is a Van Dyke of Justinian Pettygree; an officer in Rupert's Horse during The Civil War. He was wounded at Marston Moor in 1644. Next is Edward. He served in America during The French and Indian War commanding the 46th Foot circa 1757."
Pettygree: "Here we have mysterious Lady Diana - perhaps the liveliest spirit in the family."
Chartwell: "How so General?"
Pettygree: "Her father, Edward's brother, supported Bonnie Prince Charlie in the Jacobite Uprising in the 1740s. Naturally he was out of favor for a time; disgraced. His daughter Diana went to live in France, found favor at Versailles and was said to have been involved in intrigues in The Seven Years' War whereas in fact she cared little about it. Celebrations were more her style."
Chartwell: "The Peninsular."
Pettygree: "Indeed. Constantine served in Portugal and Spain - had an independent command there earning the approbation of those in government because he gave Bones Apart a bloody nose after Corunna."
Pettygree: "Mary commissioned this one of me mounted on dear Express whilst we were in Surajistan."
Chartwell: "And your story Sir is only half-written, if I may say so. --- May I resume the narrative of the attack on Fort Grant?"
Pettygree: "Please do."
Chartwell: "The garrison was under arms from the 13th into the 14th of April."
Chartwell: "The Guru set up a breaching battery of large calibre cannons."
Chartwell: "When a breach was made on the right and...."
Chartwell: "Another on the left of the east wall...."
Chartwell: "The enemy came forward with scaling ladders."
Chartwell: "Their numbers were not inconsiderable."
Pettygree: "A veritable sea of malevolent humanity. I've seen it before."
Chartwell: "They reached the walls, ascended to the ramparts and poured through the breaches! Death and destruction everywhere."
Chartwell: "One account states a huge crocodile supported their cause."
Pettygree: "An astounding tale Sir!"
Chartwell: "The garrison fought gallantly and the Tugs suffered cruelly."
Chartwell: "Even within the breaches."
Chartwell: The northeast wall was lost and the enemy ran onto the parade."
Chartwell: "But well-timed vollies scuppered the invaders. They suddenly fled."
Pettygree: "Good --- good --- and?"
Chartwell: "The last communication from Colonel Smythe stated. 'Have repulsed the Guru's first wave. Our loss is 25%. New enemy reserves arriving and...."
Pettygree: "The telegraph was cut."
Chartwell: "I'm afraid so Sir."
Jameson: "General, Colonel, excuse me. Dinner is being served now."
Mary: "Gentlemen. May I tear you away from your fascinating stories?"
1) The two games were staged on my annual birthday game day. The cavalry game was held during the morning - the escalade in the afternoon. Escalades are always so much fun! In the former Curt B. and Michael M. served ably as judges adjudicating hidden Tug and fun wild animal movement. There was also a third game; French and Indian War. Three games in one day is a tradition on my birthday game day.
2) Dorothy supplied a wonderful sandwich tray and the scrumptious birthday cake above. The pards kindly brought other delicious goodies to share too.
3) Left to right seated: John M., John B., Curt B. and Brent O. whilst standing left to right are Michael M., "Lucky" Chuck L., Jon P. and birthday boy Bill. Gosh we had fun and it was easy with such wonderfully companionable friends. Thanks a million pards!
4) Mary Pettygree, Colonel Smythe and several civilian defenders at Fort Grant were kindly supplied from the collection of pard Randy F.
5. The Roman three building set (back right of the fort) is on loan from pard Jim P.'s (Der Alte Fritz) collection. All other structures are from Miniature Building Authority.
6) General Pettygree and Colonel Chartwell were manufactured by Muttonchop Miniatures now sold through Empress Miniatures here:
7) Quick Reference Charts for Colonial BAR may be obtained here:
8) The 9th Bengal Lancers mission was to scout miles to the east to locate the Guru's Army. In this they failed. They took some solace in their victory over KHAN's horsemen. A modern Win Win for a game! In the afternoon the Tugs were repulsed because our time ran out. We usually play out the turn in progress at 4:30 pm and then call it quits to chat and pick up. We gamed from 9am till 4:30 with a nice respite for lunch in the "library" listening to mood music while talking over this or that.
9) One interesting item is all lights were turned off in the game room while the 9th Bengal lancers exited the fort and moved over the bridge. This to simulate early morning darkness. It did impede control a little - more so atmospherically in our attitude methinks. Fun.
10) Did anybody spot Annie?
11) Thank you for looking in. I hope you enjoyed the way the games were presented. Comments from you are welcome, if you please below.