|Morning of the battle. Royalist flying column arrayed about the|
town; the insurrectionists drawn up to attack.
Continuing the theme of the Gatonegro War of Independence, we hark back to the opening moves of the colonists and native rebellion against the oppressive rule of the Reine de Oro. The very name 'de Oro' derived from the vast treasures extorted and looted from the colony; with no appreciable benefit - not even defence against hostile natives (they having been effectively exterminated) - being returned by the 'Mother Country'.
|Insurrectionist army: two brigades of 3 battalions. |
No artillery; no cavalry, they are entirely reliant upon
numbers and righteous rage.
The Europeian Imperial Wars of the early 19th Century impacted severely upon the Reine de Oro; that seat of Empire had been forced somewhat to relax its imperial grip, whilst yet increasing its demands upon the wealth of the colony. Grumblings in Gatonegro grew to dissent, then to frank disobedience and finally to outright defiance. The spark was finally touched off at Arabispo, where a wagon convoy had paused whilst carrying treasure to the seaport and capital, Gatorado. The attempt to hinder the convoy's journey in the morning of March 20th descended swiftly into attacks upon the few convoy guards, a massacre of townspeople, and the discovery that during the fracas, some enterprising townspeople and visiting peons had made off with a considerable portion of the treasure. Two of the score of wagons had vanished, and the pile of loot had appreciably diminished in at least a couple more.
|Royalist regulars. In monochrome it is less fuzzy that|
it was in colour!
Of course, the Gatonegrin Vice-Regent could not be seen to tolerate such effrontery, and despatched a flying column to clamp his Imperial authority upon the town. Under General Don Lardo Bigboy y Pantalunas, a flying column set out for the week's march to Arabispo. This column comprised;
Royalist Flying Column
General Officer commanding and Staff: Don Lardo Bigboy y Pantalunas.
4th del Gardo Infantry Regiment (4 officers and 24 men)
1st Lancia d'Esci (3 officers and 12 troopers)
Battery Imperial Artillery (1 x 6pr piece plus 4 of a crew)
On the way, this force picked up and included in its numbers:
1st Gatonegro Loyalist Militia (3 officers and 16 men).
Total, including the commander, 67 figures (at 1:20, call it 1,340 officers and men). The regulars count as regular except the grenadier company (6 figures) counting as elite. The Gatonegro loyalists count as 'Militia'.
|Loyalist militia stand ready to defend the town.|
Unbeknownst to Imperial authority, however, the seeds of insurrection had been sown long before the Arabispo incident. The Deputy-Mayor and Town Treasurer, one Jose de San Bartolomeo, had clandestinely been recruiting and pulling together an enthusiastic, if very amateur and sketchily trained, force of insurrectionists. Meticulous in organisation as he was with the Public Accounts, San Bartolomeo organised his little army into battalions and brigades. Though lacking on horse and guns, the 2000-plus strong force he has recruited he hoped would give a good account of itself, if presented with an opportunity.
|Opening moves, with the insurrectionists surging towards the town/|
Already they have reason to apprehend the moves of the
This militia might never had been called out, had Don Lardo and his troops behaved with sufficient restraint upon their arrival in the Arabispo district. Launched more than reluctantly from his sybaritic existence in the Capital, Don Lardo was inclined to vent his resentment upon the townsfolk and local peasantry. Already exasperated, the local people grew desperate. Within the week, San Bartolomeo determined upon calling out his militia to evict Don Lardo and his men from the town. This militia comprised: