Fenian raid of John O'Neill near Niagara

Contributed by: David Cliffel (CMBD123@utxvms.cc.utexas.edu)

This scenario is based on the events of June 2, 1866 being only a small skirmish and Col. Booker (Canadian) not advancing the QORs and the 13th alone but waiting until additional troops arrived.

Some additional references: The Last Invasion of Canada, Hereward Senior,1991. Uses a lot of the original material but has some errors. http://www.wwu.edu/~col/fenian/fen.html and http://www.qor.com

Fenian raid of John O'Neill near Niagara
Scale: 50 men/2 guns per stand
June 3, 1866

A Scenario For 'Fire and Fury'

Order of Battle

British Canadians- Maj. Gen. G. Napier -1 Corps Ldr. Chippawa (in Reserve)

First "Division" - Colonel Peacocke  1  Div. Ldr.    Chippawa
        HM 16th Regiment(Ex)    7/5/3
        HM 47th Regiment(Ex)    10/7/4
        10th Royal Bttn.        8/7/5
        19th Bttn.              7/6/4
        Grey Battery Royal Art. 3 guns   Armstrongs

Second "Division" - Colonel Wolseley    1 ex Div. Ldr     Port Colborne
        Queen Own  (Ex)         10/8/5
        13th Bttn.              7/6/4
        7th Bttn.               7/6/4
        22nd Bttn.              5/4/3

Third "Division"- Lt. Colonel Lowry     1 Div. Ldr    Chippawa (in Reserve)
        60th Royal Bttn (E)     4/-/3                       "
        20th Bttn.              6/5/4                       "
        Aurora Provisional Bn.  4/-/3                 Guarding Bridges
        Oakville Provisional Bn 7/6/4                 Guarding Bridges
        Crowe's Royal Artillery  2 guns  Whitworths
Cavalry- Major George Denison           1 Div. Ldr       Port Colburne
        Governor-General's Bodyguard Cavalry -    5/4/3 Cav
        Stoker's "Foot Cavalry"                   4/3/2 Inf.

Fenian Order of Battle

        Colonel John O'Neill    1 Ex Div Ldr    Ridge Road
        13th Tenn.      8/6/4                   Ridge Road      
        17th Kent.      11/9/6                  Ridge Road
        18th Ohio       11/9/6                  Ridge Road
        7th NY (Buffalo) 10/8/6                 Ridgeway-RidgeRoad
        Indiana Bttn.   5/4/3                   Ridge Road              
        Buffalo Cavalry 3/2/-                   Stevensville

        General M.W. Burns      1 Div Ldr       Reinforcements***
        19th Ohio       10/8/6
        69th NY         10/8/6
        63th NY         10/8/6
        88th NY         10/8/6
        2nd NY (Buffalo) 8/7/5

Start with the night June 2, 1866 for the Fenian reinforcement phase. After determining reinforcements, the Canadian player determines when the advance is scheduled for, from starting locations.

The Chippawa force arrives according to the following:

1-2an hour early
3-4a half hour early
5-6on time
7-8a half hour late
9an hour late
10an hour and a half late

Of course this is with respect to the Port Colburne Force, which always is on time.

Special Scenario Rules:

  1. All non- exceptional Canadian units must attempt to form square if they have LOS to mounted enemy cavalry and are with charging distance. They form square if they roll an allowed formation change, (note they must use their leaders (who really did order "form square") bonuses to their rolls if in range Square formation- make a box with troops and always flanked by fire. After one complete turn they may change back, even if cavalry still around.
  2. Canadians fire as 1/1 except for the British HM 16th and HM 47th which fire as 2/2. The artillery fires as with Union factors, 10/4/3/2.
  3. All Fenians fire as Union Cavalry, i.e. 2/1.

Reinforcements (Fenians only):

The 19th, 69th, 63rd, and 88th can attempt to come over starting on the night of June 2 at the lower ferry. Each of the four roll and if the result is seven or higher, the unit successfully crosses. The 2nd NY can attempt to cross using the captured W.T. Robb at Fort Erie but it needs a 8 or higher. General M.W. Burns crosses with the last unit over (even if it is captured in crossing, so is he). Every following night, the remaining reinforcements can still try to cross, however, during the day of June 3rd, General Geo. Meade orders the S.S. Michigan and Hamiliton to interfere with Fenians attempting to cross. thus the rolls are at -2. If any result during a night is zero or negative, the crossing unit is captured and no further troops make it across that night.

Note that starting on the night of June 3rd any Fenian unit that reached spent status has run to US border and surrendered to the Michigan or Hamiliton. All other units retain their current effectiveness until they rest for a day.

Lowry's reserves- home guard called up even more hastily than anyone else. If the British Canadians lose badly on June 3rd, they may be brought up or the Fenians can try to advance to Chippawa ( which has two nearby bridges over to the US border)


The Canadians must defeat and drive the Fenians off the battlefield If they do it on June 3rd,a decisive Canadian Victory.

If it takes two days it is a marginal Canadian victory. 3 days is a Fenian marginal, (encouraging further raids?), and holding out indefinitely is truly the only Fenian victory, especially if they can capture Chippawa and a bridge to the US.


Fenian Raid Map in ASCII- *trees =" road _| creek   H house O orchard r Ridge

******** "S            /               Ch  "             r   ****************
******** "            /                ====             r    ****************
******** "           /                " OOOOOOOOOOO    r     ****************
******** "           |               H" OOOOOOOOOOO   r      ****************
******** "           |               "              r
******** "          /               "               r
******** "         /               "                 r
******** "        /               "                   r
******** "       /               "                    r
******** "      /                "                    r
******** "     /                 "          *****     r r r r r r rrrrrrrrrrr
******** "   _/                 "          *********
******** "                    HH"         **********               To Ft.Erie
******** "                     "  *******************                        /
******** "                    "   ******************            -------------
******** "                    "   ******************           /
******** "                    "   ******************          /
******** " PC                 "   *******************

Map is 6.5' x 4.5' at 1 inch = 30 yards, PC= Port Colburne entry
S= to Stevensville (Fenian Cavalry enters whenever the Fenians want it)
Ch= Chippawa entry;  O'Neil can set up anywhere he wants but he must
protect both roads to the right side (the way to fort erie).