A Beautiful Glittering Lie
One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

What does 'flank' mean?

Find out what flank means. Flank is explained by J D R Hawkins - author of A Beautiful Glittering Lie

flank

A "flank" is the end or side of a military position, and is also referred to as a "wing." An unprotected flank is said to be "in the air," while a protected flank is "refused." To flank the enemy means to move around it to gain the side of their position by avoiding a frontal assault. In my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, the term "flank" is used as follows:

(Page 33)
The 4th Alabama was finally flanked. As the regiment was commanded to retire, Old Battalion was hit in the leg, forcing Colonel Jones to dismount. In a hail of bullets, he too was hit in both thighs, and crumbled to the ground with a broken left leg. Law immediately took command, managing to retire his troops, but was compelled to leave Jones on the field because Union soldiers had forded Bull Run River. Major Scott went down, shot through the leg. Law fell next, his arm broken by a Yankee’s bullet, and was quickly taken from the field. The remaining Alabamians now had no one to guide them. They stood in mass confusion while men writhed around them on the ground, bloody and dying. Smoke and thunder filled the air.

(Page 79)
Jackson’s corps crossed the Rappahannock in an attempt to flank the Union army, while General Lee’s portion stayed behind to keep Pope occupied. The Alabamians learned of Jackson’s departure a few days later, but didn’t flinch in their determination. The fact that they were immensely outnumbered didn’t deter them.

(Page 79)
Late that evening, the corps’ two brigades were positioned to advance through the narrow gap, which was only wide enough to allow for railroad tracks and a road. The steep, craggy sides prevented the Confederates from seeing in any direction but straight ahead. They chased the retreating Yankees, firing their rifles and muskets continuously while they pursued, the clatter of their guns echoing through the gap. The 4th was directed to climb the slope in an attempt to flank their retreating enemy, and after much difficulty, they succeeded at nightfall. The men bivouacked, where they sustained themselves on hardtack and tobacco.

(Page 86)
Yankee artillery fired into General Hood’s right flank and rear, causing the Rebels to fall back. The ground was scattered with bodies, most of which were clad in blue. Many Confederate soldiers had exhausted their ammunition when Lieutenant Stewart informed them that they had been fighting for nearly three hours straight. Fearing that the enemy would chase after them, they quickly re-formed, but discovered their haste was unnecessary, as the Yankees failed to respond. The Alabamians took much-needed time to replenish their ammunition and catch their breath.

Search result for 'flank' in A Beautiful Glittering Lie

Chapter 3: Chapter Three
"...The 4th Alabama was finally flanked. As the regiment was commanded to retire, Old Battalion was hit in the leg, forcing Colonel Jones to dismount. In a hail of bullets, he too was hit in both thighs, and crumbled to the ground with a broken left leg. Law immediately took command, managing to retire his ..."

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Chapter 4: Chapter Four
"...Digging his heels into Joe Boy’s flanks, they rode toward the edge of the city. They turned a corner, and noticing a small division of soldiers marching ahead, they decided to follow, staying back far enough so as not to be detected. The soldiers kept marching to a wooded area along Big Spring Branch, where hundreds ..."

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Chapter 8: Chapter Eight
"...An arrow whisked through the air, lodging in one of the horses’ flanks. The chestnut reared in surprise, screaming with pain. Both horses panicked, so that their riders could barely control them. The first soldier saw what direction the arrows were coming from. He drew his pistol and fired a shot into the nearby trees, but it was still too dark to ..."
"...Jackson’s corps crossed the Rappahannock in an attempt to flank the Union army, while General Lee’s portion stayed behind to keep Pope occupied. The Alabamians learned of Jackson’s departure a few days later, but didn’t flinch in their determination. The fact that they were immensely outnumbered didn’t deter them. ..."
"...steep, craggy sides prevented the Confederates from seeing in any direction but straight ahead. They chased the retreating Yankees, firing their rifles and muskets continuously while they pursued, the clatter of their guns echoing through the gap. The 4th was directed to climb the slope in an attempt to flank their retreating enemy, and after much difficulty, they succeeded at nightfall. The men bivouacked, where they sustained themselves on hardtack and tobacco. ..."

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Chapter 9: Chapter Nine
"...Yankee artillery fired into General Hood’s right flank and rear, causing the Rebels to fall back. The ground was scattered with bodies, most of which were clad in blue. Many Confederate soldiers had exhausted their ammunition when Lieutenant Stewart informed them that they had been fighting for nearly three hours straight. Fearing that the enemy would chase ..."

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