Lafayette in Southern Victory Edit
In 1942 Brigadier General Irving Morrell launched two major offences against both Confederate flanks. The main thrust, in which he participated, originated from Meadville, Pennsylvania. The second, smaller attack came from Parkersburg, West Virginia. The two forces linked up in Lafayette, Ohio and thus surrounded the main Confederate Army in Pittsburgh.
Sgt. Chester Martin was in the vanguard of the Meadville force since he and his platoon hitched a ride on a platoon of barrels, dismounting when needed to fight as infantry. On reaching Lafayette he exclaimed "Lafayette, here we are".
After the encirclement was complete, the U.S. built up their forces in the ring to solidify their grip. At the same time, the Confederates built up their forces in Ohio to break-through and relieve Pittsburgh. Just before Christmas, the Confederates launched their offensive.
The main natural barrier was the Tuscarawas River which ran mainly north and south but had a major east west bend at Lafayette. The Confederates advanced parallel to the river rather than trying to cross it. While taking care to remain outside rifle fire range, several barrels came too close and were destroyed by dual purpose anti-aircraft guns. However, the U.S. forces were compelled to retreat when the Confederates forced a crossing at Coshocton to the south and west and threatened their flank.