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194. If the company be marching in line to the front, the instructor will cause it to break by platoon to the right by the same commands.  At the command march, the platoons will wheel in the manner already explained; the man on the pivot will take care, to mark time in his place, without advancing or receding; the instructor, the chiefs of platoon, and the guides, will conform to what has been prescribed Nos. 189, and following.

195. The company may be broken by platoons to his left, according to the same principles, and by inverse means, the instructor giving the command prescribed Nos. 188 and 190, substituting left, for right, and reciprocally.

196. The movements explained in Nos. 188 and 194 will only be executed after the company has become well established in the principles of the march in column, Articles Second and Third.

REMARKS.

197. The instructor, placed in front of the company, will observe whether the movement be executed according to the principles prescribed above; whether the platoons, after breaking into column, are perpendicular to the line of battle just occupied; and whether the guide, who placed himself where the marching flank of his platoon had to rest, has left, between himself and his front-rank man on the right (or left), the space necessary to contain the front of the platoon.

198. After the platoons have broken, if the rearmost guide should not accurately cover the leading one, he will not seek to correct his position, till the column be put in march, unless the instructor, wishing to wheel immediately into line, should think it necessary to rectify the direction of the guides, which would be executed as will be hereinafter explained in Article V. of this Lesson.

199. The instructor will observe, that the man on the right (or left) of each platoon, who, at the command march, faces to the right (or left) being the true pivot of the wheel, the front-rank man next to him ought to gain a little ground to the front in wheeling, so as to clear the pivot-man.

ARTICLE II.

To march in column.

200. The company having broken by platoon, right (or left) in front, the instructor, wishing to cause the column to march, will place himself twenty-five or thirty paces in front, face to the guides, establish himself correctly, on their direction, and caution the leading guide to take points on the ground.

201. The instructor being thus placed, the guide of the leading platoon will take two points on the ground in the straight line passing between his own and the heels of the instructor.

202. These dispositions being made, the instructor will step aside, and command:

1. Column, forward.  2. Guide left (or right).  3. MARCH.

203. At the command march, promptly repeated by the chiefs of platoon, they, as well as the guides, will lead off, by a decided step, their respective platoons, in order that the whole may, move smartly, and at the same moment.

204. The men will each feel lightly the elbow of his neighbor toward the guide, and conform himself, in marching, to the principles prescribed in the S. S., No. 336.  The man next to the guide, in each platoon, will take care never to pass him, and also to march always about six inches to the right (or left) from him, in order not to push him out of the direction.

205. The leading guide will observe, with the precision, the length and cadence of the step, and maintain the direction of his march by the means prescribed No. 89.

206. The following guide will march exactly in the trace of the leading one, preserving between the latter and himself a distance precisely equal to the front of his platoon, and marching in his same step with the leading guide.

207. If the following guide lose his distance from the one leading (which can only happen by his own fault), he will correct himself by slightly lengthening or shortening a few steps, in order that there may not be sudden quickenings or slackenings in the march of his platoon.

208. If the same guide, having neglected to march exactly in the trace of the preceding one, find himself sensibly out of the direction, he will remedy this fault by advancing more or less the shoulder opposite to the true direction, and thus, with few steps, insensibly regain it, without the inconvenience of the oblique step, which would cause a loss of distance.  In all cases, each chief of platoon will cause it to conform to the movements of its guide.

REMARKS ON THE MARCH IN COLUMN.

209. If the chiefs and guides of subdivisions neglect to lead off, and to decide the march from the first step, the march will be begun in uncertainty, which will cause waverings, a loss of step, and a loss of distance.

210. If the leading guide take unequal steps, the march of his subdivision, and that which follows, will be uncertain; there will be undulations, quickenings, and slackenings in the march.

211. If the same guide be not habituated to prolong a given direction, without deviation, he will describe a crooked line, and the column must wind to conform itself to such line.

212. If the following guide be not habituated to march in the trace of the preceding one, he will lose his distance at every moment in endeavors to regain the trace, the preservation of which is the most important principle in the march in column.

213. The guide of each subdivision in column will be responsible for the direction, distance, and step; the chief of the subdivision, for the order and conformity of his subdivision with the movements of the guide.  Accordingly, the chief will frequently turn, in the march, to observe his subdivision.

214. The instructor, placed on the flank of the guides, will watch over the execution of all the principles prescribed; he will, also, sometimes place himself in the rear, align himself on the guides, and halt, pending some thirty paces together to verify the accuracy of the guides.

215. In column, chiefs of subdivision will always repeat, with the greatest promptitude, the commands march and halt, no chief waiting for another but each repeating the command the moment be catches it from the instructor.  They will repeat no other command given by him; but will explain, if necessary, to their subdivisions, in an under tone of voice, what they will have to execute, as indicated by the commands of caution.

ARTICLE III.

To change direction.

216. The changes of direction of a column marching, will be executed according to the principles prescribed for wheeling on the march.  Whenever, therefore, a column is to change direction, the instructor will change the guide, if not already there, to the flank opposite the side to which the change is to be made.

217. The column being in march right in front, if it be the wish of the instructor to change direction to the right, he will give the order to the chief of the first platoon, and immediately go himself, or send a marker to the point at which the change of direction is to be made; the indicator or marker, will place himself on the direction of the guides, so as to present the breast to that flank of the column.

218. The leading guide will direct his march on that person, so that, in passing, his left arm may just graze his breast.  When the leading guide shall have approached near to the marker, the chief of his platoon will command:

1. Right wheel.  2. MARCH.

219. The first command will be given when the platoon is at the distance of four paces from the marker.

220. At the command march, which will be pronounced at the instant the guide shall have arrived opposite the marker, the platoon will wheel to the right, conforming to what is prescribed in the S. S., No. 409.

221. The wheel being finished, the chief of each platoon will command:

3. Forward.  4. MARCH.

222. These commands will be pronounced and executed as is prescribed in the S. S., Nos. 411 and 412.  The guide of the first platoon will take points on the ground in the new direction, in order the better to regulate the march.

223. The second platoon will continue to march straight-forward till up with the marker, when it will wheel to the right, and retake the direct march by the same commands and the same means which governed the first platoon.

224. The column being in march right in front, if the instructor should wish to change direction to the left) he will command, guide right.  At this command, the two guides will move rapidly to the right of their respective platoons, each passing in front of his subdivision; the men will take the touch of elbows to the right; the instructor will afterwards conform to what is prescribed No. 217.

225. The change of direction to the left will then be executed according to the same principles as the change of direction to the right, but by inverse means.

226. When the change of direction is completed, the instructor will command, guide left.

227. The changes of direction in a column, left in front, will be executed according to the same principles.

228. In changes of direction in double quick time the platoon will wheel according to the principles prescribed in the S. S., No. 417.

229. In order to prepare the men for those formations in line, which can be executed only by turning to the right or the left, the instructor will sometimes cause the column to change direction to the side of the guide.  In this case, his chief of the leading platoon will command: Left (or right) turn, instead of left (or right) wheel. The subdivisions will each turn, in succession; conforming to what is prescribed in the S. S., No. 415.  The leading guide, as soon as he has turned, will take points on the ground, the better to regulate the direction of the march.

230. It is highly important, in order to preserve distances and the direction, that all the subdivisions of the column should change direction precisely at the point where the leading subdivision changed; it is for this reason that that point ought to be marked in advance, and that it is prescribed that the guides direct their march on the marker, also that each chief of subdivision shall not cause the change to commence till, the guide of his subdivision has grazed the breast of this marker.

231. Each chief will take care that his subdivision arrives at the point of change in a square with the line of direction: with this view, he will face to his subdivision when the one which precedes has commenced to turn or to wheel, and he will be watchful that it continues to march squarely until it arrives at the point where the change of direction is to commence.

232. If, in changes of direction, the pivot of the subdivision which wheels should not clear the wheeling point, the next subdivision would be arrested and distances lost; for the guide who conducts the marching rank having to describe an arc in length about once and a half the front of the subdivision, the second subdivision would be already up with the wheeling point, whilst the first which wheels has yet the half of its front to execute, and hence would be obliged to mark time until that half be executed.  It is therefore prescribed, that the pivot of each subdivision should take steps of nine or eleven inches in length, according to the swiftness of the gait, in order not to arrest the march of the next subdivision.  The chiefs of subdivision will look well to the step of the pivot, and cause his step to be lengthened or shortened as may be judged necessary.  By the nature of this movement, the centre of each subdivision will bend a little to the rear.

233. The guides will never alter the length or the cadence of the step, whether the change of direction be to the side of the guide or to the opposite side.

234. The marker, placed at the wheeling point, will always present his breast to the flank of the column.  The instructor will take the greatest pains in causing the prescribed principles to be observed; he will see that each subdivision only commences the change of direction when the guide, grazing the breast of the marker, has nearly passed him, and, that the marching flank does not describe the are of too large a circle, in order that it may not be thrown beyond the new direction.

235. In change of direction by wheel, the guide of the wheeling flank will cast his eyes over the ground at the moment of commencing the wheel, and will describe an are of a circle whose radius is equal to the front of the subdivision.

ARTICLE IV.

To halt the column.

236. The column being in march, when the instructor shall wish to halt it, he will command:

1. Column.  2. HALT.

237. At the second command, promptly repeated by the chiefs of platoon, the column will halt; the guides also will stand fast, although they may have lost both distance and direction.

238. If the command halt be not repeated with the greatest vivacity, and executed at the same instant, distances will be lost.

239. If a guide, having lost his distance, seek to recover it after that command, he will only throw his fault on the following guide, who, if he have marched well, will no longer be at his proper distance; and if the latter regain what he has thus lost, the movement will be propagated to the rear of the column.

ARTICLE V.

Being in column by platoon, to form to the right or left into line of battle, either at a halt, or on the march.

240. The instructor having halted the column right in front, and wishing to form it into line of battle, will place himself at platoon distance in front of the leading guide, face to him, and rectify, if necessary, the position of the guide beyond, which being executed, he will command:

Left—DRESS.

241. At this command, which will not be repeated by the chiefs of platoon, each of them will place himself briskly two paces outside of his guide, and direct the alignment of the platoon perpendicular to the direction of the column.

242. Each chief having aligned his platoon, will command FRONT, and return quickly to his place in column.

243. This disposition being made, the instructor will command:

1. Left into line, wheel.  2. MARCH.

244. At the command march, briskly repeated by the chiefs of platoon, the front-rank man on the left of each platoon will face to the left, and place his breast lightly against the arm of the guide by his side, who stands fast; the platoons will wheel to the left on the principle of wheels from a halt, and in conformity to what is prescribed in No. 199.  Each chief will turn to his platoon to observe its movement, and when the marching flank has approached near the line of battle, he will command:

1. Platoon.  2. HALT.

245. The command halt, will be given when the marching flank of the platoon is three paces from the line of battle.

246. The chief of the second platoon, having halted it, will return to his place as a file closer, passing around the left of his subdivision.

247. The captain having halted the first platoon, will move rapidly to the point at which the right of the company will rest in line of battle, and command:

Right—DRESS.

248. At this command, the two platoons will dress up on the alignment; the front-rank man on the right of the leading platoon, who finds himself opposite the instructor established on the direction of the guides, will place his breast lightly against the left arm of this officer.  The captain will direct the alignment from the right on the man on the opposite flank of the company.

249. The company being aligned, the captain will command:

FRONT.

250. The instructor seeing the company in line of battle, will command:

Guides—POSTS.

251. At this command, the covering sergeant will cover the captain, and the left guide will return to his place as a file closer.

252. If the column be left in front, and the instructor should wish to form it to the right into line of battle, he will place himself at platoon distance in front of the leading guide, face to him, and rectify, if necessary the position of the guide beyond; which being executed, he will command:

1. Right into line, wheel.  2. MARCH.

253. At the command march, the front-rank man on the right of each platoon will face to the right and place his breast lightly against the left arm of the guide by his side, who stands fast; each platoon will wheel to the right, and will be halted by its chief, when the marching flank has approached near the line of battle; for this purpose the chief of each platoon will command:

1. Platoon.  2. HALT.

254. The command halt, will be given when the marching flank of the platoon is three paces from the line of battle.  The chief of the second platoon having halted his platoon, will resume his place in the rank of file closers.

255. The captain having halted the first platoon, will move briskly to the point at which the left of the company will rest, and command:

Left—DRESS.

256. At this command, the two platoons will dress up on the alignment; the man on the left of the second platoon, opposite the instructor, will place his breast lightly against the right arm of this officer, and the captain will direct the alignment from the left on the man on the opposite flank of the company.

257. The company being aligned, the captain will command:

FRONT.

258. The instructor will afterwards command:

Guides—POSTS.

259. At this command, the captain will move to the right of his company, the covering sergeant will cover him, and the left guide will return to his place as a file closer.

260. The instructor may omit the command left or right dress, previous to commanding left or right into line, wheel, unless after rectifying the position of the guides, it should become necessary to dress the platoons, or one of them, laterally to the right or left.

261. The instructor, before the command left (or right) into line, wheel, will assure himself that the rearmost platoon is at its exact wheeling distance from the one in front.  This attention is important, in order to detect negligence on the part of guides in this essential point.

262. If the column be marching right in front, and the instructor should wish to form it into line without halting the column, he will give the commands prescribed No. 243, and move rapidly to platoon distance in front of the leading guide.

263. At the command march, briskly repeated by the chiefs of platoon, the left guides will halt short, the instructor, the chiefs of platoon and the platoons, will conform to what is prescribed No. 244 and following.

264. If the column be in march left in front, this formation will be made according to the same principles, and by inverse means.

265. If the column be marching right in front, and the instructor should wish to form it into line without halting the column, and to march the company in line to the front, he will command:

1. By platoons left wheel.  2. MARCH.

266. At the command march, briskly repeated by the chiefs of platoon, the left guides will halt: the man next to the left guide in each platoon will mark time: the platoons will wheel to the left, conforming to the principles of the wheel on a fixed pivot.  When the right of the platoons shall arrive near the line of battle, the instructor will command:

3.  Forward.  4. MARCH.  5. Guides right (or left).

267. At the fourth command, given at the instant the wheel is completed, all the men of the company will move off together with the step of twenty-eight inches; the captain, the chief of the second platoon, the covering sergeant, and the left guide will take their positions as in line of battle.

268. At the fifth command, which will be given immediately after the fourth, the captain and covering sergeant, if not already there, will move briskly to the side on which the guide is designated The non-commissioned officer charged with the direction will move rapidly in front of the guide, and will be assured in his line of march by the instructor, as is prescribed No. 104.  That non-commissioned officer will immediately take points on the ground as indicated in the same number.  The men will take the touch of elbows to the side of the guide, conforming themselves to the principles of the march in line.

269. The same principles are applicable to a column left in front.

LESSON SIXTH.

ARTICLE I.

To break the company into platoons, and to reform the company.

TO BREAK THE COMPANY INTO PLATOONS.

270. The company marching in the cadenced step, and supposed to make part of a column, right in front, when the instructor shall wish to cause it to break by platoon, he will give the order to the captain, who will command: 1. Break into platoons, and immediately place himself before the centre of the first platoon.

271. At the command break into platoons, the first lieutenant will pass quickly around the left to the centre of his platoon, and give the caution: Mark time.

272. The captain will then command: 2. March.

273. The first platoon will continue to march straight-forward; the covering sergeant will move rapidly to the left flank of this platoon (passing by the front-rank) as soon as the flank shall be disengaged.

274. At the command march, given by the captain, the second platoon will begin to mark time; its chief will immediately add: 1. Right oblique.  2. MARCH.  The last command will be given so that this platoon may commence obliquing the instant the rear-rank of the first platoon shall have passed.  The men will shorten the step in obliquing, so that when the command forward march is given, the platoon may have its exact distance.

275. The guide of the second platoon being near the direction of the guide of the first, the chief of the second will command Forward and add MARCH, the instant that the guide of his platoon shall cover the guide of the first.

276. In a column, left in front, the company will break into platoons by inverse means, applying to the first platoon all that has been prescribed for the second, and reciprocally.

277. In this case, the left guide of the company will shift to the right flank of the second platoon, and the covering sergeant will remain on the right of the first.

TO RE-FORM THE COMPANY.

278. The column, by platoon, being in march, right in front, when the instructor shall wish to cause it to form company, he will give the order to the captain, who will command:

Form company.

279. Having given this command, the captain will immediately add:

1. First platoon; 2. Right oblique. 

280. The chief of the second platoon will caution it to continue to march straight-forward.

281. The captain will then command:

3. MARCH.

282. At this command, repeated by the chief of the second, the first platoon will oblique to the right, in order to unmask the second; the covering sergeant, on the left of the first platoon, will return to the right of the company, passing by the front-rank.

283. When the first platoon shall have nearly unmasked the second, the captain will command: 1. Mark time, and at the instant the unmasking shall be complete, he will add: 2. MARCH.  The first platoon will then cease to oblique, and mark time.

284. In the mean time the second platoon will have continued to march straight-forward, and when it shall be nearly up with the first, the captain will command Forward, and at the instant the two platoons shall unite, add MARCH; the first platoon will then cease to mark time.

285. In a column, left in front, the same movement will be executed by inverse means, the chief of the second platoon giving the command Forward, and the captain adding the command MARCH, when the platoons are united.

286. The guide of the second platoon, on its right, will pass to its left flank the moment the platoon begins to oblique; the guide of the first, on its right, remaining on that flank of the platoon.

287. The instructor will also sometimes cause the company to break and re-form, by platoon, by his own direct commands.  In this case, he will give the general commands prescribed for the captain above: 1. Break into platoons; 2. MARCH; and 1. Form company; 2. MARCH.

288. If, in breaking the company into platoons, the subdivision that breaks off should mark time too long, it might, in a column of many subdivisions, arrest the in arch of the following one, which would cause a lengthening of the column, and a loss of distances.

289. In breaking into platoons, it is necessary that the platoons which oblique should not shorten the step too much, in order not to lose distance in column, and not to arrest the march of the following subdivision.

290. If a platoon obliques too far to a flank, it would be obliged to oblique again to the opposite flank, to regain the direction and by the double movement arrest, probably, the march of the following subdivision.

291. The chiefs of those platoons which oblique will face to their platoons, in order to enforce the observance of the foregoing principles.

292. When, in a column of several companies, they break in succession, it is of the greatest importance that each company should continue to march in the same step, without shortening or slackening, whilst that which precedes breaks, although the following company should close up on the preceding one.  This attention is essential to guard against an elongation of the column.

293. Faults of but little moment, in a column of a few companies, would be serious inconveniences in a general column of many battalions.  Hence the instructor will give the greatest care in causing all the prescribed principles to be strictly observed.  To this end, he will hold himself on the directing flank, the better to observe all the movements.

ARTICLE II.

Being in column, to break files to the rear, and to cause them to re-enter into line.

294. The company being in march, and supposed to constitute a subdivision of a column, right (or left) in front, when the instructor shall wish to cause files to break off, be will give the order to the captain, who will immediately turn to his company, and command:

1. Two files from left (or right) to rear.  2. MARCH.

295. At the command march, the two files on the left (or right) of the company will face to the right (or left) and double the others will continue to march straight-forward.  If the files are broken from the left the men will immediately file to the left, so that the odd numbers will cover the first and third, and the even numbers, the second and fourth files, from that flank of company.  If the files are broken from the right, the men will immediately file to the right so that the even numbers will cover the first and third, and the odd numbers, the second and fourth files from that flank of the company.  The men will be careful not to lose their distances and to keep aligned.

296. If the instructor should still wish to break two files from the same side, he will give the order to the captain, who will proceed as above directed.

297. At the command march, given by the captain, the files already broken, advancing a little the outer shoulder, will gain the space of two files to the right, if the files are broken from the left, and to the left, if the files are broken from the right, shortening, at the same time, the step, in order to make room between themselves and the rear-rank of the company for the files last ordered to the rear; the latter will break by the same commands, and in the same manner as the first.  The men who double, should increase his length of the step, in order to prevent distances from being lost.

298. The instructor may thus diminish the front of a company by breaking off successive groups of two files, but the new files must always be broken from the same side.

299. The instructor, wishing to cause files broken off to return into line, will give the order to his captain, who will immediately command:

1. Two files into line.  2. MARCH.

300. At the command march, the first two files of those marching by the flank will return briskly into line, and the others will gain the space of two files by advancing the inner shoulder toward the flank to which they belong.

301. The captain will turn to his company, to watch the observance of the principles which have just been prescribed.


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Transcribed by Scott Gutzke, 2004-2006.


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