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302. The instructor having caused groups of two files to break one after another, and to return again into line, will afterward cause two or three groups to break together, and for this purpose, will command: Four or six files from left (or right) to rear; MARCH.  The files designated will face to the right (or left) and double and will then immediately file into their proper places as indicated No. 295, taking care that the distances are preserved.

303. The instructor will next order the captain to cause two or three groups to be brought into line at once, who, turning to the company, will command:

Four or six file into line—MARCH.

304. At the command march, the files designated will advance the inner shoulder, move up and form on the flank of the company by the shortest lines.

305. As often as files shall break off to the rear, the guide on that flank will gradually close on the nearest front-rank man remaining in line and he will also open out to make room for file ordered into line.

306. The files which march in the rear are disposed in the following order: the left files as if the company was marching by the right flank, and the right files as if the company was marching by the left flank.  Consequently, whenever there is on the right or left of a subdivision, a file which does not belong to a group, it will be broken singly.

307. It is necessary to the preservation of distances in column, that the men should be habituated in the schools of detail to execute the movements of this article with precision.

308. If the new files broken to the rear do not step well off when filing to the left or right; if, when files are ordered into line, they do not move up with promptitude and precision, in either case, the following files will be arrested in their march, and thereby cause the column to be lengthened out.

309. The instructor will place himself on the flank from which the files are broken, to assure himself of the exact observance of the principles.

310. Files will only be broken off from the side of direction, in order that the whole company may easily pass from the front to the flank march.

ARTICLE III.

To march the column in route and to execute the movements incident thereto.

311. The swiftness of the route step will be one hundred and ten steps in a minute; this swiftness will be habitually maintained in columns in route, when the roads and ground may permit.

312. The company being at a halt, and supposed to constitute a subdivision of a column, when the instructor shall wish to cause it to march in the route step, he will command:

1. Column, forward.  2. Guide, left (or right).  3. Route step.  4. MARCH.

313. At the command march, repeated by the captain, the two ranks will step off together; the rear-rank will take in marching, by shortening a few steps, a distance of one pace (twenty-eight inches) from the rank preceding, which distance will be computed from the breasts of the men in the rear-rank, to the knapsacks of the men in the front-rank.  The men, without further command, will immediately carry their arms at will, as indicated in the S. S., No. 228 or they may sling them on their backs muzzle up.  They will no longer be required to march in the cadence pace, or with the same foot, or to remain silent.  The files will march at ease; but care will be taken to prevent the ranks from intermixing, the front-rank from getting in advance of the guide, and the rear-rank from opening to too great a distance.

314. The company marching in the route step, the instructor will cause it to change direction, which will be executed without formal commands, on a simple caution from the captain; the rear-rank will come up to change direction in the same manner as the front-rank.  Each rank will conform itself, although in the route step, to the principles which have been prescribed for the change in closed ranks, with this difference only; that the pivot man, instead of taking steps of nine, will take steps of fourteen inches, in order to clear the wheeling point.

315. The company marching in the route step, to cause it to pass to the cadence step, the instructor will first order pieces to be brought to the right shoulder, and then command:

1. Quick time.  2. MARCH.

316. At the command march, the men will resume the cadenced step, and will close so as to leave a distance of sixteen inches between each rank.

317. The company marching in the cadenced pace, the instructor, to cause it to take the route step, will command:

1. Route step.  2. MARCH.

318. At the command march, the front-rank will continue the step of twenty-eight inches, the rear-rank will take, by gradually shortening the step, the distance of twenty-eight, inches from the front-rank; the men will carry their arms at will.

319. If the company be marching in the route step, and the instructor should suppose the necessity of marching by the flank in the same direction he will command:

1. Company by the right (or left) flank.  2. By file left (or right).  3. MARCH.

320. At the command march, the company will face to the right (or left) in marching, the captain will place himself by the side of the guide who conducts the leading flank: this guide will wheel immediately to the left or right; all the files will come in succession to wheel on the same spot as the guide; if there be files broken off to the rear, they will, by wheeling, regain their respective places, and follow the movement of the company.

321. The instructor having caused the company to be again formed into line, will exercise it in increasing and diminishing front, by platoon which will be executed by the same commands, and the same means, as if the company were marching in the cadenced step.  When the company breaks into platoons, the chief of each will move to the flank of his platoon, and will take the place of the guide, who will step back into the rear-rank.

322. The company being in column, by platoon, and supposed to march in the route step, the instructor can cause the front to be diminished and increased, by section, if the platoons have a front of twelve files or more.

323. The movements of diminishing and increasing front, by section, will be executed according to the principles indicated for the same movements by platoon.  The right sections of platoons will be commanded by the captain and first lieutenant, respectively; the left sections, by the two next subalterns in rank, or, in their absence, by sergeants.

324. The instructor wishing to diminish by section, will give the order to the captain, who will command:

1. Break into sections.  2. MARCH.

325. As soon as the platoons shall be broken each chief of section will place himself on its directing flank in the front-rank, the guides, who will be thus displaced, will fall back into the rear-rank: the file closers will close up to within one pace of this rank.

326. Platoons will be broken into sections only in the column in route, the movement will never be executed in the manœuvres, whatever may be the front of the company.

327. When the instructor shall wish to re-form platoons, he will give the order to the captain, who will command:

1. Form platoons.  2. MARCH.

328. At the first command, each chief of section will place himself before its centre, and the aides will pass into the front-rank.  At the command march, the movement will be executed its has been prescribed for forming company.  The moment the platoons are formed, the chiefs of the left sections will return to their places as file closers.

329. The instructor will also cause to be executed the diminishing and increasing front by files, as prescribed in the preceding article, and in the same manner, as if marching in the cadenced step.  When the company is broken into sections, the subdivisions must not be reduced to a front of less than six files, not counting the chief of the section.

330. The company being broken by platoon, or by section, the instructor will cause it, marching in the route step, to march by the flank in the same direction, by the commands and the means indicated, Nos. 319 and 320.  The moment the subdivisions shall face to the right (or left), the first file of each will wheel to the left (or right), in marching to prolong the direction, and to unite with the rear file of the subdivision immediately preceding.  The file closers will take their habitual places in the march by the flank, before the union of the subdivisions.

331. If the company be marching by the right flank, and the instructor should wish to undouble the files, which might sometimes be found necessary, he will inform the captain, who, after causing the cadenced step to be resumed, and arms to be shouldered or supported, will command:

1. In two ranks, undouble files.  2. MARCH.

332. At the second command the odd numbers will continue to march straight-forward, the even numbers will shorten the step, and obliquing to the left, will place themselves promptly behind the odd numbers: the rear-rank will gain a step to the left so as to retake the touch of elbows on the side of the front-rank.

333. If the company be marching by the left flank, it will be the even numbers who will continue to march forward, and the odd numbers who will undouble.

334. If it be found necessary, from the narrowness of the way or other cause, to reduce the front still further, the captain, on an intimation from the instructor, will command:

1. In one rank, undouble files.  2. MARCH.

335. At the command march, the right or left guide, with the leading front-rank man, will continue the march, the rear-rank man stepping in rear of his file-leader as soon as he is able to pass; the other files marking time.  The second file, and successively all the other files, will step off as soon as sufficient distance is gained, the front-rank man of each file following immediately the rear-rank man of the file next in front of him, and each rear-rank man taking his place as above indicated.

336. If the instructor wishes to double files, he will so indicate to the captain, who will command:

1. In two ranks, double files.  2. MARCH.

337. At the command march, the rear-rank men will take a side step to the right (or left), and each rank will close up on its leading file.

338. If the instructor should wish again to double the files, he will give the order to the captain, who will command:

1. In four ranks, double files.  2. MARCH.

339. At the command march, the files will double in the manner as explained, when the company faces by the right or the left flank.  The instructor will afterward cause the route step to be resumed.

340. The various movements prescribed in this lesson may be executed in double quick time.  The men will be brought, by degrees, to pass over at this gait about eleven hundred yards in seven minutes.

341. When the company marching in the route step shall halt, the rear-rank will close up at the command halt, and the whole will shoulder arms.

342. Marching in the route step, the men will be permitted to carry their pieces in the manner they shall find most convenient, paying attention only to holding the muzzles up, so as to avoid accidents.

ARTICLE IV. 

Countermarch.

343. The company being at a halt, and supposed to constitute part of a column, right in front, when the instructor shall wish to cause it to countermarch, he will command:

1. Countermarch.  2. Company, right—FACE.  3. By file, left.  4. MARCH.

344. At the second command, the company will face to the right, the two guides to the right about; the captain will go to the right of his company and cause two files to break to the rear and then place himself by the side of the front-rank man, to conduct him.

345. At the command march, both guides will stand fast; the company will step off smartly; the first file, conducted by the captain, will wheel around the right guide, and direct its march along the front-rank so as to arrive behind, and two paces from the left guide; each file will come in succession to wheel on the same ground around the right guide; the leading file having arrived at a point opposite to the left guide, the captain will command:

1. Company.  2. HALT.  3. FRONT.  4. Right—DRESS.

346. The first command will be given at four paces from the point where the leading file is to rest.

347. At the second command, the company will halt.

348. At the third, it will face to the front.

349. At the fourth, the company will dress by the right; the captain will step two paces outside of the left guide, now on the right, and direct the alignment, so that the front-rank may be enclosed between the two guides: the company being aligned, he will command FRONT, and place himself before the centre of the company as if in column; the guides, passing along the front-rank, will shift to their proper places, on the right and left of that rank.

350. In a column, by platoon, the countermarch will be executed by the same commands, and according to the same principles; the guide of each platoon will face about, and its chief will place himself by the side of the file on the right, to conduct it.

351. In a column, left in front, the countermarch will be executed by inverse commands and means, but according to the same principles.  Thus, the movement will be made by the right flank of subdivisions, if the right be in front, and by the left flank, if the left be in front; in both cases the subdivisions will wheel by file to the side of the front-rank.

ARTICLE V.

Being in column by platoon, to form on the right (or left) into line of battle.

352. The column by platoon, right in front, being in march, the instructor, wishing to form it on the right into line of battle, will command:

1. On the right into line.  2. Guide right.

353. At the second command, the guide of each platoon will shift quickly to its right flank and the men will touch elbows to the right; the column will continue to march straight-forward.

354. The instructor having given the second command, will move briskly to the point at which the right of the company ought to rest in line, and place himself facing the point of direction to the left which he will choose.

355. The line of battle ought to be so chosen that the guide of each platoon, after having turned to the right, may have, at least, ten paces to take before arriving upon that line.

356. The head of the column being nearly opposite to the instructor, the chief of the first platoon will command; 1. Right turn; and when exactly opposite to that point, he will add:

2. MARCH.

357. At the command march, the first platoon will turn to the right, in conformity with the principles prescribed in the S. S., No. 415.  Its guide will so direct his march as to bring the front-rank man, next on his left, opposite to the instructor; the chief of the platoon will march before its centre; and when its guide shall be near the line of battle he will command:

1. Platoon.  2. HALT.

358. At the command halt, which will be given at the instant the right of the platoon shall arrive at the distance of three paces from the line of battle, the platoon will halt; the files, not yet in line, will come up promptly.  The guide will place himself on the line of battle, opposite to one of the three left files of his platoon; he will face to the instructor, who will align him on the point of direction to the left.  The chief of platoon having, at the same time, gone to the point where the right of the company is to rest, will, as soon as he sees all the files of the platoon in line, command:

Right—DRESS.

359. At this, the first platoon will align itself; the front-rank man, who finds himself opposite to the guide, will rest his breast lightly against the right arm of this guide, and the chief of the platoon, from the right, will direct the alignment on this man.

360. The second platoon will continue to march straight-forward, until its guide shall arrive opposite to the left file of the first; it will then turn to the right at the command of its chief, and march toward the line of battle, its guide directing himself on the left file of the first platoon.

361. The guide having arrived at the distance of three paces from the line of battle, this platoon will be halted, as prescribed for the first; at the instant it halts, its guide will spring on the line of battle, opposite to one of the three left files of his platoon, and will be assured in his position by the instructor.

362. The chief of the second platoon, seeing all its files in line, and its guide established on the direction, will command:

Right—DRESS.

363. Having given this command, he will return to his place as a file closer, passing around the left; the second platoon will dress up on the alignment of the first, and, when established, the captain will command:

FRONT.

364. The movement ended, the instructor will command:

Guides—POSTS.

365. At this command, the two guides will return to their places in line of battle.

366. A column, by platoon, left in front, will form on the left into line of battle, according to the same principles, and, by inverse means, applying to the second platoon what is prescribed for the first, and reciprocally.  The chief of the second platoon having aligned it, from the point d’appui, (the left,) will retire to his place as a file closer.  The captain having halted the first platoon three paces behind the line of battle, will go to the same point to align this platoon, and then command: FRONT.  At the command, guides—posts, given by the instructor, the captain will shift to his proper flank, and the guides take their places in the line of battle.

367. When the companies of a regiment are to be exercised, at the same time, in the school of the company, the colonel will indicate the lesson or lessons they are severally to execute.  The whole will commence by a signal, and terminate in like manner.

FORMATION OF A COMPANY FROM TWO RANKS INTO SINGLE RANK, AND RECIPROCALLY.

368. The company being formed into two ranks in the manner indicated No. 15, Title I, and supposed to make part of a column, right or left in front, when the instructor shall wish to form it into single rank, he will command:

1. In one rank, form company.  2. MARCH.

369. At the first command the right guide will face to the right.

370. At the command march, the right guide will step off and march in the prolongation of the front-rank.

371. The first file will step off at the same time with the guide; the front-rank man will turn to the right at the first step, follow the guide, and be himself followed by the rear-rank man of his file, who will come to turn on the same spot where he had turned.  The second file, and successively all the other files, will step off as has been prescribed for the first, the front-rank man of each file following immediately the rear-rank man of the file next on his right.  The captain will superintend the movement, and when the last man shall have stepped off, he will halt the company, and face it to the front.

372. The file closers will take their places in line of battle, two paces in rear of the rank.

373. The company being in single rank, when the instructor shall wish to form it into two ranks, he will command:

1. In two ranks, form company.  2. Company, right—FACE.  3. MARCH.

374. At the second command the company will face to the right; the right guide and the man on the right will remain faced to the front.

375. At the command march, the men who have faced to the right, will step off, and form files in the following manner: the second man in the rank will place himself behind the first to form the first file; the third will place himself by the side of the first in the front-rank: the fourth behind the third in the rear-rank.  All the others will, in like manner, place themselves, alternately, in the front and rear-rank, and will thus form files of two men, on the left of those already formed.

376. The formations above described will be habitually executed by the right of companies; but when the instructor shall wish to have them executed by the left, he will face the company about, and post the guides in the rear-rank.

377. The formation will then be executed by the same commands, and according to the same principles as by the front-rank; the movement commencing with the left file, now become the right, and in each file by the rear-rank man, now become the front; the left guide will conform to what has been prescribed for the right.

378. The formation ended, the instructor will face the company to its proper front.

379. When a battalion in line has to execute either of the formations above described, the colonel will cause it to break to the rear by the right or left of companies, and will then give the commands just prescribed for the instructor.  Each company will execute the movement as if acting singly.

FORMATION OF A COMPANY FROM TWO RANKS INTO FOUR, AND RECIPROCALLY, AT A HALT, AND IN MARCH.

380. The company being formed in two ranks, at a halt, and supposed to form part of a column right in front, when the instructor shall wish to form it into four ranks, he will command:

1. In four ranks, form company.  2. Company left—FACE.  3. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

381. At the second command, the left guide will remain faced to the front, the company will face to the left; the rear-rank will gain the distance of one pace from the front-rank by a side step to the left and rear, and the men will form into four ranks as prescribed in Nos. 138 and 142.

382. At the command march, the first file of four men will reface to the front without undoubling.  All the other files of four will step off, and closing successively to about five inches of the preceding file, will halt, and immediately face to the front, the men remaining doubled.

383. The file closers will take their new places in line of battle, at two paces in rear of the fourth rank.

384. The captain will superintend the movement.

385. The company being in four ranks, when the instructor shall wish to form it into two ranks, he will command:

1. In two ranks, form company.  2. Company right—FACE.  3. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

386. At the second command the left guide will stand fast, the company will face to the right.

387. At the command march, the right guide will step off and march in the prolongation of the front-rank.  The leading file of four men will step off at the same time, the other files standing fast; the second file will step off when there shall be between it and the first, space sufficient to form into two ranks.  The following files will execute successively what has been prescribed for the second.  As soon as the last file shall have its distance, the instructor will command:

1. Company.  2. HALT.  3. FRONT.

388. At the command front, the company will face to the front and the files will undouble.

389. The company being formed in two ranks, and marching to the front, when the instructor shall wish to form it into four ranks, he will command:

1. In four ranks, form company.  2. By the left, double files.  3. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

390. At the command march, the left guide and the left file of the company will continue to march straight to the front: the company will make a half face to the left, the odd numbers placing themselves behind the even numbers.  The even numbers of the rear-rank will shorten their steps a little, to permit the odd numbers of the front-rank to get between them and the even numbers of that rank.  The files thus formed of fours, except the left file, will continue to march obliquely, lengthening their steps slightly, so as to keep constantly abreast of the guide; each file will close successively on the file next on its left, and when at the proper distance from that file will face to the front by a half face to the right, and take the touch of elbows to the left.

391. The company being in march to the front in four ranks, when the instructor shall wish to form it into two ranks, he will command:

1. In two ranks, form company.  2. By the right, undouble files.  3. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

392. At the command march, the left guide and the left file of the company will continue to march straight to the front; the company will make a half face to the right, and march obliquely, lengthening the step a little, in order to keep, as near as possible, abreast of the guide.  As soon as the second file from the left shall have gained to the right the interval necessary for the left file to form into two ranks, the second file will face to the front by a half face to the left, and march straight-forward; the left file will immediately form into two ranks, and take the touch of elbows to the left.  Each file will execute successively, what has just been proscribed for the file next to the left) and each file will form into two ranks when the file next on its right has obliqued the required distance, and faced to the front.

393. If the company be supposed to make part of a column, left in front, these different movements will be executed according to the same principles, and by inverse means, substituting the indication left for right. 

END OF THE SCHOOL OF THE COMPANY.


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Transcribed by Scott Gutzke, 2004-2006.


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