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ABBREVIATIONS.

S. S.  Will stand for School of the Soldier.

S. C.  Will stand for School of the Company.

S. B.  Will stand for School of the Battalion.

E. B.  Will stand for Evolutions of a Brigade.

Paragraphs marked 0 are suspended, and may not be taught.


CHANGES.

Paragraphs 94 and 95, S. B., will be applicable to any skirmishers from the battalion, the duties indicated for the junior major can be assigned to any other officer by the colonel.  In paragraph 95 the words, “as indicated Nos. 84 and 86” will be omitted.

Paragraph 156, S. B., will be applicable to any skirmishers from the battalion.

Paragraph 158, S. B., will read as follows: “will serve equally for two, three, or five divisions.”

Paragraph 342 will be applicable to any skirmishers, omitting after “No. 95.”

Paragraph 364, S. B., will be applicable to any skirmishers.

Paragraphs 785 and 786, S. B., will be applicable to any skirmishers from the battalion.

Paragraph 787, S. B., the latter part will read as follows: “They will take their proper places in the line, under the direction of the colonel.”

Paragraphs 802, 803, and 804, S. B., will be applicable to any skirmishers from the battalion.

Paragraphs 901 and 902, S. B., are applicable to any skirmishers from the battalion; omit the last sentence of 902.

Add the following remarks to paragraph 910, S. B.: “If there are ten companies present, the first, third, and fifth, should be behind the second, fourth, and sixth, and the tenth and eighth should be behind the ninth and seventh.  If there are nine companies, the ninth will be considered a division column.”

Paragraph 912, S. B., add: “The same remark will apply to nine or to seven companies.”

Paragraph 928, S. B., add as follows: “When more than eight companies are present, at the second command, the fifth company will face to the right, the sixth will stand fast.  At the command March, the fifth will take its place on the right of, and on a line with the sixth.”

Paragraph 934, S. B., add the following: “When more than eight companies are present, at the second command, the sixth will stand fast, and the fifth will face to the left.”

Paragraph 936, S. B., add as follows: “When more than eight companies are present, the sixth company will stand fast, and the fifth will take its place in its rear.”

On the second lines of paragraphs 1041, S. B., and 1045, S. B., for “last division” read “next to the last division.”

Paragraph 1089, S. B., the latter clause will read as follows: “and take their proper distances.”

Paragraphs 1196, 1197, 1198, and 1199, S. B., are applicable to any skirmishers from the battalion.


INFANTRY TACTICS.

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TITLE V.

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 SCHOOL OF THE BATTALION.

Formation of the Battalion.

1. EVERY colonel will labor to habituate his battalion to form line of battle, by night as well as by day, with the greatest possible promptitude.

2. The color-company will generally be designated as the directing company.  That, as soon as formed, will be placed on the direction the colonel may have determined for the line of battle.  The other battalion companies will form on it, to the right and left, on the principles of successive formations which will be herein prescribed.

0-3. The companies of skirmishers will be formed in rear of the battalion, and in the position prescribed, No. 9, Title I.

4. The color-bearer may have received the color from the hands of the colonel; but if there be daylight, and time, the color will be produced with due solemnity.

COMPOSITION AND MARCH OF THE COLOR-ESCORT.

5. When the battalion turns out under arms and the color is wanted, a company, other than that of the color, will be put in march to receive and escort it.

6. The march will be in the following order, in quick time, and without music; the field music, followed by the band; the escort in column by platoon, right in front, with arms on the right shoulder, and the color-bearer between the platoons.

7. Arrived in front of the tent or quarters of the colonel, the escort will form line, the field music and band on the right, and arms will be brought to a shoulder.

8. The moment the escort is in line, the color bearer, preceded by the first lieutenant, and followed by a sergeant of the escort, will go to receive the color.

9. When the color-bearer shall come out, followed by the lieutenant and sergeant, he will halt before the entrance; the escort will present arms, and the field music will sound to the color.

10. After some twenty seconds, the captain will cause the sound to cease, arms to be shouldered, and then break by platoon into column; the color-bearer will place himself between the platoons, and the lieutenant and sergeant will resume their posts.

11. The escort will march back to the battalion to the sound of music in quick time, and in the same order as above, the guide on the right.  The march will be so conducted that when the escort arrives at one hundred and fifty paces in front of the right of the battalion, the direction of the march will be parallel to its front, and when the color arrives nearly opposite its place in line, the column will change direction to the left, and the right guide will direct himself on the centre of the battalion.

HONORS PAID TO THE COLOR.

12. Arrived at the distance of twenty paces from the battalion, the escort will halt, and the music cease; the colonel will place himself six paces before the centre of the battalion, the color-bearer will approach the colonel, by the front, in quick time; when at the distance of ten paces, he will halt: the colonel will cause arms to be presented, and to the color to be sounded, which being executed, the color-bearer will take his place in the front rank of the color-guard, and the battalion, by command, shoulder arms.

13. The escort, field music, and band, will return in quick time to their several places in line of battle, marching by the rear of the battalion.

14. The color will be escorted back to the colonel’s tent or quarters, by the color-company, for which purpose the captain of that company, on an intimation from the colonel, will march his company six paces to the front, and wheel it by platoon to the right.  The color-bearer will take his place between the platoons.

15. The escort will be marched parallel to the battalion, and at six paces from the line, the guide right, arms shouldered, the music playing, and in the order prescribed No. 6.  The colonel will cause the battalion to present arms when the escort commences its march, and when it arrives opposite the right flank of the battalion he will cause arms to be shouldered.

16. As soon as the color-bearer has passed the right flank of the battalion, the escort will be directed to the place of deposit for the color, and in the same order as above.

17. Arrived in front of the tent or quarters, the escort will be halted, and wheeled into line, the field music and band on the right.  The moment the escort is in line, the first lieutenant and a sergeant, designated for the purpose, will take a position faced to the front, six paces in advance of the centre of the escort, the lieutenant on the right, and at a distance of three paces from the sergeant, and the color-bearer will take his place between them, and abreast of the centre of the company, facing in the same direction.  The music will then sound to the color, and arms presented.  After about twenty seconds the music will cease, arms will be shouldered, the first lieutenant, color-bearer, and sergeant, will face to the right, and marching in this order will conduct the color to its place of deposit.

18. When the color-bearer and sergeant shall have resumed their proper places in the ranks, the escort will be wheeled by platoon to the right, and marched to the parade ground in the order prescribed No. 6.

General Rules and Division of the School of the Battalion.

19. This school has for its object the instruction of battalions singly, and thus to prepare them for manœuvres in line.  The harmony so indispensable in the movements of many battalions can only be attained by the use of the same commands, the same principles, and the same means of execution.  Hence, all colonels and actual commanders of battalions will conform themselves, without addition or curtailment, to what will herein be prescribed.

20. When a battalion instructed in this drill shall manœuvre in a brigade, the colonel will regulate its movements, as prescribed in the third volume of these Tactics.

21. The school of the battalion will be divided into five parts.

22. The first will comprehend opening and closing ranks, and the execution of the different fires.

23. The second, the different modes of passing from the order in battle, to the order in column.

24. The third, the march in column, and the other movements incident thereto.

25. The fourth, the different modes of passing from the order in column to the order in battle.

26. The fifth will comprehend the march in line of battle, in advance and in retreat; the passage of defiles in retreat; the march by the flank; the formation by file into line of battle; the change of front; the column doubled on the centre; dispositions against cavalry; the rally, and rules for manœuvring by the rear rank.

PART FIRST.

OPENING AND CLOSING RANKS, AND THE EXECUTION OF THE DIFFERENT FIRES.

ARTICLE I.

To open and to close ranks.

27. The colonel, wishing the ranks to be opened, will command:

1. Prepare to open ranks.

28. At this command, the lieutenant colonel and major will place themselves on the right of the battalion, the first on the flank of the file closers, and the second four paces from the front rank of the battalion.

29. These dispositions being made, the colonel will command:

2. To the rear, open order.  3. MARCH.

30. At the second command, the covering sergeants, and the sergeant on the left of the battalion, will place themselves four paces in rear of the front rank, and opposite their places in line of battle, in order to mark the new alignment of the rear rank; they will be aligned by the major on the left sergeant of the battalion, who will be careful to place himself exactly four paces in rear of the front rank, and to hold his piece between the eyes, erect and inverted, the better to indicate to the major the direction to be given to the covering sergeants.

31. At the command march, the rear rank and the file closers will step to the rear without counting steps; the men will pass a little in rear of the line traced for this rank, halt, and dress forward on the covering sergeants, who will align correctly the men of their respective companies.

32. The file closers will fall back and preserve the distance of two paces from the rear rank, glancing eyes to the right; the lieutenant colonel will, from the right, align them on the file closer of the left, who, having placed himself accurately two paces from the rear rank, will invert his piece, and hold it up erect between his eyes, the better to be seen by the lieutenant colonel.

33. The colonel, seeing the ranks aligned, will command:

4. FRONT.

At this command, the lieutenant colonel, major, and the left sergeant, will retake their places in line of battle.

34. The colonel will cause the ranks to be closed by the commands prescribed for the instructor in the S. C., No. 28.

ARTICLE II.

Manual of arms.

35. The ranks being closed, the colonel will cause the following times and pauses to be executed:

  Present arms.   Shoulder arms.  
  Order arms.   Shoulder arms.  
  Support arms.   Shoulder arms.  
  Fix bayonet.   Shoulder arms.  
  Charge bayonet.   Shoulder arms.  
  Unfix bayonet.   Shoulder arms.  

0-36. The companies of skirmishers will not generally execute the manual of arms or open ranks with the battalion companies, but for purposes of instruction in those movements, the colonel will sometimes cause them to take post on the right of the battalion.  The junior major will in this case, place himself twelve paces in rear of the file closers, and opposite the centre of the companies of skirmishers.

ARTICLE III.

Loading at will, and the firings.

37. The colonel will next cause to be executed loading at will, by the commands prescribed in the S. C., No. 45; the officers and sergeants in the ranks will half face to the right with the men at the eighth time of loading, and will face to the front when the men next to them come to a shoulder.

38. The colonel will cause to be executed the fire by company, the fire by wing, the fire by battalion, the fire by file, and the fire by rank, by the commands to be herein indicated.

39. The fire by company and the fire by file will always be direct; the fire by battalion, the fire by wing, and the fire by rank, may be either direct or oblique.

40. When the fire ought to be oblique, the colonel will give, at every round, the caution right (or left) oblique, between the commands ready and aim.

41. The fire by company will be executed alternately by the right and left companies of each division, as if the division were alone.  The right company will fire first; the captain of the left will not give his first command till he shall see one or two pieces at a ready in the right company; the captain of the latter, after the first discharge, will observe the same rule in respect to the left company; and the fire will thus be continued alternately.

42. The colonel will observe the same rule in the firing by wing.

43. The fire by file will commence in all the companies at once, and will be executed as has been prescribed in the S. C., No. 55 and following.  The fire by rank will be executed by each rank alternately, as has been prescribed in the S. C., No. 58 and following.

44. The color-guard will not fire, but reserve itself for the defense of the color.

THE FIRE BY COMPANY.

45. The colonel, wishing the fire by company to be executed, will command:

1. Fire by company.  2. Commence firing.

46. At the first command, the captains and covering sergeants will take the positions indicated in the S. C., No. 49.

47. The color and its guard will step back at the same time, so as to bring the front rank of the guard in a line with the rear rank of the battalion.  This rule is general for all the different firings.

48. At the second command, the odd numbered companies will commence to fire; their captains will each give the commands prescribed in the S. C., No. 50, observing to precede the command company by that of first, third, fifth, or seventh, according to the number of each.

49. The captains of the even numbered companies will give, in their turn, the same commands, observing to precede them by the number of their respective companies.

50. In order that the odd numbered companies may not all fire at once, their captains will observe, but only for the first discharge, to give the command fire one after another: thus, the captain of the third company will not give the command fire until he has heard the fire of the first company; the captain of the fifth will observe the same rule with respect to the third, and the captain of the seventh the same rule with respect to the fifth.

51. The colonel will cause the fire to cease by the sound to cease firing; at this sound, the men will execute what is prescribed in the S. C., No. 63; at the sound for officers to take their places after firing, the captains, covering sergeants, and color-guard, will promptly resume their places in line of battle: this rule is general for all the firings.

THE FIRE BY WING.

52. When the colonel shall wish this fire to be executed, he will command:

1. Fire by wing.  2. Right wing.  3. READY.  4. AIM.  5. FIRE.  6. LOAD.

53. The colonel will cause the wings to fire alternately, and he will recommence the fire by the commands, 1. Right wing; 2. AIM; 3. FIRE; 4. LOAD.  1. Left wing; 2. AIM; 3. FIRE; 4. LOAD; in conforming to what is prescribed No. 42.

THE FIRE BY BATTALION.

54. The colonel will cause this fire to be executed by the commands last prescribed, substituting for the first two, 1. Fire by battalion;  2. Battalion.

THE FIRE BY FILE.

55. To cause this to be executed, the colonel will command:

1. Fire by file.  2. Battalion.  3. READY.  4. Commence firing.

56. At the fourth command, the fire will commence on the right of each company, as prescribed in the S. C., No. 57.  The colonel may, if he thinks proper, cause the fire to commence on the right of each platoon.

THE FIRE BY RANK.

57. To cause this fire to be executed, the colonel will command:

1. Fire by rank.  2. Battalion.  3. READY.  4. Rear rank.  5. AIM.  6. FIRE.  7. LOAD.

58. This fire will be executed as has been explained in the S. C., No. 59, in following the progression prescribed for the two ranks which should fire alternately.

TO FIRE BY THE REAR RANK.

59. When the colonel shall wish the battalion to fire to the rear, he will command:

1. Face by the rear rank.  2. Battalion.  3. About—FACE.

60. At the first command, the captains, covering sergeants, and file closers will execute what has been prescribed in the S. C., No. 69; the color-bearer will pass into the rear rank, and, for this purpose, the corporal of his file will step before the corporal next on his right to let the color-bearer pass, and will then take his place in the front rank; the lieutenant colonel, adjutant, major, sergeant major, and the music will place themselves before the front rank, and face to the rear, each opposite his place in the line of battle – the first two passing around the right, and the others around the left, of the battalion.

0-61. At the same command, the first company of skirmishers will face to the right, and the second to the left; they will be marched by their captains around the right and left flanks of the battalion respectively, and faced to the rear opposite their places in line of battle, the right of each company toward the proper left of the battalion.

62. At the third command, the battalion will face about; the captains and covering sergeants observing what is prescribed in the S. C., No. 70.

63. The battalion facing thus by the rear rank, the colonel will cause it to execute the different fires by the same commands as if it were faced by the front rank.

64. The right and left wings will retain the same designations, although faced about; the companies also will preserve their former designations, as first, second, third, &c.

65. The fire by file will commence on the left of each company, now become the right.

66. The fire by rank will commence by the front rank, now become the rear rank. This rank will preserve its denomination.

67. The captains, covering sergeants, and color-guard will, at the first command given by the colonel, take the places prescribed for them in the fires, with the front rank leading.

68. The colonel, after firing to the rear, wishing to face the battalion to its proper front, will command:

1. Face by the front rank.  2. Battalion.  3. About—FACE.

69. At these commands, the battalion will return to its proper front by the means prescribed Nos. 60, 61, and 62.

70. The fire by file being that most used in war, the colonel will give it the preference in the preparatory exercises, in order that the battalion may be brought to execute it with the greatest possible regularity.

0-71. The companies of skirmishers will not fire when the line fires, except behind a breastwork, or other defensive mask, when they may be brought into line for that purpose.

72. When the colonel may wish to give some relaxation to the battalion, without breaking the ranks, he will execute what has been prescribed in the S. C., Nos. 37 and 38 or Nos. 39 and 40.

73. When the colonel shall wish to cause arms to be stacked, he will bring the battalion to ordered arms, and then command:

1. Stack—ARMS.  2. Break ranks.  3. MARCH.

74. The colonel wishing the men to return to the ranks, will cause attention to be sounded, at which the battalion will reform behind the stacks of arms.  The sound being finished, the colonel, after causing the stacks to be broken, will command:

Battalion.

75. At this command, the men will fix their attention, and remain immovable.

0-76. The companies of skirmishers will perform the movements indicated Nos. 72, 73, and 74, at the command of the colonel, and at the same time with the battalion companies.

PART SECOND.

DIFFERENT MODES OF PASSING FROM THE ORDER IN BATTLE TO THE ORDER IN COLUMN.

ARTICLE I.

To break to the right or the left into column.

77. Lines of battle will habitually break into column by company; they may also break by division or by platoon.

78. It is here supposed that the colonel wishes to break by company to the right; he will command:

1. By company, right wheel.  2. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

79. At the first command, each captain will place himself rapidly before the centre of his company, and caution it that it has to wheel to the right; each covering sergeant will replace his captain in the front rank.

0-80. At the same command, each chief of platoon of the companies of skirmishers, will place himself rapidly before the centre of his platoon, as prescribed in the S. C., No. 177, and caution it that it has to wheel to the right.

81. At the command march, each company will break to the right, according to the principles prescribed in the S. C., No. 178; each captain will conform himself to what is prescribed for the chiefs of platoon; the left guide, as soon as he can pass, will place himself on the left of the front rank to conduct the marching flank, and when he shall have approached near to the perpendicular, the captain will command: 1. Such company.  2. HALT.

82. At the second command, which will be given at the instant the left guide shall be at the distance of three paces from the perpendicular, the company will halt; the guide will advance and place his left arm lightly against the breast of the captain, who will establish him on the alignment of the man who has faced to the right; the covering sergeant will place himself correctly on the alignment on the right of that man; which being executed, the captain will align his company by the left, command FRONT, and place himself two paces before its centre.

83. The captains having commanded FRONT, the guides, although some of them may not be in the direction of the preceding guides, will stand fast, in order that the error of a company that has wheeled too much or too little may not be propagated; the guides not in the direction will readily come into it when the column is put in march.

0-84. At the command march, the platoons of the companies of skirmishers will be wheeled as prescribed in the S. C., No. 178; they will be halted and dressed in such manner, that the first platoon of each of the companies shall be on a line with the first and last battalion companies respectively.

85. A battalion in line of battle will break into column by company to the left, according to the same principles, and by inverse means; the covering sergeant of each company will conduct the marching flank, and the left guide will place himself on the left of the front rank at the moment the company halts.

0-86. The companies of skirmishers will break by platoon to the left, according to the same principles by which they broke to the right, but by inverse means.  In this case, the second platoon of these companies will be on a line with the first and last battalion companies respectively.

87. When the battalion breaks by division, the indication division will be substituted in the commands for that of company; the chief of each division (the senior captain) will conform himself to what is prescribed for the chief of company, and will place himself two paces before the centre of his division; the junior captain, if not already there, will place himself in the interval between the two companies in the front rank, and be covered by the covering sergeant of the left company in the rear rank.  The right guide of the right company will be the right guide, and the left guide of the left company the left guide, of the division.

88. When the battalion shall break by platoon to the right or to the left, each first lieutenant will pass around the left of his company to place himself in front of the second platoon, and, for this purpose, each covering sergeant, except the one of the right company, will step, for the moment, in rear of the right file of his company.

89. When the battalion breaks by division to the right, and there is an odd company, the captain of this company (the left), after wheeling into column, will cause it to oblique to the left, halt it at company distance from the preceding division, place his left guide on the direction of the column, and then align his company by the left.  When the line breaks by division to the left, the odd company will be in front; its captain, having wheeled it into column, will cause it to oblique to the right, halt it at division distance from the division next in the rear, place his right guide on the direction of the other guides, and align the company by the right.

0-90. When the battalion breaks, either by division or platoon, the first or second platoon of each of the company of skirmishers, will be established on the prolongation of the first and last division, or platoon, respectively.

0-91. When there is an odd company, and the battalion breaks by division to the right, or left, the first or second platoon of the second company of skirmishers, will always be held abreast with that company, but otherwise the position of this company of skirmishers will not be changed.

0-92. Whenever there is but    one company of skirmishers present with the battalion, and it is divided into platoons, and posted, as prescribed No. 10, Title I.: in all the cases where the battalion is broken to the right or left, either by platoon, company, or division, the first platoon of skirmishers will always be held abreast of the first, and the second platoon abreast of the last battalion subdivision.

93. The battalion being in column, the lieutenant colonel and major will place themselves on the directing flank, the first abreast with the leading subdivision, and the other abreast with the last, and both six paces from the flank. The adjutant will be near the lieutenant colonel, and the sergeant major near the major.

0-94. When the companies of skirmishers are with the battalion, when in column, the junior major will habitually occupy a position on the reverse flank, abreast with the color company, and on a line passing through the centre of the platoons of these companies.  In case the presence of the enemy, or other cause requires that the companies of skirmishers, or any portion of them, should be deployed on either the front, flanks, or rear of the column, the colonel will indicate to the junior major the number of men to be deployed, the position they are to occupy, and the duties they will be required to perform; the junior major, after communicating these instructions to the chiefs of the companies of skirmishers, will take such position as best to supervise the movements.  [Editors Note: See Changes.]

0-95. When one or more platoons of the companies of skirmishers are deployed to cover the battalion, when in open column, and the colonel desires their recall, he will cause it to be indicated to the commandant of the skirmishers, who will either direct the assemble on the battalion to be sounded, or will command, assemble on the battalion.  At this signal or command, the skirmishers will assemble on their respective reserves, as prescribed No. 165, instructions for skirmishers, and then proceed to take their appropriate places as indicated Nos. 84 and 86.  [Editors Note: See Changes.]

96. The colonel will have no fixed place as the instructor of his battalion; but in columns composed of many battalions, he will place himself habitually on the directing flank fifteen or twenty paces from the guides, and abreast with the centre of his battalion.

97. When the colonel shall wish to move the column forward without halting it, he will caution the battalion to that effect, and command:

1. By company, right wheel.  2. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

98. At the first command, the captains of companies will execute what is prescribed for breaking into column from a halt.

99. At the second command, they will remain in front of their companies to superintend the movement; the companies will wheel to the right on fixed pivots as indicated in the S. C.,  No. 190; the left guides will conform to what is prescribed above; when they shall arrive near the perpendicular, the colonel will command:

3. Forward.  4. MARCH.  5. Guide left.

100. At the third command, each covering sergeant will place himself by the right side of the man on the right of the front rank of his company.  At the fourth command, which will be given at the instant the wheel is completed, the companies will cease to wheel, and march straight forward.  At the fifth, the men will take the touch of elbows to the left.  The leading guide will march in the direction indicated to him by the lieutenant colonel.  The guides will immediately conform themselves to the principles of the march in column, S. C., No. 205 and following.

0-101. At the first command, the chiefs of the companies of skirmishers, will execute what is prescribed for breaking from a halt; at the second command, they will execute what is prescribed in the S. C., No. 190, with this exception, on arriving near the perpendicular, each captain will command:

1. Mark time.  2. MARCH.

0-102. At the fourth command by the colonel, the platoons will execute what is prescribed in the S. C., No. 191.  At the fifth command, they will take the guide to the left, and the guides of the first platoons will march on the prolongation of the first and last battalion companies, respectively, and at a distance from the right guides of the column of about thirty-three paces, less the front of the platoon.

103. If the battalion be marching in line of battle, the colonel will cause it to wheel to the right or left, by the same commands and the same means; but he should previously caution the battalion that it is to continue the march.

104. A battalion in line of battle will break into column by company to the left, according to the same principles and by inverse means; the covering sergeant of each company will conduct the marching flank, and the left guides will place themselves on the left of their respective companies at the command forward.

0-105. The companies of skirmishers will break by platoon to the left, according to the same principles by which they broke to the right, but by inverse means; the second platoon marching on the prolongation of the first and last battalion companies.


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Transcribed by Scott Gutzke, 2004-2006.


 

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