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219. These dispositions being made, the colonel will command:
1. Column forward. 2. Guide left (or right). 3. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).
220. At the command march, briskly repeated by the chiefs of subdivision, and the chiefs of platoon of the companies of skirmishers, the column will put itself in march, conforming to what is prescribed in the S. C., No. 205 and following.
221. The leading guide may always maintain himself correctly on the direction by keeping steadily in view the two points indicated to him, or chosen by himself; if these points have a certain elevation, he may be assured he is on the true direction, when the nearer masks the more distant point.
222. The following guides will preserve with exactness both step and distance; each will march in the trace of the guide who immediately precedes him, without occupying himself with the general direction.
223. The lieutenant-colonel will hold himself, habitually, abreast with the leading guide, to see that he does not deviate from the direction, and will observe, also, that the next guide marches exactly in the trace of the first.
224. The senior major will generally be abreast with the last subdivision; he will see that each guide marches exactly in the trace of the one immediately preceding; if either deviate from the direction, the senior major will promptly rectify the error, and prevent its being propagated; but he need not interfere, in this way, unless the deviation has become sensible, or material. The junior major will take part as indicated No. 94.
225. The column being in march, the colonel may cause the about to be executed while marching; to this effect, he will command:
1. Battalion, right about. 2. MARCH. 3. Guide right.
226. At the second command, the companies will face to the right about, and the column will then march forward in an opposite direction; the chiefs of subdivision will remain behind the front rank, the file closers in front of the rear rank, and the guides will place themselves in the rear rank, now in front. The second platoons of the platoon columns will march abreast with the first and last battalion companies respectively. The lieutenant-colonel will remain abreast of the first division, now in the rear; the senior major will give a point of direction to the leading guide, and march abreast of him.
227. The colonel will hold himself habitually on the directing flank; he will look to the step and to the distances, and see that all the principles prescribed for the march in column, school of the company, are observed.
MANNER OF PROLONGING A LINE OF BATTLE BY MARKERS.
228. When a column prolongs itself on the line of battle, it being all-important that the guides march correctly on that line, it becomes necessary that colonels, lieutenant-colonels, and senior majors, whose duty it is to maintain the true direction, should be able to see, as far as practicable, the two objects, on which the march of the guides ought to be directed; consequently, when no prominent objects present themselves in the desired direction, the chief of the column will supply the want of them in advance by aids-de-camp, or other mounted officers, and in such number as may be necessary.
229. Three such officers may prolong a line as far as may be desired in the following manner: they will place themselves in advance on the line of battle, the first at the point where the head of the column ought to enter; the second, three or four hundred paces behind the first; and the third, a like distance behind the second. The first of these officers will remain in position till the leading guide shall have entered on the line of battle, and then, at a gallop, place himself at a convenient distance behind the third. The second will do the like in respect to the first, when the head of the column shall be near him, and so on in continuation. These officers, without dismounting, will face to the column, and cover each other accurately. It will be on them that the guides will steadily direct their march, and it will be so much the more easy for the latter to maintain themselves on the direction, as they will always be able to see the mounted officers over the heads of the preceding guides; thus the deviation from the direction, by one or more guides, need not mislead those who follow.
230. A single mounted officer may suffice to assure the direction of a column, when the point of direction toward which it marches is very distinct. In this case, that officer will place himself on the line of battle within that point, and beyond the one at which the head of the column will halt, and remain in position till the column halts; serving thus as the intermediate point for giving steadiness to the march of the guides.
231. For a column of one or two battalions, markers on foot will suffice to indicate the line to be followed by the general guides.
REMARKS ON THE MARCH IN COLUMN.
232. The subdivisions of a column will not maintain the full distance, for any considerable length of time, unless in the route step, or upon reviews or other movements of ceremony. In presence of the enemy, the column will habitually be either at half distance or closed in mass.
233. Although the uncadenced step be that of columns in route marches, and also that which ought to be habitually employed in the Evolutions of a Brigade, when not in the immediate presence of the enemy, and when the difficulty of the road, heat, or dust, should render it expedient, nevertheless, as it is of paramount importance to confirm soldiers in the measure and the movement of the cadenced pace, the route step will be but little practiced in the exercises by battalion, except in going to, and returning from, the ground of instruction, and for teaching the mechanism and movements of columns in route.
234. It is highly essential to the regularity of the march in column that each guide follow exactly in the trace of the one immediately preceding, without occupying his attention with the general direction of the guides. If this principle be steadily observed, the guides will find themselves aligned, provided that the leading one march exactly in the direction indicated to him; and even should obstacles in his way force him into a momentary deviation, the direction of the column would not necessarily be changed; whereas, if the following guides endeavor to conform themselves at once to all the movements of the leading one, in order to cover him in file, such endeavors would necessarily cause corresponding fluctuations in the column, from right to left, and from left to right, and render the preservation of distances extremely difficult.
235. As a consequence of the principle, that each guide shall exactly follow in the trace of the one who immediately precedes, if, pending the march of the column, the colonel shall give a new point of direction, too near to the first to require a formal change of direction, the leading guide, advancing the one or other shoulder, will immediately direct himself on this point; the other guides will only conform themselves to this movement as each arrives at the point at which the first had executed it. Each subdivision will conform itself to the movement of its guide, the men insensibly lengthening or shortening the step, and advancing or refusing (throwing back) the shoulder opposite to the guide, but without losing the touch of the elbow toward his side.
236. The column, at full distance, by company, being in march, the colonel will cause it to diminish front by platoon, from front to rear, at once, and to increase front by platoon in like manner, which movements will be commanded and executed as prescribed in the S. C., Nos. 287 and 278 and following, changing the command form company to form companies. So may he increase and diminish, or diminish and increase front, according to the same principles and at once, by company, changing the command form companies to form divisions, and the command break into platoons, to break into companies. In this case, the companies and divisions will execute what is prescribed for platoons and companies respectively.
237. The column being at a halt, if the colonel should wish to march it to the rear, and the distance to be gained be so inconsiderable as to render a countermarch a disproportionate loss of time, he will cause the column to face about, and then put it in march by the commands prescribed No. 219; the chiefs of the subdivisions will remain behind the front rank, the file closers before the rear rank, and the guides will step into the rear rank, now in front. In a column, by division, the junior captains, in the intervals between companies, will replace their covering sergeants in the rear rank) and these sergeants will step into the line of file closers in front of their intervals.
0-238. In the different movements of the column, the companies of skirmishers, if present, will preserve their relative positions thereto; the platoon guides will always be on the side of the column.
Column in route.
239. A column in route, ought never to have, a depth greater than about the front it had occupied in the line of battle, less the front of a subdivision.
240. The observance of this principle requires particular rule; as a column in route may have hourly to pass narrow ways, bridges, or other defiles, rendering it necessary to diminish the front of subdivisions, it becomes important to give rules and means by which the column may, for any length of march, preserve the ease of the route step without elongation from front to rear.
241. A column in route will be habitually formed by company.
242. When a column in route shall arrive at a pass too narrow to receive the front of a company, the column will diminish front by platoon before entering. This movement will be executed successively, or by all the companies at once.
243. If, however, the defile be very short, and it may be passed by the diminution of a few files, it will be preferable to break to the rear the limited number of files.
244. The column being by platoon, and the want of space rendering a further diminution of front necessary, it will be diminished by section, if the platoons be of twelve or more files.
245. The column being by section, will continue to march by that front as long as the defile may permit.
246. If the platoons have less than twelve files, one or two files will be broken to the rear, according to the narrowing of the defile, and the route step continued as long as six files can march abreast.
247. What has just been explained for breaking files to the rear in a column by platoon, is equally applicable to a column by section.
248. If the defile be too narrow to permit six men to march abreast, the subdivisions will be marched successively by the flank, conforming to what is prescribed in the S. C., Nos. 319 and 320.
249. The battalion marching by the flank, will be formed into column, by section, by platoon, or by company, as soon as the breadth of the way may permit; the several movements which these formations include will be executed by the commands of the captains, as their companies successively clear the defile, observing the following rules.
250. As soon as the way is sufficiently broad to contain six men abreast, the captain will command:
1. By section (or by platoon) into line. 2. MARCH.
251. At the command march, the subdivisions indicated will form themselves into line; the files which have not been able to enter, will follow (by the flank) the last four files of their subdivision which have entered into line.
252. The column marching in this order, the files in rear will be caused to enter into line as the increased breadth of the way may permit.
253. The column marching by section or by platoon, platoons or companies will be formed as soon as the breadth of the way may permit.
254. The leading subdivision will follow the windings of the pass or defile; the following subdivisions will not occupy themselves with the direction, but all, in succession, pass over the trace of the subdivisions which precede them respectively. The men will not seek to avoid the bad parts of the way, but pass, as far as practicable, each in the direction of his file.
255. Changes of direction will always be made without command; if the change be important, a caution merely from the respective chiefs to their subdivisions will suffice, and the rear rank, as well as the files broken to the rear, will execute successively the movement where the front rank had executed it.
256. The colonel will hold himself at the head of the battalion; he will regulate the step of the leading subdivision, and indicate to its chief the instant for executing the various movements which the nature of the route may render necessary.
257. If the column be composed of several battalions, each will conform itself, in its turn, to what shall have been commanded for the leading battalion, observing to execute each movement at the same place and in the same manner.
258. Finally, to render the mechanism of all those movements familiar to the troops, and to habituate them to march in the route step without elongating the column, commanders will generally cause their battalions to march in this step, going to, and returning from, fields of exercise. Each will occasionally conduct his battalion through narrow passes, in order to make it perceive the utility of the principles prescribed above; and he will several times, in every course of instruction, march it in the route step, and cause to be executed, sometimes at once, and sometimes successively, the divers movements which have just been indicated.
0-259. On marches, the companies of skirmishers, if present, will habitually take post in the column, the first company in front of the first, and the second company of skirmishers in rear of the last battalion company. The junior major will in this case take post abreast of the color company, and six paces from its reverse flank.
GENERAL REMARKS ON THE COLUMN IN ROUTE.
260. The lesson relative to the column in route is, by its frequent application, one of the most important that can be given to troops. If it be not well taught and established on right principles, it will happen that the rear of the column in route will be obliged to run, to regain distances, or that the front will be forced to halt till the rear shall have accomplished that object; thus rendering the march greatly slower, or greatly more fatiguing, generally both, than if it were executed according to rule.
261. The ordinary progress of a column in route ought to be, on good roads or good grounds, at the rate of one hundred and ten paces in a minute. This rate may be easily maintained by columns of almost any depth; but over bad roads, ploughed fields, loose sands, or mountainous districts, the progress cannot be so great, and must therefore be regulated according to circumstances.
262. The most certain means of marching well in route, is to preserve always a regular and equal movement, and, if obstacles oblige one or more subdivisions to slacken or to shorten the step, to cause the primitive rate of march to be resumed the moment the difficulties are passed.
263. A subdivision ought never to take more than the prescribed distance from the subdivision immediately preceding; but it is sometimes necessary to lessen that distance.
264. Thus: the head of the column encounters an obstacle which obliges it to relax its march; all the following subdivisions will preserve the habitual step, and close up in mass, if necessary, on the subdivision nearest to the obstacle. Distances will afterward naturally be recovered as each subdivision shall successively have passed the obstacle. Nevertheless, if the difficulty be too great to be overcome by one subdivision, whilst the next is closing up, so that distances cannot afterward be recovered without running, the chief of the column will halt the leading subdivision beyond the obstacle, at a distance sufficient to contain the whole column in mass. He will then put the column in march, the subdivisions taking distances by the head, observing to commence the movement in time, so that the last subdivision may not be obliged to halt, after having cleared the obstacle.
265. When the chief of a column shall wish to change the rate of march, he will cause the leading battalion to quicken or to relax the step insensibly, and send orders to the other battalions each to regulate itself by that which precedes it.
266. The column being composed of several battalions, the general will always leave an aid-de-camp with its rear to bring him prompt information if it find a difficulty in following.
267. Subdivisions ought always to step out well in obliquing, both in breaking and forming companies or platoons. When either is done in succession, it is highly important that no subdivision slacken or shorten the step while that which precedes it is engaged in the movement. The observance of this principle can alone prevent an elongation of the column.
268. If the battalion, marching by the flank, encounter a pass so narrow as to oblige it to defile with a front of two men, the colonel will order support arms, take the cadenced step, and undouble the files, which will be executed as pre scribed in the S. C., No. 331; the files will double again as soon as the breadth of the way will permit.
269. If the defile be only sufficient to receive a front of one man, the colonel will cause the men to pass one at a time, which will be executed as prescribed in the S. C., Nos. 334 and 335. The men of the same file should follow each other in their order as closely as possible, and without loss of time. As soon as the defile permits a front of two or four men, the battalion will be reformed into two or four ranks, as prescribed in the S. C., Nos. 336, 337, 338, and 339, and will march in this order until there be space to form platoons or sections, as indicated No. 250.
270. In both cases, just supposed, the head of the battalion, after having passed the defile, will march till sufficient space be left to contain the whole of the subdivisions in mass; afterward it will be put in march by the means indicated No. 264.
271. When a command has to move rapidly over a given distance, the movements prescribed in this article will be executed in double quick time; if the distance be long, the chief of the column will not allow the march at this gait to be continued for more than fifteen minutes; at the end of this time, he will order the ordinary route step to be marched for five minutes, and then again resume the double quick. If the ground be uneven, having considerable ascents and descents, he will reserve the double quick for those parts of the ground most favorable to this march.
272. A column marching alternately in double quick time and the ordinary route step, in the manner stated, can easily accomplish very long distances in a very short space of time; but when the distance to be passed over is not greater than two miles, it ought to be accomplished, when the ground is favorable, without changing the rate of march.
To change direction in column at full distance.
273. The column being in march in the cadenced step, when the colonel shall wish to cause it to change direction, he will go to the point at which the change ought to be commenced and establish a marker there, presenting the breast to the flank of the column; this marker, no matter to which side the change of direction is to be made, will be posted on the opposite side, and he will remain in position till the last subdivision of the battalion shall have passed. The leading subdivision being within a few paces of the marker, the colonel will command:
Head of column to the left (or right).
274. At this, the chief of the leading subdivision will immediately take the guide on the side opposite the change of direction, if not already there. This guide will direct himself so as to graze the breast of the marker; arrived at this point, the chief will cause his subdivision to change direction by the commands and according to the principles prescribed in the school of the company. When the wheel is completed, the chief of this subdivision will retake the guide, if changed, on the side of the primitive direction.
275. The chief of each succeeding subdivision, as well as the guides, will conform to what has just been explained for the leading subdivision.
276. The colonel will carefully see that the guide of each subdivision, in wheeling, does not throw himself without or within, but passes over all the points of the arc of the circle, which he ought to describe.
277. As often as no distinct object presents itself in the new direction, the lieutenant-colonel will place himself upon it in advance, at the distance of thirty or forty paces from the marker, and be assured in this direction by the colonel; the leading guide will take, the moment he shall have changed direction, two points on the ground in the straight line which, drawn from himself, would pass between the heels of the lieutenant-colonel, taking afterward new points as he advances.
278. The senior major will see that the guides direct themselves on the marker posted at the point of change, so as to graze his breast.
279. At the command head of column to the right, by the colonel, the chief of the first platoon column will command: 1. By the right flank. 2. By file right. At this, the chiefs and guides wilt take their places on the right of their respective platoons.
0-280. At the command march, by the captain of the first battalion company, the platoons, conducted by their chiefs, will commence the movement; the chief of the second platoon will stand fast and let his platoon file past, and when the left file has arrived abreast with him he will command: 1. Mark time. 2. MARCH, and face his platoon to the front. The platoon guide will immediately take his place on its left. The first platoon will move diagonally to the rear, and file into column parallel to the second; when the chief has arrived abreast with the left of the second he will halt in his own person, let his platoon file past, and it will then execute what has been prescribed for the second platoon.
0-281. When the first battalion company shall have arrived abreast with the first platoon, the platoon column will be put in march by its chief, taking the guide to the left, and regaining the distance of thirty-three paces from the right flank of the battalion column.
0-282. When the second platoon column shall have arrived at a distance of thirty-three paces from the right flank of the column in its new direction, it will change direction to the right by command of its chief, and its first platoon will march abreast with the last battalion company, when that company takes the new direction.
0-283. If the change of direction is to the left, the first platoon column will take the guide to the right, and increase the gait by command of its chief, it will change direction at the same time with the first battalion company, taking care to maintain its relative position and distance. It will resume the step of the battalion when its direction is changed.
0-284. When the last battalion company changes direction the second platoon column will conform to what has just been prescribed for the first. If the column be composed of several battalions, the lieutenant-colonel of the second, will cause the marker of the first battalion, to be replaced as soon as the last subdivision of this battalion shall have passed; this disposition will be observed by battalion after battalion, to the rear of the column.
285. It has been demonstrated, school of the company, how important it is, first, that each subdivision execute its change of direction precisely at the point where the leading one had changed, and that it arrive in a square with the direction; second, that the wheeling point ought always to be cleared in time, in order that the subdivision engaged in the wheel may not arrest the movement of the following one. The deeper the column, the more rigorously ought these principles to be observed; because, a fault that would be but slight in a column of a single battalion, would cause much embarrassment in one of great depth.
To halt the column.
286. The column being in march, when the colonel shall wish to halt it, he will command:
1. Column. 2. HALT.
287. At the second command, briskly repeated by the captains and by the chiefs of platoons of the companies of skirmishers, the column will halt; no guide will stir, though he may have lost his distance, or be out of the direction of the preceding guides.
288. The column being in march, in double quick time, will be halted by the same commands. At the command halt, the men will halt in their places, and will themselves rectify their positions in the ranks.
289. The column being halted, when the colonel shall wish to form it into line of battle, he will move a little in front of the leading guide, and face to him; this guide and the following one will fix their eyes on the colonel, in order promptly to conform themselves to his directions.
290. If the colonel judge it not necessary to give a general direction to the guides, he will limit himself to rectifying the position of such as may be without, or within the direction, by the command: Guide of (such) company, or guides of (such) companies, to the right (or to the left); at this command, the guides designated will place themselves on the direction; the others will stand fast.
291. If, on the contrary, the colonel judge it necessary to give a general direction to the guides of the column, he will place the first two on the direction he shall have chosen, and command:
292. At this, the following guides will promptly place themselves on the direction covering the first two in file, and each precisely at a distance equal to the front of his company, from the guide immediately preceding; the lieutenant-colonel will assure them in the direction, and the colonel will command:
Left (or right)—DRESS.
293. At this command, briskly repeated by the chiefs of subdivisions, each company will incline to the right or left, and dress forward or backward, so as to bring the designated flank to rest on its guide; each captain will place himself two paces outside of his guide, promptly align his company parallelly with that which precedes, then command FRONT, and return to his place in column.
To close the column to half distance, or in mass.
294. A column by company being at full distance right in front, and at a halt, when the colonel shall wish to cause it to close to half distance, on the leading company, he will command:
1. To half distance, close column. 2. MARCH. (or double quick—MARCH).
295. At the first command, the captain of the leading company will caution it to stand fast.
0-296. At the same command, the chief of the first platoon, of the first platoon column, will caution his platoon to stand fast.
297. At the command march, which will be repeated by all the captains, except the captain of the leading company, this company will stand fast, and its chief will align it by the left; the file closers will close one pace upon the rear rank.
298. All the other companies will continue to march, and as each in succession arrives at platoon distance from the one which precedes, its captain will halt it.
299. At the instant that each company halts, its guide will place himself on the direction of the guides who precede, and the captain will align the company by the left; the file closers will close one pace upon the rear rank.
300. No particular attention need be given to the general direction of the guides before they respectively halt; it will suffice if each follow in the trace of the one who precedes him.
0-301. At the command march, repeated by the chief of the second platoon, of the first platoon column, and by the chiefs of platoon of the second platoon column, the first platoon of the first platoon column will stand fast, its second platoon will close in mass on its first, and its chief will align it by the left.
0-302. When the last battalion company halts, the second platoon of the second platoon column, will close in mass on its first platoon, which has halted at the same time; its chief will align it by the left.
303. The colonel, on the side of the guides, will superintend the execution of the movement, observing that the captains halt their companies exactly at platoon distance, the one from the other.
304. The lieutenant-colonel, a few paces in front, will face to the leading guide, and assure the positions of the following guides, as they successively place themselves on the direction.
305. The senior major will follow the movement abreast with the last guide. The junior major will follow the movement abreast with the color company.
306. If the column be in march, the colonel will cause it to close by the same commands.
307. If the column be marching in double quick time, at the first command, the captain of the leading company will command, quick time; the chiefs of the other companies will caution them to continue their march.
0-308. At the first command, the chief of the leading platoon of the first platoon column, will command, quick time; the chiefs of the other platoons will caution them to continue the march.
309. At the command march, the leading company will march in quick, and the other companies in double quick time; and as each arrives at platoon distance from the preceding one, its chief will cause it to march in quick time.
310. When the rearmost company shall have gained its distance, the colonel, should he wish to resume the previous gait, will command:
0-311. At the command march, the leading platoon of the first platoon column will march in quick, and the other platoons in double quick time. As the second platoon of each platoon column arrives at six paces from its preceding one, its chief will cause it to march in quick time.
312. When the colonel shall wish to halt the column, and cause it to close to half distance at the same time, he will notify the captain of the leading company and the chief of the leading platoon of skirmishers of his intention. At the command march, the captain of the leading battalion company will halt his company, and align it by the left.
0-313. At the same command, the chief of the leading platoon of the first platoon column will halt his platoon, and dress it to the left.
314. If the column be marching in quick time, and the colonel should not give the command double quick, the captain of the leading company will halt his company at the command march, and align it by the left. In the case where the colonel adds the command double quick, the captains of companies will conform to what is prescribed No. 307, and the movement will be executed as indicated No. 309.
0-315. The chief of the leading platoon of the leading platoon column, will conform to what is required above for the chief of the leading company of the battalion column.
TO CLOSE THE COLUMN ON THE EIGHTH, OR REARMOST COMPANY.
316. The column being at a halt, if instead of causing it to close to half distance on the first company, the colonel should wish to cause it to close on the eighth, he will command:
1. On the eighth company, to half distance, close column. 2. Battalion about—FACE. 3. Column forward. 4. Guide right. 5. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).
317. At the first command the captain of the eighth company will caution it to remain faced to the front; at the second command, all the companies except the eighth, will face about, and their guides will remain in the front rank, now the rear.
0-318. At the first command, each chief of platoon of the first platoon column, will caution it to face about; the chiefs of platoon of the second platoon column will caution them to stand fast. At the second command the first platoon column will face about, the guides remaining in the front rank, now rear.
319. At the fourth command, all the captains will place themselves two paces outside of their companies on the directing flank.
0-320. At the same command, each chief of platoon of the first platoon columns will place himself two paces outside his platoon, and on its directing flank.
321. At the command march, the eighth company will stand fast, its captain will align it by the left, and the file closers will close one pace on the rear rank. The other companies will put themselves in march, and, as each arrives at platoon distance from the one established before it, its captain will halt it and face it to the front. At the moment that each company halts, the left guide, remaining faced to the rear, will place himself promptly on the direction of the guides already established. Immediately after, the captain will align his company by the left, and the file closers will close one pace on the rear rank. If this movement be executed in double quick time, each captain, in turn, will halt, and command: Such company, right about—HALT. At this command, the company designated will face to the right about and halt.
0-322. At the command march, the first platoon of the second platoon column will stand fast; the others will put themselves in march with the guide on the side of the battalion column; when the second platoon of the first platoon column has arrived at a distance from the second battalion company, equal to the difference between the platoon front and six paces, it will be halted and faced about by its chief; when the first battalion company halts; the first platoon will be halted and faced about by its chief, the platoons will be dressed to the left by their respective chiefs, the second at six paces from the first. The second platoon of the second platoon column, will close in mass on its first platoon.
323. All the companies being aligned, the colonel will cause the guides, who stand faced to the rear, to face about.
324. The lieutenant-colonel, placing himself behind the rearmost guide, will assure successively the positions of the other guides, as prescribed No. 304; the senior major will remain abreast with the rearmost company. The junior major will keep abreast with the color company.
325. The column being in march, when the colonel shall wish to close it on the eighth company, he will command:
1. On the eighth company, to half distance, close column. 2. Battalion right about. 3. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH). 4. Guide right.
326. At the first command, the captain of the eighth company will caution his company that it will remain faced to the front; the captains of the other companies will caution their companies that they will have to face about.
0-327. At the same command each chief of platoon of the second platoon column will caution his platoon that it will have to remain faced to the front; the chiefs of platoon of the first platoon column will caution them that they will have to face about.
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Transcribed by Scott Gutzke, 2004-2006.
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