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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.

Paragraph 615, E. B., will be applicable to any skirmishers.


INFANTRY TACTICS.

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TITLE VI.

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 EVOLUTIONS OF A BRIGADE.

General principles for the evolutions of a brigade. 

1. THE school of the battalion comprehending the principles and details of all the movements that ought in any case to be made by a single battalion, these principles will now be applied to a brigade.

2. In this instruction, a brigade consisting of four battalions will be supposed; but the rules herein prescribed are equally applicable to two or three battalions.

Posts of the brigadier-general in line and in column.

3. In line of battle composed of several brigades, the generals of brigade will place themselves at about seventy paces in rear of the centres of their brigades.

4. In column, they will hold themselves at about thirty paces outside of the guides, and abreast with the centres of their brigades.

5. If a brigade be acting by itself, its brigadier-general will, when it is in line of battle, take such position as he may judge necessary; and if it be in column, he will hold himself habitually at its head.

6. The brigadier-general will look to the exact and regular execution of all signals, notifications or commands coming from the major-general of the division to which he may belong; accordingly, he may repair, whenever he may judge his presence necessary, within the extent of his brigade.

General rules for commands.

7. The general (by which term, in these evolutions, will be understood the brigadier-general in command) will always give orders to his brigade by word of command.

8. When the general shall wish to cause a movement to be executed, he will give the general commands relative thereto.  Each colonel will always successively repeat, with the greatest rapidity, on their reaching him, those general commands, unless the general has given, or sent to him, an order to the contrary.

9. The colonels having repeated the general commands, as just prescribed, will immediately command, and cause to be executed, without waiting for each other, the preparatory movements which, in their battalions, ought to precede the execution of the general movement.

10. The general will look to the prompt execution of these preparatory movements in his brigade, and rectify any error that may be committed by the colonels.

11. The final command, or that which determines the execution of the general movement, will always be given by the general.

12. The lieutenant-colonels and majors will repeat the general commands, whether of caution or of execution, as often as the wind or the noise of arms may prevent those commands from being easily heard from one battalion to another.

13. When, from any cause, a colonel shall not have heard the general command, he will, on seeing the battalion next to his own executing a movement, immediately cause his battalion to execute the same movement.

14. When a line has to execute a central movement, the general will go to the point which he may select for it, and give or send to each of the neighboring battalions, the order relative to the movement which each portion of the line has to execute, as hereinafter explained.

15. In column, commands will be extended, by repetition, according to the same principles.

16. When a brigade is formed in two lines, the second line, in all the manśuvres, will preserve its relative position to the first, and conform to its movements.  The chiefs of the battalions of the second line are charged with the preservation of the proper distances.  If the movement is to be executed by only one of the lines, the cautionary command by the general will be preceded by the words first line, or, second line.

Position of the brigade battery.

17. In line of battle, the brigade battery, consisting of eight pieces, four of them rifled, will be posted one hundred and fifty paces in rear of the centre of the brigade if it is in one line, and about thirty paces in rear of the second line if the brigade is drawn up in two lines.

18. In general, if exposed to the fire of the enemy, and circumstances do not require that it should join in the action, the battery can remove a greater distance to the rear than indicated above.

19. In all the evolutions, and without orders to the contrary, the battery will preserve its relative position, and conform to the movements of the other troops.

Position of the Cavalry of the brigade.

20. The cavalry of the brigade, consisting of four squadrons, containing about eight hundred troopers,* unless employed in a special manner, will be drawn up about three hundred paces in rear of the centre, or wings, of the first line, if the brigade is in one line, and one hundred and fifty paces in rear of the second, if the brigade is in two lines.  In the evolutions, it will preserve its relative position.

PART FIRST. 

ARTICLE I.

To open and to close ranks.

21. The general, wishing to cause ranks to be opened, will command:

1. Prepare to open ranks.

22. This having been repeated, the lieutenant-colonels and senior majors will conform themselves to what is prescribed in the S. B., No. 28; the colonels will immediately command: To the rear, open order.  The general will then add:

2. MARCH.

23. At this, briskly repeated, ranks will be opened in conformity to what is prescribed in the S. B.  Each battalion will execute the movement as if it were isolated; accordingly it need not be attempted to align the rear rank of one battalion on that of other battalions.

24. The general will cause ranks to be closed by the commands prescribed in the S. B.

ARTICLE II.

Manual of arms.

25. The manual of arms will never be executed in line.

ARTICLE III.

Loading at will and the firings.

26. In line, only loading at will will be executed.

27. The general, wishing to cause arms to be loaded, will command:

1. Prepare to load.

28. This having been repeated, the general will add:

2. Load.

29. This, immediately repeated, will be executed as prescribed in the S. B.

30. The general, wishing to cause the fire to be executed, will command:

1. Fire by battalion (or rank, or wing, or company).

31. This having been repeated, the general will add:

2. Commence firing.

32. The fire by battalion will commence with the odd-numbered battalions.  The command commence firing, having been repeated by all the colonels, those of the odd battalions will immediately give the commands prescribed in the S. B., for the execution of this particular fire.

33. The colonels of even-numbered battalions will not give their first command until they see some pieces brought back to the shoulder in the odd battalion to their right; the colonels of the odd battalions, in their turn, will observe the same rule in respect to the even battalion, next to the left of each, and the fire will thus be continued by alternate battalions.

34. The fire by wing will be executed in each battalion, as prescribed in the S. B.; each colonel having repeated the command commence firing, will immediately give the commands indicated for the execution of this fire, without regulating himself by the next battalion.

35. The fire by company will be executed as prescribed in the S. B.

36. The fire by file will be executed in the following manner; the general will command:

1. Fire by file.

37. This having been repeated, each colonel will add: 1. Battalion; 2. READY.  The general will then command:

2. Commence firing.

38. At this, repeated by the colonels, the fire by file will commence, and be executed as prescribed in the S. B.

39. The general will cause each of the foregoing fires to cease by a very short roll, or bugle sound, which will be repeated by the drums or bugles of each battalion the moment it is heard.  As soon as each battalion reloads, its colonel will give the signal for the tap on the drum, or note on the bugle, for the return of the captains and covering sergeants to their places in line of battle.

40. The general, wishing to cause the fires to be executed by the rear rank, will command:

Face by the rear rank.

41. This having been repeated, the colonels will immediately add: 1. Battalion; 2. About—FACE.

42. The general will then cause the several fires to be executed by the commands and means prescribed above.

43. The general having caused the firing by the rear rank to cease, and wishing to bring the line back to its proper front, will command: Face by the front rank.

44. The colonels, having repeated this command, will each immediately add: 1. Battalion; 2. About—FACE.

REMARKS ON FIRING.

45. In the presence of the enemy, the kind of fire will be determined by the character of too ground, and the state of the action.

46. A battalion, having in its front a height, or other obstacle to its fire, will advance as far as necessary, in order that its fire may be effectual.

47. Artillery having in general a greater range their infantry, should open its fire previous to the infantry battalions.  The battery should protect the infantry while moving forward to attack with its fire a position in front; it should fire when the infantry advances, and withdraw when the latter commences the fire.  The battery, in general, will not be moved in front of the troops, and without urgent necessity, it will not remain exposed to well sustained fire of the enemy’s infantry.  If so exposed, its fire will be rapid, so as to inflict as much loss as possible or the enemy.

To Rest.

48. The general, wishing to give relaxation to the line, will command:

1. Prepare to rest.

49. This having been repeated, the general will continue:

2. Order—ARMS.

50. This having been repeated and executed, he will add:

3. In place, rest (or simply, rest).

51. This will be executed as prescribed in the S. B.

52. If, after arms are ordered, the general wishes to cause arms to be stacked, he will command:

Stack arms.

53. This having been repeated, the colonels will cause the stacks to be formed; which being executed, each will immediately cause ranks to be broken, without regulating himself by any other colonel, in the manner prescribed in the S. B.

54. The general, wishing to terminate the relaxation, will cause a short roll or bugle sound to be given, which will be repeated by all the drums or bugles of the line, at the instant it is heard.

55. The roll or sound having ceased, the colonels will each command: BATTALION, at which the men will resume the fixed position of ordered arms; if arms be stacked, the colonels will cause the men to take arms before giving the command BATTALION.

56. The general will them command:

Shoulder—ARMS.

57. This having been repeated, the line will shoulder arms.

PART SECOND.

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

ARTICLE I.

To break to the front, to the right or left into column.

58. The general wishing to cause the line to break by company or by division, will command:

1. By company (or by division) right (or left) wheel.

59. This having been repeated, the general will add:

2. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

60. At this, briskly repeated, the line will break according to the principles given in the S. B.  If the line is in march it will break as prescribed in the same school, and by the commands prescribed Nos. 58 and 59.

61. In that school it has been prescribed that, the companies having broken, the guides shall stand fast at the command front, given by their captains, although one or more may not be in the direction of the preceding guides; this rule will be observed from one battalion to another: thus, the leading guide of one battalion will not stir after the command front given by his captain, although he may not be in the direction of the guides of the preceding battalion; it is when the column shall be put in march, that the guides, who do not cover in file, will insensibly bring themselves on the direction so that each may march in the trace of the one next preceding him.

62. If it is the intention of the general, that the column formed either from a halt or march, should continue the march after wheeling, he will cause the colonels to be notified before the commencement of the movement, who will give orders accordingly.

63. The general, wishing to cause the line to break to the front, to the right, to march toward the left, will command:

1. Break to the right to march to the left.

64. This having been repeated, the colonel on the right will cause his battalion to commence the movement, which will be executed as prescribed in the S. B.

65. The following battalions will successively make the same movement; the colonels will seize the moment for causing their battalions to break, and each will be put in march, so that there may be, between its leading subdivision and the rearmost one of the preceding battalion, the distance of a subdivision, and twenty-two paces.

66. The general will cause the line to break to the left, to march to the right, according to the same principles.

REMARKS.

67. Whenever the brigade formed in two lines breaks or ploys into simple column for the purpose of marching, the colonels of the second line, unless ordered to the contrary, will form their battalions in the order indicated for those of the first line, and move them by the shortest route to their respective places in the brigade column, as soon as able to pass.

ARTICLE II. 

To break to the rear by the right or left into column.

68. The general, wishing to cause the line to break to the rear into column by company, or by division, will command:

1. By the right (or left) of companies (or divisions) to the rear, into column.

69. The colonels, having repeated this command, will immediately add: Battalion, right (or left)—FACE.

70. The general will then command:

2. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

71. At this, briskly repeated, each battalion will break as prescribed in the S. B.  If the line is in march, it will break as prescribed in the same school, and by the commands prescribed No. 68 and following.

ARTICLE III.

To ploy the line into close column, or in mass.

72. The general, wishing to ploy the line into column by division closed in mass, in rear of the first division of the first battalion, will command:

1. Close column by division.  2. On the first division, first battalion, right in front.

73. These commands having been repeated, each colonel will add: Battalion, right—FACE, which will be executed by the designated or directing battalion, as prescribed in the S. B., No. 160 and following; but in the others, all the divisions will face to the right, and the chief of the first division, in each of these battalions, will place himself by the side of his right guide.

74. These dispositions being made, the general will add:

3. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

75. At this, briskly repeated, the colonel of the first battalion will ploy it in rear of its first division, as indicated in the S. B., No. 165 and following.

76. Each of the other colonels will, in like manner, ploy his battalion from a halt, in rear of its right division; but, pending the execution of the movement, this division will stand faced to the flank: the second and third divisions, each conducted by its chief, will be halted as it successively takes its place in the battalion column, the chief remaining by the side of his right guide; the fourth will enter in like manner, and when its head shall be at eight or ten paces from the right flank of the column, the colonel will command: 1. Battalion, forward; 2. Guide left, and 3. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH); at the moment the right guide of this division is abreast with the others.

77. At the command march, each battalion thus formed in mass will put itself in march, directing itself to the rear toward its point of entrance into the general column; its first division, conducted by the lieutenant-colonel, will take the shortest line toward that point; the other divisions will each conform its movement to that of the first, marching abreast with it, and preserving exactly the distance of six paces from one guide to the next; arrived at twelve or fourteen paces from the general column, the first division will incline a little to the left, so as to enter the column perpendicularly, and leave a distance equal to the front of a division between its guide and the rear rank of the last division of the preceding battalion; the other divisions will direct themselves parallelly to the first, and enter successively into the general column.  The chiefs of division being up with the left guides of the column, will each halt in his own person, see his division file past, and conform himself, in halting and aligning it, to what is prescribed in the S. B., Nos. 167-169.

78. The lieutenant-colonel of each battalion will detach himself thirty or forty paces in advance, to indicate the point of entrance into the column for his first division, and as each of his guides successively arrives, he will assure him on the direction.

79. The general, or officer charged with the execution of his orders, will place himself in front of the left guide of the directing division, to superintend the formation of the general column, and to see that the left guides accurately cover each other.  This rule is general for all ployments, whatever the division on which they may be executed.

80. The line will be ployed in front by the same commands, substituting the indication left for right in front.

81. In this case the first battalion will execute the movement in the manner indicated in the S. B., No. 178 and following.

82. The other battalions will each execute the movement in like manner, conforming itself to what follows: the first division, which will have faced to the right with the others, will remain by the flank whilst the battalion is ploying in front of it; the second and third, after having taken position in the battalion column, will be halted by their chiefs, who will remain by the sides of their right guides, and when the head of the fourth shall be at eight or ten paces from the right flank of the column, the colonel, observing the order of time indicated No. 76, will command: 1. Battalion, forward; 2. Guide right; 3. MARCH, (or double quick—MARCH).

83. At the command march, each battalion, directing itself diagonally to the front, instead of to the rear, will be conducted and established in the general column, with slight variations, as prescribed No. 77; arrived at twelve or fourteen paces from the flank of that column, the head of the first division will incline to the right instead of the left, in order to enter perpendicularly, and to take its division distance; the other divisions will conform themselves to the movement of the first, and the chiefs of the whole will each conduct his division till its head is nearly up with the right guides of the general column; he will then halt his division, face it to the front, and align it by the right, its right guide having faced to the rear in placing himself on the direction.

84. The lieutenant-colonels will conform themselves to what is prescribed No. 78.

85. As each battalion takes its position in the column in front of the directing division, its colonel will command: Guides, about—FACE.

86. To ploy the line in rear, or in front of the fourth (or last) division of the fourth battalion, the general will command:

1. Close column by division.  2. On the fourth division, fourth battalion, left (or right) in front.  3. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

87. These movements will be executed according to the principles given in the two preceding cases, but by inverse means: the fourth (or last) division of each subordinate battalion, being the first to take its position in the general column, it will be conducted by the lieutenant-colonel, and the other divisions will regulate themselves by it.

88. If, instead of ploying the line on the first division, right battalion, or the last division of the left, as in all the preceding cases, the general wishes to execute the movement on the first or last division of any other battalion, he will command:

1. Close column by division.  2. On the first (or fourth) division (such) battalion, right (or left) in front.  3. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

89. Whether the right or left is to be in front, the designated or directing battalion will execute its movements as if it were alone.

90. If the right is to be in front, all the battalions in line to the right of the directing one will execute the movement as is indicated for ploying the line to the front on the left division, and the left battalions will execute the movement as is indicated for ploying to the rear, on the right division.  If the left of the line is to be at the head of the column, the right battalions will conform themselves to what is prescribed for ploying the line to the rear, on the left division, and the other battalions to what is prescribed for ploying to the front on the right division.

91. If the directing battalion ploys on its first, or last division, the battalion contiguous to the directing division will execute its movement on this division: accordingly, the last or first division of the contiguous battalion, instead of remaining at a halt, will, at the commencement of the movement, file into the general column, at division distance in front or rear of the directing division.

92. If the line should be in march, and the general should wish to ploy, without halting, it will be executed according to the principles prescribed in the S. B., observing what follows: As soon as each battalion has finished its ployment while marching, it will be faced by a flank, and conducted to its proper position in column.

REMARKS ON PLOYING A LINE INTO A COLUMN CLOSED IN MASS.

93. In the several ployments, the general will take, in preference, as the directing division, that of the right or left of the battalion, on which the movement is to be executed.

94. This method of ploying a line into column unites several advantages: first, it maintains, pending the execution of the movement, the battalions in all their strength, as each forms a separate mass; second, it occupies the least possible time, as each battalion moves over the shortest time to its place in the general column.

PART THIRD.

ARTICLE I.

To march in column at full distance.

95. The general wishing to put the column in march, will indicate to the colonel of the leading battalion the direction to be taken by the headmost guide, and the colonel will immediately prescribe to this guide the means to be employed to assure the direction of the march, according to the principles established in the S. B., Nos. 216-218.

96. These dispositions being made, the general will command:

1. Column forward.

97. The colonels having repeated this command, will immediately add: guide left, if the right be in front, or guide right, if the left be in front.

98. The general will then add:

2. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

99. At this, repeated with the greatest rapidity, the column will put itself in march.

100. The guide of the leading subdivision will maintain himself on the direction which has been indicated to him, by the means prescribed in the S. B., and the following guides will each march in the trace of the one who immediately precedes him, without regard to the general direction.

101. The lieutenant-colonel of the leading battalion will see that the headmost guide does not deviate from the directions he ought to pursue, and the same officer of each following battalion will also see that his leading guide preserves a distance equal to the front of his subdivision and twenty-two paces, which ought to separate the battalions.

102. When a column has to prolong its march on a given line in order to form upon it to the left (or right) into line of battle, the general will always cause that line to be marked by one of the means prescribed in the S. B., Nos. 228-230.


* It is not intended, in the amount of artillery and cavalry here specified for a brigade, containing about four thousand infantry, to fix definitively the proportions which these arms of service should in all cases bear to each other.  These proportions depend upon many exigencies, and are continually changing.  As a general rule, however, the numbers here assumed are not far from correct, and will, at all events, serve to illustrate the manśuvres of these different arms in conjunction.


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Transcribed by Scott Gutzke, 2004-2006.


 

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