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REMARKS ON INVERSIONS. 

426. The principles prescribed in the S. B., No. 642 and following, for breaking or ploying into column a single battalion, formed in line of battle by inversion, are applicable to a brigade, when formed in line by inversion in the manner indicated No. 226 and following; but when the battalions are placed, in respect to each other, in the inverse order, whilst their subdivisions are in the direct order, as indicated No. 342, other means, to be immediately prescribed, will be employed for breaking or ploying the line into column if it be desired to replace the battalions in the direct order.  The principles prescribed in the S. B., Nos. 639-641 are also applicable to a brigade.

427. It will be supposed that the general, in causing the line to break, wishes to march it to the left; he will order each colonel to cause his battalion to break to the right in order to march toward the left (in column at full distance) as if it were isolated; and as soon as the battalions break he will put them in march all at the same time: in this way the column will find itself united and formed in the direct order as soon as the last subdivision of each battalion has turned into the new direction.

428. If, instead of breaking the line (into column at full distance), the general shall wish to ploy it into column, say on the third battalion, so that the first battalion may be in front, he will order the colonel of the third to ploy it into column, right in front, on its second division; at the same time he will order the other colonels to ploy their respective battalions, right in front, on the division nearest to the directing battalion, and then cause the masses to enter the column as follows: the first and second battalions in iron; and the fourth in rear of the directing battalion.

429. If in breaking the line, it be desired to march toward the right, or if, in ploying it, it be desired to place the fourth battalion in front, the movement will be executed according to the same principles and by inverse means.

PART FIFTH.

ARTICLE I.

To advance in line of battle deployed.

430. The general, wishing to cause the line to advance in this order, will choose as the directing battalion, say the third, the one which he may deem most favorably placed for the purpose; he will approach this battalion and command:

1. The third the battalion of direction.

431. This having been repeated, the colonel and lieutenant-colonel of every battalion will place themselves in rear and in front of the color-file of their respective battalions, as prescribed in the S. B., Nos. 648-649.

432. The colonel of the directing battalion, having assured his lieutenant-colonel on the perpendicular, will promptly establish two markers behind his battalion, as prescribed in the S. B., No. 650.

433. The general will verify the direction of these markers, rectify it if necessary, and charge an officer to superintend, pending the march, the successive replacing of them.

434. The general will then command:

2. Battalions forward.

435. This command having been repeated, the color-rank of every battalion will advance six paces, and its two general guides will place themselves out abreast with this rank; the senior major will place himself at six or eight paces from the flank of the color-rank, and on the side opposite to the directing battalion.

436. The general need not occupy himself with the general alignment of the color-ranks and general guides of the different battalions; it will suffice if those of each battalion conform themselves to what has just been prescribed.

437. These dispositions having been made, the general will add:

3. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

438. At this, repeated with the greatest rapidity, the line will step off with life; each battalion will observe with the utmost care the principles prescribed in the S. B. for marching in line of battle.

439. Each colonel and lieutenant-colonel will conform himself, for the maintenance of the direction and alignment, to the principles prescribed in the S. B.

440. The directing battalion being regarded as infallible by all the others, and having thus the greatest influence on them, its march will be superintended with the utmost care; consequently, the general or the officer deputed by him, placed in front of this battalion, will labor to maintain its centre steadily on the perpendicular; to this end, he will frequently place himself from thirty to forty paces in front of the color-bearer, face to the rear, and align himself correctly on the markers established behind the battalion; he will rectify, if necessary, the direction of the centre corporal, as well as that of the color-bearer.

441. If the line of direction of this battalion be badly chosen, and this may often happen, as it is very difficult to determine the perpendicular with precision, the general and the colonel of this battalion will perceive it at the end of a few paces by the crowdings in one wing, and the openings of files in the other.

442. If, for example, the line of direction, instead of being perpendicular to the primitive line of battle, be taken to the right of the perpendicular, the directing battalion will soon be in an oblique position to both of those lines; the interval to its right will be more and more diminished, and that to the left increased in the same proportion, which will force all the subordinate battalions to oblique to the right to regain their intervals; the general, by placing himself on either flank of the directing battalion, will perceive that the battalions to its right are in advance, and those to its left in the rear, in respect to the false direction of that battalion.

443. Promptly to remedy this fault, the general will order the senior major of the directing battalion to place himself thirty or forty paces before its centre, and to face to the rear; he will himself go at the same time to a like distance behind its rear, and place, by signal of the sword, the senior major on the direction he may choose to give; the colonel of this battalion will immediately caution the centre corporal and the color-bearer to conform themselves to this new direction, and the officer superintending the markers in the rear will immediately establish them on that direction.

444. If, at the end of a few paces, the general perceive that the new direction is not exact, he will promptly give another; but with a good coup d’œil, and the habit of directing lines, he will rarely find it necessary to change the direction more than once.

445. Each subordinate battalion will maintain its interval on the side of the directing battalion.

446. The preservation of intervals between battalions being the most essential point in the march in line, the colonels will give to it the utmost attention.

447. A battalion can only lose its interval, from another, by the false direction pursued by its color-bearer.  The colonel may early perceive this by the indications noticed Nos. 441-442, and as a remedy, he will apply the means indicated in the S. B., No. 670 and following.

448. The interval may be momentarily diminished by openings between files; in this case, it will suffice to cause the files to close insensibly upon the centre of their battalion.

449. The general being further in rear of the line than the colonels, may see at once several battalions; hence it will be easy for him to perceive whence the loss of intervals, and he will give prompt notice thereof to the colonels.

450. When the loss of interval is but slight, and the battalion does not slant in respect to the perpendicular, the colonel may confine himself to cautioning the color-bearer to incline insensibly to the right or left, without taking the oblique step; by this means the interval may be re-established without inconvenience.  As to the general alignment, the following rules will be observed.

451. A scrupulous attention need not be given to the maintenance of the colors and general guides of the several battalions exactly abreast with each other; consequently, the senior major of each battalion placed on the flank of his color-rank on the side opposite to the direction, will not cause the color-bearer to shorten or lengthen the step, but when this may be evidently necessary to the preservation of a certain degree of general harmony.

452. The two general guides of each battalion will conform themselves steadily to the direction of the color-rank of the same battalion, and hold themselves abreast with this rank, without deference to the colors and general guides of the other battalions.

453. Nothing contributes more to fatigue soldiers, and to derange the interior order of battalions, than frequent variations of step; the three corporals placed in the centre of each battalion will observe steadily the length and cadence of the pace, without endeavoring to maintain themselves exactly at the distance of six paces from the color-rank; consequently, they will not vary in either of those particulars except on a caution, to that effect, from their colonel or lieutenant-colonel.

454. To carry through the same principle, colonels will not scrupulously endeavor to maintain their battalions abreast with each other; consequently, they will not cause the step to be lengthened or shortened, the time to be marked or quickened, except when one or the other shall evidently be necessary in order to preserve a certain degree of harmony in the line; if it happen that a battalion find itself a pace or two in advance or in rear of the neighboring battalions, this slight irregularity may soon correct itself without particular orders or interference.

455. Colonels will carefully look to the direction and interior order of their respective battalions, and the lieutenant-colonels to the alignment.

456. The general will occupy himself more particularly with the directing battalion, but his attention will at the same time be given to the whole line.

GENERAL REMARKS ON THE MARCH IN LINE OF BATTLE.

457. The march in line of battle cannot be effected with the necessary order and harmony of parts, if the several battalions have not been previously and individually exercised according to the same principles or in the S. B.

458. Although uniformity of step be the first element in the march in line of battle, the movement will be imperfect if the color-bearer be not accustomed to prolong, without variation, a given direction, and if the colonels have not the habit of conducting their battalions with address and intelligence.

459. It is by the uniformity of step that the different battalions can alone maintain themselves, without effort, abreast, or nearly so, with each other, pending the march.

460. By exercising frequently, in advance, the sergeants as color-bearers, in prolonging a given direction, colonels may best prevent the loss of intervals in marching, in line.

461. Finally, it is in forming the coup d’œil, by a persevering exercise, that generals and colonels can alone acquire accuracy and facility in judging the line of direction, and of conducting battalions on every sort of ground with the address and intelligence necessary to prevent faults, or promptly to correct them.

462. The general may choose, as the directing battalion, either in the line that he may judge the best posted for the particular march, yet, other considerations being equal, he ought to give the preference to a central battalion.

ARTICLE II.

To halt the line, and to align it.

463. The line being in march, and the general wishing to halt it, he will command:

1. Battalions.

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

2. HALT.

465. This having been repeated with the utmost rapidity, the line will halt.  The color-rank and general guides of each battalion, will halt, but remain in front of the line.

466. The line being halted, and the general wishing to give it a general alignment, he will place himself some paces on the right of the directing color, in order the better to see the whole line, and thence to determine the new direction.

467. He will next order the color-bearer and the left general guide of this battalion to- face to him, when he will place them on the direction he shall have chosen; the right general guide will face to the left, and align himself on the color-bearer and the left general guide of the same battalion; the lieutenant-colonel will assure him on this direction, and the two corporals of the color-rank will fall back into their places in the line of battle.

468. The basis of alignment being thus assured, the general will command:

1. Colors and general guides on the line.

469. This having been repeated, the color-bearers and general guides of all the battalions will face to the color of the directing battalion: those of the next battalion to the right and left, respectively, will align themselves correctly on the color and general guides of that battalion; those of the other battalion will align themselves on the colors; the lieutenant-colonel and senior major of each battalion, will promptly assure the color-bearer and general guides of their battalions on the new direction: all the bearers will carry their colors perpendicularly between their eyes, and the corporals of their rank will fall back into their places in line.

470. These arrangements being made, the general will add:

2. Guides on the line.

471. This having been repeated, it will be executed in conformity with what is prescribed in the S. B., No. 706 and following; and as soon as the guides are assured on the line, each colonel will cause his battalion to be aligned upon its centre without regulating itself on the other battalions.

472. All the battalions being aligned, the general will command:

3. Colors and guides—POSTS.

473. If the new direction should throw one or more battalions back from the position occupied at halting, each colonel of these battalions, as soon as he perceives the necessity by the direction of the colors, will face his battalion about, march it to the rear, and then face it about when it has passed the new direction.

ARTICLE III.

Change of direction marching in line of battle.

474. A deployed line, marching in the order in battle, when the general shall wish to cause it to change direction, so as to throw forward a wing, the movement will be executed as follows.

475. If the left wing be the one intended to be thrown forward, the general will go to the right battalion, and place before it, on the new direction he may wish to give to the line of battle, two markers, distant from each other fifty or sixty paces, the first marker at the point d’appui for the right of the line; the markers being established, he will cause the line to be prolonged by mounted officers.

476. These dispositions made, the general will command:

1. Change direction to the right.  2. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

477. At the command march, briskly repeated, the movement will commence: each battalion will change direction according to the principles prescribed in the S. B., No. 718 and following: the right battalion will wheel until it is parallel to the new line of battle; its colonel will then direct it forward, halt it four paces within the markers, and command: 1. Color and general guides—ON THE LINE.

478. The color-bearer and general guides will face to the general placed on the right of the line, who will then establish them on the new direction; which being executed, the colonel will add: 2. Guides—ON THE LINE.  3. On the centre—DRESS.

479. As each battalion has sufficiently disengaged itself by wheeling, its colonel will add: Forward—MARCH; at this, the battalion will resume the direct march.

480. The colonel of the second battalion will so direct it as to cause it to arrive parallelly to the new line; and to this end, he will cause it to execute successively slight changes of direction in proportion as it advances toward the line.

481. Its lieutenant-colonel will, in advance, place himself on the line, and establish upon it two markers, as indicated No. 475.

482. The colonel of the second having halted his battalion at four paces from the new line, will command: 1. Color and general guides—ON THE LINE.

483. At this, the color-bearer and two general guides of the second battalion will face to the right, and promptly place themselves on the line of battle.  The senior-major, from the rear of the left general guide, will align them correctly on those of the first battalion; which being executed, the colonel will add: 2. Guides—ON THE LINE; 3. On the centre—DRESS.

484. Each of the remaining battalions will conform itself to what is just prescribed for the second.

485. The lieutenant-colonel of each battalion will precede it on the line, by about one hundred paces, and conform himself to what is prescribed for the lieutenant-colonel of the second.

486. The general, or the officer whom he may substitute, placed on the right of the line, will take care that the colors of the first two battalions are correctly assured on the new direction: and when the last battalion is established on the line, he will command:

3. Colors—POSTS.

487. Changes of direction to the left, in order to throw forward the right wing, will be executed according to the same principles and by inverse means.

REMARKS ON CHANGES OF DIRECTION MARCHING IN LINE OF BATTLE.

488. The means prescribed for changing the direction of a line marching in the order in battle, whether to throw forward, or to refuse one of its wings, give the facility of establishing a line on any direction that may be deemed best, without breaking the battalions into subdivisions.

489. The battalions marching in echelons, are reciprocally protected: and if, before the end of the movement, it should become necessary to re-form the line, the battalions not yet on the new direction, say the third and fourth, inclusive, may form themselves into a full line, by an opposite change of direction to the one they were engaged in executing.  This line would form an angle with the first already established on the new direction.

ARTICLE IV.

To retreat in line of battle.

490. The line being halted, when the general shall wish to cause it to march in retreat, he will command:

1. Face to the rear.

491. This having been repeated, each colonel will command: Battalion, about—FACE; when the line will face about, each battalion conforming itself to what is prescribed in the S. B., No. 731.

492. The general will then add:

2. The (—) the battalion of direction.

493. At this, the colonels and lieutenant-colonels will conform themselves, within their respective battalions, to what is indicated in the S. B., No. 733; and the colonel of the directing battalion will cause markers to be established as prescribed No. 734 of the same school.  These dispositions being made, the general will add:

3. Battalions, forward.

494. This having been repeated, the color-rank, the general guides of each battalion, the captains, covering sergeants, and file closers, will conform themselves to what is prescribed in the S. B.  The general will then command:

4. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

495. The line will march in retreat according to the principles prescribed for advancing in line of battle.

ARTICLE V.

To halt the line marching in retreat, and to align it.

496. A deployed line, marching in retreat, will be halted by the same commands as a line marching in advance; and when the general shall wish to re-face it, he will command:

1. Face to the front.

497. This having been repeated, each colonel will command: Battalion, about—FACE; when the line will face about, each battalion conforming itself to what is prescribed in the S. B., No. 745.

ARTICLE VI.

Change of direction in marching in retreat.

498. A deployed line, marching in retreat, if the general wish to cause it to change direction in order to refuse the one or other wing, he will cause the movement to be executed as follows:

499. It will be supposed that it is the left wing, become the right, that the general wishes to refuse; he will pass to the right battalion, now the left, and establish two markers before it on the new direction which he may wish to give to the line, in the manner prescribed for changing direction in marching in advance; he will then command:

1. Change direction to the left.

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

2. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

501. This briskly repeated, every battalion will commence its change of direction according to the principles prescribed in the S. B., No. 751.

502. The first battalion will wheel until it find itself parallel to the markers; the colonel will then march it forward, cause it to cross the line of battle, and when the front rank, now in the rear, shall have passed four paces beyond this line, he will halt the battalion, face it about, and establish it on the line by the commands and means indicated Nos. 482-483.

503. The colonel of each of the other battalions will direct it toward the line of battle as indicated Nos. 479-480, so that it may be parallel to this line several paces before arriving upon it; the colonel will then cause the battalion to pass the line, and when four paces beyond it he will halt and face the battalion about; he will then establish it on the line by the means prescribed for changing direction advancing.

504. The lieutenant-colonels will conform themselves to what is prescribed Nos. 481 and 485, and the general to what is indicated No. 486.

505. Changes of direction to the right, in order to refuse the right wing, become the left, will be executed according to the same principles, and by in verse means.

506. A deployed line on a march will be marched in retreat without halting, by the commands and means prescribed No. 490 and following, observing what follows.  The command, right about, will be substituted for face to the rear, and the second and third commands will be omitted.

ARTICLE VII. 

March in line of battle of a line of battalions in columns.

507. The march in line of battle of a deployed line, presenting many difficulties, particularly if the ground be not favorable, it may frequently be advantageous to ploy each battalion into column, and to cause the line to march in this order, pre serving between every two battalions the interval necessary for deployment.

508. The general wishing to ploy or to break each battalion into column doubled on the centre or into simple column, either by division or by company, will command:

1. Movement by battalion.

509. This having been repeated, the general will give the commands of caution prescribed in the S. B. for the particular formation into column which he may desire to have executed.

510. These commands having been repeated, each colonel will give the preparatory commands required for the particular movement indicated by the general.

511. The general will then add:

2. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

512. At this, each battalion will ploy itself into column in the manner prescribed in the school of the battalion.

513. The line thus formed, will march according to the same principles as a line of battalions deployed, but observing what follows.

1st. To cause the line of columns to advance.

514. It will be supposed that each battalion has been ployed into double column, and that the general has chosen the third as the directing battalion: he will go to this battalion, see whether the direction of its guides be perpendicular to the line of battle, rectify the direction, if necessary, and then command:

1. The third the battalion of direction.

515. The colonel of each subordinate battalion having repeated this command, will see whether his guides on the side of the directing battalion be established perpendicularly to the line of battle; if not, he will make the necessary rectification, and then place himself thirty paces to the rear on the prolongation of those guides; the lieutenant-colonel will place himself a like distance in front, and on the same perpendicular.

516. The colonel of the directing battalion will establish in the rear two markers on the prolongation of the guides, as prescribed No. 432.

517. The general will now command:

2. Battalions, forward.

518. This having been repeated, the colonel of the directing battalion and the colonel to his left, will immediately command: Guide right, and the other colonels, guide left.

519. At this, the right general guide of each battalion will place himself six paces in front of its headmost guide; he will be assured on the perpendicular by the lieutenant-colonel, and immediately take points on the ground, as prescribed for the color-bearer, in the S. B., No. 651; the lieutenant-colonel will then fall back to the side of his headmost guide.

520. The chief of each leading division will take post in the front rank of his division, on the flank opposite to that of direction, and the guide who was there will fall back into the rear rank.

521. The senior major will place himself in rear of the guides charged with the direction.

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

3. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

523. At this, repeated with the utmost rapidity, the line will step off with life.

524. The right general guide of each battalion will direct his march perpendicularly to the front, and the leading guide will follow exactly in his trace.

525. The chief of the leading division will maintain himself abreast with his guide on the opposite flank, and see that the march of the division be in conformity with the principles prescribed in the S. B., No. 667.  The other divisions will conform themselves to the rules for marching in column.

526. The lieutenant-colonel and senior major will conform themselves to what is prescribed in the S. B., Nos. 223-224.

527. Every colonel, placed on the side of direction, will superintend the march of his battalion in column, and labor to preserve its interval.

528. As the directing battalion has to be regarded as infallible by all the others, the general will attach himself to it, and with the greatest care maintain the general guide and guides of this battalion on the perpendicular, according to the principles established No. 440.

529. If the direction given to this battalion has been badly chosen, the general will promptly perceive it by the crowdings and openings among the files of the headmost division, according to the side to which the guide deviates from the perpendicular.  Those irregularities, although less sensible than they would be in a deployed battalion, will nevertheless sufficiently show that the false direction of the general guide ought to be promptly corrected.

530. Colonels of the subordinate battalions will look with so much the greater care to the preservation of intervals, as a fault committed in this respect will not be as promptly perceived as in a deployed line.

531. In every battalion the lieutenant-colonel will perform the duty attributed to the senior major, in the S. B., No. 671, as often as the colonel may wish to change the point of direction.

532. The line of battalions in columns being in march, when a subordinate battalion encounters an obstacle, this battalion will turn it in a manner so as to deviate the least from the direction it ought to follow, and take the double quick step as prescribed in the S. B., No. 761, in order to return into line as soon as the obstacle is passed.  When again in line, the battalion will be careful to re-establish its interval by insensible degrees.

533. If it be an interior battalion that has to execute the passage of an obstacle, the next battalion toward the side of the direction will take care to keep a double interval until the former battalion comes again into line.

REMARKS ON THE MARCH OF A LINE OF BATTALION COLUMNS WITH DEPLOYING INTERVALS.

534. It has been supposed above, that the battalions of the line were ployed into double columns; but the rules just prescribed are equally applicable to a line of battalion columns formed in any other manner.

535. When the battalions of the line are in simple columns, the directing battalion will take the guide to the left or right, according as it may have the right or left in front, and the subordinate battalions will take the guide on the side next to the directing battalion.

536. With the right in front, the right general guide in each battalion will be charged with its direction; the left general guide in the reverse case.

537. If the battalions be in masses, each colonel will hold himself, pending the march, at thirty paces in the rear of his battalion on the prolongation of its guides; the columns being at half distance, each colonel will hold himself on the flank of his column on the side of the direction.


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Transcribed by Scott Gutzke, 2004-2006.


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