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2nd. To halt the line of columns, and to deploy it.

538. A line of battalions in columns will be halted by the same commands as a line of battalions deployed.

539. The line being at a halt, if it be the wish of the general to give a general alignment, he will conform himself to what is prescribed No. 363 and following.

540. If the battalions be in columns at half distance, and the general shall wish to deploy them, he will halt the line by these commands:

1. Columns, close in mass.  2. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

541. At the command march, each battalion will close up on its leading subdivision.

542. The line being halted and aligned, if it be the wish of the general to deploy the battalions, and they are in double columns, he will command:

1. Deploy columns.  2. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

543. If the battalions be in simple columns, the general will, in his first command, designate the subdivision on which each battalion ought to deploy itself.

544. In both cases, the movements will be executed, in every battalion, in the manner proscribed in the S. B.

545. If the general does not wish to halt the battalion columns when they close in mass, and should he also wish to deploy while on the march, the movements will be executed according to the principles prescribed in the S. B.

3rd. The line of column marching in advance, to cause it to change direction.

546. A line of battalions in columns, marching to the front, and it being the wish of the general to cause it to change direction to the right, he will establish two markers on the new line of battle in front of the position to be occupied by the right battalion; he will at the same time charge two mounted officers to determine successively, in the manner indicated No. 264 and following, the points at which the other battalions ought respectively to arrive; these dispositions made, he will command:

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

547. The first command having been repeated, each colonel will cause his battalion to take the guide to the right, if that be not already the directing flank; at the same time the chief of the leading division in each battalion will place himself before the centre of his division, and the general guide, charged with the direction, will retire.  If the columns be closed in mass, the colonel of the first battalion will cause his battalion to take the guide to the left.

548. At the command march, the colonel of the right battalion will cause it to change direction to the right, and then direct it against the two markers placed by the general; when its leading division is at three paces from the markers, the colonel will halt the battalion; if the rear divisions have not yet entered the new direction, their chiefs will promptly bring them into it, and as soon as they are established on it the colonel will align the battalion by the right.

549. Each of the other colonels will direct his battalion toward the new line of battle, so that its leading division may be, when at a distance equal to the depth of a column, parallel to that line; to this end, the colonel will cause the guides of this division to advance, insensibly and successively, the left shoulder; and when this guide has arrived at three paces from the line of battle, the colonel will halt the battalion, and cause it to be aligned by the right.

550. At the beginning of the movement, the lieutenant-colonel of the second battalion will place himself on the line of battle, and replace the mounted officer whom the general had sent thither; he will immediately establish two markers for the head of his battalion, the first at deploying distance from the battalion to the right, and the second at division distance from the first: the lieutenant-colonel of each of the other battalions will place himself in like manner on the line of battle, when the head of his battalion is at a hundred paces from this line.

551. The last battalion column being established on the line, the general will command:

3. Guides—POSTS.

552. Changes of direction to the left will be executed according to the same principles and by inverse means.

553. If the general shall wish to cause the columns to deploy, he will give the order to that effect to the colonels, who will cause their battalions to close up in halting, and then deploy them.

4th. To cause the line of columns to march in retreat.

554. A line of battalions, in columns, being halted, when the general shall wish to cause it to march in retreat, he will command:

1. Face by the rear rank.

555. This having been repeated, each battalion will face by the rear rank; the chief of the last division of each battalion will place himself in the rear rank, become the front on the side opposite to that of the direction; the chief of each first division will take his place in the column.

556. The line being thus faced by the rear rank, it will be put in march by the same commands and means as a line of battalions in columns faced by the front rank, observing to establish markers before the directing battalion, according to the principles prescribed in the S. B., No. 734.

557. The line marching in retreat will conform itself to the principles prescribed for a line of battalions in columns marching in advance.

5th. To halt the line of columns marching in retreat, and to align it.

558. The line marching in retreat will be halted by the same commands as if it were marching in advance; and when the general shall wish to face it about, he will command:

1. Face by the front rank.

559. This having been repeated, each battalion will be faced by the front rank; the chief of the first division in each will retake his place in line, and the chief of each last division his in column.

6th. The line of columns marching in retreat, to cause it to change direction.

560. The line, marching in retreat, will change direction by the same commands and means as if it marched by the front rank, observing what follows.

561. The two markers established by the general before the position to be occupied at halting by the first battalion, instead of being opposite to the right and left files respectively of the leading division, will be far enough apart to permit this battalion to cross the line of battle between them, and the same of the markers established for the other battalions.

562. Each colonel will direct his battalion toward the line of battle as prescribed for a change of direction forward and so that all its divisions may be parallel to this line before passing it; when the first division, now in the rear, is three paces beyond the line, the colonel will halt the battalion and face it by the front rank; the guides of the first division will place themselves on the line between the two markers; and as soon as they are assured in their positions by the lieutenant-colonel, the colonel will align the battalion by the right.

563. The general, if it be his wish to deploy the columns, will give a caution to that effect to the colonels, who, in halting, will each cause his battalion to close up on its leading division as soon as the latter has passed the line of battle by a distance equal to the depth of the column and three paces more; he will then face the battalion by the front rank and deploy it.

564. The line of battalion columns, in march, can be marched in retreat without halting, as prescribed No. 385.  The colonel of each battalion will see that his interval is maintained.

7th. To close the intervals of a line of columns.

565. The line of columns, either simple or double, being at a halt, if the general should wish to close the intervals between them to twenty-two paces, on any battalion, say the third, he will cause two markers to be placed in front of that battalion, as indicated No. 411.

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

1. On the third battalion close intervals.  2. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

567. At the first command, the colonel of the third will caution his battalion to stand fast: the colonels of the first two battalions will command: 1. Left face.  2. Battalion forward, guide right.  The colonel of the fourth will command: 1. Right face.  2. Battalion forward, guide left.

568. At the command march, briskly repeated, the colonel of the third will establish his battalion as prescribed No. 295, the others will march their battalions straight-forward, and having closed the interval which should separate them from the battalion on their left or right respectively, to twenty-two paces, will each halt his battalion, face it to the front, and dress it on the markers established by the lieutenant-colonels.

569. The lieutenant-colonels of the battalions, other than the third, will execute what is prescribed No. 416.

570. The movement being ended, the general will command:

3. Guides—POSTS.

571. These battalions may again be made to resume their positions in line of battle, with deploying intervals, by the commands and means prescribed No. 411 and following.

572. A line of battalions in mass, can be closed or opened while on a march, by the commands and means prescribed No. 565 and following, and No. 411 and following, observing what follows.  The line will not be marked in advance, and the colonels on the right and left of the directing battalion, will establish their battalions at the proper intervals, by causing them to oblique to the right or left, as the case may be.

ARTICLE VIII.

March in line of battle, of a line of deployed battalions, by the flanks of companies.

573. A line of deployed battalions, either at a halt or in march, will advance or retire by the flanks of companies, by the commands prescribed, and according to the means indicated No. 507 and following.

574. The line thus formed, either at a halt or on a march, advancing or retiring, will be reformed by the commands prescribed in the S. B., No. 150 and following, and means indicated No. 507 and following, of these evolutions.

ARTICLE IX.

March in line of battle, of a line of battalions formed in division columns.

575. A deployed line, either in a halt or on the march, will advance or retire, in division columns by the commands and means indicated No. 507 and following.

576. Double columns will be formed from the division columns, and reciprocally, as prescribed in the school of the battalion.  The division columns will deploy, as prescribed in the same school.

REMARKS ON THE DISPOSITION OF THE ARTILLERY WITH LINES OF BATTLE.

577. If the march is in line, without the active sphere of battle, the brigade battery will follow the movement in its place; but if a position is to be attacked, the battery will cover the march of the troops, engage the enemy, and prepare for the attack.

ARTICLE X.

To pass a defile in front.

578. A deployed line encountering, in advancing, a defile which it has to pass, will execute the movement as follows:

579. It will be supposed that the defile is opposite to the interval between the second and third battalions, and that its width is sufficient to give passage to the front of a company: the general, seeing that the line has arrived near the defile, will halt it, and command:

1. To pass defile in front, by the right of the third battalion.  2. By platoon, left and right, into column.

580. These commands having been repeated, the colonels of the first two battalions will each command: By platoon, left wheel, and the other colonels: By platoon, right wheel.

581. The general will then add:

3. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

582. At this, briskly repeated, the battalions will break by platoon to the left or right.

583. The battalions having broken, the general will cause two markers to be placed at the points around which the two columns ought to turn in order to enter the defile; the markers will be posted a little more than the front of a company apart.  The general will then command:

4. Column, forward.

584. This having been repeated, each colonel, whose battalion has broken to the left, will command: Guide right, and each whose battalion has broken to the right, Guide left.  The general will now add:

5. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

585. At this command, briskly repeated, the two columns will march to meet each other, and when the two leading platoons have arrived opposite to the respective markers, they will turn one to the right, and the other to the left, in order to unite in the defile; at the moment of union, they will take, by command of their respective chiefs, the platoon on the right, the guide to the left, and the left platoon, the guide to the right.

586. The two united platoons will march side by side, each regulating itself on the two guides placed elbow to elbow between them: these guides will direct themselves by the defile.

587. The two next platoons, and, successively, all the others, will conform themselves to what has just been prescribed for the two leading platoons on coming up with the markers placed before the entrance of the defile.  If there is an odd battalion, it will form in simple column by company, behind the column nearest to it.

588. The united platoons will pass the defile in the cadenced pace, and with ranks closed, each regulating itself on the two guides placed in the centre, who will march elbow to elbow exactly in the traces of, and at platoon distance from, the guides who immediately precede them.

589. In proportion as the two columns issue from the defile, each captain will re-form his company as follows: in the right column, the first platoon, which is in rear of the second of the same company, will oblique to the right until it find itself unmasked, and then march forward: in the left column, it will be the second platoon of each company, which will oblique to the left, and then march up abreast with its first.

590. If it be the wish of the general, after passing the defile, to re-form the line, he will, immediately after passing, place himself in advance at the distance to which he may wish to establish the line of battle, and place two markers on this line for the head of the right column, and the two others for the head of the left, leaving the interval of twenty-two paces between the two columns.

591. The head of the column having passed the defile, the general will order the colonels of the second and third battalions to direct them respectively on the markers which he has established; and when the leading subdivision of each of these battalions has arrived at three paces from the line of battle, each colonel will cause his battalion to close in mass in halting, and deploy their battalions, the second on its last, and the third on its first subdivision.

592. The colonels of the first and fourth will each, as the head of his battalion issues from the defile, cause it to change direction, the first to the right, and the fourth to the left, and then direct it perpendicularly toward the line of battle, the first at twenty-two paces from the right of the second, and the fourth the same distance from the left of the third.  In halting, at three paces from that line, each battalion will be closed in mass on its leading company, and will then be deployed, the first on its last, and the fourth on its first subdivision.

593. If, instead of re-establishing the line, as in the preceding example, it be the wish of the general to rest one of the wings, say the right, at the defile, he will cause both columns to take the guide to the right, and halt them the instant that the first company of the first battalion in the right column issues from the defile: this column, composed of the first and second battalions, will then be formed to the right, and the left column, composed of the third and fourth battalions, will close to half distance in marching, and form on the right into line of battle.

594. If it be the left wing that is to rest at the defile, the line may be formed according to the same principles, and by inverse means.

REMARKS ON THE PASSAGE OF DEFILES IN ADVANCING.

595. The two columns being formed by platoon, if the defile should widen sufficiently, companies may be formed in each column without waiting till the head has issued from the defile.

596. When a sudden narrowing of the defile shall oblige the chiefs of platoon to break off, for the moment, one or two files to the rear, this diminution of front, as an exception to the rule established in the S. C., No. 310, will be made from the side opposite to the guide.

597. If the defile be of sufficient width to receive the front of a division, the general, instead of causing the line to break by platoon, will cause it to break by company; but, in this case, the company that is to lead in each column, instead of wheeling, will march forward twice the extent of its front; and when the columns are put in movement, these companies will close upon each other, marching by the flank, in order to unite at the entrance of the defile.

598. If the defile be not of sufficient width to receive the front of a company, it will be passed in simple column by platoon, right or left in front.

599. The passage of defiles to the front will always be executed by the subdivision of the right, or that of the left of a battalion; and when the defile happens not to be exactly opposite to an interval between two battalions, the leading subdivisions, after uniting, will direct themselves diagonally toward the entrance of the defile. 

REMARKS ON THE DISPOSITION OF THE COMPANIES OF SKIRMISHERS IN PASSING A DEFILE TO THE FRONT.

0-600. Generally, the skirmishers of each battalion will precede their battalion companies in passing a defile to the front.  In this case, the companies of skirmishers of each battalion, under the command of the junior major, will pass the defile either by file, platoon or company front, as the width may admit, those of the battalions nearest the defile passing first.

0-601. If, however, the skirmishers are required to pass the defile with their battalions, the first company of each battalion will be posted in front or rear of its first battalion company, closed up on that company, and with a platoon or company front, as the column may be formed by platoon or company.  The second company of skirmishers will be posted in like manner in front or rear of the last battalion company.

REMARKS ON THE PASSAGE OF THE DEFILE IN FRONT BY THE SECOND LINE.

602. If the formation is in two lines, while the first line is passing the defile the general will cause each battalion of the second line to form by company or platoon, according to the manner in which the first line may have broken.  After the first line has passed the defile, the corresponding battalions of the second will pass in a similar manner.

ARTICLE XI.

To pass a defile in retreat.

603. The line marching in retreat, and encountering a defile which it has to pass, the general will cause a halt, and face the line to the front.

604. It will be supposed that the defile is opposite to the interval between the two centre battalions, and its width sufficient to give passage to the front of a company.  The general will cause two markers to be placed at fifteen or twenty paces behind the file closers, in front of the defile, and at a little more than company distance apart, in order to indicate to the two columns the points around which they ought to change direction to enter the defile: which being executed, he will command:

To the rear, by the wings, pass the defile.

605. This having been repeated, the colonel of the right battalion of the line will command: To the rear, by the right flank, pass the defile; and the colonel of the left battalion, To the rear, by the left flank, pass the defile.

606. The two battalions of the wings will immediately commence the movement in conformity with what is prescribed in the S. B., No. 790 and following; and when the leading platoon of each column has arrived opposite to the marker placed at the point for changing direction, these two platoons will turn at the same time, one to the left and the other to the light, in order to unite in the defile.  To this end, if the head of one of the columns arrive before the other, it will wait for the head of the corresponding battalion before turning.  As soon as the two platoons unite, they will take, by command of their respective chiefs – the platoon, now on the left, the guide to the right, and the other the guide to the left; the remaining platoons of these two battalions will successively conform themselves to what has just been prescribed for those of the head, and the two columns will thus march together according to the principles indicated No. 586 and following, for the passage of a defile in front.

607. The other battalions will successively execute the same movement; the colonel of each will give one of the commands prescribed No. 605, according as his battalion has to pass the defile by the right or left flank, and so that its leading platoon may follow at the desired distance, the rearmost platoon of the battalion immediately preceding; the battalions will enter the defile side by side, as prescribed for the two battalions of the wings.

608. If the defile become of sufficient width to give passage to a division marching by the front, each captain, as his platoons successively enter the enlarged width, will cause them to form company according to the principles prescribed No. 589; otherwise, this movement will only be executed as each company issues from the defile.

609. If it be the wish of the general, after passing, to re-form line facing to the defile, he will go either to the point at which he may wish the left of the first battalion to rest, or to the point at which he may wish the right of the fourth, or last battalion to rest, and determine the direction of the new line of battle by establishing two markers, distance from each other a little more than the front of a subdivision; he will then cause the line to be prolonged to the left and right by mounted officers.

610. As each battalion clears the defile, it will break from the column, and be directed toward the point at which it should cross the line of battle.

611. Each battalion will close in mass while marching, and be so directed as to arrive on a square with the line, and when four paces beyond it, will be halted by the colonel, countermarched, and deployed, the first and second battalions on their last, and the third and fourth battalions on their first subdivisions.

612. The lieutenant-colonel of each battalion will precede it, as prescribed in No. 269, and establish two markers, the first at deploying distance, and twenty-two paces from the one on his right or left, as the formation is on the left or right, the second a little more than subdivision distance from the first.

613. The defile, in the preceding example, has been supposed to be behind the centre of the line composed of an even number of battalions; but it may frequently be otherwise.  For instance: it may be that there are three battalions on the right, and only one on the left side of the defile.  In this case the general would first send an order to the colonels of the first and second battalions to pass the defile in simple column in advance, and then seizing the proper time, give the command indicated No. 604, so that there may be no interruption in the movement.  So, if the line present an odd number of battalions, a similar course would be pursued in respect to the odd battalion on the right or left of the defile.

614. When the defile happens to be behind the right or left battalion of the line, the general will cause it to pass by a single wing; to this end, he will substitute, in his command, the indication by the left wing or by the right wing, for that of by the wings.  The movement will commence by the wing farthest from the defile, so that the battalion opposite to it may be the last to enter.

REMARKS ON THE DISPOSITION OF THE SKIRMISHERS IN PASSING THE DEFILE IN RETREAT.

0-615. If it is not the intention of the general to open the fire of the line before passing the defile in retreat, the skirmishers will generally cover the retreat, and not pass until the line has passed.  If, on the contrary, the general intends to open the fire of the line, the skirmishers will generally pass the defile previous to the line, those of the battalions near the defile passing first.  [Editors Note: See Changes.]

REMARK ON THE PASSING OF THE DEFILE IN RETREAT BY THE SECOND LINE.

616. If the formation is in two lines, the general will, according to the width of the defile, and previous to passing the defile by the first line, cause each battalion of the second line to take the formation indicated No. 602.  The battalions will then countermarch, and pass the defile previous to the first line, and as prescribed in the same paragraph.

REMARKS ON THE DISPOSITION OF THE ARTILLERY IN PASSING DEFILE IN FRONT, OR IN RETREAT.

617. In passing the defile to the front, the battery will habitually follow immediately after the first two battalion columns that pass.

618. In passing defile in retreat, should a stand be made by the line at its entrance, the battery, or a portion of it, will generally take a position to assist in sustaining the line, and will pass the defile immediately in front of the two last battalion columns.  In case it is not intended that the line should make a stand, the battery will generally pass the defile in front of the battalion columns.  The disposition of the battery must, however, depend greatly upon circumstances.

ARTICLE XII.

Changes of front.

Perpendicular changes of front.

1st. Change of front forward.

619. The line being deployed, and the general wishing to cause it to change front on the right, he will first determine the direction of the new line of battle, cause two markers to be placed on it before the position to be occupied by the right company, first battalion, and immediately cause this company to be established against those markers; he will at the same time charge two mounted officers to determine successively the points on the line at which the subordinate battalions ought respectively to arrive, as indicated No. 265 and following.  He will then command:

1. Change front forward, on the first battalion.

620. This having been repeated, the colonel of the first will immediately cause his battalion to execute a change of front forward, as prescribed in the S. B., No. 832 and following.

621. Each of the other colonels will cause his battalion to ploy into double column, at company distance; which being executed, he will command: 1. Column forward; 2. Guide right.

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

2. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

623. At this, briskly repeated, the subordinate battalions will put themselves in movement toward the line of battle; the leading guide of each, advancing the left shoulder, will so direct himself that, on arriving at a point opposite to the right marker, placed in advance by the lieutenant-colonel, he may find himself at a distance from the line of battle equal to the depth of the column.

624. The head of each battalion having arrived at this point will turn to the right, in order to march perpendicularly up to the line of battle, and when at three paces from this line, its colonel will cause the column to close in mass, and to deploy.

625. Each colonel will hold himself on the side of the direction, abreast with the leading division of his battalion, pending its march toward the line of battle.

626. The lieutenant-colonels will place themselves in advance on the line, as prescribed No. 550, for changes of direction of a line of battalions in columns.

627. The line being formed, the general will command:

3. Colors—POSTS.

628. A line will change front forward on its left, according to the same principles and by inverse means.

2nd. Change of front to the rear.

629. To change front to the rear, on the right of the line, the general will cause the right company, first battalion, to be established on the new direction, and place two markers before this company, as prescribed in the S. B., No. 852, he will then command:

1. Change front to the rear, on the first battalion.

630. This having been repeated, the colonel of the first will immediately cause his battalion to execute a change of front to the rear, as prescribed in the S. B., No. 854 and following.

631. Each of the other colonels will cause his battalion to ploy into double column at company distance, face it by the rear rank, and then command: 1. Column, forward; 2. Guide left.

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

2. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).

633. This having been briskly repeated, the subordinate battalions will put themselves in movement toward the line of battle; the leading guide advancing the right shoulder, will direct himself as prescribed No. 623.

634. The leading division of each battalion having arrived at a point opposite to the markers, will turn to the left in order to march up perpendicularly to the line of battle, then cross this line between the two markers placed in advance by the lieutenant-colonel; and when the head of the battalion has passed the line a distance equal to its depth closed, and three paces more, the colonel will cause the column to close in mass, to face by the front rank, and to deploy.

635. The lieutenant-colonels will place themselves in advance on the line of battle, and establish upon it the two markers as prescribed No. 561.

636. Changes of front to the rear, on the left of the line, will be executed according to the same principles and by inverse means.


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Transcribed by Scott Gutzke, 2004-2006.


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