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3rd. Central change of front.
637. The general wishing to change front on the third battalion, by throwing forward the left wing, will cause two markers to be placed on the direction he may wish to give to the new line before the position to be occupied by the right company of that battalion, and then cause this company to be established against the markers; he will, at the same time, order the colonel of the second to have the left company of his battalion conducted to and established on the same alignment, at twenty-two paces from the right of the third battalion.
638. These dispositions being made, the general will command:
1. Change front on the third battalion, left wing forward. 2. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).
639. The colonel of the third will immediately cause his battalion to execute a change of front forward on its right company, and the colonel of the second a change of front to the rear on the left company of his battalion.
640. The battalion to the left of the third will execute its movement as prescribed for the subordinate battalions in changes of front forward on the right of the line, and the battalion to the right of the second will execute its movement as indicated for changes of front to the rear on the left battalion.
641. The general wishing to throw the right wing forward, instead of the left, will take, as the basis of alignment, the left company of the second battalion, and command:
1. Change front on the second battalion, right wing forward. 2. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).
642. The second and the battalion to its right will execute a change of front forward, on the left of the second battalion.
643. The third and the battalion to its left, will execute a change of front to the rear, on the right of the third battalion.
Oblique changes of front.
644. Oblique changes of front will be executed according to the same principles as the perpendicular changes, but observing what follows:
645. The directing battalion will conform itself to what is prescribed in the S. B., No. 872; the subordinate battalions, after being ployed into double columns, will be directed toward the new line of battle by the means indicated, No. 549 or No. 562, according as their change of front may be forward or to the rear.
646. If the line is in march, the changes of front will be executed by the commands and means prescribed No. 619 and following, and by the principles indicated No. 844 and following, and 872 and following, S. B. If the change is central, the battalions which should retire will halt at the commencement of the movement.
REMARK ON CHANGES OF FRONT.
647. In changes of front, the general will always take the right or left company of one of the battalions as the basis of the movement.
Changes of front of two lines.
648. If the formation is in two lines, the first will always execute its movements as if it were alone. The battalions of the second line, conducted by their colonels, will move to their proper posts, taking care to preserve their relative positions with the corresponding battalions of the first line.
Order in echelon.
649. Echelons may be formed parallelly, or obliquely to the line of battle, either by the right or left of the line, and by battalion, or by two battalions, as will be explained.
Direct echelons in advancing.
650. The general wishing to form direct echelons by the right and by two battalions, will command:
1. Echelons by two battalions, at (so many) paces. 2. Forward, by the right, form echelons.
651. These commands having been repeated, the ranking chief of battalion of the two right battalions will put them in march by the commands and means indicated No. 430 and following, for marching a line in the order in battle, and take the first as the directing battalion.
652. The right battalion of the first echelon becoming thus the regulator of the march of both the echelons, the general, if he think it necessary, will cause markers to be placed behind this battalion in order to assure its direction.
653. The second echelon will, in succession, put itself in march, observing to maintain between itself and the preceding echelon the number of paces prescribed in the first command; its commander will cause that number of paces, taken by the preceding echelon, to be counted, before putting his own in march.
654. In the subordinate echelon, a file closer, designated in advance, will place himself in rear of and opposite to the left file of the preceding echelon. This file closer will march exactly in the trace of that file and abreast with his own battalion; by this means, the chief of the right battalion in the subordinate echelon will always be able to maintain the interval between his own battalion and that on the left of the preceding echelon.
655. The right battalion in each echelon will be charged with preserving the perpendicular distance which ought to separate it from the preceding echelon; the left battalion will march abreast with that on its right, and take care to preserve its interval to the right.
656. The echelon being in march, when the general shall wish to re-form the line, he will give an order to the commander of the first echelon to halt it.
657. The first echelon being halted, the general will determine the direction to be given to the line, and the commander of the first echelon will establish it on that direction.
658. The second echelon will continue to march, and be successively halted by its chief at four paces from the line of battle.
659. The second echelon being halted, its chief will command: 1. Colors and general guides—ON THE LINE. At this, the colors and general guides of each battalion will face to the right, and promptly place themselves on the alignment of the colors of the first echelon; which being done, the commander of the second will add: 2. Guides—ON THE LINE. Each chief of battalion, seeing his guides established, will align his battalion.
660. Each chief of echelon will give the command, Guides—POSTS, as soon as his echelon is aligned; but the colors will not fall back into their places until the general shall add: Colors—POSTS, which will be given after the establishment of the last echelon on the line of battle.
661. If, instead of re-forming the line, it be the wish of the general to halt the echelons, he will give an order to that effect to the chief of the first, and send a caution to the chief of the second to halt his echelon in the position where it finds itself.
662. Echelons by the left will be formed according to the same principles and by inverse means.
Direct echelons in retreat.
663. It being the wish of the general to march in retreat by echelon of two battalions he will command:
1. Echelons by two battalions, at (so many) paces. 2. In retreat, by the right, form echelons.
664. These commands having been repeated, the commander of the first echelon will cause it to face about, and then put it in march.
665. The commander of the second echelon will cause it to face about, soon enough to be able to put it in march the moment it has its distance from the first.
666. The second echelon will throw out a file closer in the manner and for the purpose prescribed No. 654.
667. The general, wishing to re-form the line, will order the commander of the first echelon to halt it.
668. This echelon being halted, its chief will face it to the front, and establish it on the direction which may be indicated to him.
669. The second echelon will continue to march, and when at four paces beyond the line of battle, its chief will halt it, face it to the front, and establish it on the line by the means prescribed Nos. 659 and 660.
670. Echelons in retreat will be formed by the left according to the same principles and by inverse means.
671. It being intended to form echelons obliquely to the line of battle, the movement will be executed in the following manner.
672. Say that the movement is to be made by the right; the general will go to the right of the line, and determine the new direction according to his views.
673. The lieutenant-colonel of the right battalion will then on an intimation from the general, place himself before and near the right file of this battalion; then face to the left, march fifty paces along the front rank, halt, and face to his right; he will next march perpendicularly to the front of this battalion, counting his paces; the general placed on the right, will halt him the moment he comes between himself and the point of direction to the left of the new position, for the purpose of measuring the angle formed by the new and old directions.
674. It will be supposed that the opening of this angle is such, that the lieutenant-colonel, after marching fifty paces along the front of the battalion, had to take thirty perpendicularly forward, to bring himself in a line between the general and the point of direction to the left.
675. The opening of the angle being thus ascertained, the chief of the first echelon will immediately cause it to change front forward on its right company.
676. The general will then send an order to the other chief of echelon to cause his echelon to change front forward to thirty paces on its right company.
677. As the subordinate echelon shall have changed front, its chief will cause it to take its interval from the left of the echelon on its right; to this end, he will cause it to break to the rear into column by company by the left; which being executed, he will order the left general guide of the left battalion to place himself on the prolongation of the light guides a little beyond the point where the left of the echelon will rest when in line.
678. The general guide being correctly established, the chief of the echelon will put the column in march in order to prolong it on its line of battle; the leading guide will direct himself on the general guide, and when the right company, now in the rear, shall have passed twenty-two paces beyond the left of the echelon on its right, the chief of the echelon, in column, will halt it, and form it to the right into line of battle.
679. The echelons being thus formed, the general will order the chief of the first echelon to put it in march; the other chief of echelon will put his echelon in march as soon as he sees the preceding one in movement.
680. The echelons thus disposed will march, be halted, or re-formed into line, according to the principles prescribed No. 650; and following, for direct echelons.
681. Echelons will be formed obliquely by the left according to the same principles and by inverse means.
REMARKS ON THE ORDER IN ECHELON.
682. The distance between echelons cannot be fixed, the number of paces necessarily depending on the views of the general; but it ought to be such as to allow the battalion or battalions in the echelons to be formed into squares, without danger of their firing into the other echelons.
683. In the formation of oblique echelons, the distance between them will depend on the extent of their fronts and the angle formed by the old and new directions; this distance may be either too great or too small; if too great, the general, before putting the echelons in march, will give an order to the chief of the subordinate echelon to advance, and then halt it at the prescribed distance. If, on the contrary, the distance be too small, the subordinate echelon will only put itself in movement when it has the given distance from the one next in its front.
684. In changes of front, for the formation of oblique echelons, the angle formed by the old and new directions being necessarily acute, the subordinate battalion in each echelon will change front by the same means as the directing one, instead of ploying into double column in order to march and deploy on the new line.
685. The line of battalions, deployed, will habitually march in echelons; but if the general judge it to be more advantageous, he may ploy each battalion into column by division, in rear of its first division, if the echelons are formed by the right, and in rear of the last division of the battalion, if echelons be formed by the left.
686. When the echelons are composed of battalions in columns, if the movement be by the right, the file closer, who ought to march abreast with the directing battalion of the subordinate echelon, will place himself on the prolongation of the right guides of the left battalion in the echelon preceding his own, and march exactly in the trace of those guides. If the movement be made by the left, the file closer will place himself on the prolongation of the left guides of the right battalion in the preceding echelon.
687. If the formation is in two lines, each battalion of the second line will, in forming echelons, preserve its relative position with regard to its corresponding one of the first line. In this case, echelon by battalion would involve the movement of two battalions, and echelon by two battalions of the whole brigade.
To retreat by alternate battalions.
688. The retreat by alternate battalions, or odd and even battalions, will be executed as follows:
689. The general, intending to execute the retreat by alternate battalions, will give information of his purpose to the two next officers in rank, who are respectively to command the lines of odd and even battalions, and at the same time indicate to the one who is to commence the movement the position in which he will halt his line. The general will then command:
1. Retreat by alternate battalions. 2. Odd (or even) battalions, commence the movement.
690. These commands having been repeated, the officer entitled to command the line of odd battalions, and which line it is supposed ought to commence the movement, will command:
1. Odd battalions, face to the rear.
691. This having also been repeated, the chiefs of the designated battalions will cause them to face about.
692. The commander of the odd battalions will then add:
2. The (—) the battalion of direction. 3. Battalions, forward. 4. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).
693. At the command march, briskly repeated by the chiefs of the odd battalions, these battalions will commence the march, and direct themselves perpendicularly to the rear. The chief of the subordinate battalion will maintain it abreast with the directing one in conformity with what is prescribed No. 454, and when the line arrives at the position indicated by the general, the chief of this line will command:
1. Battalions. 2. HALT.
694. At the second command the line will halt, each chief of battalion will immediately face his battalion about, the commander of the line will rectify the alignment of the directing battalion, the other battalion will be dressed by that, without constraint, however, as to being absolutely on the same general alignment.
695. As soon as the odd battalions which form the second line have faced about, the chief of the first line, of even battalions, will command:
1. Face to the rear.
696. This will be executed as prescribed No. 691; the chief of this line will then command:
2. The (—) the battalion of direction. 3. Battalions forward. 4. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).
697. The first line will march in retreat by the means prescribed No. 693; each battalion will be directed upon the middle of the corresponding interval in the second line, cross this line, and march perpendicularly to the rear. When it arrives at the position indicated by the general, the first line will be halted and faced about by the commands and means indicated Nos. 693-694.
698. The second line, become first, will execute the same movement, and so on alternately.
699. The general will superintend both lines, and determine, according to the ground, the distance he may wish to have between the lines, and the position each ought successively to occupy.
To re-form the line.
700. The general, wishing to re-form the line, will cause the drums to beat a short roll, or the bugles to sound the assembly, after the first line (the one actually in front) is put in march, which roll or sound will be briskly repeated by all the drums or bugles of this line.
701. The battalions of the first line will continue to march, and when they find themselves exactly in their intervals of the second, their respective colonels will halt them, face them about, and rectify their alignment; the general will then give a general alignment if he judge it necessary.
REMARKS ON THE RETREAT BY ALTERNATE BATTALIONS.
702. The commander of each line will endeavor to maintain the necessary harmony between its battalions, notwithstanding the interval between them; to this end, he will look to the strict execution of what is prescribed Nos. 693 and 694.
703. He will more particularly see that the battalions, after crossing the second line, direct themselves perpendicularly to the rear, this being the only means by which the interval can be preserved with sufficient accuracy to enable the two lines to re-form into one.
704. If the formation is in two lines, the odd or even battalions of the second line will face about at the same time with their corresponding ones of the first line; they will march to the rear at the same time with them, taking care to preserve their proper relative positions and distances.
REMARKS ON THE MOVEMENTS OF THE ARTILLERY IN RETREATING BY ALTERNATE BATTALIONS.
705. The movement of the battery must depend much upon the state of the action, but generally it will keep abreast with the line nearest the enemy, and take such position as will most effectively cover the retreat.
Passage of lines.
706. The general, wishing to execute the passage of lines, will send an order to the commander of the second line to place it in the position it ought to occupy.
707. The battalions of this line will form double columns, closed in mass, and so disposed that the centre of each mass may be opposite to the middle of the interval to the right or left of the corresponding battalion of the first line, according to the order given by the general.
708. The second line being thus disposed, the general will send an order to the commander of this line, to execute the passage of lines, and give notice thereof to the commander of the first line.
709. The chief of the second line will immediately command:
1. Pass the line in front. 2. Battalions, forward.
710. These commands having been repeated, each chief of battalion will command: Guide centre.
711. The commander of the line will then add:
3. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).
712. At this, briskly repeated, the second line will advance; each battalion will direct itself upon the middle of the corresponding interval in the first line.
713. At the approach of the second line, each chief of battalion in the first will cause the right and left companies of his battalion to be ployed, as in mass, behind the contiguous companies, in time not to arrest the movement of the battalions of the second line.
714. The battalions of the second line will thus pass the first; and when they shall have cleared it, the commander of the second will designate the directing battalion. This battalion will take the guide to the right, and the subordinate battalion will take the guide on the side next to the directing battalion.
715. The battalions having arrived at the given position, the commander of the line will cause them to halt and to deploy, or they may deploy on the march, so as to finish their deployment at the required place of halting.
716. As soon as the second line has passed the first, the chiefs of battalion of the latter will cause the right and left companies of their respective battalions to return into line. They will then ploy their respective battalions, either in simple or double column, as the general may direct, and take their proper positions in rear of the corresponding battalions of the second line.
REMARKS ON THE DISPOSITION OF THE ARTILLERY IN THE PASSAGE OF LINES.
717. If the second line passes the first for the purpose of relieving the latter, the battery will take a favorable position to cover the movement and fire with the greatest rapidity, without changing its position while the movement is being executed.
718. If the first line is passed for the purpose of an offensive movement, the battery will take a position in advance of the line, and cover the movements of the troops.
Dispositions against cavalry.
719. No matter what the number of battalions which compose a column or line, not more than one will be formed into the same square. The squares will generally be formed by echelons.
720. A brigade containing four battalions will be supposed in column, by company, at half distance. The general, wishing to form square, will first cause divisions to be formed.
721. If it is supposed that the general wishes to form echelons on one of the centre battalions, he will command:
1. To form square. 2. Echelons by battalion at (so many) paces. 3. On (such) battalion right (or left) in front, form echelons.
722. At this, the colonel of each battalion in front of the designated one will either command: Battalion right face, or, 1. Guide left; 2. Head of column to the right; and the colonel of each battalion in rear of the designated one will either command: Battalion left face, or 1. Guide right; 2. Head of column to the left, as the general may have previously caused to be indicated.
723. These dispositions having been made, the general will command:
4. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).
724. At the command march, the portion of the column which is to form the directing echelon will stand fast.
725. All the other echelons will put themselves in march at the same time, each taking its direction from the side of the directing echelon; and whether it march to the right or left, it will be halted by its commander when it has taken the given number of paces from the next echelon on the side of the direction.
726. At the commencement of the movement, the directing echelon will form square; the commander of each of the other echelons, after halting it, will rectify the alignment so that it may be parallel to the directing echelon, and then cause it to form square.
727. If the column is at full, instead of half distance, the general will first form divisions, and then close the column to half distance on any designated division, by the means heretofore indicated. He will then form square by echelon, as prescribed above.
728. If the column be closed in mass, the general will cause it to take company distance, on any division he may designate, by the means heretofore indicated. He will then form square by echelon, as prescribed above.
729. If the column at half distance is so immediately menaced by cavalry, that there is no time to place it in echelon, the general will command:
730. This having been repeated, each colonel will form his battalion into square on its ground.
731. When a column closed in mass, is so suddenly threatened by cavalry as not to allow time to take distances, it will be formed as follows. The general will command:
Column against cavalry.
732. This having been repeated, each colonel will form his battalion into square as prescribed in the S. B., No. 1202 and following.
733. Squares will be marched, columns will be formed, and squares reduced, by the commands and means prescribed in the S. B., No. 1049 and following; No. 1060 and following; No. 1086 and following, and No. 1207 and following.
To form square from line of battle.
734. The square from line of battle, will always be formed by battalion, and disposed in echelon if there is sufficient time. The perpendicular distance between the echelons will be such that, the squares being formed, the first front of the second may find itself at least fifty paces farther to the rear than the fourth front of the first echelon. This rule is equally applicable to a column to be formed into squares.
735. When the echelons have to march in advance or in retreat, they will be formed according to the principles prescribed No. 650 and following, whether the battalions, which are to compose the echelons, be already disposed for the formation of squares, or be yet deployed. If the echelons are to remain at a halt, they will be formed on the centre, or on one of the wings, as will be explained.
736. It is supposed that the general wishes to form the echelons on the centre, he will command:
1. To form square. 2. Echelons by battalion at (so many) paces. 3. On (such) battalion right (or left) wing in front form echelons. 4. MARCH (or double quick—MARCH).
737. At the command march, the portion of the line which is to form the directing echelon, will stand fast. The echelons will then execute what is prescribed Nos. 724 and 725.
738. If the general should wish the echelons to form square, as if formed from double column, it will be executed by the commands and means prescribed in the S. B., No. 1103 and following; each colonel taking care to give his cautionary commands in time, so that his echelon will halt in its proper place.
739. If the formation is in two lines, the battalions of the second line will move at the same time with the corresponding ones of the first line, and form square at the same time. Each battalion of the second line, will, however, before forming square, be moved either to the right or left, so as to unmask its corresponding one of the first line.
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Transcribed by Scott Gutzke, 2004-2006.
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