Drill was an important part of the life of the soldier. If he was not proficient at it, his life was in danger. The same is true of re-enacting. These manuals are now offered here, complete with illustrations and internal links to improve the skills of all Civil War re-enactors. These transcriptions are the product of numerous hours (years) work by the webmaster. They include illustrations when available and links to aid navigation. Please give credit to the webmaster if you wish to use part of these works.
Scott's Infantry Tactics (1835)
The standard drill manual up till 1855, in use during the Mexican War, and still the manual of choice for many prewar militia units, was General Winfield Scott's three volume Infantry Tactics, first published in 1835.
Hardee's Infantry Tactics (1855)
This manual was first written by Lieutenant-Colonel William Hardee in 1855 as an update of Scott's Infantry Tactics above. It was the standard drill manual of the U.S. Army. It was written primarily written for the two band Mississippi Rifle and sword bayonet. When Hardee left the army at the start of the War and joined the Confederates, now General Hardee revised his work in 1860, published in Mobile in 1861, and North Carolina in 1862. This became the standard drill manual of the Confederate Army.
Casey's Infantry Tactics
This manual is the primary source of infantry drill in the Federal Army during the war. It was modified for the three band rifled musket from Hardee's Infantry Tactics above. All three volumes are here, including the schools of the soldier, company, skirmishers, battalion, brigade, and corps d'armée.
Gilham's Volunteer's Manual (1860)
This manual contains everything needed to organize your militia company, feed, cloth, house and drill them in all branches of the service. It includes details right down to the proper size and dimensions of cartridge papers for each caliber, as well as artillery tubes and rounds. Line drill details abound complete with illustrations.
Baxter's Volunteer's Manual (1861)
This manual is instructive both as it provides one of the primary sources for our system of forming the company, and for its excellent illustrations, which are reproduced here. The transcription has links in the introduction to help navigate.
Mahan's Out-Post (1847)
In 1847, West Point's Professor of Civil and Military Engineering, Dennis Hart Mahan, wrote the second of his famous text books, An Elementary Treatise on Advanced-Guard, Out-Post, and Detachment Service of Troops. It included the manner of posting and handling advance troops in the presence of an enemy. It also includes a historical sketch of the most remarkable epochs in the military art from the time of he Greeks to the present.
McClellan's Bayonet Exercise (1852)
In 1852, George B. McClellan, then a Captain of Engineers, and just about to embark on a mission as U.S. military observer of the Crimean War, submitted a translation of Gomard's manual for bayonet fencing, which, on the recommendation of General Scott, was adopted as the bayonet exercise for U.S. troops. McClellan divided his book into a School of the Soldier, which taught the basic maneuvers, and Instruction with the Plastron, which taught the use of these movements in the art of fencing.
Revised Regulations for the Army of the United States (1861)
These were the regulations which governed the U.S. Army during the American Civil War. The Confederate Regulations were copied from them, making this an excellent resource for reenactors of both persuasions. This version includes the changes that were made in the revision of 1863.
Kautz's Company Clerk (1863)
A Captain in the 6th U.S. Cavalry and a Brigadier-General of Volunteers, August V. Kautz, wrote this book showing how and when to make out all the returns, reports, rolls, and other papers, and what to do with them. It explains how to keep all the books, records, and accounts required in the administration of a company, troop, or battery in the Army of the United States.
Kautz's Customs of Service
(1864 & 1866)
A Captain in the 6th U.S. Cavalry and a Brigadier-General of Volunteers, August V. Kautz, wrote a volume for NCOs and Soldiers in 1864 and a volume for Officers of the Army in 1866. These books were the first comprehensive description of the duties and responsibilities of soldiers of all ranks in the Civil War. Drawn from regulation and custom - including all those enacted or evolved in the course of the War - the book is more than just a list of duties. Kautz's advice gives us a better view on the life of the Civil War soldier.
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