Home | Welcome Letter from the Unit President | Unit History | Research by Members of the 64th | Events Calendar | Photo Gallery of today's 64th | The Recruiter's Tent

Previous Page


Next Page



415. Sentinels must keep themselves on the alert, observing every thing that takes place within sight and hearing of their post.  They will carry their arms habitually at support, or on either shoulder, but will never quit them.  In wet weather, if there be no sentry-box, they will secure arms.

416. No sentinel shall quit his post or hold conversation not necessary to the proper discharge of his duty.

417. All persons, of whatever rank in the service, are required to observe respect toward sentinels.

418. In case of disorder, a sentinel must call out the guard; and if a fire take place, he must cry—Fire!’ adding the number of his post.  If in either case the danger be great, he must discharge his firelock before calling out.

419. It is the duty of a sentinel to repeat all calls made from posts more distant from the main body of the guard than his own, and no sentinel will be posted so distant as not to be heard by the guard, either directly or through other sentinels.

420. Sentinels will present arms to general and field officers, to the officer of the day, and to the commanding officer of the post.  To all other officers they will carry arms.

421. When a sentinel in his sentry-box sees an officer approaching, he will stand at attention, and as the officer passes will salute him, by bringing the left hand briskly to the musket, as high as the right shoulder.

422. The sentinel at any post of the guard, when he sees any body of troops, or an officer entitled to compliment, approach, must call—Turn out the guard!’ and announce who approaches.

423. Guards do not turn out as a matter of compliment after sunset; but sentinels will, when officers in uniform approach, pay them proper attention, by facing to the proper front, and standing steady at shouldered arms.  This will be observed until the evening is so far advanced that the sentinels begin challenging.

424. After retreat (or the hour appointed by the commanding officer), until broad daylight, a sentinel challenges every person who approaches him, taking, at the same time, the position of arms port.  He will suffer no person to come nearer than within reach of his bayonet, until the person has given the countersign.

425. A sentinel, in challenging, will call out—’Who comes there?’ If answered—Friend, with the countersign,’ and he be instructed to pass persons with the countersign, he will reply—Advance, friend, with the countersign!’  If answered—Friends!’ he will reply—Halt, friends!  Advance one with the countersign!’  If answered—Relief,’ ‘Patrol,’ or ‘Grand rounds,’ he will reply—Halt!  Advance, Sergeant (or Corporal), with the countersign!’ and satisfy himself that the party is what it represents itself to be.  If he have no authority to pass persons with the countersign, if the wrong countersign be given, or if the persons have not the countersign, he will cause them to stand, and call—‘Corporal of the guard!

426. In the daytime, when the sentinel before the guard sees the officer of the day approach, he will call—Turn out the guard!  Officer of the day.’  The guard will be paraded, and salute with presented arms.

427. When any person approaches a post of the guard at night, the sentinel before the post, after challenging, causes him to halt until examined by a non-commissioned officer of the guard.  If it be the officer of the day, or any other officer entitled to inspect the guard and to make the rounds the non-commissioned officer will call—Turn out the guard!’ when the guard will be paraded at shouldered arms, and the officer of the guard, if he thinks necessary, may demand the countersign and parole.

428. The officer of the day, wishing to make the rounds, will take an escort of a non-commissioned officer and two men.  When the rounds are challenged by a sentinel, the sergeant will answer—Grand rounds!’ and the sentinel will reply—Halt, grand rounds!  Advance, sergeant, with the countersign.’  Upon which the sergeant advances and gives the countersign.  The sentinel will then cry—Advance, rounds.’ and stand at a shoulder till they have passed.

429. When the sentinel before the guard challenges, and is answered—Grand rounds,’ he will reply—Halt, grand rounds!  Turn out the guard; grand rounds!’  Upon which the guard will be drawn up at shouldered arms.  The officer commanding the guard will then order a sergeant and two men to advance; when within ten paces, the sergeant challenges.  The sergeant of the grand rounds answers—Grand rounds!’  The sergeant of the guard replies—Advance, sergeant, with the countersign!’  The sergeant of the rounds advances alone, gives the countersign, and returns to his round.  The sergeant of the guard calls to his officer—The countersign is right!’ on which the officer of the guard calls—Advance, rounds!’  The officer of the rounds then advances alone, the guard standing at shouldered arms.  The officer of the rounds passes along the front of the guard to the officer, who keeps his post on the right, and gives him the parole.  He then examines the guard, orders back his escort, and, taking a new one, proceeds in the same manner to other guards.

430. All material instructions given to a sentinel on post by persons entitled to make grand rounds, ought to be promptly notified to the commander of the guard.

431. Any general officer, or the commander of a post or garrison, may visit the guards of his command, and go the grand rounds, and be received in the same manner as prescribed for the officer of the day.”


89. Sentinels must be respected under all circumstances, and should not be held responsible for orders they execute in good faith; and no officers have authority to interfere with them, except as provided in par. 413, Army Regulations.

90. Sentinels are often, even in times of peace, placed in trying and difficult positions.  In times of popular excitement, they may be posted for the protection of persons or property threatened with violence.  Under such circumstances, coolness and firmness are the first requisites.  No danger or circumstances will justify a sentinel in leaving his post without orders.

91. If a sentinel, from any cause, wishes to leave his post, he calls for the corporal of the guard, who will relieve him, if necessary, by another sentinel, or take charge of his post until he can return to it.  The following Articles of War show the importance with which a sentinel’s post is invested.


ART. 45. Any commissioned officer who shall be found drunk on his guard, party, or other duty, shall be cashiered.  Any non-commissioned officer or soldier so offending shall suffer such corporeal punishment as shall be inflicted by the sentence of a court-martial.

ART. 46. Any sentinel who shall be found sleeping upon his post, or shall leave it before he shall be regularly relieved, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as shall be inflicted by the sentence of a court-martial.

ART. 50. Any officer or soldier who shall, without urgent necessity, or without the leave of his superior officer, quit his guard, platoon, or division, shall be punished according to the nature of his offence, by the sentence of a court-martial.”


92. There are instances where sentinels would seem almost justified in leaving their posts, as when their own lives are endangered by remaining, and there is no possibility of their affording the protection and guard for which they were posted, as when a camp or fort is shelled from a distance.  Under such circumstances, if not relieved at once, call for the corporal of the guard.

93. When sentinels are required to remain at their posts at all hazards, the soldier has no alternative except to die at his post if necessary.  No nobler death can fall to the lot of a soldier; whilst no greater ignominy can befall him than to desert his post in time of danger, when the lives of others are dependent upon the performance of his duty.

94. To be surprised, or to fall asleep, in times of danger, is a crime of the gravest character, and punishable with death.  Sometimes, when popular violence is threatened, the courage and firmness of a single sentinel may intimidate and keep back a mob, whilst timidity and doubt might encourage them.  True courage will defend the post to the last.  No man can desire nobler death than to die in the cause of right.

95. Soldiers should know, however, that they are held responsible for the execution of their orders as well as their obedience; and they shall, therefore, fully understand them.  Ignorant and inexperienced officers sometimes give illegal and unjustifiable orders, for which the officer who gives them, and the soldier who obeys, may both be held responsible, either by military courts, or civil tribunals if there are any.

96. Soldiers should bear in mind that no orders will protect them in the commission of personal wrong.  They stand upon the same footing as any officer or citizen in civil life; and if a soldier, in the discharge of his orders, shoots a person, he may be arraigned and tried, and is at the mercy of a military court or jury, even when it is apparent that he will or should be acquitted.  These are trying circumstances, and, fortunately, of rare occurrence; but even these should not deter a soldier from doing what he knows and believes to be his duty.

97. Again, a sentinel, in the execution of his duty has frequently the power to subject persons a great inconvenience and humiliation, who, from inadvertence or misapprehension, have come under his control.  Whilst he might be sustained in the severity of his course, it is not contemplated that he shall abuse his authority or misuse his temporary power.

98. STABLE GUARD.In cavalry and artillery, this guard is usually placed over the horses at night, to watch them and prevent any of them from making their escape or injuring themselves.  It consists usually of a non-commissioned officer, and three men for each company or battery, and forms a separate detail. (Reg. 562.)

99. They may be put on with or without arms; and, although the same precision and attention as on camp guard are not required, they are equally responsible with other guards with regard to sleeping on post, or leaving or neglecting their duty in any way.

100. Neatness and correct soldierly bearing are enjoined on all sentinels.  Precision in the compliments to officers, and in marching on and off duty, reflects credit upon the soldier, and secures to him the consideration and attention of his superiors.

101. Orderlies and color-sentinels are usually selected from the neatest, cleanest, and most soldierly looking members of the guard.  These duties are of a lighter and more complimentary character, and are the first steps to promotion.

102. FATIGUE.This term is applied to all duties not strictly military, such as laboring in the trenches, making roads, forage, improving the grounds about a post or camp, &c., and is usually performed without arms, except when, in the vicinity of the enemy, it is necessary to guard against attack.

103. Fatigue parties are always under the direction of an officer or non-commissioned officer, who is held responsible for the conduct of the men.

104. No soldier can leave his fatigue or working party, without permission from his superior officer, until he is regularly relieved.

105. Usually, in established camps and garrisons, the guard which marches off in the morning goes on fatigue the next morning, called “general police,” for the purpose of sweeping and cleaning the common parade ground, the vicinity of officers’ quarters, and other places not immediately occupied by companies or detachments.

106. This detail, being consecutive with the guard, requires no other notification except the order that such will be the practice.  Absentees from sickness and other causes are, therefore, not replaced, but must be accounted for.

107. In cases of more than ordinary fatigue or exposure, it is the custom to make an issue of whiskey to the men on fatigue.  To obtain this issue, the sergeant or corporal of police makes out a return, called an “extra return,” giving the number of men and number of gills, one gill being allowed to each man.  This return is signed by the officer in charge of the party; and it is then submitted to the commanding officer of the regiment, post, or detachment, attaches his order for the issue, and the whiskey then drawn from the commissary and issued to the men by the sergeant.

108. DAILY DUTY.A soldier is on daily duty when is put upon some continuous duty that excuses him from the ordinary company duty but does not entitle him to additional pay from the government, such as company cooks, tailors, clerks, standing orderlies, &c.  These duties may be performed by soldiers selected on account of special capacity or merit, or detailed in turn, as is most convenient and conducive to the interest of the service.

109. The company cooks are one or more men in each company detailed to do the cooking for the entire company.  This is the case usually in companies where it is not the custom to distribute the provisions to the men; for in this case the messes furnish their own cooks, and they are not excused from any duty except what is absolutely necessary and which their messmates can do for them.

110. The law authorizes the detailing of one cook to thirty men, or less; two cooks if there are more than thirty men in the company.  It also allows to each cook two assistant cooks (colored), who are enlisted for the purpose, and are allowed ten dollars per month. (See Par. 269.)

111. The cooks are under the direction of the first sergeant or commissary-sergeant, who superintends the issue of provisions and directs the cooking for each day.  Company cooks for the whole company are generally detailed in turn, and for periods of a week or ten days.

112. Company tailors.One or two tailors are usually detailed on daily duty in each company to fit and repair clothing for the men of the company.  They are generally excused from such duties as materially interfere with their work, and receive such compensation from the men as will remunerate them for the materials they require and the extra work they may perform.  This is usually done under the direction of the commanding officer of the company, under such regulations as he may establish.

113. Company clerks.These are experienced penmen selected from the companies to assist the first sergeants in making out their returns, reports, muster-rolls, copying orders, &c.  One to each company is generally sufficient to do all the writing who are usually excused from such duties as the necessities of the service will justify.

114. Orderlies are soldiers selected on account of their intelligence, experience, and soldierly bearing, to attend on generals, commanding officers, officers of the day, and staff officers, to carry orders, mess &c.  They may be taken from the guard or put on permanently while the duty lasts: in the latter case they are reported on daily duty and are excused from all other duty that would interfere with their duty as orderlies.

115. EXTRA DUTY.Where soldiers are detailed in some continuous duty or labor for ten days or labor, in the quartermaster, commissary, or some other department, where they are entitled to additional pay, it is called “extra duty.”  They are generally employed in the quartermaster’s department as mechanics, laborers, teamsters, &c., and are under the orders of, and paid by, the department in which they are employed.

116. They are generally excused from all military duty, except Sunday inspections, reviews, and musters, but may be required to attend drills when their instruction is not complete.  Extra duty pay has been discontinued by the Act of March 3, 1863, sec. 35, but is still allowed in some cases, according to a decision of the Third Auditor.

117. DETACHED SERVICE.When soldiers are sent away from their companies, under orders to do duty elsewhere, from the post, camp, or garrison, they are on “detached service,” and are so accounted for.  The first for guard are detailed for detached service, and, if employed otherwise at the time, are relieved, if possible, in time to reach the camp or post to march with the detachment.  This is intended only for short and frequent detachments.  In cases where the detachment is more or less permanent, it is not the custom to follow these rules, but to be guided, in making the details, by the nature of the service.

118. Where there is a possibility that the soldier may be detached for a long period he should be accompanied by his descriptive roll and clothing-account, in order that he may draw his pay, and such clothing is he may need during his absence.  This matter is sometimes overlooked by the officers, and should be remembered by the soldier, as he is most affected by the neglect.



119. A soldier’s duties in the field are nothing more than the practical application of the duties he has learned in camp or garrison to the purposes of war.  Troops are said to be “in the field” when they are operating against the enemy, and are occupying temporarily the country, towns, cities, or intrenchments in the vicinity of the foe, or permanently encamped in their neighborhood.  They are also said to be in the field when on the march through the country in times of peace.

120. In the field there are, in addition to camp-guards and police-guards, advanced guards, outposts, pickets, and reconnoissances.  On these guards the soldier’s duty has not so much detail about it: much of the ceremony of camp-guard is omitted and modified to suit the circumstances; every thing is made subservient to the all-important end,—watching the enemy.  His presence of mind, judgment, and courage on these duties are put to the greatest test.

121. ADVANCED GUARDS are guards thrown out the front in the direction in which the enemy is expected, to guard against attack or surprise.  They may be composed of details united from the brigades, forming a “division-guard,” and covering the front of the division, uniting with the guards of the divisions on the right and left; or “brigade-guards,” composed of details from the different regiments of the brigade, and covering its front in the same manner.

122. The senior colonel or other officer of a “division-guard” is the “general officer of the day;” of a “brigade-guard,” a field officer or senior captain usually detailed as “field officer of the day.”  These guards are usually thrown some distance in the advance, sometimes several miles, and always enough to give the troops time to form and prepare for battle before the enemy can come upon them.  If the guards are thrown out too far to be relieved daily, they go on for several days at a time.

123. OUTPOSTS are isolated advanced guards of greater or less strength.  When composed of small detachments, they are called “picket-guards.”

124. RECONOISSANCES are made by troops against the enemy for the purpose of finding out his position and strength.  The term generally implies a strong party.  When the force is small, it is more generally called “reconnoitring” or “scouting.”

125. The special duty of the soldier in advanced guards, outposts, pickets, and reconnoissances, is that of “picket,” “skirmisher,” and “flanker.”

126. PICKET.This term is used differently, and has different meanings in various works.  It is used in our army to designate the advanced sentinels of an “advanced guard.”  Courage and common sense are the principal requisites for a picket.

127. The instructions which he receives are generally plain and easily understood: the only difficulty is to remember them at the critical moment.  Pickets are either infantry or cavalry, or both together.  The term “vedette” is frequently applied to cavalry pickets.  The general rules for picket should be well understood by every soldier.

128. “The duties of the pickets are to keep a vigilant watch over the country in front, and over the movements of the enemy, if in sight, to prevent all unauthorized persons from passing in or out of the lines, and to arrest all suspicious individuals.  In case of an attack, they will act as a line of skirmishers, and hold their ground to the last moment.  If forced to retire, they will slowly close their intervals and fall back upon their supports.” (General Order No. 69, Head-Quarters Army of Potomac, 1862).  The following Regulations are important:—


620. The sentinels and vedettes are placed on points from which they can see farthest, taking care not to break, their connection with each other or with their posts.  They are concealed from the enemy as much is possible by walls, or trees, or elevated ground.  It is generally even of more advantage not to be seen than to see far.  They should not be placed near covers, where the enemy may capture them.

621. A sentinel should always be ready to fire; vedettes carry their pistols or carbines in their hands.  A sentinel must be sure of the presence of an enemy before he fires; once satisfied of that, he must fire, though all defence on his part be useless, as the safety of the post may depend on it.  Sentinels fire on all persons deserting to the enemy.

622. If the post must be where a sentinel on it cannot communicate with the guard, a corporal and three men are detached for it, or the sentinels are doubled, that one may communicate with the guard.  During the day the communication may be made by signals, such as raising a cap or handkerchief.  At night sentinels are placed on low ground, the better to see objects against the sky.

624. On the approach of any one at night, the sentinel orders—Halt!’  If the order is not obeyed after once repeated, he fires.  If obeyed, he calls—Who goes there?’  If answered—Rounds’ or ‘Patrol,’ he says—Stand: Advance one with the countersign!’  If more than one advance at the same time, or the person who advances fails to give the countersign or signal agreed on, the sentinel fires, and falls back on his guard.  The sentinel over the arms, as soon as his hail is answered, turns out the guard, and the corporal goes to reconnoitre.  When it is desirable to hide the position of the sentinel from the enemy, the hail is replaced by signals; the sentinel gives the signal, and those approaching the counter-signal.

639. Bearers of flags are not permitted to pass the outer chain of sentinels; their faces are turned from the post or army; if necessary, their eyes are bandaged; a non-commissioned officer stays with them to prevent indiscretion of the sentinels.

640. The commandant of the grand guard receipts for dispatches, and sends them to the field officer of the day or general of brigade, and dismisses the bearer; but if he has discovered what ought to be concealed from the enemy, he is detained as long as necessary.

641. Deserters are disarmed at the advanced posts, and sent to the commander of the grand guard, who gets from them all the information he can concerning his post.  If many come at night, they are received cautiously, a few at a time.  They are sent in the morning to the field officer of the day, or to the nearest post or camp, to be conducted to the general of the brigade.  All suspected persons are searched by the commanders of the posts.”


129. Pickets should look out particularly for deserters; and parties representing themselves as such should be required to lay down their arms before they approach.  A flag of truce should also be received with caution: it is usually a white flag, borne by an officer and accompanied by an escort.  The flag is sometimes, particularly in the night, preceded by a trumpeter blowing the parley.

130. The escort is halted at a distance, and no one is permitted to advance except the bearer of the flag.  If the bearer has only a letter to deliver, it is taken and receipted for, and the bearer and his escort turned back to their own lines.  If it is necessary to take the bearer to the commanding officer, his eyes are bandaged, and he is escorted thither.

131. Great precaution must be exercised with regard to parties passing out, to see that they are authorized to go and that they are not deserters.  Soldiers frequently, from idle curiosity, or a spirit of adventure, or a desire for plunder, may take advantage of a friend or messmate being on post, and seek the indulgence of passing beyond the lines.  Sentinels and soldiers should know that this is exceedingly irregular, and may be fraught with terrible consequences.  No personal considerations should influence a soldier to so serious a neglect of his duty.

132. All sentinels of advanced guards should receive the countersign before sunset, and, whether this is neglected or not, they should commence challenging immediately after.  Compliments are dispensed with on picket-duty.

133. The practice of pickets firing upon those of the enemy is barbarous; and retaliation is scarcely a sufficient excuse for doing it.  Pickets should not fire unless an advance is intended, or in the cases heretofore indicated.

134. Firing on pickets has a tendency to produce false alarms, or its habitual practice may create indifference, and thus an actual attack pass unobserved until a decided advantage is gained by the enemy.

135. The habit of pickets communicating with those of the enemy is irregular, and should not be indulged in, unless sometimes by the officers for some specific object.

136. SKIRMISHERS are soldiers thrown forward and deployed at intervals of from ten to twenty paces, according to the point they are to cover; if a column on the march, or a line of battle advancing to attack, to conceal the movements or to give timely notice of the enemy.  They may be either infantry or cavalry.

137. On the march, the column usually proceeds on the road, preceded by an advanced guard proportioned to the strength of the column,—usually about one-tenth of the whole force.  From this the skirmishers are taken, one-third being retained for a reserve; the remainder are deployed as skirmishers on the right and left of the road, and from one hundred and fifty to three hundred yards in advance of the reserve, which itself is about four hundred yards in advance of the head of the column.

138. A non-commissioned officer, with two or three men, march on the road, and the skirmishers, on the right and left of the road, regulate their march on them.  In this manner the march is conducted under the direction of the commanding officer of the advance, who has his instructions from the commander of the column.

139. The skirmishers should endeavor not to advance beyond or fall in rear of the line, should keep their proper intervals, and be guided by the centre of the line.

140. Skirmishers should use their eyes and ears.  They are the feelers with which the army searches its way into the enemy’s country; and every suspicious or important circumstance should be reported at once to their immediate superiors.  No one should be allowed to escape from their approach who might give information to the enemy; and all suspicious characters should be arrested and sent to the rear.

141. When skirmishers precede a line of battle preliminary to an attack, they advance and engage the enemy, unless otherwise instructed; and when the line arrives within range of the enemy, they are usually recalled, and form in the rear of the command to which they belong.

142. FLANKERS are skirmishers placed on the flanks of an advancing column, three or four hundred yards distant, extending from the extremities of the line of skirmishers to the rear of the column, and parallel to it.  They march in file, with intervals of ten to twenty paces.

143. Their duty is to guard against an attack from the flank, and to give notice of the approach of an enemy in that direction.  Their duties are entirely similar to those of skirmishers; and when forced to retire, they fall back fighting and form on their reserves or supports that are marching inside of them in the direction of the column.



144. IN the infantry is the main strength of an army.  Cavalry and artillery are the auxiliaries.  The final results of a war or campaign are achieved by this arm of the service; and the foot-soldier should bear in mind the importance of his position, and seek to achieve the highest perfection of his arm.  No cavalry or artillery can stand against perfect infantry properly handled.

145. The sharpshooters, deployed as skirmishers, and supported by the main column of infantry, out of range, will pick off the cannoneers, and silence in a short time a battery of artillery; and the best cavalry will disperse before a firm line of infantry that reserves its fire until the enemy is within short range, and shows a determination to receive them on the bayonets of their empty muskets.

146. The infantry soldier should bear in mind that, with whatever exultation the cavalry or artillery pass him in advancing upon the enemy, the grand result cannot be achieved without him, and that the presence of the musket and its proximity is what enables them to precede him in the fight.

147. A well-instructed and disciplined infantry-man is always prepared for duty.  His hours of leisure are devoted to preparation.  His clothing is prepared and cleaned, his knapsack always packed, his arms and accoutrements are in order, and his ammunition secure.

148. The supply of necessary articles in the field should be limited to the smallest possible amount; and industry will make up for many a deficient article.  Messes unite, and each carries an article that can be used in common.

149. By repeated washings and cleanings, one suit of clothes can be made to look as well as if a change were on hand.  For fatigue-duties, thin cotton overalls and blouse worn over the only suit will protect it and make it last much longer, and are much lighter than an extra suit.

150. The shoes are the most important item of clothing to the foot-soldier.  The army bootee is much the best.  The soles should be broad, the heels low and broad.  Woollen socks should be worn.  The feet should be bathed frequently in cold water.  Boots are universally impracticable for marching.  If the ankles require support, the French gaiter can be worn: they are also a very good protection from mud and dust, and protect the trousers.

151. An hour’s drill, morning and afternoon, when not marching, is a necessary exercise, no matter may be the proficiency of the regiment or company.  It keeps the body in condition for service at any moment, and is conducive to health.

152. A good soldier makes his company and regiment his home, and never absents himself without proper permission, and then returns punctually at the expiration of his pass.  The habit of always being absent is exceedingly pernicious; it cultivates tastes and habits that are detrimental to the soldier’s best interests, and he is almost sure to be absent when most wanted, and loses, perhaps, a favorable moment to do himself a credit.

153. He should learn to wait: a soldier’s life is made up in waiting for the critical moments.  The times for distinction are few, and quickly pass; and, once gone, he has a long time to wait for the next opportunity.  Constant training and faithful watching are necessary, so that he may see the proper moment and be in the best possible condition to perform his duty.

154. A soldier is dependent on his officers for pay, clothing, subsistence, and medical attendance; but his health, success, and promotion depend, in the main, upon himself.  Within certain limits, he must look out for himself.

155. He must learn to make the most of his pay and allowances.  His rations are abundant for his subsistence, and, if not always palatable, a little ingenuity in cooking, an little management in exchanging for the products of the country, will make his rations do him; whilst spending his pay for things to eat, and disregarding his rations, is a want of frugality that should be corrected.

156. His clothing is also sufficient; and many soldiers save from sixty to one hundred dollars of their clothing allowance, which is paid to them in money at the expiration of their enlistment.  A little industry in mending and cleaning his clothes will well reward his labors in the savings of the frugal soldier.  To this end, he should be provided with a little wallet, containing an assortment of thread, needles, buttons, scissors, &c., and should economize and use up faithfully his allowance of soap.

157. He can readily save all his pay, and make his spending-money by labor during leisure hours in many ways which are afforded him in the vicinity of a camp or garrison.  The effort, however, to lay up money should not be carried to an extent that would interfere with his duties as a soldier.



158. THE cavalry soldier is apt to look with some contempt as he rides by the weary footman carrying his knapsack; but he should bear in mind how much he is dependent upon him, and how much of the confidence with which he rides to the front is due to the staunch columns of infantry he leaves in his rear, and how soon he may be compelled to seek refuge from the enemy’s sharpshooters and artillery in the rear of the same columns of infantry.

159. A cavalry soldier should not exceed in weight one hundred and sixty pounds, should be active and strong, physically sound, with a natural fondness for horses and experience in handling them.  His duties are more arduous and severe than those of the footman.  His first care should be his horse at all times.  The two are inseparable, and one is of little account without the other.  A dismounted cavalry soldier, leading a broken-down horse and trudging wearily along in the rear of the column, is a pitiable and ridiculous sight; whilst the perfect cavalry soldier, neatly dressed, arms and accoutrements in perfect order, his horse well fed and thoroughly groomed, and riding with ease, grace, and self-possession, is always an object of admiration.

160. The general duties of the cavalry soldier are the same as those of the infantry soldier, varying only on account of his horse and the difference in the character of the service.

161. Great care and attention are necessary to keep the horse in condition for service.  The following hints are offered:—

The horse should always be used moderately, having much additional weight to carry.  The habitual gait of cavalry is a walk, and it should not be increased, unless necessary or acting under orders.

162. Horses should never be watered or fed when heated, nor should they be used violently immediately after watering or feeding.  Heating food, such as corn or wheat, should not be fed in large quantities at a time, but divided into two or more feeds; and this is particularly necessary when hay or grass is scarce.  They should be fed salt two or three times a week.

163. The horse should be carefully groomed.  When heated, in cold or chilly weather, particularly in the open air, if required to stand still, he should have a blanket thrown over him until he is cool; nor should he be washed or drenched with water, except when cool.  If covered with mud, it is better to let it remain until the horse is dry, and then let him be groomed as soon as he is dry: it should not be permitted to remain any longer than necessary.  If the mud is rubbed off when wet, it causes the sand to be rubbed into the skin, and is much more difficult to remove afterwards.

164. The back should always be examined after riding.  Any evidence of soreness should be arrested by a judicious folding of blanket and care in adjusting the saddle, by shortening or lengthening the crupper.  Any swelling or scalding from the saddle should be frequently washed in cold water, to check inflammation.

165. When halting on the march, horses have a disposition to roll, that frequently injures the saddle and accoutrements.  This may be in a great measure prevented by removing the saddle and rubbing the horse’s back with currycomb, brush, or a whisp of straw or twigs.  During such halts, every opportunity to let the horse graze a little, or feeding him on a handful of hay or grass, or other feed, gathered by the way, should not be neglected: the horse’s stomach is small in proportion to his size, and such care of him will keep him in good condition where without it he would break down.

166. When a horse gets sick, the veterinary surgeon should at once be consulted.  Soldiers are not permitted to prescribe for their horses without permission from their company commanders.

167. The horse has been found to be demoralizing to the habits of the soldier.  The cavalry service removes the cavalry-man more from the immediate control of his officers; he is enabled soon to become more familiar with the surrounding country, on his duties as messenger, orderly, foraging, reconnoitring, picket and outpost duty, his temptations to straggle and commit depredations are much greater, the chances of detection are less, and the violation of orders is attended with much less personal fatigue and inconvenience; and hence the irregularities peculiar to the cavalry service.

168. Cavalrymen, however, should bear in mind that these facilities are no excuse for misdemeanors of irregularities; and every soldier should have the interest of his own corps too much at heart to aid or abet in misconduct that gives to his arm of service such a disagreeable notoriety.  He should labor to give his own corps as high a reputation for good conduct as the foot-soldier He should not allow himself to be excelled in propriety by the infantry-man.

169. The arms and accoutrements of cavalry, being more numerous and subject to more wear and tear, require more labor and attention than those of infantry, but should not for that reason be any more neglected.  This care is equally important, and the beneficial results of cleanliness and order are quite as satisfactory, as in any other arm.

170. Every article that is issued to the man has its use and importance.  The articles should be frequently overhauled, and kept in repair.  The sabre should be kept sharp, the arms clean and in order, the ammunition close and compact, to prevent rubbing, and secure against moisture.  The straps should be kept repaired, well cleaned and oiled.  The nose-bag and lariat-rope are not sufficiently appreciated.  The health of the horse is dependent upon his being taught to eat his feed from he nose-bag, as feeding from the ground causes the horse to take up with his food great quantities of gravel and sand, thereby injuring his digestion.  The lariat-rope is important for the purpose of forage—either for the transportation of forage, or picketing the horse out at night to enable him to graze, the opportunity for which should never be neglected.

171. An important article is a forage-bag, made like a saddle-bag with a slit in it.  It should be at least a yard long and a foot wide, in which to carry one or two feeds, so that accident or delay will not deprive the horse of his regular feed.  It can be readily made by any soldier out of an ordinary grain-sack.



172. IN our service, Artillery is divided into Artillery Proper, Light Artillery, and Heavy Artillery.

173. ARTILLERY PROPER, sometimes called FOOT ARTILLERY, or FIELD ARTILLERY, is divided into batteries, manned by one company, and provided with four, six, or eight guns, according to the strength of the company.

174. The battery is divided into sections, two pieces making a section, commanded by the lieutenants, or, in their absence, by the ranking sergeants.  The sergeants are usually assigned to the different guns, and are called Chiefs of Piece.  The gunners are usually taken from the corporals.

175. The men, except the drivers and chiefs of piece, are dismounted, and ride on the caissons and limbers, or march in order by the side of the carriages.  They are sometimes armed with pistols or cutlasses, or both.

176. LIGHT ARTILLERY, sometimes called HORSE ARTILLERY, is similar to foot artillery, except that all the men are mounted, thus uniting the duties of cavalry with artillery.

177. HEAVY ARTILLERY is generally used for garrisoning forts and entrenched places, where the armament is composed of guns of greater caliber than field-pieces.  In the field, they generally have charge of the siege-train.  The troops are usually armed, equipped, and drilled as infantry, in addition to their duties with the large guns.

178. The artillery soldier is expected to be more or less familiar with all the duties expected of cavalry and infantry, as in field-batteries they have a similar care of horses, and in heavy artillery they are required to perform all the duties required of infantry, at times.  He is required to know all about guard-duties.  They are not, however, required to do as much outpost, fatigue, or picket duty, and only in the absence of the proper troops for such duty.

Download a .pdf version of this document, click here.

Transcribed by Scott Gutzke, 2006.

Previous Page


Next Page

Home | Welcome Letter from the Unit President | Unit History | Research by Members of the 64th | Events Calendar | Photo Gallery of today's 64th | The Recruiter's Tent