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

Home

Next Page

46. Carry back the right hand to the handle, advance the piece, and bring it back to the middle guard; at the same time turn a quarter of a circle on the toes of the right foot, advance the left, and resume in all respects the middle guard.

NOTE.—It will be observed that in this thrust the barrel is underneath.

______________

The Thrust Shortened on the Right.—PLATE XVII.

On the right—SHORTEN!

One time and two motions.

47. First motion.—Move the piece quickly to the rear, let go the handle with the right hand, and with it seize the piece just above the left hand.—Fig. 42.

Second motion.—Let go the piece with the left hand, and throw it back to the full extension of the right arm; at the same time seize it at the muzzle with the left hand.—Fig. 43.

THRUST!

One time and one motion.

48. Thrust the piece quickly forward to the full length of the left arm, the point of the bayonet at the height of the breast.—Fig. 45.

GUARD!

One time and one motion.

49. Carry back the left hand to the tail band just below the right hand, which then seizes the handle, and resume the position of middle guard.

NOTE.—The instructor will explain that these two shortened thrusts are only used at very close quarters.  To make this the more readily understood, he will cause one man to step out, and, standing close to him, will execute against him the two thrusts.

In the thrust shortened on the left, when the piece is moved to the left across the body, it must pass as close as possible to the body.

Repetition and Combination of Movements.

______________

The shortened thrusts in riposte.

 

1. In prime—PARRY!

2. On the right—SHORTEN!

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

 

Make the same combination with the parries of seconde, quarte, and seconde in retreat.

 

1. In tierce—PARRY!

2. On the left—SHORTEN!

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

 

Same with tierce in retreat.

OBSERVATIONS.—When the soldier is sufficiently well drilled to use the shortened thrusts in riposte, the two motions will be united and executed together.

In the thrust shortened on the left, after the tierce in retreat, as the soldier already has his left foot to the rear, he has merely to straighten the left knee.

In the thrust shortened on the right, after the seconde in retreat, the left foot remains in rear during the thrust; it is moved to the front at the command Guard.

The instructor will explain that the riposte, by the shortened thrust, is delivered only when the adversary, in making his attack, has advanced breast to breast.

EIGHTH LESSON.

The Blows with the Butt of the Piece.

______________

The Blow to the Front.—Plate XIX.

1. Lower the—STOCK!

One time and one motion.

50. Lower the right hand to nearly the full length of the arm, at the same time raising the muzzle until the left hand is on the breast; straighten the right knee, and advance the right shoulder to the same line with the left.—Fig. 46.

2. STRIKE!

One time and one motion.

51. Throw the butt rapidly forward until the barrel rests upon the right shoulder.—Fig. 47.

3. GUARD!

One time and one motion.

52. Resume the middle guard.

NOTE.—This blow is directed against the belly of the antagonist, and should only be used when he presses close up and throws up the barrel of our piece.

______________ 

The Blow to the Right.—PLATE XX.

1. Stock to the—RIGHT.

One time and one motion.

53. Describe with the left foot a quarter of a circle towards the left, placing it twice its length behind, and at right angles to the right foot, which does not move; at the same time turn the head to the right, and move the piece rapidly as far to the left as possible, keeping it horizontal and at the height of the shoulders, the lock-plate up; the right hand near the body; the butt to the right.—Fig. 48.

2. STRIKE!

One time and one motion. 

54. Move the piece violently to the right, advancing the hands in that direction to the full length of the right arm; at the same time straighten the left knee.—Figs. 50, 51. 

3. GUARD!

One time and one motion.

55. Bring back the left foot to its original position, and resume in all respects the middle guard.

______________ 

The Blow to the Rear.—PLATE XX.

1. Stock to the—REAR!

One time and one motion.

56. Face to the rear by turning on both heels 90 degrees to the right, and turning the head to the right; at the same time move the piece to the left as far as possible, holding it horizontally and at the height of the shoulders, the lock up, the right hand near the body.—Fig. 49.

2. STRIKE!

One time and one motion.

57. As in No. 54.

3. GUARD!

One time and one motion.

58. Turn on both heels 90 degrees to the left, and resume the position of middle guard.

NOTE.—The blows to the right and rear are to be used in case of a sudden and close attack in those directions.

Repetition and Combination of the Movements.

______________

The Blows with the Butt followed by the Development.—PLATE XXI.

1. Stock to the—RIGHT, as in No. 53.

2. STRIKE, as in No. 54.

3. DEVELOP, as in No. 8, except that the development is made with the right foot instead of the left.

4. GUARD, as in No. 55, except that the right foot is first brought back to the position it occupied before the development.

 

Make the same combination with the blow of the butt, to the rear.

NOTE.—When recovering the guard, after the blow and development, the piece should be drawn back at the same time with the right foot, so that the two motions may facilitate each other. 

NINTH LESSON.

Repetition and Combination of the Movements.

______________

The advance, the retreat, the leap to the rear, combined with the movements of attack and defence.

1. ADVANCE!..............................

2. In prime—PARRY!......................................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. RETREAT!................................

2. THRUST!......................................................

3. DEVELOP!

4. GUARD!

1. ADVANCE!..............................

2. In seconde—PARRY!..................................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. RETREAT!................................

2. THRUST!......................................................

3. PASSADE!

4. GUARD!

1. ADVANCE!..............................

2. In tierce—PARRY!......................................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. RETREAT!................................

2. LUNGE!........................................................

3. GUARD!

 

1. ADVANCE!..............................

2. In quarte—PARRY!.....................................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. RETREAT!................................

2. LUNGE-OUT!...............................................

3. GUARD!

 

1. ADVANCE!..............................

2. In seconde in retreat—PARRY!..................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. RETREAT!................................

2. In tierce in retreat—PARRY!......................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. Leap to the—REAR!.................

2. THRUST!......................................................

3. DEVELOP!

4. GUARD!

1. Leap to the—REAR!.................

2. THRUST!......................................................

3. PASSADE!

4. GUARD!

OBSERVATIONS.—The movements of the legs, accompanied by the movements of attack and defence, contribute to give steadiness to the men, and to strengthen them on their legs.

When a fencer advances, it is to be feared that he may be attacked during the movement; he must, therefore, carefully preserve the guard.

On the contrary, when he retreats, it is probable that his antagonist will advance; he must then be prepared to attack him.

The Ninth Lesson is intended to accomplish this double object.

The leap to the rear is an excellent exercise; it gives elasticity to the legs and ankles: may save a soldier when in a dangerous position.

TENTH LESSON. 

Repetition and Combination of the Movements.

______________

The volts and leap to the rear, combined with the movements of attack and defence.

1. Right—VOLT!...........................

2. THRUST!......................................................

3. DEVELOP!

4. GUARD!

1. Left—VOLT!.............................

2. In prime—PARRY!......................................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. Right—VOLT!...........................

2. In seconde in retreat—PARRY!..................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. Left—VOLT!.............................

2. In tierce—PARRY!......................................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. Left rear—VOLT!.....................

2. THRUST!......................................................

3. PASSADE!

4. GUARD!

1. Right rear—VOLT!...................

2. In seconde—PARRY!...................................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. Left rear—VOLT!.....................

2. In tierce in retreat—PARRY!......................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. Right rear—VOLT!...................

2. In quarte—PARRY!.....................................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. Left rear—VOLT!.....................

2. In high tierce—PARRY!..............................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. Leap to the—REAR!.................

2. LUNGE!........................................................

3. GUARD!

 

1. Leap to the—REAR!.................

2. LUNGE-OUT!...............................................

3. GUARD!

 

OBSERVATIONS.—The object of this lesson is to habituate the soldier to be equally prepared for attack and defence, after the volts.

It is, therefore, important to watch that the guard be not disarranged during the volt; that the feet remain at the proper distance apart, etc. etc.

The volt places the soldier facing in a new direction, and may bring him in front of a new antagonist, therefore he should be equally ready for attack and defence.

ELEVENTH LESSON. 

The Directions of Attack combined with each other.

______________

1. QUARTE!

2. TIERCE!

3. THRUST!

4. DEVELOP!

5. GUARD!

1. QUARTE!

2. PRIME!

3. THRUST!

4. PASSADE!

5. GUARD!

1. QUARTE!

2. SECONDE!

3. LUNGE!

4. GUARD!

 

1. SECONDE!

2. TIERCE!

3. LUNGE-OUT!

4. GUARD!

 

1. SECONDE!

2. QUARTE!

3. THRUST!

4. PASSADE!

5. GUARD!

1. SECONDE!

2. PRIME!

3. THRUST!

4. DEVELOP!

5. GUARD!

1. TIERCE!

2. QUARTE!

3. LUNGE!

4. GUARD!

 

1. TIERCE!

2. SECONDE!

3. LUNGE-OUT!

4. GUARD!

 

1. TIERCE!

2. PRIME!

3. THRUST!

4. DEVELOP!

5. GUARD!

1. PRIME!

2. QUARTE!

3. THRUST!

4. PASSADE!

5. GUARD!

1. PRIME!

2. SECONDE!

3. LUNGE!

4. GUARD!

 

1. PRIME!

2. TIERCE!

3. LUNGE-OUT!

4. GUARD!

 

OBSERVATIONS.—The instructor will explain that the first movement of direction is only a feint, whilst the second is a real blow, since it is at once followed by a thrust or other movement of attack.

When the soldier has executed the exercises of this lesson several times, and is quite familiar with them, the instructor may increase the rapidity of execution by uniting the commands for the two directions, as well as those for the thrust and development, thrust and passade, etc.  He will then command:—

 

1. Quarte and—PRIME!

2. Thrust and—PASSADE!

3. GUARD!

 

1. Tierce and—PRIME!

2. Thrust and—DEVELOP!

3. GUARD!

 

In the same manner for the others.

In these cases the thrust and development, or the thrust and passade, will be simultaneous.

TWELFTH LESSON.

The Different Combinations of the Parries.

______________

1. In tierce—PARRY!............................

2. In quarte—PARRY!...........................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. In tierce in retreat—PARRY!............

2. In seconde in retreat—PARRY!.........

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. In tierce—PARRY!............................

2. In prime—PARRY!.............................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. In high quarte—PARRY!...................

2. In high tierce—PARRY!....................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. In quarte—PARRY!...........................

2. In prime—PARRY!.............................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. In quarte—PARRY!...........................

2. In seconde—PARRY!.........................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. In prime—PARRY!............................

2. In quarte—PARRY!...........................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. In prime—PARRY!............................

2. In seconde—PARRY!.........................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. In prime—PARRY!............................

2. In tierce—PARRY!.............................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. In prime—PARRY!............................

2. In high quarte—PARRY!...................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. In seconde in retreat—PARRY!........

2. In tierce in retreat—PARRY!............

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. In seconde—PARRY!.........................

2. In prime—PARRY!.............................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. In seconde—PARRY!.........................

2. In quarte—PARRY!...........................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

1. In seconde—PARRY!.........................

2. In high tierce—PARRY!....................

3. THRUST!

4. GUARD!

OBSERVATIONS.—The instructor will explain that when two panes are made in succession, it is because the weapon of the antagonist is not met by the first parry, but is by the second, which is at once followed by a riposte.

The last lesson is very important.  All the combinations of parries necessary to make the soldier a good fencer, are here exhausted.

The same observations will apply to the commands in this lesson as were made upon the Eleventh Lesson; the instructor will, therefore, command:—

 

1.  In tierce and quarte—PARRY!

2. THRUST!

3. GUARD!

 

In the same manner for the others.


PART II.

______________ 

INSTRUCTION

WITH THE

PLASTRON.


GENERAL PRINCIPLES.

OF

FENCING WITH THE BAYONET,

AND

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE LESSONS WITH THE PLASTRON, FOR THE GUIDANCE OF INSTRUCTORS.

______________

THE GUARD. 

THE guard is the position most suitable for attack and defence.  To be properly on guard, the position of the fencer should be such that he can make any movement of attack or defence, without indicating his intention to his adversary by any preliminary movement.  The most important conditions of a good fencer are, that the hands and arms should be detached from the body, and the knees well bent.  If the knees are too straight, the development cannot be rapidly made; and with a slow development an attack can but rarely succeed.

THE MEASURE.

The measure is the proper distance at which a fencer can touch his adversary; he should choose his mode of attack according to this distance.

The measure varies with the height and make of the fencer.  He should learn to know his own measure, and judge of that of his opponent as quickly as possible; he should always place himself on guard beyond the measure.  When the distance which separates two adversaries permits them to engage only with the middle of their bayonets, they can reach each other by the thrust and development, or by lunge alone.  If they can only engage with the points, they can still touch by means of the lunge-out.

In the lessons with the plastron, the engagement should be formed by crossing the bayonets—never nearer.

THE MEANS OF LOCOMOTION.

In this exercise it is necessary to be able to turn rapidly in every direction, as well as to advance and retreat.

When a fencer advances upon his antagonist, it must be by short steps, watching his motions, and being prepared to parry.  He should advance only when he is too far from his antagonist to reach him; to approach within the measure is useless, and may be dangerous.

The measure is broken to avoid an antagonist who presses too close, to induce him to advance, in order to attack him during the movement; to obtain a little rest out of reach of his thrusts; or, finally, to avoid an attack received in an unguarded moment.

The leap to the rear is intended to remove a fencer, by a rapid movement, from an antagonist who presses too closely.

The volts are employed to turn in the direction whence one is threatened, or to facilitate the attack and defence.  The volt is not only of use in facing a new enemy, but may be resorted to in order to avoid the shock of a horse at full speed; it is therefore proper, in the lessons with the plastron, to unite the volts with the advance, retreat, and leap to the rear, besides combining them with the movements of attack and defence.

If, in the lessons with the plastron, the instructor wishes to unite, for instance, a right volt with any movement of attack or defence, he will, the pupil being at guard, and facing him, first cause him to execute the left volt, and then bring him back by the right volt, which will at once be followed by the desired movement.  In the same manner for the other volts.

THE USE OF THE ARMS IN THE ATTACK.

The use of the arms is independent of the use of the legs; the first is often sufficient to reach the body of the adversary.  There are three methods of using the arms—the thrust, the lunge, the lunge-out.

Of these three the thrust is the best, because, since the hands retain their usual position on the piece, the aim is more certain, and the parry of a riposte easier; the thrust should, therefore, be used whenever the distance of the antagonist will permit it.

The lunge reaches as far as the thrust with the development; it is a very rapid and quite sure blow—far preferable to the lunge-out; it, however, exposes the fencer to a quick riposte, which would be difficult to parry, especially on the outside.

The lunge-out reaches farther than either of the preceding, but it throws the piece so completely out of control, that it should only be used against an antagonist who cannot riposte, or is endeavoring to escape; it may be used with advantage against the horse of a cavalry soldier, to keep him at a distance.

THE MANNER OF COMBINING THE USE OF THE ARMS AND LEGS.

When the thrust alone will not reach the adversary, it must be accomplished by the development or passade, according to the distance.  In the assault, or against an enemy, the lunge and lunge-out may be accompanied by the development or passade; but the recovery of the guard, and the parry of a riposte, are so difficult after these combined movements, that they should only be resorted to against an unskilful or flying antagonist.

In the lesson with the plastron, the instructor will usually employ the thrust and the development, or the lunge alone.  Occasionally he will cause the pupil to attack him by the thrust and passade; in this case he will, in the first place, suitably regulate the distance.

In order to exercise the arms and legs of the pupil, he will sometimes cause him to execute the lunge and lunge-out with the development or passade.

THE RECOVERY OF THE GUARD.

The recover is the action of resuming the guard, after the development or passade.  As a general rule, the guard should be recovered immediately after a thrust is made.  If the attack has been parried, and a riposte is made, the assailant must rise as he parries the riposte.  The parries during the recover should be frequently practised.  The assailant whose attack is parried is in one of the worst possible situations; the means for escaping from it cannot be too thoroughly taught.

THE LINES.

A line is the space on either side of the weapon.  The two principal lines are the outside and inside lines.  The outside line is the space on the side of the weapon towards the back of the fencer, viz., the left.  The inside line is that on the side of his breast, viz., the right.  Each of these two lines is divided into two other lines, respectively above and below the weapon; they are called the upper and under, or the high and low, lines.

There are thus, in all, four lines: the low inside, the low outside, the high outside, and the high inside, corresponding, respectively, with the directions prime, seconde, tierce, and quarte.

THE ENGAGEMENT.

The engagement is the act of crossing weapons with an adversary.  This may occur when the points are high, in the lines high outside, or high inside; with the points low, it may be in the lines low outside, or low inside.  There are, then, four engagements, which are named as follows:—

In prime, when the engagement is the low inside line.

In seconde, when the engagement is the low outside line.

In tierce, when the engagement is the high outside line.

In quarte, when the engagement is the high inside line.

Of these, but two should be used in the lessons with the plastron—tierce and quarte; the others will occur in the course of an assault, in consequence of certain thrusts and parries; but tierce and quarte should be regarded as the starting-points for all attacks, and should be returned to as soon as possible after every attack.

In this exercise the fencers are near enough to touch, as soon as the bayonets can cross.

When the weapons cross, each fencer should endeavor to close against his opponent, the line of the direct thrust; this is called having the engagement.  He effects this by holding his weapon far enough to the right or left, according to the engagement, to protect his body from a direct blow; the obstacle thus presented is called the opposition.  The opposition is necessary in all thrusts made—he who attacks or ripostes should be careful to have it.  To have the opposition, or to be covered, is an advantage which both fencers cannot possess at the same time; they must, therefore, strive for it in turn.

For the outside lines the opposition is obtained by moving the piece to the left; for the inside, to the right.  The opposition should never be carried beyond the right or left of the body.

The position of the piece is the same in the engagements of tierce and quarte, as in the middle guard, with the exceptions of the position of the point, and that the opposition is more or less marked, according as the fencer has, or has not, the engagement.  The lock-plate must be turned at an angle of 45°, so that the piece may have a motion of rotation both in thrusting and parrying.


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


Transcribed by Scott Gutzke, 2006.


Previous Page

Home

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

facebook_64thill