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SCHOOL OF THE COMPANY.
General Rules and Division of the School of the Company.
1. INSTRUCTION by company will always precede that by battalion, and the object being to prepare the soldiers for the higher school, the exercises of detail by company will be strictly adhered to, as well in respect to principles, as the order of progression herein prescribed.
2. There will be attached to a company undergoing elementary instruction, a captain, a covering sergeant, and a certain number of file closers, the whole posted in the manner indicated, Title First, and, according to the same Title, the officer charged with the exercise of such company will herein be denominated the instructor.
3. The School of the Company will be divided into six lessons, and each lesson will comprehend five articles as follows:
1. To open ranks.
2. Alignments in open ranks.
3. Manual of arms.
4. To close ranks.
5. Alignments, and manual of arms in closed ranks.
1. To load in four times and at will.
2. To fire by company.
3. To fire by file.
4. To fire by rank.
5. To fire by the rear-rank.
1. To march in line of battle.
2. To halt the company marching in line of battle, and to align it.
3. Oblique march in line of battle.
4. To mark time, to march in double quick time, and the back step.
5. To march in retreat in line of battle.
1. To march by the flank.
2. To change direction by file.
3. To halt the company marching by the flank and to face it to the front.
4. The company being in march by the flank, to form it on the right or left by file into line of battle.
5. The company marching by the flank, to form it by company or platoon into line, and cause it to face to the right and left in marching.
1. To break into column by platoon either at a halt, or while marching.
2. To march in column.
3. To change direction.
4. To halt the column.
5. Being in column by platoon, to form to the right or left into line of battle, either at a halt or marching.
1. To break into platoons, and to re-form the company.
2. To break files to the rear, and to cause them to re-enter into line.
3. To march in column in route, and to execute the movements incident thereto.
5. Being in column by platoon, to form on the right or left into line of battle.
4. The company will always be formed in two ranks. The men will take their places in ranks as prescribed in No. 15 Title I, and without any preliminary formation. The instructor will then cause the files to be numbered, and for this purpose will command:
In each rank—Count TWOS.
5. At this command, the men count in each rank, from right to left, pronouncing in a loud and distinct voice, in the same tone, without hurry and without turning the head, one, two, according to the place which each one occupies. He will also cause the company to be divided into platoons and sections, taking care that the first platoon is always composed of an even number of files.
6. The instructor will be as clear and concise as possible in his explanations; he will cause faults of detail to be rectified by the captain, to whom he will indicate them, if the captain should not himself have observed them; and the instructor will not otherwise interfere, unless the captain should not well comprehend, or should badly execute his intentions.
7. Composure, or presence of mind, in him who commands, and in those who obey, being the first means of order in a body of troops, the instructor will labor to habituate the company to this essential quality, and will himself give the example.
To open Ranks.
8. The company being at ordered arms, the ranks and file closers well aligned, when the instructor shall wish to cause the ranks to be opened, he will direct the left guide to place himself on the left of the front-rank, which being executed, he will command:
1. Attention. 2. Company. 3. Shoulder—ARMS. 4. To the rear open order.
9. At the fourth command, the covering sergeant and the left guide will step off smartly to the rear, four paces from the front-rank, in order to mark the alignment of the rear-rank. They will judge this distance by the eye, without counting the steps.
10. The instructor will place himself at the same, time on the right flank, in order to observe if these two non-commissioned officers are on a line parallel to the front-rank, and, if necessary, to correct their positions, which being executed, he will command:
11. At this command, the front-rank will stand fast.
12. The rear-rank will step to the rear, without counting the steps, and will place themselves on the alignment marked for this rank, conforming to what is prescribed in the S. S., No. 330.
13. The covering sergeant will align the rear-rank on the left guide placed to mark the left of this rank.
14. The file closers will march to the rear at the same time with the rear-rank, and will place themselves two paces from this rank when it is aligned.
15. The instructor seeing the rear-rank aligned, will command:
16. At this command, the sergeant on the left of the rear-rank will return to his place as a file closer.
17. The rear-rank being aligned, the instructor will direct the captain and the covering sergeant to observe the men in their respective ranks, and to correct, if necessary, the positions of persons and pieces.
Alignments in Open Ranks.
18. The ranks being open, the instructor will, in the first exercises, align the ranks, man by man, the better to inculcate the principles.
19. To effect this, he will cause two or four men on the right or left of each rank to march two or three paces forward, and, after having aligned them, command:
By file, right (or left)—DRESS.
20. At this, the men of each rank will move up successively on the alignment, each man being preceded by his neighbor in the same rank, toward the basis, by two paces, and, having correctly aligned himself, will cast his eyes to the front.
21. Successive alignments having habituated the soldiers to dress correctly, the instructor will cause the ranks to align themselves at once, forward and backward, sometimes in a direction parallel, and sometimes in one oblique, to the original direction, giving, in each case, two or four men to serve as a basis of alignment to each rank. To effect which, he will command:
1. Right (or left)—DRESS. 2. FRONT.
1. Right (or left) backward—DRESS. 2. FRONT.
22. In oblique alignments, in opened ranks, the men of the rear-rank will not seek to cover their file leaders, as the sole object of the exercise is to teach them to align themselves correctly in their respective ranks, in the different directions.
23. In the several alignments, the captain will superintend the front-rank, and the covering sergeant the rear-rank. For this purpose, they will place themselves on the side by which the ranks are dressed.
24. In oblique alignments, the men will conform the line of their shoulders to the new direction of their rank, and will place themselves on the alignment as has been prescribed in the S. S., No. 326 or No. 330, according as the new direction shall be in front or rear of the original one.
25. At the end of each alignment, the captain and the covering sergeant will pass along the front of the ranks to correct the positions of persons and arms.
Manual of Arms.
26. The ranks being open, the instructor will place himself in a position to see the ranks, and will command the manual of arms in the following order:
|Present arms.||Shoulder arms.|
|Raise arms.||Shoulder arms.|
|Support arms.||Shoulder arms.|
|Fix bayonet.||Shoulder arms.|
|Charge bayonet.||Shoulder arms.|
|Trail arms.||Shoulder arms.|
|Unfix bayonet.||Shoulder arms.|
|Secure arms.||Shoulder arms.|
|Load in nine times.|
27. The instructor will take care that the position of the body, of the feet, and of the piece, be always exact, and that the times be briskly executed and close to the person.
To Close Ranks.
28. The manual of arms being ended, the instructor will command:
1. Close order. 2. MARCH.
29. At the command march, the rear-rank will close up in quick time, each man directing himself on his file leader.
Alignments, and Manual of Arms in Closed Ranks.
30. The ranks being closed, the instructor will cause to be executed parallel and oblique alignments by the right and left, forward and backward, observing to place always two or four files to serve as a basis of alignment. He will give the commands prescribed, No. 21.
31. In alignments in closed ranks, the captain will superintend the front-rank, and the covering sergeant the rear-rank. They will habituate themselves to judge the alignment by the lines of the eyes and shoulders, in casting a glance of the eye along the front and rear of the ranks.
32. The moment the captain perceives the greater number of the front-rank aligned, he will command FRONT, and rectify afterward, if necessary, the alignment of the other men by the means prescribed in the S. S., No. 329. The rear-rank will conform to the alignment of the front-rank, superintended by the covering sergeant.
33. The ranks being steady, the instructor will place himself on the flank to verify their alignment. He will also see that each rear-rank man covers accurately his file leader.
34. In oblique alignments, the instructor will observe what is prescribed, No. 24.
35. In all alignments, the file closers will preserve the distance of two paces from the rear-rank.
36. The alignments being ended, the instructor will cause to be executed the manual of arms.
37. The instructor, wishing to rest the men, without deranging the alignment, will first cause arms to be supported, or ordered, and then command:
38. At this command, the men will no longer be constrained to preserve silence or steadiness of position; but they will always keep one or other heel on the alignment.
39. If, on the contrary, the instructor should wish to rest the men without constraining them to preserve the alignment, he will command:
40. At which command, the men will not be required to preserve immobility, or to remain in their places.
41. The instructor may, also, when he shall judge proper, cause arms to be stacked, which will be executed as prescribed in the S. S.
42. The instructor wishing to pass the second lesson will cause the company to take arms, if stacks have been formed, and command:
1. Attention. 2. Company. 3. Shoulder—ARMS.
43. The instructor will then cause loadings and firings, to be executed in the following order:
To Load in Four Times and at Will.
44. Loading in four times will be commanded and executed as prescribed in the S. S., No. 260, and following. The instructor will cause this exercise to be often repeated, in succession, before passing to loading at will.
45. Loading at will will be commanded and executed as prescribed in the S. S., No. 265. In priming when loading in four times, and also, at will, the captain and covering sergeant will half face to the right with the men, and face to the front when the man next to them, respectively, brings his piece to the shoulder.
46. The instructor will labor to the utmost to cause the men, in the different loadings, to execute what has been prescribed in the S. S., Nos. 266 and 267.
47. Loading at will, being that of battle, and consequently the one with which it is most important to render the men familiar, it will claim preference in the exercises the moment the men are well established in the principles. To these they will be brought by degrees, so that every man may be able to load with cartridges, and to fire at least three rounds in a minute with ease and regularity.
To Fire by Company.
48. The instructor, wishing to cause the fire by company to be executed, will command:
1. Fire by company. 2. Commence firing.
49. At the first command, the captain will promptly place himself opposite the centre of his company, and four paces in rear of the line of file closers: the covering sergeant will retire to that line, and place himself opposite to his interval. This rule is general, for both the captain and covering sergeant, in all the different firings.
50. At the second command, the captain will add: 1. Company. 2. READY. 3. AIM. 4. FIRE. 5. LOAD.
51. At the command load, the men will load their pieces, and then take the position of ready, as prescribed in the School of the Soldier.
52. The captain will immediately recommence the firing, by the commands:
1. Company. 2. AIM. 3. FIRE. 4. LOAD.
53. The firing will be thus continued until the signal to cease firing is sounded.
54. The captain will sometimes cause aim to be taken to the right and left, simply observing to pronounce right (or left) oblique, before the command aim.
The Fire by File.
55. The instructor wishing to cause the fire by file to be executed, will command:
1. Fire by file. 2. Company. 3. READY. 4. Commence firing.
56. The third and fourth commands will be executed as prescribed in the S. S., No. 284 and following.
57. The fire will be commenced by the right file of the company; the next file will take aim at the instant the first brings down pieces to reload, and so on to the left; but this progression will only be observed in the first discharge, after which each man will reload and fire without regulating himself by others, conforming himself to what is prescribed in the S. S., No. 289.
The Fire by Rank.
58. The instructor wishing the fire by rank to be executed, will command:
1. Fire by rank. 2. Company. 3. READY. 4. Rear rank—AIM. 5. FIRE. 6. LOAD.
59. The fifth and sixth commands will be executed as is prescribed in the S. S., No. 294 and following.
60. When the instructor sees one or two pieces in the rear-rank at a ready, he will command:
1. Front rank. 2. Aim. 3. FIRE. 4. LOAD.
61. The firing will be continued thus by alternate ranks, until the signal is given to cease firing.
62. The instructor will sometimes cause aim to be taken to the right and left, conforming to what is prescribed No. 54.
63. The instructor will cause the firing to cease, whether by company, by file, or by rank, by sounding the signal to cease firing, and at the instant this sound commences, the men will cease to fire, conforming to what is prescribed in the S. S., No. 291.
64. The signal to cease firing will be always followed by a bugle note or tap; at which sound, the captain and covering sergeant will promptly resume their places in line, and will rectify, if necessary, the alignment of the ranks.
65. In this school, except when powder is used, the signal to cease firing will be indicated by the command, cease firing, which will be pronounced by the instructor when he wishes the semblance of firing to cease.
66. The command posts will be likewise substituted, under similar circumstances, for the bugle note or tap employed as the signal for the return of the captain and covering sergeant to their places in line, which command will be given when the instructor sees the men have brought their pieces to a shoulder.
67. The fire by file being that which is most frequently used against an enemy, it is highly important that it be rendered perfectly familiar to the troops. The instructor will, therefore, give it almost exclusive preference, and labor to cause the men to aim with care, and always, if possible, at some particular object. As it is of the utmost importance that the men should aim with precision in battle, this principle will be rigidly enforced in the exercises for purposes of instruction.
To Fire by the Rear-Rank.
68. The instructor will cause the several fires to be executed to the rear, that is, by the rear-rank. To effect this, he will command:
1. Face by the rear rank. 2. Company. 3. About—FACE.
69. At the first command, the captain will step out, and place himself sixteen inches from, and facing the right file of his company; the covering sergeant, and file closers, will pass quickly through the captain’s interval, and place them selves faced to the rear, the covering sergeant a pace behind the captain, and the file closers two paces from the front-rank opposite to their places in line, each passing behind the covering sergeant.
70. At the third command, which will be given at the instant the last file closer shall have passed through the interval, the company will face about; the captain will place himself in his interval in the rear-rank, now become the front, and the covering sergeant will cover him in the front-rank, now become the rear.
71. The company having faced by the rear-rank, the instructor will cause it to execute the fire by company, both direct and oblique, the fire by file, and the fire by rank, by the commands and means prescribed in the three preceding articles; the captain, covering sergeant, and the men, will conform themselves, in like manner, to what is therein prescribed.
72. The fire by file will commence on the left of the company, now become the right. In the fire by rank, the firing will commence with the front-rank, now become the rear.
73. To resume the proper front, the instructor will command:
1. Face by the front rank. 2. Company. 3. About—FACE.
74. At the first command, the captain, covering sergeant and file-closers will conform to what is prescribed Nos. 69 and 70.
75. At the third command, the company having faced about, the captain and covering sergeant will resume their places in line.
76. In this lesson, the instructor will impress on the men the importance of aiming always at some particular object, and of holding the pieces as prescribed in the S. S., No. 185.
77. The instructor will recommend to the captain to make a short pause between the commands aim and fire, to give the men time to aim with accuracy.
78. The instructor will place himself in position to see the two ranks, in order to detect faults; he will charge the captain and file closers to be equally watchful, and to report to him when the ranks are at rest. He will remand, for individual instruction, the men who may be observed to load badly.
79. The instructor will recommend to the soldiers, in the firings, the highest degree of composure or presence of mind; he will neglect nothing that may contribute to this end.
80. He will give to the men, as a general principle, to maintain, in the direct fire, the left heel in its place, in order that the alignment of the ranks and files may not be deranged; and he will verify, by examination, after each exercise in firing, the observance of this principle.
81. The instructor will observe, in addition to these remarks, all those which follow.
82. When the firing is executed with cartridges, it is particularly recommended that the men observe, in uncocking, whether smoke escapes from the tube, which is a certain indication that the piece has been discharged; but if, on the contrary, no smoke escapes, the soldier, in such case, instead of reloading, will pick and prime again. If, believing the load to be discharged, the soldier should put a second cartridge in his piece, he ought, at least, to perceive it in ramming, by the height of the load; and he would be very culpable should he put in a third. The instructor will always cause arms to be inspected after firing with cartridges, in order to observe if the fault has been committed, of putting three cartridges without a discharge, in the same piece, in which case the ball screw will be applied.
83. It sometimes happens, when a cap has missed fire, that the tube is found stopped up with a hard, white, and compact powder; in this case, picking will be dispensed with, and a new cap substituted for the old one.
To Advance in Line of Battle.
84. The company being in line of battle and correctly aligned, when the instructor shall wish to exercise it in marching by the front, he will assure himself that the shoulders of the captain and covering sergeant are perfectly in the direction of their respective ranks, and that the sergeant accurately covers the captain; the instructor will then place himself twenty-five or thirty paces in front of them, face to the rear, and place himself exactly on the prolongation of the line passing between their heels.
85. The instructor, being aligned on the directing file, will command:
1. Company, forward.
86. At this, a sergeant, previously designated, will move six paces in advance of the captain: the instructor, from the position prescribed, will correctly align this sergeant on the prolongation of the directing file.
87. This advanced sergeant, who is to be charged with the direction, will, the moment his position is assured, take two points on the ground in the straight line, which would pass between his own and the heels of the instructor.
88. These dispositions being made, the instructor will step aside, and command:
89. At this, the company will step off with life. The directing sergeant will observe, with the greatest precision, the length and cadence of the step, marching on the two points he has chosen; he will take, in succession, and always a little before arriving at the point nearest to him, new points in advance, exactly in the same line with the first two, and at the distance of some fifteen or twenty paces from each other. The captain will march steadily in the trace of the directing sergeant, keeping always six paces from him; the men will each maintain the head direct to the front, feel lightly the elbow of his neighbor on the side of direction, and conform himself to the principles prescribed in the S. S., for the march by the front.
90. The man next to the captain will take special care not to pass him; to this end, he will keep the line of his shoulders a little in the rear, but in the same direction with those of the captain.
91. The file closers will march at the habitual distance of two paces behind the rear-rank.
92. If the men lose the step, the instructor will command:
93. At this command the men will glance toward the directing sergeant, retake the step from him, and again direct their eyes to the front.
94. The instructor will cause the captain and covering sergeant to be posted sometimes on the right, and sometimes on the left of the company.
95. The directing sergeant, in advance, having the greatest influence on the march of the company, he will be selected for the precision of his step, his habit of maintaining his shoulders in a square with a given line of direction, and of prolonging that line without variation.
96. If this sergeant should fail to observe these principles, undulations in the front of the company must necessarily follow; the men will be unable to contract the habit of taking steps equal in length and swiftness, and of maintaining their shoulders in a square with the line of direction – the only means of attaining perfection in the march in line.
97. The instructor, with a view the better to establish the men in the length and cadence of the step, and in the principles of the march in line, will cause the company to advance three or four hundred paces, at once, without halting, if the ground will permit. In the first exercises, he will march the company with open ranks, the better to observe the two ranks.
98. The instructor will see, with care, that all the principles of the march in line are strictly observed; he will generally be on the directing flank, in a position to observe the two ranks, and the faults they may commit; he will sometimes halt behind the directing file during some thirty successive steps, in order to judge whether the directing sergeant, or the directing file, deviate from the perpendicular.
To Halt the Company, Marching in Line of Battle, and to Align it.
99. The instructor, wishing to halt the company, will command:
1. Company. 2. HALT.
100. At the second command, the company will halt; the directing sergeant will remain in advance, unless ordered to return to the line of file closers. The company being at a halt, the instructor may advance the first three or four files on the side of direction, and align the company on that basis, or he may confine himself to causing the alignment to be rectified. In this last case, he will command: Captain, rectify the alignment. The captain will direct the covering sergeant to attend to the rear-rank, when each, glancing his eyes along his rank, will promptly rectify it, conforming to what is prescribed in the S. S., No. 329.
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Transcribed by Scott Gutzke, 2004-2006.
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