For more complete information on 19th Century Military Drill, visit the main page.


BACK to The Drill Network

BACK to The Liberty Greys




    758. Captains or commanders of companies fill one of the most important stations in the service, when they are viewed in relation to the direct influence they exercise upon the soldiery; to them attaches the high responsibility of the instruction, good order, efficiency, and discipline of their companies; and no one should be willing to accept the post who is not qualified, or ready to qualify himself, for a faithful discharge of all the duties of the office.

    It is the duty of every captain to make himself familiar with tactics, or at least so much of it as will enable him to command his company properly in every situation; and to become perfectly acquainted with its interior management.

    In the case of a vacancy in the office of captain, or in his absence, the command of the company devolves on the officer next in rank. Captains should require their lieutenants to assist them in the performance of all company duties, the knowledge thus acquired being essential to every company officer.

    In the volunteers and militia, the captain and lieutenant are elected by the company after its organization; the non-commissioned officers are either elected in the same way, or are selected by the captain.

    759. Arms and accoutrements are issued by order of the adjutant-general to volunteer companies after their organization, and to such of the militia as the Governor may deem it proper to arm. Before a volunteer company can receive its arms, the captain must procure

page break


the following certificate from the colonel of the regiment to which the company is attached.

Form of Inspection Return to enable a Volunteer Company to receive Public Arms.

    I) A. B.) commandant of the ___ Regiment of Virginia Militia, do hereby certify) that on the ___ day of ___, I mustered and inspected the (troop of cavalry) company of artillery, company of light infantry or riflemen, as the fact may be,) commanded by Captain _____, (attached to or belonging to, as the fact may be,) the said regiment; at which muster and inspection there were of the said company ___ men, fully and completely uniformed, in the mode prescribed by law.

    Given under my hand this ___ day of ____, 18__.1

    760. The militia laws of many of the States permit volunteer companies to choose their own uniforms; all experience proves that the plainest and simplest uniform is the best for service. It is a mistake to suppose that handsome and expensive uniforms are to be preferred; the best uniform is that which combines comfort, appropriateness, and durability.

    Plain and substantial overcoats with capes should always form a part of the uniform; and some simple fatigue dress, to be worn when off duty, or on fatigue, will always be found to be a great saving to the uniform.

    Each man of the company should be provided with a knapsack for his clothing, a haversack for his rations, and one or two thick blankets. In addition, there should be one bedsack for every two men, to be made of substantial linen or cotton goods; it should be made about six and a half feet long, by three and a half feet wide. sewed up at both ends, and having a slit in the centre, provided with strings to tie it close, so as to prevent the straw working out, The haversack is made of white linen or cotton duck; it is wore from the right shoulder to the left side; it should be large enough

1 This is the Virginia, form; each State has its own form.

page break


to contain at least three days' rations of bread and meat,and would be much improved by having a small tin box in it large enough to contain the meat ration. Fig. 171 is a representation of the haversack. The company should at all times be supplied with tents, etc.,

Figure 171

for service in the field; together with the requisite number of camp kettles, tin table furniture, ctc.

    761. There are several forms of' tents-the common tent, covering an area of about seven feet square, and capable of' accommodating from five to six men; the wall tent, usually used by officers, about nine feet squarc, and having its roof' protected by a second piece of canvas, known as the "fly;" the Sibley tent, which is conical in shape, has but a single central pole, with an arrangement at the top to admit of a fire in the centre for cooking purposes, or for comfort

page break

in cold weather, and sufficiently large to accommodate from twelve to fifteen men; and the shelter tent of the French. The Sibley tent is in general use in the U. S. service. Fig. 172 is a representation

Figure 172

of the Sibley tent, and Fig. 173 of the shelter tent. The latter is 1D valuable in a summer campaign, when transportation is limited.

Figure 173

A new invention has been lately introduced into the U. S. service, which promises to be very useful; it is called the tent knapsack, and serves the purpose of a knapsack on the march, and a shelter tent when in camp. It is a piece of gutta-percha, five feet

page break


three inches long, and three feet eight inches wide, with double edges on one side, and brass studs and button holes along two edges,
Figure 174

and straps and buckles on the fourth; with two sticks, three feet eight inches long, by one and a half inches in diameter, and a small cord. When used as a knapsack, the clothing is packed in a cotton bag, aml the gutta-percha sheet is folded around it, lapping at the ends. The clothing is thus protected by two or three thicknesses of gutta-percha; the knapsack adapts itself to the size of the contents, so that a compact and portable bundle can be madde, whether the the “kit" be entire or not; and with the cotton bag, it forms a convenient, commodious, and desirable receptacle for all a soldier's clothing and necessaries, (Fig. 175.)

    The studs and eyelets along two edges of the tent, knapsack are for the purpose of fastening a number of them together, and thus making a large sheet which may be used as a shelter tent. When used the sheet is to be stretched on a cord supported by two sticks, or by two rilles, muskets, or carbines, and pinned down at the sides with small pins. The sheet of four knapsacks is ten feet six inches long, and seven fcet four inches wide, and when pitched on a rope four feet four inches above the ground, covers a horizontal space of six feet six inches wide, and seven feet four inches long, which will accommodate from five to seven men (see Fig. 173). Or four of these knapsacks may be united, an edge pinned to the ground, and the opposite one secured to a pole facing a fire, forming a half-faced camp, as is shown in Fig. 175.

    762. Every man should be provided with the following articles at all times, such as are not on the person to be kept in the knapsack:

page break


Figure 175

    Two woollen under-shirts.

    Two pair thick cotton drawers.

    Four pair woollen socks.

    Two pair stout shoes, with broad, thick soles, for footmen.

    Onc pair boots, and one pair shoes for horsemen.

    Towels, handkerchiefs, comb and brush, and tooth-brush. Stout linen thread, large needles, a bit of wax, a few buttons, paper of pins, and a thimble, all contained in a small buckskin or stout cloth-bag.

    In addition every man should be supplied with a tin plate; quart cup with the handle well riveted on, so as to serve tIle soldier for making his coffee, etc., in case of necessity, as well as for an ordinary drinking cup; knife, fork, and spoon. The plate may be carried in the knapsack, Figure 176 or on the outside of it under the straps, or all. the plates of the company may be packed in the camp-kettles; the cup may be carried on the waist belt, or on the knapsack strap and the knife, fork, and spoon should be carried in a leathern sheath which slips on to the waist belt, to be worn in front, and on the left of the centre of the body.

    Fig. 176 shows the manner of arranging the sheath.

    Every company should be provided with a small chest petitioned

page break

off into several compartments, and large enough to contain a week or ten days' issue of the small rations, such as beans, rice, coffee, sugar, salt, etc, The issues of bread, pork, etc., should be transported in the original packages,

    When a militia company is called into service, the captain should, at the earliest possible moment, have it properly uniformed and equipped, and taught how to take care of its arms, clothing, etc. ; each man should be provided with his knapsack, haversack, blanket, knife,and fork, spoon, tin plate, and cup.

    Canteens are also necessary in most cases; they are worn, over the haversack.

    763, The captain should cause the men of his company to be numbered in a regular series, including the non-commissioned officers, and divided into several squads, each to be put under the charge of a non-commissioned officer. As far as practicable, the men of each squad are quartered together.

    Each of the lieutenants is charged with a squad for the supervision of its order and cleanliness; and captains should require their subalterns to assist them in the performance of all company duties The utmost attention should be paid by captains to the cleanliness of their men, as to their persons, clothing, arms, accoutrements, and equipments, and also as to their quarters or tents.

    The name of' each soldier should be labelled on his bunk in quarters, and his compsny number should be placed against his arms and accoutrements.

    The arms are placed in arm-racks, the stoppers in the muzzles, the cocks let down, and the bayonets in their scabbards, the accoutrements suspended over the arms, and the swords or sabres, when these are worn, hung up by the belts on pegs.

    The knapsack of each man should be placed at the foot of  his bunk when he is in quarters, packed with his effects, and ready to be slung, the overcoat rolled, strapped, and placed under the knapsack; the cap on a shelf, and his boots well cleaned. Dirty clothes should be kept in an appropriate part of the knapsack;  nothing to be put under the bedding .

    Cooking utensils and table furniture should be clean, and in

page break


their appropriate places; blacking and brushes out of sight; the fuel in boxes.

    The cleaning up should take place at least once a week. 'The chiefs of squads should cause bunks and bedding to be overhauled, floors cleaned, and arms, accoutrements, etc., all put in order.

    Non-commissioned officers, in charge of squads, should be held immediately responsible that their men observe what is prescribed above; that they wash their hands and faces daily; that they brush or comb their heads and beards; that those who go on duty put their arms, accoutrements, dress, etc., in the best order .

    Commanders of companies should see that the arms and accoutrements in possession of the men are always kept in good order, and that proper care is taken in cleaning them.

    Arms should not be taken to pieces without permission of an officer. Bright barrels should be kept clean and free from rust without polishing them; care should be taken not to bruise or bend the barrel. After firing, wash out the bore, wipe it dry, and then pass a bit of cloth, slightly greased, to the bottom. In these operations, a rod of wood with a loop on one end is to be used instead of the rammer. The barrel, when not in use, should be closed with a stopper. For exercise, each man should keep himself provided with a piece of sole leather to fit the cap or countersink of the hammer, to prevent breaking the nipple.

    All field pieces in the possession of artillery companies should be kept clean and dry; their vents frequently examined to see that they are clear; the elevating screw wiped clean, worked and oiled. When tarpaulins are placed over them, they should occasionally be removed, the guns and carriages brushed off, and, if damp, allowed to dry.

    The implements should all be kept clean and under cover, the harness and leather articles should be brushed and greased with neat's foot oil as often as their condition requires it, and if they have a reddish hue, mix a little lampblack with the oil. First brush the leather, then pass over it a sponge wet with warm water, and apply the oil before the leather is quite dry.

    Arms should not be left loaded in armories, quarters, or tents, or

page break


when the men are off duty, except by special orders. The ammunition in the possession of the men should be inspected frequently, and any damaged, wasted, or lost by neglect, should be paid for.

    Knapsacks should be black; they should be marked on the outside with the number of the regiment, and on the inside with the letter of the company, and the number of the soldier, on such part as will readily be seen at inspections.

    Haversacks should be marked on the flap with the number and name of the regiment, the letter of the company, and the number of the soldier.

    Both officers and men should wear the prescribed uniform in camp or garrison.

    In camp or quarters, the officers should visit the kitchen daily and inspect the kettles, food, etc., and at all times carefully attend to the messing and economy of their companies.

    The company rations are usually taken charge of by the orderly sergeant, and issued daily to the cooks by whom they are prepared and served to the company. The men of the company serve in turn as cooks, two being the usual number serving at once. When in camp, the men present themselves at meal times to the cooks, who issue to each man in turn his proper allowance; in garrison, or quarters the tables are set out, and the cooks place each man's ration on his plate, and in his cup, before the company is marched in.

    When not actually in the field the ration is in most cases more than sufficient, so that by care on the part of the orderly sergeant and cooks, there is more or less saved on the rations of the company; this saving is sold for the benefit of the company, and constitutes what is denominated the Company Fund.


    764. The duties in camp and garrison are to be conducted, as far as practicable, in the same manner and on the same principles.

    The Reveille is the signal for the men to rise, and the sentinels to leave off challenging. It is usually sounded at dawn of day, except when the troops are on the march, when the signal may be sounded at a much earlier hour. The men form on their company

page break


parade grounds, and as soon as the reveille ceases the rolls are called by the orderly sergeants, superintended by a commissioned officer.

    Immediately after the roll call (after stable duty in the cavalry and light artillery), the tents or quarters should be put in order by the men of the companies, superintended by chiefs of squads; the parades, streets of the camp, etc., are cleaned by the police police of the day, in charge of a non-commissioned officer, and superintended by the officer of the day, and the guard house or guard ten by the guard or the prisoners, if there are any.

    Breakast call is sounded at ___o'clock in the morning, and is the signal for breakfast.

    The Troop sounds at ___ 0' clock in the morning for the purpose of assembling the men for duty, inspection at guard-mounting, an morning dress parade, when the commanding officer commands it.

    The Surgeon's call is to sound or beat at ___ o'clock in the morning, when the sick, able to go about, are conducted to the hospital by the first sergeants of companies, who hand to the surgeon a list of all the sick in the company.

    After the surgeon has passed upon the sick, the first sergeants proceed to make off the morning reports of their companies, which after being signed by their captains, are taken to regimental headquarters at first sergeant's call.

    The morning report of the company is made off in a book kept for that purpose, called the morning report book, and in accordance with Form No. 1. The rulings extend across both pages of the book when open; the report occupies but a single line each morning, so that if the number of lines are sufficient, a single heading will suffice for the reports of an entire month.

    The Dinner call is sounded at ___ o'clock, and is the signal for dinner.

    The Retreat is sounded at sunset, when there is a roll-call and the orders for the day are read. When the weather permits, there is a dress parade at retreat, and the orders are read out at the close of it. Each regiment or battalion has an independent parade, commanded by the colonel.

    The Tattoo is sounded at ___ o'clock in the evening, when the

page break


rolls are called; no soldier is allowed to be out of his tent or quarters after this hour, without special permission.

    In the cavalry, stable-calls are sounded immediately after reveille, and an hour and a half before retreat; stable-calls at the hours directed by the commanding officer.

    The Drummers' call is beaten by the drums of the police guard five minutes before the time of beating the stated calls, when the field music assembles before the colors of their respective regiments, and as soon as the beat begins on the right is taken up along the line.

    Calls for drills are sounded at such hours as the commanding officer may designate.

    765. Daily duties must be announced in order, and the officers to perform them are detailed according to the rules of the roster.

    The number and rank of the officers for daily duty, are to be regulated by the strength and circumstances of the camp or garrison; the officers detailed for duty, should remain in or about the camp or garrison during their tours of duty.

    Besides the officers detailed for guard duty, the officers for daily duties in large commands are as follows:

    A General officer of the clay for each division; a field officer of the day for each brigade; and a regimental officer of the day for each regiment.

    In camps or garrisons of one regiment or less, the officers are as follows: officer of the day, and officer of the guard.

    The General of the day is to superintend the regularity and discipline of the camp of the division, visit the guards and outposts, call out and inspect the guards as often and at such times as he thinks proper; to receive all reports of guards, and make immediate communication of any extraordinary circumstances, to his commanding officer, or to the General-in-chief.

    The Field officer of the day has the immediate superintendence of the camp of the brigade; he is to be present at the mounting and dismounting of the brigade or grand guards; he is to call them out to inspect them; to order such patrols, posts, and outposts as may be necessary; to see that the grand guard is vigilant, that none are absent, and that their arms and accoutrements are in order; that the officers and non-commissioned officers are acquainted with their

page break


duty, and that the sentries are properly posted, and have received proper orders.

    The Regimental officer of the day in each regiment, and in commands less than a regiment, is charged with the order and cleanliness of the camp or garrison; he has the calls beaten by the drummer of the police guard; he attends the parading of the guards, and orders the roll to be called frequently and at unexpected periods, and report everything extraordinary to the commander of the garrison or camp; he is to visit the hospital at various hours and make a report of its state to the commanding officer.  He should satisfy himself frequently during the night, of the vigilance of the police guard, and prescribe patrols and rounds to be made by the officer of the guard. He should give attention to the condition of the sinks, the regulation of the camp fires, the removal of rubbish, etc,; and for these purposes a fatigue party will be furnished him when necessary.


Camp of Infantry.

    766. Each company has its tents in two files, facing on a street perpendicular to the color line. The width of the street depends on the front of the camp, but should not be less than five paces. The interval between the ranks of tents is two paces; between the files of tents of adjacent companies, two paces; between regiments, twenty-two paces.

    The color line is ten paces in front of the front rank of tents.

    The kitchens are twenty paces behind the rear rank of company tents; the non-commissioned staff and sutler, twenty paces in rear of the kitchens; the company officers, twenty paces farther in rear; and the field and staff, twenty paces in rear of the company officers.

    The company officers arc in rear of their respective companies; the captains on the right.

    The colonel and lieutenant-colonel are near the centre of the line of field and staff; the adjutant, a major and surgeon, on the right; the quartermaster, a major, and assistant surgeon, on the left.

    The police guard is at the centre of the line of the non-commissioned staff, the tents facing to the front, the stacks of arms on the left.

page break


    The advanced post of the police guard is about 200 paces in front of the color line, and opposite the centre of the regiment or on the best ground; the prisoners' tent about four paces in rear. In a regiment of the second line, the advanced post of the police guard is 200 paces in rear of the line of its field and staff.

    The horses of the staff officers and of the baggage train are twenty-five paces in rear of the tents of the field and staff; the wagons are parked on the same line, and the men of the train camped near them.

    The sinks of the men are 150 paces in front of the color line; those of the officers 100 paces in rear of the train. Both are concealed by bushes. When convenient, the sinks of the men may be placed in rear or on a flank. A portion of the earth dug out for sinks to be thrown back occasionally.

    The front of the camp of a regiment of 1000 men in two ranks will be 400 paces, or. one-fifth less paces than the number of files, if the camp is to have the same front as the troops in order of battle. But the front may be reduced to 190 paces by narrowing the company streets to five paces; and if it be desirable to reduce the front still more, the tents of companies may be pitched in single file; those of a division facing on the same street.

Camp of Cavalry.

    767. In the cavalry, each company has one file of tents - the tents opening on the street facing the left of the camp.

    The horses of each company are placed in a single file, facing the opening of the tents, and are fastened to pickets planted firmly in the ground, from three to six paces from the tents of the troops.

    The interval between the file of tents should be such that, the regiment being broken into column of companies [as indicated in plate], each company should be on the extension of the line on which the horses are to be picketed.

    The streets separating the squadrons are wider than those between the companies by the interval separating squadrons in line; these intervals are kept free from any obstruction throughout the camp.

page break


Infantry camp

page break


Cavalry camp

page break


    The horses of the rear rank are placed on the left of those of their file-leaders.

    The horses of the lieutenants are placed on the right of their platoons; those of the captains on the right of the company.

    Each horse occupies a space of about two paces. The number of horses in the company fixes the depth of the camp, and the distance between the files of tents; the forage is placed between the tents.

    The kitchens are twenty paces in front of each file of tents.

    The non-commissioned officers are in the tents of the front rank Camp-followers, teamsters, etc., are in the rear rank. The police guard in the rear rank, near the centre of the regiment.

    The tents of the lieutenants are thirty paces in rear of the file of their company; the tents of the captains thirty paces in rear of the lieutenants.

    The colonel's tent thirty paces in rear of the captains, near the centre of the regiment; the lieutenant-colonel on his right; the adjutant on his left; the majors on the same line, opposite the second company on the right and left; the surgeon on the left of  the adjutant.

    The field and staff have their horses on the left of their tents, on the same line with the company horses; sick horses are placed in one line on the right or left of the camp. The men who attend them have a separate file of tents; the forges and wagons in rear of this file. The horses of the train and of camp-followers are in one or more files extending to the rear, behind the right or left squadron. The advanced post of the police guard is 200 paces in front, opposite the centre of the regiment; the horses in one or more files.

    The sinks for the men are 150 paces in front - those for officers 100 paces in rear of the camp.

Camp of Artillery.

    768. The artillery is encamped near the troops to which it is attached, so as to be protected from attack, and to contribute to the defence of the camp. Sentinels for the park are furnished by the artillery, and, when necessary, by the other troops.

    For a battery of six pieces the tents are in three files - one for

page break


each section; distance between the ranks of tents fifteen paces; tents opening to the front. The horses of each section are picketed in the file, ten paces to the left of the file of tents. In the horse artillery, or if the number of horses makes it necessary, the horses are in two files on the right and left of the file of tents. The kitchens are twenty-five paces in front of the front rank of tents. The tents of the officers are in the outside files of company tents, twenty paces in rear of the rear rank-the captain on the right, the lieutenants on the left.

    The park is opposite the centre of the camp, forty paces in rear of the officers' tents. The carriages in files four paces apart; distance between ranks of carriages sufficient for the horses when harnessed to them; the park guard is twenty-five paces in rear of the parK. The sinks for the men 150 paces in front; for the officers 100 paces in rear. The harness is in the tents of the men.


    769. A regiment of cavalry being in order of battle, in rear of the ground to be occupied, the colonel breaks it by platoons to the right. The horses of' each platoon are placed in a single row, and fastened as prescribed for camps; near the enemy, they remain saddled all night, with slackened girths. The arms are at first stacked in rear of each row of horses; the sabres, with the bridles hung on them, are placed against the stacks.

    The forage is placed on the right of each row of horses. Two stable-guards for each platoon watch the horses.

    A fire for each platoon is made near the color line, twenty paces to the left of the row of horses. A shelter is made for the men around the fire, if possible, and each man then stands his arms and bridle against the shelter.

    The fires and shelter for the officers are placed in rear of the line of those for the men.

    The interval between the squadrons must be without obstruction throughout the whole depth of the bivouac.

    The interval between the shelters should be such that the p1atoons can take up a line of battle freely to the front or rear.

page break


    The distance from the enemy decides the manner in which the horses are to be fed and led to water. When it is permitted to unsaddle, the sadd1es are placed in the rear of the horses.

    In infantry, the fires are made in rear of the color linc, on the ground that would be occupied by the tents in camp. The companies are placed around them, and, if possible, construct shelters. When liable to surprise, the infantry should stand to arms at daybreak, and the cavalry mount until the return of the reconnoitering parties. If the arms are to be taken apart to clean, it must be done by detachments, successively.


    770. The cavalry should be placed under shelter whenever the distance from the enemy, and from the ground where the troops are to form for battle, permit it. Taverns and farm-houses, with large stables and free access, are selected for quartering them.

    The colonel indicates the place of assembling in case of alarm.

    It should generally be outside the cantonment; the egress from it should be free; the retreat upon the other positions secure, and roads leading to it on the side of the enemy obstructed.

    The necessary orders being given, as in establishing a camp, the picket and grand guards are posted. A sentinel may be placed on a steeple or high house, and then the troops are marched to the quarters. The men sleep in the stables, if it is thought necessary.

    The above applies in the main to infantry. Near the enemy, companies or platoons should be collected, as much as possible, in the same houses. If companies must be separated, they should be divided by platoons or squads. All take arms at daybreak.

    When cavalry and infantry canton together, the latter furnish the guards by night, and the former by day.

    Troops cantoned in presence of the enemy should be covered by advanced guards and natural or artificial obstacles. Cantonments taken during a cessation of hostilities should be established in rear of a line of defence, and in front of the point on which the troops would concentrate to receive an attack. The general commanding-in-chief assigns the limits of their cantonments to the divisions, the

page break


commanders of divisions to brigades, and the commanders of brigades post their regiments. The position for each corps in case of attack is carefully pointed out by the generals.


    771. For marching, the force, if a large one, is divided into as many columns as circumstances permit, without weakening anyone too much. The object of the movement and the nature of the ground determine the order of march, the kind of troops in each column, and the number of columns. They ought to preserve their communications, and be within supporting distance of each other. The commander of each column ought to know the strength and direction of the others.

    The advance and rear-guards are usually light troops; their strength and composition depend on the nature of the ground and the position of the enemy. They serve to cover the movements of the army, and to hold the enemy in check until the general has time to make his arrangements.

    The "general" sounded one hour before the time of marching, is the signal to strike tents, to load the wagons, pack horses, etc., and send them to the place of assembling. The fires are then put out, and care taken to avoid burning straw, etc., or giving the enemy any other indication of the movements.

    The "march" beats in the infantry, and the "advance" is sounded in the cavalry, in succession, as each is to take its place in the column. The infantry forms in column of companies or platoons; the cavalry in column of twos, fours, or of platoons; and the artillery by sections.

    When the army should form suddenly to meet the enemy, the "long-roll" is beat, and "to horse" sounded. The troops form rapidly in front of their camp.

    Batteries of artillery and their caissons move with the corps to which they are attached; the field train and ambulances march at the rear of the column; and the baggage with the rear-guard.

    Cavalry and infantry do not march together, unless the proximity of the enemy makes it necessary.

page break


    In cavalry marches, when distant from the enemy, each regiment, and, if possible, each squadron, forms a separate column, in order to keep up the same gait from front to rear, and to trot, when desirable, on good ground. In such cases, the cavalry may leave camp later, and can give more rest to the horses, and more attention to the shoeing and harness .

    After the march has commenced, the troops habitually take the route step. The men should not be allowed to straggle, or leave the ranks for any but a necessary purpose, and then but for a few moments at a time.

    The general and field officers frequently stop, or send officers to the rear, to see that the troops march in the prescribed order, and keep their distances.

    In approaching a defile, the colonels are warned; they close their regiments as they come up; each regiment~passes separately, at an accelerated pace, and in as close order as possible. The leading regiment having passed, and left room enough for the whole column in close order, halts, and moves again as soon as the last regiment is through. In the cavalry, each squadron, before quickening the pace to rejoin the column, takes its original order of march.

    When a march is to be continued from day to day, the daily march should commence at a very early hour; the rate of going i3hould be as regular as possible, not more than two and a half miles an hour; and the guides should be careful to preserve their distance, so as to prevent oscillations in the rear of the column, which are very fatiguing to the men. At the expiration of every hour, or a little more, the halt is sounded, when the men are allowed to take their ease for about ten minutes, when the march is resumed. In this way a day's march of twenty miles or more may be made by mid-day, or a little later: the men get their dinners after getting into camp, have the afternoon to rest, wash their clothing, clean their arms, etc., and are fresh for an early start on the following day.

    In forced marches, or where the march is a long one, the halt at noon may be from an hour to an hour and a half, when the men may loosen their belts, take a lunch, smoke, and take their ease in any way  

page break


they choose, until the hour for resuming the march; the march may be continued until the middle of the afternoon, and still the men will have time to get their cup of hot coffee for supper, and make themselves comfortable for the night. The march of the first two days shonld be short, after that it may be increased to the required number of miles; the march from day to day should be as nearly of equal length as the convenience of fuel and water, etc., for camping purposes will admit.

    772. A camping party, headed by the quartermaster of the command, precedes the column for the purpose of selecting and marklng off the camp before the arrival of the troops. The camp is marked by placing camp-colors on the line intended for the color line of the command.

    When the column reaches the camp-ground, the infantry comes into line on the color line; the cavalry in rear of its camp.

    The number of men to be furnished for guards, pickets, and orderlies; the fatigue parties to be sent for wood and water for the cooks, etc.; the hour of marching, etc., are thcn announced by the brigadier-generals to the colonels, and by them to the field officer,the adjutant and captains formed in front of the regiment, the first sergeants taking post behind their captains. The adjutant then makes the details, and the first sergeants warn the men. The regimental officer of the day forms the picket, and sends the guards to their posts. The colors are then planted at the centre of the color line, and the arms are stacked on the line. The fatigue parties proceed to their duties, and the men of the company not on detail pitch the tents.

    In the cavalry, each troop moves a little in rear of the point at which its horses are to be secured, and forms in one rank; the men then dismount; a detail is made to hold the horses; the rest stack their arms and fix the picket rope; after the horses are attended to, the tents are pitched, and each horseman places his arms at the side from the weather.

    Artillery is brought into line, and the picket ropes fixed; the drivers unhitch, take off harness, secure their horses to the picket ropes, etc., while the cannoneers proceed to pitch the tents.

For more complete information on 19th Century Military Drill, visit the main page.


BACK to The Drill Network

BACK to The Liberty Greys