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    793. A battle is a general action between two armies; if only a small portion of the forces are engaged, it is usually denominated a combat, an affair, a skirmish, etc., according to the character of the engagement. Battles are of three kinds: 1st. Defensive battles, or those fought in a chosen position by an army which awaits the attack of an enemy. 2d. Offensive battles, or those made by an army which attacks the enemy drawn up in position and awaiting the attack. 3d. The mixed or unforeseen battles, which occur between two armies meeting on the march.

    794. When an army awaits the attack, it takes its position and forms its line of battle according to the nature of the ground, and the supposed character and strength of the enemy's forces. When some important position is to be protected by an army, such as when a siege is to be covered, a capital to be protected, depots of supplies guarded, or some point important to the operations of the campaign is to be held, such battles are usually given.

    795. The first condition to be satisfied by a position is, that the openings shall be more favorable for falling on the enemy when he has approached to the desired point, than those which he can have for attacking our line. Second, the artillery should be so posted as to command all the avenues by which the enemy can approach. Third, we should, if possible, have good ground upon which to manoeuvre our troops unseen by the enemy. Fourth, we should have a full view of the enemy as he advances to the attack. Fifth, the flanks of our line should be well protected by natural or artificial obstacles. Sixth, we should have the means for effecting a retreat in the event of a defeat, without exposing the army to destruction.

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    It is seldom that all these conditions can be satisfied at the same time; sometimes the very means of satisfying one may be in violation of another. A river, a forest, or a mountain, which secures the flank of an army, may become an obstacle to a retreat; again, the position may be difficult of attack in front, or on the wings, and at the same time unfavorable for retreat.

    We may sometimes be obliged to make the attack at all hazards, to prevent the junction of two of the enemy's corps to cut off forces that are separated from the main body by a river, etc. As a general rule, the attacking force has a moral superiority over the defensive, but this advantage is frequently counterbalanced by other conditions.

    796. When we are acting on the offensive, the main thing is to seize upon the decisive point of the field. This point is determined by the configuration of the ground, the position of the contending forces, the object to be attained by the battle; or by a combination of these.

    797. It frequently happens that battles result from the meeting of armies in motion, both parties acting on the offensive. Indeed, an army that is acting on the defensive may, on the approach of the enemy, advance to meet him while on the march. Battles of this kind may partake of the mixed character of offensive and defensive actions, or they may be in the nature of a surprise to both armies.

    798. An order of battle is the particular disposition given to the troops for a determined manoeuvre on the field of battle. A line of battle is the general name applied to troops drawn up in their usual order, without any determined maneouvre; it may apply to defensive positions or to offensive operations, where no particular object has been decided on. Military writers lay down twelve orders of battle, viz. :

    1st. The simple parallel order, in which the two armies occupy parallel lines. This is regarded as the worst possible position for a battle, for the two parties here fight with equal chances, and the combat must continue until accident, superior numbers, or mere physical strength decides the day; skill can have but little influence in such a contest.

    2d. The parallel order with a crotchet, in which one of the wings

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is thrown forward or back, giving the line this form. This order is sometimes used in a defensive position, and in the offensive with the crotchet thrown forward. Wellington, at Waterloo, formed the parallel order with the retired crotchet on the right flank.

    3d. The parallel order reinforced on one or both wings. This order may in certain cases secure the victory, but it has many objections. The weak part of the line is too near the enemy, and may, notwithstanding the efforts of the general to the contrary, become engaged, and run the risk of defeat, thereby counterbalancing the advantages gained by having a strong point. Neither will the reinforced part of the line be able to profit by any success it may gain, and take the enemy's line in flank and rear, without endangering its connection with the rest of the line.

    4th. The parallel order reinforced on the centre. The same objections are applicable to this as to the last.

    5th. The simple oblique order, in which the two lines are oblique to each other.

    6th. The oblique order reinforced on the assailing wing. This is suited to an inferior army attacking a superior, for it enables the general to carry the mass of his force on a single point of the enemy's line, while the weaker wing is out of reach of immediate attack, and holds the remainder of the enemy's line in check by acting as a reserve ready to be concentrated on the favorable point as occasion may require.

    7th. The perpendicular order on one or both wings, in which the attacking force occupies one or more lines perpendicular to the defensive, and on one or both of its flanks. A battle may begin with this order, but soon it must change to the oblique. An attack upon both wings can only be made with safety, when the attacking force is vastly superior.

    8th. The concave order, in which the army occupies a curve concave to tbe enemy; in this order the wings are in advance of the centre. It may be used with advantage in some cases and in particular localities.

    9th. The convex order, in which the army is disposed in a curve convex to the enemy, the centre being thus thrown in advance of

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the wings. This order is sometimes formed to cover a defile, to attack a concave line, or to oppose an attack before or after the passage of a river.

    10th. The order by echelon on one or both wings, in which the army is arranged in echelon from right to left, or from left to right. This order on one wing may be frequently employed with advantage; but if it be made on both wings, there is the same objection to its use as to the perpendicular order on both wings.

    11th. The order by echelon on the centre, in which the centre is in the advance, and the wings are disposed in echelon to the right and left. This order may be employed with success against an army formed in a thin or too extended line of battle, for then it would penetrate and break the line.

    The echelon order possesses many advantages. The several corps composing the army may manoeuvre separately, and, consequently, with greater ease. Each echelon covers the flank of the one which precedes it; and all may be combined to effect a given object, and extended without weakening any part too much.

    12th. The combined orders of attack in columns on the centre and one wing at the same time. This is better suited than either of the others for attacking a strong line.

    799. No general rule can be laid down as to which of these orders of battle should be employed, or whether either should be exclusively followed throughout the battle. The question must be decided by the general himself on the ground, where all the circumstances may be duly considered. An order well suited to one position might be the worst possible in another.

    Whatever the plan adopted by the attacking general, he should endeavor to dislodge the enemy, by piercing or turning his line. If he can conceal his real intentions and deceive the enemy respecting the true point of attack, success will be more certain.

    800. We will now discuss the particular manner of arranging the troops on the line of battle, or the manner of employing each arm, beginning with the infantry, as this is the most important.

Position and formation. - On the field of battle, whether the object be to attack or defend, the infantry is divided into three

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bodies-an advanced-guard, the main body, and a reserve. Their relative proportion will depend upon the total force, and the character of the position occupied. The advanced-guard must be of sufficient strength to hold the enemy in check, but at the same time, the main body, upon which the brunt of the action should fall, must not be left of insufficient force, by unnecessarily increasing the advanced-guard; and the reserve should be strong enough to repair any disaster that may befall the main body; or to profit by its success in accomplishing the complete overthrow of the enemy.

    These three bodies are separated from each other by intervah which will depend upon the nature of the ground. The advanced guard occupying the front; the main body at a distance from 150 to 300 paces in its rear; and the reserve at a like interval in rear of the main body. Where the ground, for example, is undulating, and therefore favorable to masking the troops from the enemy's fire, these intervals may, if requisite, be reduced to 80 or 100 paces.

    The troops composing these three bodies will be formed either in columns of battalions, or be deployed, according to the circumstances under which they may be placed. For an attack, for evolution, or for defence against cavalry, the formations of columns of battalions is best. To repel the enemy's attack by a fire, and in some cases, to present a less favorable mark to his artillery, the battalions are deployed. The battalions, whether deployed or in column, preserve the proper intervals for evolutions; these intervals may be increased in obstructed ground without weakening the defence.

    The battalions composing the main body may be drawn up in one or two lines. The latter usually obtains only when a large force is present. In this case the reserve no longer holds the position of a third line, as in the other; but forms an independent body, to be used according to the emergency, the second line supporting the battalions of the first, and, for this purpose, occupying positions to the rear opposite to their intervals.

    801. Defence. - When the position is taken up to receive the enemy's attack, and there either to remain on the defensive, or to assume the offensive, as circumstances may justify, the advanced.

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guard will be posted on the ground most favorable to hold the enemy in check, and so force him, by disputing it with tenacity, to develop his means and plans. This is best done by a judicious combat of skirmishers, who, for this purpose, are thrown forward 300 or 400 paces to feel the enemy, and are only reinforced when closely pressed.

    Whether the advanced-guard shall maintain its ground obstinately until reinforced by the main body, or whether it shall fall back, either on the flanks or to the rear of the main body, must be determined by the strength of the position. If this be so strong that the enemy's loss in carrying it must be great, then it should be pertinaciously maintained; in the contrary case it must, after a suitable show of resistance, be abandoned.

    As a general rule, troops should be placed as much out of view as practicable, before they go into action, by taking advantage of covers offered by the ground. The main body should be kept masked in this way until it is called to engage the enemy. If it advance to support the advanced-guard, it will usually attack with the bayonet; if the advanced-guard is called in, the main body will usually receive the enemy by its fire; the battalions being deployed for this purpose. If the enemy is staggered by this fire, or, in advancing, shows, by the wavering or confusion of his line, a want of confidence, the fire may be followed up either by a charge of the troops in line, or they may be formed in columns of attack before charging, if the enemy perseveres in his onward movement. A charge by a column, when the enemy is within 50 paces, will prove effective, if resolutely made.

    The reserve is composed of the most reliable troops. It should be distinguished for cool courage; acting under all circumstances, either defensive or offensive, with circumspection and determined resolution.

    As the object of the reserve is to infuse greater energy into the action of the main body, and, if necessary, to strike a last and decisive blow; it should be kept masked from the enemy's fire and view until called into action. The proper moment for engaging the reserve is either when the enemy has been shaken in his attack by

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the resistance offered by the main body, or when the latter is unable farther to resist the enemy's efforts. If engaged too soon, the resistance offered to the reserve may prevent its making a decisive blow; if not engaged in time, the main body may be too far exhausted and disorganized to rally.

    In cases where the reserve forms a second line, to support the main body, it should approach the first line when it becomes engaged, to be ready to replace it when circumstances may render it necessary. The advanced-guard, in such cases, should retire to the rear, to act as a reserve.

    802. Attack - In the attack of infantry, the same fundamental dispositions are made as for the defensive. The advanced-guard will not throw forward its skirmishers until they are near enough to engage the enemy. The line of skirmishers should be strongly supported, and will press the enemy with vigor and without relaxation. If the force engaged be small, the main body will regulate its movements by those of the line of skirmishers; if considerable, the reverse will obtain.

    The main body and reserve follow the advanced-guard in column, preserving the requisite intervals. The columns should take every advantage of the ground to mask their movements; getting rapidly over any where they are much exposed to fire. So soon as the advanced-guard is checked, it will fall back either on the flanks of the columns, or to the rear; and the main body will be immediately brought into action, either by deploying and opening its fire, or by a vigorous charge with the bayonet. If the main body falters in its attack, or gives any signs of want of resolution, the reserve should advance at once through the intervals, and make a vigorous charge with the bayonet.

    If the attack by the main body is made with the bayonet, the interval between it and the columns of the reserve may be lessened to 80 or 100 paces. The flanks of the columns of attack, and the intervals between them, should be occupied by skirmishers. This is an important precaution; as, by forcing the enemy to deliver his fire before the columns have reached within a destructive range, the main obstacle to their onward movement will be removed.

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    803. Pursuit. - If the assailed retires, the pursuit may be conducted with system and in good order. The line nearest the enemy will throw forward a few troops in pursuit; which, in most cases, will be preceded by skirmishers. The line in close order will follow these troops until it attains a good position to receive the enemy, should he make an offensive movement, when it will be halted and formed in readiness for action. A pursuit by infantry alone cannot be pushed far, even should the enemy retire without any order, or show of resistance, as the retreating force will soon distance their pursuers.

    804. Retreat.- When, either in the defensive, or offensive, it becomes necessary to retire, the first point to be attended to is to withdraw the troops engaged; either to a good position to their rear, where they can halt and face the enemy, or else behind the line in their rear, which should hold the assailants in check, and allow the retreating troops to fall back in good order. Having fairly got disengaged, dispositions must be promptly made to withdraw from the field. This may be done by the entire force moving off together, if the enemy shows no disposition to follow up his success with energy; or, in the contrary case, by retiring by successive portions; the line which withdraws falling some 150 paces by the rear of the one by which it is covered, whilst falling back, and then forming, to cover in turn the retreat of the latter.

    The dispositions made in the retreat will depend entirely upon the character of the enemy's pursuit, and the features of the ground. It will usually be made in columns, covered by skirmishers, if the pursuit is made by infantry alone; if by cavalry, the retreat must be made with great circumspection; the troops retiring slowly and in good order, adopting the formation against cavalry; never hastening the march, unless near a good position for defence, which should be attained as rapidly as possible, unless closely pressed by the cavalry.

    If it be necessary to continue the retreat for some marches, under the eye of the enemy, a rear-guard must be formed; selecting from a fourth to a third of the entire force, for this service. The main duty of the rear-guard is to hinder the enemy from pressing too closely on the main body; and it should therefore, under no circum-

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stances, allow itself to be forced back upon the main body. The dispositions adopted by the rear-guard will depend upon the features of the ground; its rear will usually be covered by a line of skirmishers. The rear-guard will keep within good supporting distance of the main body; and, when pressed by the enemy, the latter, whenever a favorable position offers, will halt and form; to cover the former, and force the enemy to greater circumspection.

    805. Measures for protracting an engagement.-In the attack, as in the defence, it may frequently become an object to protract an engagement, without coming to any decisive result; either for the purpose of holding a position for a certain time, to favor other objects, as the arrival of reinforcements; or to occupy an adversary upon one point, whilst a decisive blow is preparing on another. This game can be played only upon ground favorable to alterations from the defensive to the offensive; and should only be intrusted to troops thoroughly conversant with the duties of skirmishers. The main body is kept some two thousand paces to the rear of the skirmishers in such affairs; taking advantage of the ground, and making suitable dispositions of the troops to avoid the effects of the enemy's artillery. Small columns are thrown forward between itself and the troops engaged, which take post in covered ground, to be on hand to support the skirmishers. The troops engaged should be promptly reinforced, when the enemy presses onward; and attempts should be made, by charging him in flank, to force him to retire. The troops in action should be frequently relieved, and the opportunity should be seized, when the fresh troops come up, to make an onward movement on the enemy, and force him from any points he may have gained.

    806. Defence against cavalry.-- When infantry is threatened by cavalry, the proper formation to repel its charge, is that of squares. If but one square is formed, it must rely on its own resources to beat off the enemy; but when there are several they may give mutual support, by bringing a flank fire from one upon a force advancing or either of the two contiguous to it. The safety of infantry against cavalry, will depend upon the preservation of perfect coolness, good order, and connection in the ranks; the avoidance of any precipitate movements which might bring about a surprise; and

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the husbanding of its ammunition, and reservation of its fire until the enemy is within a deadly range. Well-disciplined infantry, whilst in position, and when not exposed to a fire of artillery, may securely trust to its own resources to repulse the best cavalry, so long as it adopts the proper precautions. If annoyed, as sometimes may happen, by the fire of a few horsemen, advanced to draw the fire of the squares, it will be better to throw out some skirmishers, ten or twelve paces from the squares, to keep off such attacks, than to open a fire from the squares.

    807. Defence, etc., against artillery. -- Infantry may take advantage, either of covers presented by the features of the ground, or of occasionally shifting its position, to avoid the fire of artillery. Very slight undulations, obstructions, like the low banks along the borders of ditches, will serve to cover troops, by causing the shot to rise above them. If no covers are at hand, the chances of casualties, when within point-blank range, may be diminished by moving forward, or backward, some fifty paces; if the fire be a ricochet, the position should be shifted some fifty paces to the right or left. The enemy's batteries may be annoyed, and sometimes be forced to change their position, by sending out good marksmen, who advance singly to within some 250 paces of them j when, lying down, they can pick off the officers, men and horses.

    808. Attack of artillery - Whenever it is found necessary to carry a battery by the bayonet, the troops for this duty are divided into two detachments; one of which is charged with capturing the guns, and the other with attacking the supports of the battery.

    The dispositions made by the detachment which moves against the guns will be the usual one of skirmishers; the line surrounding the battery, and opening their fire upon it when within about 250 paces, taking advantage for this purpose of any covers, to screen the men. The supports of the line of skirmishers should be kept well to the rear, to be ready against a flank movement on the line. If this manoeuvre succeeds in drawing the fire of the guns, and any confusion is observed among the men, then a rush must be made immediately upon them with the bayonet.

    The detachment against the supports of the battery will make its

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dispositions according to the kind of troops which compose the supports. If of infantry, the detachment to seize the guns, divided into two portions, will advance either in line or column, as may be best, on the flanks of the line of skirmishers; gradually getting in advance of it, and closing on the flanks of the battery, so as to attack the supports in flank; or else they may keep to the rear of the line of skirmishers, in order to tempt the supports to move forward, and thus mask the fire of their guns. If the supports are of cavalry, the detachment, divided into two columns, will follow the line of skirmishers, in rear of the flanks, to cover it against a charge of cavalry.


    809. Position. - This arm is usually placed in the real' of the infantry, on ground favorable to its manoeuvres, and where it will be masked from fire until the moment arrives to bring it into action; here, if acting on the defensive, the cavalry watches its opportunity to support the other troops, driving back the enemy, by prompt and vigorous charges, when these are hard pressed; or, if on the offensive, biding its time, to rush upon the assailant, and complete his destruction; when his ranks commence to waver, or show signs of disorganization from the assaults of the other arms.

    Formation.-The habitual formation of cavalry for the attack is a line of two ranks, with a reserve or support in rear. The supports are indispensably requisite to guard against those chances of danger to which cavalry is particularly exposed, if attacked in turn, when in a state of partial disorganization, after a successful charge; or when threatened by an offensive movement against its flanks. The supports offer a safeguard against either of these dangers; for, if the front line is brought up by the enemy, after a successful charge, it can retire and rally in rear of the supports; and if the enemy makes a movement against the flanks, the supports, placed behind them and in column, can form and anticipate the enemy's charge. For the foregoing reasons, cavalry should not give way to a headlong pursuit after a successful charge, unless its supports are at hand; and, in cases where a charge is made without supports, a

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portion only should engage in pursuit, the rest being rallied to form a support.

    Cavalry is 8eldom called on to use fire-arms. When on outpost service, or acting on the defensive on ground unfavorable to charging, a portion of the force may be dispersed as flankers, to hold the enemy in check by their fire. In this case their movements are regulated in the same way as other skirmishers.

    810. Defences. -- The defensive qualities of cavalry lie in the offensive. A body of cavalry which waits to receive a charge of cavalry, or is exposed to a fire of infantry, or artillery, must either retire, or be destroyed. This essential quality of cavalry renders its service invaluable in retreats when the enemy pursues with vigor. In such cases it should be held in constant readiness to take advantage of every spot favorable to its action; and by short and energetic charges, force the enemy to move with circumspection.

    811. Attack against infantry. - So long as infantry maintains its position firmly, particularly if the ground is at all unfavorable to the movements of cavalry, the chances are against a successful attack by the latter. Cavalry should therefore wait patiently until a way is prepared for its action, by the fire of artillery on the enemy's infantry; or until the infantry has become crippled and exhausted by being kept in action for some time; or else, watching its opportunity, make a charge whilst the infantry is in motion, so as to surprise it before it can form to receive the attack.

    Cavalry should direct its charge on that point of the enemy's infantry where it will itself be exposed to the least column of fire. If the infantry is in line, the charge should be made on one of its flanks; if in square, on one of the angles of the square; and when several squares are formed, so as to afford mutual support by their fire, selecting the squares on the flanks as most vulnerable, from their position.

    The formation usually recommended for charging against squares, is that of three squadrons in line at double distance; the leading squadron being followed by the others, either directly in its rear; or else the squadrons may be formed in echelon, successively overlapping each other, by about the front of a platoon. The angle of

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the square is charged by each squadron in succession, if the charge of the one preceding it fails; the repulsed squadrons each wheeling to the right or left, on retiring; to leave the way clear for its successor. A fourth squadron in column follows those in line, to surround the square, and make prisoners if it should be broken by the charge.

    To draw the fire of the infantry before charging, a few skilful flankers may be thrown forward, to open a fire on the square. Stratagem may also be tried, by moving along the front of the infantry, at some 400 paces, and then charging, if it is attempted to throwaway its fire at this distance. In an attack where several squares are in line, if one fires to second another it should instantly be changed.

    812. Attack against artillery. - In attacks against artillery, the detachment of cavalry should be divided into three bodies; one fourth of the detachment being charged with carrying the guns; one-half to attack the supports of the battery; and the remaining fourth acting as a reserve, to cover the parties in advance, from an offensive movement against their flanks or rear.

    The party to secure the guns make their attack in dispersed order, and endeavor to gain the flanks of the battery. When the battery has a fair sweep over the ground along which they must advance, they should by manoeuvring and false attacks, try to confuse the artillerists, and draw their fire before making their charge.

    The attack against the support of the battery will be directed in the usual manner, the party manoeuvring to gain their flanks.


    813. Position.-The manner of placing artillery and its employment must be regulated by its relative importance under given circumstances, with respect to the action of other arms. In the defensive, the principal part is usually assigned to the artillery; and the positions taken up by the other arms will, therefore, be subordinate to those of this arm. In offensive movements the reverse generally obtains.

    814. Defence.-In defensive positions the security of the batteries is of the most importance. Unless the batteries are on points which

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BATTLES.    699

are inaccessible to the enemy's cavalry and infantry, they must be placed under the protection of the other troops, and be outflanked by them.

    As in the defensive we should be prepared to receive the enemy on every point, the batteries must be distributed along the entire front of the position occupied, and on those points from which they can obtain a good sweep over the avenues of approach to it; the guns being masked, when the ground favors, from the enemy's view, until the proper moment arrives for opening their fire.

    The distance  the batteries should not be much over 600 paces, so that by their fire they may cover well the ground intervening between them, and afford mutual support; the light guns being placed on the more salient points of the front, from their shorter range and greater facility of manoeuvring; the heavier guns on the more retired points. Guns of various calibre should not be placed in the same battery. A sufficient interval should also be left between batteries of different calibre, to prevent the enemy from judging, by the variations in the effect of the shot, of the weight of metal of the batteries.

    Those positions for batteries should be avoided from which the shot must pass over other troops to attain the enemy. And those should be sought for from which a fire can be maintained until the enemy has approached even within good musket-range of them.

        When the wings of a position are weak, batteries of the heaviest calibre should be placed to secure them.

A sufficient number of pieces-selecting for the object in view horse artillery in preference to any other-should be held in reserve for a moment of need, to be thrown upon a point where the enemy's progress threatens danger, or to be used in covering the retreat.

    The collection of a large number of pieces in a single battery is a dangerous arrangement, particularly at the outset of an engagement. The exposure of so many guns together might present a strong inducement to the enemy to make an effort to carry the battery; a feat the more likely to succeed, as it is difficult either to withdraw the guns or change their position promptly, after their fire is opened; and one which, if successful, might entail a fatal disaster on the assailed, from the loss of so many pieces at once.

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In all defensive dispositions the ammunition should be most carefully husbanded. A fire should not be opened until the enemy is within good range, and, when once opened, be continued with perseverance and coolness up to the last moment in which it can be made effective.

    815. Attack -In the outset of offensive movements, good positions should be selected for the heaviest pieces, from which they can maintain a strong fire on the enemy until the lighter pieces and the columns of attack are brought into action. These positions should be taken on the flanks of the ground occupied by the assailant, or on the centre, if more favorable to the end to be attained. In all cases, wide intervals should be left between the heavy batteries and the other troops, in order that the latter may not suffer from the return fire which the assailed will probably open on the batteries. For the same reason, care should be taken not to place other troops behind the point occupied by a battery, where they could be exposed to the return fire of the assailed; when this cannot be avoided, the troops should be so placed as to be covered by any undulation of the ground, or else be deployed in time to lessen the effects of the shot.

    The artillery which moves with the column of attack, should be divided into several strong batteries, as the object in this case is to produce a decisive impression upon a few points of the enemy's line, by bringing an overwhelming fire to bear upon these points. These batteries should keep near enough to the other troops to be in safety from any attempts of the assailed to capture them. Their usual positions will be on the flanks, and near the heads of the columns of attack; the intervals between the batteries being sufficient for the fire manoeuvres of the other troops, in large bodies. The manoeuvres of these batteries should be made with promptitude, so that no time may be lost for the action of their fire. They should get rapidly over unfavorable ground to good positions for firing, and maintain these as long as possible; detaching, in such cases, a few pieces to accompany the column of attack. In all the movements of the batteries, great care should be taken not to place them so that. they shall in the least impede the operations of the other troops.

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