INSTRUCTION FOR LIGHT INFANTRY AND RIFLE, OR
“Infantry Tactics; In Three Volumes” by Brevet Major General
Winfield Scott, 1835.
1556. By the general term skirmishers, will herein
be understood any company or body of infantry, whether denominated grenadiers, light infantry, rifle, or battalion companies,
thrown out and actually deployed into open files or loose order. [versus standing in ranks, shoulder to shoulder, in close order; ed.]
1557. The term will only be applied to the companies whilst so extended. The moment that either shall be re-assembled or re-formed into closed files, it will take its habitual
denomination of grenadiers, light infantry, rifle, first company, &c; or, in the case of an isolated battalion company,
the simple denomination of company. From the same moment, the company or companies,
will again be subjected to all the rules and principles prescribed for the government of one or more companies in… [close
1558. The service of skirmishers will habitually be performed by the left flank companies
of battalions, (light infantry, and rifle) but as the number of such companies may frequently be insufficient, the entire
battalion will be equally instructed in this supplement.
1559. Skirmishers will be thrown out to clear the way for, and to cover the movements of,
the main corps to which they appertain; accordingly, they may be thrown out to the front, to a flank, to the rear, or in the
several directions, as may be deemed necessary.
1560. They will render their movements subordinate to those of the main corps, so as constantly
to cover it in the direction they were thrown.
1561. The movements of a body of skirmishers, though made in loose files,
require to be systematized, in order to give their commander the means of directing them according to his views, and with
the greatest promptitude.
1562. Nevertheless, it will not be expected that those movements should be made with the
same harmony (ensemble) in all their bearings as if made by closed ranks and files; because, to attain that accuracy, would
diminish what is more important in a body of skirmishers- rapidity of execution.
1563. Every body of skirmishers will always have a reserve, the strength and composition
of which will vary according to circumstances.
1564. If the body thrown out to skirmish, be within sustaining distance of the main corps,
it will be sufficient for each company to have, in its rear, a small reserve, generally a third of its strength, destined
to reinforce the line of skirmishers, and the serve them as a rallying point.
1565. If the main corps be at too great a distance, another reserve will be necessary, composed
of an entire company, or it may be of companies, destined to sustain and reinforce such parts of the line of skirmishers as
may be hotly attacked. This reserve ought to be strong enough to relieve at least
a half the companies deployed as skirmishers.
1566. Reserves ought to be placed behind the centres of the lines of skirmishers- company
reserves at about a hundred and forty, and the principal reserve, at about three hundred and seventy paces. This rule, however, will not be invariable: the commander, always holding his reserve within sustaining
distance, will next take care to profit by any accident the ground may present, (such as trees, houses fences, hollows,) to
put it under cover from the fire of the enemy.
1567. The movements of skirmishers will generally
be made in quick time; but in circumstances which demand a greater rapidity, double quick time, and even the run will be employed.
1568. In this instruction, the double quick march will be at the rate of one hundred and
forty steps in the minute: the rate of the run cannot be equally determined. This
extreme swiftness will be reserved for cases of absolute necessity, in order not uselessly to fatigue the men, and to preserve
their strength for circumstances in which success may principally depend on rapidity of movement.
1569. In all the movements, skirmishers (that is, men in open files) will carry their muskets
in the manner which may be most convenient to each skirmisher, taking care to avoid accidents.
1570. The movements of skirmishers will be executed, as far as possible, by the voice of
the commander; but when the line shall be too extended for his voice to be heard, he will substitute the sounds of the bugle
or beats of the drum, which will be indicated at the end of this instruction.
1571. Other conventional sign may, for particular cases, be adopted to express the same
commands: as the sword held at arms length above the head, to the right, left, front, or rear, without, or with the cap in
the other hand; without, or with a kerchief attached to the point of the sword.
1572. Officers, and in case of need, sergeants, will cause each command to be executed as
soon as it shall be heard or seen; but when announced by means of the bugle or drum, to avoid mistake, they will wait till
the signal is ended, and then commence the movement.
1574. In the first four articles it is supposed that the movements are executed by a company,
deployed as skirmishers, on a front equal to that of the battalion in the order in battle.
In the fifth article, it is supposed that each company of the battalion, being deployed as skirmishers, occupies a
front of one hundred paces. From the two examples, rules may be deduced for all
cases, whatever may be the numerical strength of the skirmishers, and the extent of ground they ought to occupy.
1575. A company may be deployed, as skirmishers, in two ways: forward, and by the flank.
1576. The deployment forward, will be adopted when the company is behind the line on which
it is to be established as skirmishers; it will deploy by the flank, when it finds itself already on that line.
1578. [edited] The company in two ranks, will
be divided into three platoons; the right and left, denominated, respectively, first and second platoons, will form the line
of skirmishers; the centre platoon [to act as] the reserve.
1579. A company may be deployed, as skirmishers, on its left, on its right, or on its centre
file: in this manner, the skirmishers may be thrown out upon the line that they are to occupy with the greatest promptitude.
1580. A line of skirmishers ought, as far as possible, to be aligned; but to obtain this
regularity, advantages which the ground may present for covering the men, ought not to be neglected.
1581. The intervals between files of skirmishers depend on the extent of ground to be covered;
but the fire will be too much scattered if the intervals exceed ten, or, at most, fifteen paces.
1582. The front to be occupied to cover a battalion, comprehends the front of the battalion,
and half of each interval on the right and left of the battalion.
1st. To deploy, forward.
A company being at a halt, when the captain shall wish to deploy it forward on the left file, he will indicate to the left
guide the point towards which he will direct himself, he will command"
Deploy as skirmishers. 2. On the left file, at ten (or ___) paces, take intervals. 3. Quick (or double quick)- MARCH.
1584. At the first command, the first and second lieutenants will throw themselves respectively
on the right and left flanks of the company, the third sergeant will throw himself two paces before the centre of the company,
and place himself, as soon as the movement may permit, in the front rank between the two deploying platoons; the officer next
in rank after the second lieutenant, say the third lieutenant, placing himself two paces behind the centre of the file closers,
will inform the reserve platoon that he takes command of it, and caution it to stand fast.
1585. At the command march, the first and second platoons will put themselves in movement;
[notwithstanding the interval left by the center platoon constituting the reserve] the left file, conducted by the left guide,
will direct its march towards the indicated point; the other files, throwing forward the left shoulder, will advance in double
quick time, or in a run, (according as the order may have indicated quick or double quick march) diagonally to the front and
the right, in order to gain to the right the distance of ten paces, which ought to separate each file from that next on its
left; when the second file, counting from the left, shall arrive abreast with the first, it will conform itself to the direction
of the latter, take the quick step, hold itself steadily at ten paces from the first, and on the same alignment; the third
file, and all the others towards the right, as they successively arrive on the alignment, will conform themselves to what
has just been prescribed for the second; the right guide will arrive with the right file.
The first and second lieutenants, at the commencement, or as soon as they shall be able to pass, will throw themselves
behind the centres of the right and left platoons respectively, and direct their movements.
1586. The left guide, having arrived at the point where the left of the line is to rest,
the captain will halt the skirmishers; each centre rank man will immediately place himself two paces on the left of his file
leader; the files which may not be in line, will promptly come into it, taking the prescribed intervals, and aligning themselves
by the left.
1587. The line being formed, the first and second sergeants will throw themselves ten paces
behind the first two files of the right and left respectively, and the third sergeant at a like distance behind the centre
of the line.
1588. The first and second lieutenants will promptly rectify any irregularity that may have
been committed in taking intervals; they will then throw themselves twenty or thirty paces behind the centres of their respective
platoons. Each of these officers will have with him two men taken from his platoon
before the commencement of the movement.
The ensign, if there be one, the fourth and fifth sergeants, if there be a fifth sergeant, as well as the second bugler or
drummer, will remain with the reserve; the fourth sergeant will posted on its left flank; the ensign and fifth sergeant as
file closers. See No. 19.
1590. These dispositions being made, the third lieutenant will march the reserve, by the
shortest line, to about a hundred and forty paces behind the centre of the line of skirmishers, halt, face it to the front,
and maintain it steadily at that distance; the reserve will conform itself to all the movements of the line.
1591. The captain will give a general superintendence to the whole deployment, and then
throw himself to the distance of about seventy paces from the rear of the line; he will have taken with him the first bugler,
or drummer, and two or three men from the reserve.
1592. The deployment may be made on the right, or centre of the company by the same commands,
substituting the indication right file, or centre file, for that of left file.
1593. [edited] The deployment on the right, or centre file, will be made according to the
principles prescribed above: if on the centre file. When the deployment is made on the centre file, the third sergeant, placing
himself, at the first command, two paces before the centre of the company, will move with the skirmishers, in the centre of
that interval, and the right file of the second platoon will close upon him in marching.
All the other files, to the right and left, will take their intervals from the centre.
At the moment of forming line, the rear rank men will conform themselves to what is prescribed for the rear rank men,
whether the deployment be on the centre, the right, or the left file, viz:
1594. On whatever file, the right, left, or centre, the deployment may be made, the rear
rank men will place themselves two paces to the left of their respective file leaders at the moment of forming line.
2d. To deploy by the flank.
1597. the company being at a halt, when the captain shall wish to cause it to deploy by
the flank on the left file will indicate to the right guide the point on which to direct himself, and command:
Deploy as skirmishers. 2. By the right flank, at ten (or ____) paces, take intervals. 3. Quick (or double quick)-MARCH.
At the first command, the first and second lieutenants, as also the third sergeant, will conform themselves to what is prescribed,
1599. At the second command, the first and second platoons will face to the right; the left
file will stand fast; the first and second lieutenants will each place himself by the left file of his platoon; the right
guide will place himself on the left of the right file, to conduct it. At the second command by (such) flank, &c. the
third lieutenant will cause the centre platoon, destined to become the reserve, to face about, when he will instantly march
it upon the point which it ought to occupy as the reserve.
1612. As soon as the second platoon shall have cleared the line of the company, the captain
will give his third command (quick, &c. march.) The leading platoon, having
faced to the designated flank, will, on a caution from its lieutenant, stand fast. When
the leading file of the rearmost platoon shall have closed up on the nearest file of the other platoon, the lieutenant of
the latter will command: 1. (Such) platoon, forward: 2. Quick (or double quick)- MARCH,
and the movement be finished as indicated, Nos. 1600, 1604, and at the end of 1595.
1600. At the command march, the front and rear ranks will stand fast; the next, or second
file, will halt at the distance of ten paces from the first, the third at the same distance from the second, and so on to
the right file. As each file halts in succession, it will face to the enemy,
and each centre rank man will place himself at two paces on the left of his file leader.
1601. The first and second lieutenants, following the movement from left to right, will,
each in his platoon, observe the successive halts and placings of the files, and promptly rectify any error that may be committed. The deployment ended, the two lieutenants will take the positions indicated, No. 1588.
1602. The captain will conform himself to what is prescribed, No. 1591.
1604. The deployment on the right file of the company will be executed on the same principles,
substituting, in the second command, left, for right flank.
When the captain shall wish to deploy the company on the centre, (that is, by both flanks at once,) , the captain will cause
the centre platoon to march towards its position as the reserve, then close the interval between the remaining platoons. Hhe
will indicate to the two guides the direction in which each ought to march, and then command:
Deploy as skirmishers. 2. By the right and left flanks, on the centre, at ten (or____) paces, take intervals. 3. Quick (or
double quick)- MARCH.
1606. The right file of the second platoon will stand fast; the first platoon will face
to the right, and the second to the left; the right guide will place himself by the side of the right file to conduct it,
the left guide by the side of the left file for a like purpose.
1607. At the command march, the two platoons will march in opposite directions; the file
next on the right, and the file next on the left of the centre, or directing file, will each halt at ten paces from this file,
and all the other files will halt, each at the same distance, counting from the file next in its rear.
1608. The first and second lieutenants will, each in his platoon, direct the movements,
holding himself abreast with the file which is about to halt, and see that each file places itself on the alignment, as prescribed
in the preceding cases.
1609. The captain may designate, as the directing file, any interior file other than that
on the right of the second platoon; in which case, the third sergeant will place himself on the right of the designated file,
and the deployment will be executed according to the principles which have just been prescribed.
To extend intervals.
1615. This movement, the object of which is to extend a line of skirmishers, will be executed
according to the principles prescribed for deployments.
1616. It is supposed that the line is at a halt, and that it is wished to extend to the
left; the captain will command:
By the left flank, five (or____) paces, extend intervals. 2. Quick (or double quick)-MARCH.
1617. The number of paces designated, whether five or any other number, will be understood
as so many paces in addition to the then intervals. The right file will stand
fast; all the others will face to the left, and extend their intervals the prescribed number of paces by the means indicated,
No. 1598, and following.
1618. If the line be in march by the front, the captain, to extend it to the right, will
On the left file, five (or____) paces, extend intervals. 2. Quick (or double quick)- MARCH.
1619. The left file will continue to march on the point of direction: all the other files
will extend their intervals by the means indicated, No. 1585.
1620. Intervals may be extended on the centre, according to the same principles.
If, in extending intervals, the object be to make one company occupy a line as skirmishers, which had been occupied by two,
the files of the retiring company will throw themselves successively to the rear, and form company in close order, in proportion
as they shall be replaced on the line.
4th. To close intervals.
1622. This movement, like that of extending intervals, will be executed according to the
principles prescribed for deployments. The number of paces indicated in the first
command, throughout, will denote so many paces less than the then intervals,
1623. If the line be at a halt, and it be wished to close on the left, the captain will
By the left flank, five (or____) paces, close intervals. 2. Quick (or double quick)- MARCH.
1624. The left file will stand fast; the other files will face to the left, close
on the directing file the number of paces prescribed and face to the right as each halts.
1625. If the line be in march by the front, the captain will command:
On the left file, five (or____) paces, close intervals. 2. Quick (or double quick)- MARCH.
1626. The left file will continue to march on the point of direction previously indicated;
the other files will each throw forward the right shoulder, assume the double quick step or run, (according as the command
may be quick or double quick march,) and incline to the left till its interval be reduced the prescribed number of paces.
1627. Intervals will be closed on the right or centre file, according to the same principles.
1628. When intervals are reduced, in order to receive a reinforcement of skirmishers,
that is, for example, to cover the same ground with two companies, which had been covered by one, the new company will be
so deployed as to finish the movement at about twenty paces behind the line which it will have to occupy, and its files will
successively throw themselves on that line in proportion as they shall be unmasked by the files of the old company. The reserves of the two companies will unite behind the centre of the line.
5th. To relieve a company
deployed as skirmishers.
1629. When a company, so deployed, is to be relieved, the captain will be advised of the
intention, and he will communicate it the first and second lieutenants.
1630. The new company will execute its deployment forward, so as to finish the movement
at about twenty paces in rear of the line.
1631. Arrived at this distance, the files of the new company, by command of their captain,
will throw themselves a few paces beyond the old line and halt; the new line being established, the old company will assemble
(form) on its reserve.
1632. If the skirmishers to be relieved are marching in retreat, the company thrown out
to relieve them will deploy by the flank as prescribed, No. 1597, and following. The
old skirmishers will continue to retire with order, and after having passed the new line, they will form on their reserve.
Of the March.
To march in advance and in retreat.
1633. When a company, deployed as skirmishers, marches by the front (in line) the guide
will be habitually in the centre; no particular indication to that effect need be given in the commands: but if it be intended
that the directing guide should be right or left, the command march will be preceded by that of guide right, or guide left.
1634. The captain, wishing the line of skirmishers to advance, will command:
Skirmishers, forward. 2. Quick (or double quick)- MARCH.
1635. These commands will be repeated with the greatest rapidity by the first and second
lieutenants, and, in the case of need, by the sergeants. This rule is general,
whether the skirmishers march by the front or by the flank.
1636. At the first command, the three sergeants will throw themselves on the line, the first
on the right, the second on the left, and the third in the centre.
1637. The third lieutenant will command: 1. Platoon,
forward; 2. Guide left.
1638. At the command march (See No. 1567,) the ;line and the reserve will step off; the
guide charged with the direction will march on the point indicated to him; the skirmishers will hold themselves aligned on
this guide, and preserve their intervals towards him.
1639. The first and second lieutenants [or otherwise determined platoon leaders] will each
direct the movement of his platoon, holding himself habitually behind its centre.
The captain will give a general superintendence to the movement.
1641. When he shall wish to halt the skirmishers, he will command:
1. Skirmishers. 2. HALT.
1642. At the second command, the line and the reserve will halt; the first and second lieutenants
will, if necessary, promptly rectify the alignment and intervals, and then take their places in line of battle, as will also,
the three sergeants.
1643. The captain, wishing to march the skirmishers in retreat, will command:
Skirmishers, in retreat. 2. Quick (or double quick)- MARCH
1644. At the first command, the reserve and the skirmishers will face about; the skirmishers
individually, the reserve by the command of the third lieutenant, and the three sergeants will throw themselves on the line
as prescribed, No. 1636.
1645. At the command march, the skirmishers and the reserve will step off in conformity
with what is prescribed, No. 1638; the officers and sergeants will give their utmost attention to the maintenance of order.
1646. The third lieutenant, placed behind the front rank (become rear) of the reserve, will
carefully maintain this platoon nearly opposite to the centre of the line, and at the prescribed distance.
1647. To halt the skirmishers, marching in retreat, the captain will command:
1648. At the second command, the skirmishers and reserve will halt, and face about to the
front, the skirmishers individually, the reserve by the command of the third lieutenant.
1649. The first and second lieutenants, and the first three sergeants, will each conform
himself to what is prescribed for him, No. 1642.
To march by the flank.
1650. The captain, wishing the skirmishers to march by the flank, will command:
Skirmishers, by the right flank. 2. Quick (or double quick)- MARCH.
1651. At the first command, the skirmishers will face to the right; the right guide will
throw himself to the side of the leading man, to conduct him; the reserve will also face to the right by the command of the
1652. At the command march, the skirmishers and the reserve will put themselves in march,
the right guide will direct himself on the point which will have been indicated to him; each skirmisher will take care to
follow in the trace of the one immediately preceding, and to preserve, exactly, his distance.
1653. The line of skirmishers will be made to march by the left flank according to the same
principles and by the same commands, substituting the indication left for that of right, in the first command; the left guide
will throw himself to the side of the leading man, to conduct him.
1654. The skirmishers marching by the flank, when the captain shall wish to halt them, he
1. Skirmishers. 2. HALT.
1655. At the second command, the skirmishers and the reserve will halt and face to the enemy.
1656. The officers and sergeants will conform themselves to what is prescribed, No. 1642.
Remarks on the Fires.
1668. Skirmishers will
be habituated to load their pieces whilst marching; but they will be enjoined always to halt an instant when in the act of
priming, and of charging cartridge.
1669. They will also
be exercised in loading and firing, kneeling, and lying, leaving each man at liberty to execute those times (or pauses) in
the manner he may find the easiest.
1670. Skirmishers will
be taught to take advantage of any chance object the ground may present, to cover themselves from the enemy's fire, and also
to judge distances with accuracy, in order to fire with effect.
1671. In commencing the fire, officers will see that all the files do not fire at once,
but follow out the principle established, No. 817; [by which, only during the first discharge, the file leaders (front rank
man) open fire from right to left in succession, each holding his fire until hearing the discharge from the file leader to
his right, etc. ] officers will also see that the men of the same file observe the prescribed alternation. [No. 1658 below]
1672. Marching in retreat, the commander of the skirmishers will take advantage of any chance
object the ground may present, to arrest the march of the enemy as long as possible.
1673. The fire of skirmishers will be stopped by the sound or beat indicated for that purpose;
at this signal, the men will cease firing, and those who have not reloaded will load.
If the line be in march, it will continue the movement; and of the two men of the same file, the one in front will
wait till the other shall be abreast with him.
Of the Fires.
1657. Skirmishers will fire at a halt, and in marching; in both cases they will observe
the method about to be indicated.
1658. The fire will given alternately by the two men of the same file, who will so arrange
it between them that the one or other shall always have his piece loaded; to this end, the front rank man, will fire and reload;
the centre or rear rank man will withhold his fire until the first shall have rammed; the second, in his turn, will wait in
like manner for the first, and so on in continuation.
1st, To fire at a halt.
1660. To cause this fire to be executed, the captain will command:
1661. This will be executed according to the rules just prescribed; the men will not remain
in the same place whilst reloading, unless covered by some chance object on the ground.
2d. To fire, marching.
1662. This fire, like that at a halt, will be executed by the command:
1663. At this, if the line be advancing, the front rank man of every file will halt, fire,
and reload, before throwing himself forward; the [rear rank] man, of the same file, will continue to march eight or ten paces
beyond the first, halt, fire, and reload, in the manner prescribed, No. 1658; the front rank man, having reloaded, will throw
himself forward a like distance beyond his centre rank man, and fire again, conforming himself to what has just been prescribed,
and so on in continuation.
1664. If the line be marching in retreat,
the front rank man of every file will halt, face about, fire, and then reload whilst throwing himself to the rear: the centre
rank man, of the same file, will continue to march, halt at eight or ten paces beyond the front rank man, face about, fire,
and then observe what is just prescribed for his front rank man; the latter will, when at the same distance in rear of his
centre rank man, halt again, face about, finish loading, fire, and then do as he had done before, and this the alternate fire
by the men of the same file will be continued. See No. 1659.
1665. If the company be in march by the right
flank, the front rank man of every file will face to the enemy, step one pace forward, halt, fire, and throw himself behind
his ( rear) rank man, who had been next on behind him, reloading as he marches:
as soon as this second man, who has continued to march, shall judge that the first has rammed, he will, in his turn, face
to the enemy, step one pace forward, halt, fire, and throw himself behind his font rank man, reloading as he marches, and
thus the fire will be continued.
1666. If the company be in march by the left flank,
the fire will be executed in the same manner but it will be the rear rank man [now the leader] who will fire first.
1667. In executing the fire (when marching), the files will carefully avoid mingling with
each other; consequently, the man who has continued to march, will never pass a man,
of another file, who is at a halt for the purpose of firing.[emphasis added]
Rallying and assembling.
1674. A company, deployed as skirmishers rallies
to resist cavalry; it assembles, under other circumstances.
1675. The rally will be made in a run; the assembly in quick time.
1st. To rally.
1676. The captain, wishing to rally the skirmishers on the reserve, will command:
on the reserve.
This being given, the captain will throw himself on the reserve; the third lieutenant
will begin the formation of the circle, by throwing back a little the two flanks of the reserve.
1678. The skirmishers running in, will form themselves as they successively join the reserve,
on its right and left, in two ranks, without regard to height, face outwards, and complete the circle.
1679. The officers and sergeants will direct the execution of the movement, and then place
themselves within the circle.
1680. These dispositions being made, the captain will profit by any interval of time the
cavalry may allow him for putting himself in safety against its attacks, either by rejoining his battalion, or by gaining
some advantageous position: to this end, he will reduce the circle, and reform the company into column by platoon, and in
tow platoons; he will march in this order, by the front or rear rank; and if threatened anew by the cavalry, he will halt
and again form circle, by throwing back the right and left files of the two platoons; the second platoon, if not already faced
by the rear rank, will first be so faced, and the other platoon by the front rank.
1681. The company being formed into circle, when the captain shall wish to deploy it as
skirmishers, he will command:
1682. At this command, the officers and sergeants will pass out; the third lieutenant will
align the reserve on its centre; the first and second lieutenants will re-form their platoons on the right and left of the
reserve; which being executed, the company will be deployed by the means already indicated in this instruction.
1683. If the suddenness of the danger leave not time to rally the skirmishers on the reserve,
the rally will be made by platoon; the first and second lieutenants will each rally his platoon on the ground most advantageous
behind the line of skirmishers.
1684. Pending this movement, the captain will throw himself on the reserve, and so dispose
it as to protect the rallying of the platoons and to resist the cavalry.
1685. The platoons being rallied, they will promptly rejoin the reserve.
2d. To rally on the battalion.
1686. The company being deployed as skirmishers, when the captain shall find it necessary
to rally on the battalion, he will command:
Rally on the battalion.
1687. At this, the skirmishers of each platoon and the reserve will unmask the front of
the battalion, directing themselves, in a run, towards its nearest flank, and then form in its rear.
1688. The company being formed, it will place itself for the time, whatever be its designation
or number, on the left or right of the battalion, according as it may belong to the left or right wing, and if not a flank
company, it will not resume its proper place in line of battle except by order of the colonel.
3d. To assemble on the reserve.
1689. To assemble a company, deployed as skirmishers, the captain will command:
Assemble on the reserve.
1690. At this, the reserve will be formed in the precise order in which it stood before
the deployment; the skirmishers will assemble upon it, and each resume his place in his previous rank and file. The company, being re-formed, will rejoin the battalion.
To Deploy a battalion, as skirmishers, and to rally this battalion.
1st. To deploy the battalion as skirmishers.
1691. A battalion being in line of battle, it will be supposed that it presents but eight
companies, and that the colonel wishes to deploy it as skirmishers on the right of the sixth company, holding the three right
companies in reserve. This example, observing the rule prescribed, No. 1574,
will serve for a battalion presenting ten, or any other number of companies. In
the case supposed, the colonel will communicate his purpose to the lieutenant colonel and adjutant, and also to the major,
who will be charged with the command of the battalion reserve. The colonel will
indicate to the lieutenant colonel the direction he wishes to give to the line, as well as the point of appui (or rest) for
the sixth company, and he will, to the major, designate the position in which to establish the reserve.
1692. The lieutenant colonel will throw himself eight or ten paces before the right of the
sixth company, and the adjutant a like distance before its left; the major will dispose the reserve in the manner which will
be indicated below.
1693. The colonel will then command:
1. Deploy as skirmishers. 2. By company, at a hundred (or ___)paces, on the right of the
sixth company, take intervals. 3. Quick (or double quick)_ MARCH.
1694. At the second command, the sixth and fifth captains (the flank companies supposed
to be absent) will march their companies eight or ten paces forward, make the preparatory dispositions for deploying forward-
the sixth company on its right file, and the fifth on its left file.
1695. The fourth captain will cause his company to face to the right; the seventh and eighth
captains will cause their companies to face to the left.
1696. At the command march, the movement will commence.
The sixth and fifth companies will deploy forward: the right guide of the sixth company will direct himself on the
point indicated to him by the lieutenant colonel.
1697. The companies which have faced to the right and left will march straight forward. The fourth will take its interval of a hundred paces, counting from the left of the
fifth, and then deploy forward on its left file. The seventh and eight companies
will each take the like interval, counting from the nearest file of the company next on its right, and then deploy forward
on its right file.
1698. Each of the five companies will be deployed according to the principles prescribed
for an isolated company, and those on the right and left of the sixth and fifth, will each be aligned on these central companies,
the first deployed.
1699. The lieutenant colonel and adjutant, who will have thrown themselves on the line,
will follow up the deployment, the first towards the right, the second towards the left; and when finished, they will place
themselves near the colonel, the first on the right and the second on the left,
The company reserves will be established as echellons in the following manner:
the reserve of the sixth company, at a hundred and forty paces behind the right of its skirmishers; the reserves of the fourth
and fifth companies, united, will be placed opposite to the interval between their skirmishers, and thirty paces nearer the
line than the reserve of the sixth; the reserves of the seventh and eighth companies, also united, opposite to the interval
between their skirmishers, and thirty paces farther from the line than the reserve of the sixth.
1701. The major, as soon as he shall have received the orders of the colonel, will march
the battalion-reserve thirty paces to the rear, and ploy it into column by company, at half distance; which being executed,
he will conduct the column to the position indicated by the colonel.
1702. The colonel will superintend the general deployment, and when finished, he will throw
himself to a point in rear of the line, whence his vies may best embrace all the parts, in order to direct their movements.
If, instead of deploying forward, it be desired to deploy by the flank, the sixth and fifth companies will be marched eight
or ten paces forward, halted, and thence deployed- the sixth on its right file, the fifth on its left file, by the means indicated,
No. 1597, and following. Each of the other companies will march by the flank,
and as soon as the last file of each, nearest to the point of direction, shall have taken the interval of one hundred paces,
the company will move up on the line, halt, and deploy.
1704. The battalion, in the preceding cases, has been supposed to commence each movement
from the line of battle; if. on the contrary, it be in column, the deployment, as skirmishers, will be made by the same commands
and according to the same principles, observing what follows.
1705. If to deploy forward: the directing company, as soon as unmasked, will march eight
or ten paces in front of the line which had been occupied by the head of the column, halt, and then deploy itself on the designated
file. Each of the other companies, marching by the flank, will take its interval
to the right or left, halt, and then deploy itself forward.
1706. If to deploy by the flank: the directing company will advance as before, halt and
then deploy itself on the designated file. Each of the other companies, having
taken its interval to the right or left, will move upon the line, halt, and then deploy itself as soon as the company next
towards the direction shall have finished its deployment.
The company reserves are placed as echellons, in respect to each other, in order that, in case of a rally, they may protect,
without firing upon, each other, and the number of echellons is diminished by uniting contiguous reserves, in order to increase
their capacity for resisting cavalry.
1708. The echellons, in the example give, descend from right to left; they may be posted
on the same principle, so as to descend from left to right. The colonel will
indicate to the captains, before the commencement of the deployment, the number of paces which the reserve of each company
ought to take to the rear.
1709. When the colour-company is to be deployed as skirmishers. the colour, without its
guard, will be detached, and remain with the battalion-reserve.
2d.To rally a battalion deployed as skirmishers.
The colonel will rally his battalion by the commands indicated for the rally
of a company, and will so dispose the battalion-reserve as to protect this movement.
1711. The companies deployed as skirmishers will rally in squares on their respective reserves;
each reserve will form the first front of the square; the skirmishers, who rally first, will form the lateral fronts, and
the other files the fourth front. The officers and sergeants will direct the
rally, and form the men, as they successively arrive, into two ranks, without regard to height, and cause them to face outwards.
1712. The rally being effected, the commanders of these squares (senior captains, and the
sixth captain) will profit by any interval of time the cavalry may allow for putting them in safety, either by marching them
upon the battalion-reserve, or by taking an advantageous position; to this end, each of the squares will be formed into column,
and march in this order, and if threatened anew, it will halt, and again form itself into square.
1713. As the companies successively arrive near the battalion-reserve, each will re-form
as promptly as possible, and (without regard to designation or number) take the place in the column next in rear of the companies
already in it.
1714. The battalion-reserve will also form square, if itself threatened by cavalry. Indication
of the movements which may be executed by bugle sounds, or beats of the drum.