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The Manual Exercise, as Ordered by His Majesty in 1764

British Infantry

The 1764 drill was the manual of arms used by the Continental Army until 1778 and used by the British Army throughout the conflict.  Like their American counterpoints, British soldiers’ lives were consumed with military drills on a regular basis.  This manual would have been well known to members of both armies and gives a good understanding of how an 18th century army functioned. Note: in keeping with the integrity of the document the use of the letter "f" to connote the letter "s" in certain words has been retained. 

 

MANUAL EXERCISE,

AS ORDERED BY

His   MAJESTY,

In the Year 1764,

 

Pofition of a Soldier under Arms.

TO ftand ftraight and firm upon his legs ; Head turned to the Right ; Heels closed, Toes a little turned out; the Belly drawn in a little, but without conftraint; the breaft a little projected ; Shoulders fquare to the front, and kept back ; the right Hand hanging ftraight down the Side, with the Palm clofe to the thigh ; the left Elbow not to be turned out frdm the body; the firelock to be carried on the left Shoulder, as low down as can be admitted without conftraint ; the three laft Fingers under the Butt; the fore Finger and thumb before the Swell; the Flat of the Butt, to be fupported againft the hip-bone, and to be preffed fo that the firelock may be felt againft the left fide, and that it may ftand before the Hollow of the Shoulder, not leaning towards the head nor from it; the barrel almoft perpendicular,

To be very exact in counting a Second of Time, or One, Two, between each Motion.

Take Care!

At this Word every Man muft be filent, ftand firm, and not move hand nor foot, but attend carefully to the Words of Command.

 

I. Poife your Firelocks! 2 Motions.

Explanation --- 1. Seize the firelock with your right hand, and turn the lock outwards, keeping the firelock perpendicular. 

2. Bring up the Firelock with a quick Motion from the fhoulder, and feize it with the left hand juft above the lock, fo that the little Finger may reft upon the Spring, and the thumb lie upon the Stock : The Firelock muft not be held too far from the Body, and the left Hand muft be of an equal Height with the Eyes.

II. Cock your Firelocks! 2 Motions.

Explanation --- 1. Turn the Barrel oppofite to your Face, and place your Thumb upon the Cock, raifing the Elbow fquare at this Motion. 

2. Cock your Firelock, by drawing your Elbow down, placing your Thumb upon the breech Pin, and the Fingers under the Guard.

III. Prefent! 1 Motion.

Explanation --- Step back about fix Inches on the rear with the right foot, bringing the left toe to the front; at the fame Time the Butt End of the Firelock muft be brought to an equal Height with your Shoulder, placing the left Hand on the Swell, and the fore Finger of the right hand before the Tricker, finking the Muzzle a little.

IV. Fire! 1 Motion.

Explanation --- Pull the Tricker brifkly, and immediately after bringing up the right Foot, come to the priming pofition, with the lock oppofite to the right breaft, the muzzle the height of the Hat keeping it firm and fteady, and at the fame time feize the Cock with the fore Finger and Thumb of the right Hand, the Back of the Hand turned up.

V. Half Cock your Firelocks! I Motion.

Explanation --- Half bend the Cock brifkly with a draw back of the right elbow, bringing it clofe to the butt of the Firelock.

VI. Handle your Cartridge! i Motion.

Explanation --- Bring your right Hand with a fhort round to your Pouch, flapping it hard; feize the Cartridge, and bring it with a quick Motion to your Mouth, bite the Top well off, and bring the Hand as low as the Chin, with the Elbow down.

VII. Prime! I Motion.

Explanation --- Shake the Powder into the Pan, placing the three laft fingers behind the hammer, with the elbow up.

VIII. Shut your Pans! 2 Motions.

Explanation --- 1. Shut your Pan brifkly, drawing your right Arm at this Motion toward your Body, holding the Cartridge faft in your Hand, as in the former Pofition. 2. Turn the Piece nimbly round to the loading Pofition, with the Lock to the Front, and the Muzzle the Height of the chin, bringing the right hand behind the muzzle; both feet kept faft in this Motion.

IX. Charge with Cartridge! 2 Motions.

Explanation --- 1. Turn your Hand and put the Cartridge

into the Muzzle, fhaking the Powder into the Barrel. 2. Place your Hand, clofed, with a quick and ftrong Motion, upon the Rammer.

X. Draw your Rammers!  2 Motions.

Explanation --- 1. Draw the Rammer with a quick Motion half out feizing it at the muzzle back-handed. 2. Draw it quite out, turn it, and enter it into the muzzle.

XI. Ram down your Cartridge! 1 Motion.

Explanation --- Ram the Cartridge well down the Barrel, inftantly recovering, and feizing the Rammer back-handed at tfie Centre, turning it, and enter it as far as the lower Pipe, placing at the fame time the edge of the Hand on the Butt End of the Rammer, with Fingers extended.

XII. Return your Rammers!  1 Motion.

Explanation --- Return the rammer, bringing up the piece with the left hand to the fhoulder, feizing it with the right hand under the cock, keeping the left hand faft at the fwell, burning the Body fquare to the Front.

XIII. Shoulder your Firelocks! 2 Motions.

Explanation --- 1. Quit the left Hand and place it ftrong Upon the Butt. 2. Quit the right hand and throw it down the right fide.

XIV. Reft your Firelocks! 3 Motions.

Explanation --- 1. Seize the firelock with the right hand, turning the Lock outwards 

2. Raife the firelock from your fhoulder, and place your left Hand with a quick motion above the lock, holding the piece right up and down in both hands before you, and your left Hand even with your Eyes.

3. Step brifkly back with your right Foot, placing it a hand's breadth diftant from your left heel, at the fame time bring down the firelock as quick as poffible to the reft, finking it as far down before your left knee, as your right hand will permit without conftraint •, your left hand at the feather Spring, and your Right, with Fingers extended held under the Guard, taking care to draw in the muzzle well towards your Body, and to drefs in a Line with the Butt End.

XV. Order your Firelocks! 4 Motions.

Explanation --- 1. Place your Firelock nimbly with your left Hand againft your right Shoulder.

2. Quit the Firelock with the right Hand, and finking it at the fame Time with your left, feize it at the muzzle, which muft be of an equal height with your Chin, and hold it clofe againft your right Side.

3. Lift up your right Foot and place it by your left; at the fame Time throw back your left Hand by your left Side, and with your right, bring down the Butt end ftrong upon the ground, placing it even with the toe of your right fopt ; the Thumb of your right Hand lying along the Barrel, and the muzzle kept at a little Diftance from your Body.

XVI. Ground your Firelocks! 4 Motions.

Explanation --- 1. Face to the Right upon your Heels, and at the fame Time turn the Firelock fo that the lock may point to the Rear, and the flat of the butt end againft the in- fide of your Foot, at the fame Time flipping the right Foot behind the Butt of the Firelock, the right Toe pointing to the Right, and the left to the Front,

2. Step directly forward with your left Foot about as far as the Swell of the Firelock, and lay it upon the Ground, your left Hand hanging down by your left Foot, and your right kept faft with the Butt End againft it.

3. Raife yourfelf up again nimbly, bringing back your left Foot to its former Pofition, keeping your body faced to the Right.

4. Face again to the Left upon your Heels, and come to your proper Front, letting your Hands hang down without motion.

XVII. Take up your Firelocks! 4 Motions.

Explanation --- 1. Face to the Right upon both Heels.

2. Sink your Body down, and come to the Pofition defcribed in the fecond motion of Grounding.

3. Raife yourfelf and Firelock, bringing it clofe to your right Side.

  4. Come to your proper Front, feizing the firelock at the muzzle, as in Explanation fifteen,

XVIII. Reft your Firelocks! 3 Motions.

Explanation --- 1. Slip your right Hand down the Barrel as far as the Swell.

2. Raife the firelock high up in a perpendicular line from the Ground with your right Hand, and feize it with the left above the Spring, the Cock the Height of the Waift-Belt,

3. Step back with your right foot, placing it behind your left Heel, and come to the Reft.

XIX. Shoulder your Firelocks! 2 Motions.

Explanation --- 1. Lift up your right Foot and place it by your left; bring the Firelock at the fame Time to your left fhoulder, and feize the butt end with the left hand, keeping it in the fame Pdfition as above defcribed.

2. Throw your right Hand brifkly back.

XX. Secure your Firelocks! 3 Motions.

Explanation --- 1. Bring the right Hand brifkly up, and place it under the Cock, keeping the firelock fteady in the fame pofition.

2. Quit the Butt with the left hand, and feize the Firelock with it at the fwell, bringing the elbow clofe down under the lock : The right hand kept faft in this motion, and the Piece ftill upright.

3. Quit the right Hand and bring it down your right Side, bringing the firelock nimbly down to the fecure ; the left Hand in a Line with the Waift-Belt. 

XXI. Shoulder your Firelocks! 3 Motions.

Explanation --- 1. Bring the firelock up to a perpendicular line, feizing it with the right Hand under the Cock.

2. Quit the left Hand and place it ftrong upon the butt.

3. Quit the right Hand and place it fmartly down the right Side.

XXII. Fix your Bayonets! 3 Motions.

Explanation --- 1 and 2 motions as in the two firft of the Secure.

3. Quit the right Hand, and bring the Firelock fmartly down to the left fide with the left hand, as far as it will admit without conftraint, feizing the bayonet at the fame time with the right Hind, and fixing it, placing that hand juft below the brafs, with the piece kept clofe to the hollow of the Shoulder.

XXIII. Shoulder your Firelocks!  3 Motions,

Explanation ---1. Quit the right hand, and bring up the Firelock with the Left, feize it again under the Cock with your Right, as in the fecond motion of the Secure.

2. Quit the left hafld, and place it ftrong upon the butt.

3. Quit the right hand, and bring it down the right fide.

XXIV. Prejent your Arms! 3 Motions.

As explained in three motions of the fourteenth word of command.

XXV. To the right Face! 3 Motions.

Explanation --- 1. Bring up the firelock, with a quick motion high before you, till your left Hand comes even with your Eyes, with the fingers of that hand extended along the ftock, juft above the Feather Spring.  The right foot to be brought clofe up to the left Heel in this motion.

2. Face to the right taking care in facing to hold the firelock right up and down, and fteady in your Hands.

3. Step back with your right Foot and come down to

your Prefent.

XXVI. To the Right Face! 3 Motions.

As in the foregoing Explanation.

XXVII. To the Right about Face! 3 Motions.

As in the foregoing Explanation, coming to the right about inftead of to the Right.           

XXVIII. To the Left Face! 3 Motions.

Explanation --- 1. Bring the right foot brifkly to the hollow of your left, with the Firelock in the fame Pofition as in the firft motion of facing to the right.

2. Face to the left.

3. Come down to your Prefent.

XXIX. To the left Face! 3 Motions.

As before.

XXX. To the left about Face! 3 Motions.

As before, coming to the left about, inftead of the left.

XXXI. Shoulder your Firelocks! 2 Motions.

As in the two motions of Explanation nineteen.

XXXII. Charge your Bayonets! 2 Motions.

1. As in Explanation one.

2. Bring the Swell of the Firelock down ftrong upon the palm of the hand, turning upon both heels to the right, the right Hand grafping the Piece at the Small behind the Lock, and as high as the waift-belt: the firelock upon a level with the Barrel upwards.

XXXIII. Shoulder your Firelocks! 2 Motions.

Explanation --- 1. Bring up the Firelock to the Shoulder, place the left Hand upon the Butt, bringing the feet fquare to the Front.

2. Quit the right hand, and throw it down the right fide,

XXXIV. Advance your Arms! 4 Motions.

1 and 2. As in Explanation one.

3. Bring the Firelock down the right Side with the rightHand, as low as it will admit without Conftraint, flipping up the left Hand at the fame Time to the Swell, the Guard between the Thumb and fore Finger of the right Hand, the three laft fingers under the cock, with the barrel to the rear.

4. Quit the left Hand.

XXXV. Shoulder your Firelocks! 4 Motions.

Explanation --- 1. Bring up the left Hand and feize it at the Swell.

2. Come fmartly up to a Poife.

3 and 4. Shoulder.

 

Explanation of Priming and Loadings

Prime and Load! 15 Motions.

1. COME fmartly to the Recover by fpringing the forelock ftraight up with the left Hand, turning the barrel inwards to proper height of the recover •, at the fame Time that the left hand fprings the firelock, the right hand is raifed brifkly from the right Side, and feizes the Firelock a-crofs the breaft ; as it rifes below the cock, the left hand comes with a quick motion from the Butt, and feizes the Firelock ftrong above the Lock, the little Finger of the left Hand at the Spring of the Lock, the left Hand at an equal Height with the Eyes, the Butt clofe to the left breaft, but not preffed, the Firelock perpendicular, oppofite the left Side of the Face.

2. Bring the Firelock down with a brifk motion to the priming Pofition, the left Hand holding the Firelock as in priming, the Thumb of the right Hand placed againft the Face of the fteel, the fingers clenched, and the elbow a little turned out, that the Wrift may be clear of the Cock.

3. Open the Pan by throwing up the Steel with a ftrong motion of the right Arm, turning the Elbow in, and keeping the Firelock ftcady in the left Hand.

4. Handle the Cartridge!

5. Prime!

6. Shut Pans!

7. Caft about!

8 and 9. Load!

10 and 11. Draw Rammers!

12. Ram down the Cartridge!

13. Return the Rammers!

14 and 15. Shoulder.

N. B. The Motion of Recover and coming down to the priming pofition, and opening Pans, to be done in the ufual Time.

The Motions of handling cartridge, to fhutting the pans, to be done as quick as poflible; when the Pans are fhut, a fmall Paufe is to be made, and caft about together •, then the loading motions are to be done as quick as poflible ; but before the Rammer is returned, another fmall paufe is to be made, counting one, two, between each Motion, until the Firelock is fhouldered.

 

Pofition of each Rank in the F I R I N G S.

FRONT  RANK.

Make Ready! I Motion.

Explanation ---- SPRING the firelock brifkly to the recover, keeping the left foot faft in this motion ; as foon as the Firelock is at the recover, without any ftop fink the Body brifkly without ftooping forward, with a quick Motion down upon the right Knee, the Butt-end of the Firelock at the fame Time falls upon the Ground ; the front Part of the Butt to be in a Line with the Heel of the left foot; as foon as the butt comes to the ground, the firelock is to be cocked, immediately feizing the cock and fteel in the right Hand, the Firelock to be held firm in the left hand, about the middle of that part of the firelock between the Lock and the Swell of the Stock ; the Point of the left Thumb to be clofe to the Swell pointing upwards.

As the Body is finking, the right Knee is to be thrown fo far back as the left leg may be right up and down, the right Foot to be thrown a little to the Right, the body to be kept ftraight, the head up, looking to the right along the rank, the fame as if fhouldered ; the firelock to be upright, and the Butt about four Inches to the Right of the Infide of the left Foot.

Prefent!  I Motion.

Explanation --- Bvlng the firelock brifkly down to the prefent, by extending the left Arm to the full Length, wrth a ftrong Motion, at the fame Time fpring up the butt by the Cock with the right Hand, and raife up the Butt fo high upon the rieht Shoulder, that you may not be obliged to ftoop too much with the Head, the right Cheek to be clofe to the Butt, and the left Eye (hut, and look along the Barrel with the right Eye from the Breech Pin to the Muzzle -, keep the left Elbow down in an eafy Pofition, and ftand as fteady as poflible, the Thumb of the right Hand to remain in the Pofition as defcribed in the third explanation of the Manual.

Fire! I Motion.

Explanation --- Pull the tricker as directed in the Manual, and as foon as the piece is fired, give yourfelf a ftrong fpring upon your left Leg, railing your Body brifkly and ftraight up, keeping your left Foot faft, and bringing the right heel clofe to the left; at the fame time the firelock is to be bro't up to the priming Pofition, and half cocked immediately ; a fhort Paufe is to be made, then handle Cartridges, and go on with the loading motions defcribed in the explanation of Prime and Load.

 

CENTRE RANK,

Make ready! I Motion.

Explanation --- SPRING the firelock brifkly to the recover ; as foon as the left Hand feizes the Firelock above the Lock, the right Elbow is to be nimbly raifed a little, placing the Thumb of that Hand upon the Cock, the Fingers open by the Plate of the Lock, and as quick as poflible force the Piece to the Cock, by dropping the elbow, and forcing down the cock with the thumb flapping at the fame time a moderate pace, or two feet, to the Right, keeping the left Foot faft ; as the firelock is cocked, the Thumb is to fall below the cock, the right hand feizing the Firelock clofe under the Cock firmly ; the Fore-finger not to be before the Tricker : The Piece to be held in this pofition perpendicular, oppofite the left fide of the face, the Butt clofe to the left breaft, but not preffed, the body to be ftraight, and as full to the front as poflible ; the head kept up, looking to the Right of the Rank, that the Body and Firelock may not ftoop forward, nor lean much out of the Rank.

Prefent!  I Motion

Spring the Firelock from the Body to Arms Length with a quick Motion, preffing down the Muzzle with the left hand, and fpring up the butt with the right hand, as in the foregoing Explanation of the front Rank.

Fire! 1 Motion.

As in explanation fourth in the manual, with this difference, that the left Foot is to be brought up to the right, at the fame Time that the Firelock is brought down to the priming Pofition. The loading Motions as in the Explanations of Priming and loading, and at the laft motion of fhouldering, to fpring to the Left again and cover the File-leaders.

 

REAR RANK.

Make ready! I Motion,

Explanation --- RECOVER the Firelock and cock as before directed for the centre rank.  As the firelock is recovered and cocked, ftep brifkly ftraight to the Right with the right Foot a full Pace, bringing the left heel about fix inches before the right foot, the body ftraight and as fquare to the Front as poflible.

Prefent! I Motion.

As in Explanation of the centre Rank.

Fire! 1 Motion.

As in explanation of the centre rank, and as the firelock is coming down to the priming Pofition, the left Foot is to be brought back to the right, and at the laft motion of fhouldering, to fpring to the left again, and cover the file-leader.

By Order of his Majefly,

Aug. 1764.      Edw. Harvey, Adj. Gen.

 

The following is the method generally praclifed by the regiments

at the Reviews and Field Days, in performing the

Firings, Evolutions, 6t.

A Regiment to be drawn up. v.

As in Figure 1ft. Plate 1ft. viz.

In three ranks, at fix paces, or twelve feet diftance from one another.

The Files at four Inches Diftance.

An interval of one pace or three feet between each company.

The officers four paces diftant from the front of their refpedtive Companies, the Captain on the Right, the Enfign in the Centre, the Lieutenant on the Left.

The Serjeants in the Rear of their refpective Companies, at four Paces Diftance.

The Drummers,equally divided on the Right and Left of the Battalion, drefling with the Front Rank.

The Grenadier Company at ten Paces diftance from the

Right of the Battalion.

The Grenadier Drummers and Fifers on the right of that Company.

The Pioneers in one, rank on the right of the Grenadiers, and at ten Paces Diftance.

The Colonel fix Paces in the Front of the Colours.

The Lieutenant-Colonel on the left of the Colonel, and two Paces before the Officers.

The Major on the Right of the Whole.

The Adjutant on the left.

The Chaplain, Quarter-mafter, Surgeon and Mate, on the right between the Grenadiers and the Battalion, and in a line with the Officers.

Each Company forms a Sub-Divifion.

Two Companies form a Grand-Divifion.

The fix Files of referve to be taken from the feveral companies as follows :

Three men from each of the two Centre companies, and two men from each of the other companies.

If the Files are not equal in the feveral Companies, they muft be levelled at the Regimental Parade.

The Reviewing General to be received with the compliment due to his Rank, according to the King's regulation of Honours.

Before the General Officer appears (if above the Rank of a Major-General) the Bayonets to be fixed.

 The General Officer being within twenty Yards of the Right of the Battalion, the Major gives the Word:

Prefent your Arms!

And as foon as he has faluted, he pofts himfelf in the Front, and gives the Words of Command for the ufual facings.                    

After the General has taken his Poft in the Front, the Major orders,

Shoulder your Firelocks!

Unfix your Bayonets.

Shoulder your Firelocks!

The regiment is then to march paft the General by grand divifions.

As in Plate ift. Fig. 2d.

Rear Ranks clofe to the Front!

The Officers recover their arms, and face to the divifions to which they belong, according to the following Order of march.

The Serjeants advance their Halberds.

The Rear ranks ftep off together with their left feet ; the Centre marching five Paces, and the Rear ten.

The Officers move their Pofts and halt, facing outwards from the Centre.

To the Front Face!

The Officers face to the Front, and order their Arms.

By Grand Divifions to the Right Wheel!

The Divifions turn their Heads to the Left.

March!

The Grenadiers and the four Grand Divifions wheel.

Halt!

The Divifions turn their Heads to the Right, the Officers order their Arms.

March!

The Whole ftep off together.

The Regiment Marches in the followtng Order :

The Major.

The Pioneers in three Ranks with a Non-commiffioned Officer in Front.

The Grenadier company, the Captain advanced two paces before the Lieutenants.

Chaplain, Quarter-Mafter, Surgeon and Mate, in one Rank.

The Colonel advanced four Paces before the firft Rank of Officers.                       

The Captains on the right of the Colours, in one rank irt Front of the firft Grand Diviilon

The Lieutenants on the right of the Colours, in Front of the fecond Grand Divifion.

The Enfigns in Front of the third Grand Divifion.

The Lieutenants on the left of the Colours, in Front of the fourth Grand Divifion : And,

The Captains on the left of the Colours in the rear of it.

The Lieutenant-Colonel in the rear of the Captains. 

The Adjutant in the rear of the Whole.

The Drummers equally divided with the four Divifions, and to march in the rear of each Divifion.

The Serjeants on the right and left of the feveral Ranks with Halberds advanced.

The Ranks march in clofe Order untill they have made the fecond Wheel, they are then to take their diftance at fix Paces.

After they have marched paft the General, the Ranks are to clofe before they wheel, and to continue in clofe Order untill the Battalion is formed.

On which the Major orders,

Rear Ranks take your Diftance!

March!

Explanation --- Rear Ranks face to the Right about ; the Officers recover their Arms and face to their refpedtive Companies.

The Rear Rank ftep off together with their left feet ; the Centre Rank marching five, and the Rear Rank ten paces, halting with their Heels clofed.

The Officers take Poft as at firft, and halt, facing outward from the Centre.

To the Front Face!

Explanation --- The Rear Ranks come to the Right about; the Officers face to the Front, and order their Arms, and the Serjeants their Halberds.

N. B. The Regiments fometimes march paft the reviewing Officer in Companies by Fours --- This is fo generally known and practifed, that particular Directions- are here unneceffary. 

When the Battalion is again formed, the Major is to direct the general Salute as follows :

Fix your Bayonets!

Shoulder your Firelocks!

Prefent your Arms!

As foon as the men come to the reft, the Drummers beat a march.

The Major then railing his fword, and droping the point gives the Signal to all the Officers to Salute together, and the Enfigns to drop their Colours.

Shoulder your Firelocks!

Unfix your Bayonets!

Shoulder your Firelocks!

 N. B. The Battalion is formed for Exercife, as in Plate 1ft, Fig. 3d. in the following manner.

Orderly Drummer beats a Ruffle and Caution.

Flam!

Officers and Serjeants recover their arms at three motions.

Flam!

Officers face to the Right-about; Serjeants face to the Right and Left from the Centre.

Drummers face outwards.

Flam and Troop!

Explanation --- Officers march through the intervals on the Right of their refpective Companies nine Paces in the Rear.

The Colonel advances to the General.

The Serjeants march at the fame Time with the Officers, thofe on the Flanks of the Battalion directly forward, followed by thofe in the Rear, untill they have pafied the line where the General ftands ; they then face to the right and left inwards, and marching towards each other, divide the length of the Front equally between them. The youngeft Serjeant of Grenadiers having faced to the right, marches to the Front, and drefling in a line with the other Serjeants, keeps oppofite the Centre of his own Company -, the other two Serjeants of Grenadiers poft themfelves, one on the Right of the Front, and the other on the Right of the Rear rank of their own Company.

The Drummers march ftraight out, when they have paffed the line where the Major ftands, they face inwards, and take poft behind him, keeping faced to the Centre untill the next Flam.

Flam!

The Officers come to the right-about; Serjeants and Drummers face and front the Battalion.

Flam!

The Officers and Serjeants order their arms at two motions.

The regiment is then to go through the Manual and Platoon Exercifes, as before directed and explained: After which the Officers, and Non-commiffioned Officers return to their Pofts, by Signals from the orderly Drum ; and the Battalion is then to prepare for the Firings in the following manner:

Grenadiers cover the Flanks of the Battalion!

The Grenadiers and Pioneers face to the Left.

March!

Explanation --- The Grenadiers and Pioneers march; the Pioneers follow the rear Rank of the Grenadiers untill the come to the rear of the Colours, when they ftand faft.

The left platoon of Grenadiers marches to the left of the Battalion; the Officers between the Rank of Officers and front Rank; the front Rank between the front and centre Rank of the Battalion ; the centre Rank between the Centre and Rear; and the rear rank between the rear rank and

Serjeants.

The right Platoon of Grenadiers marches to within eight Paces of the right of the Battalion; as foon as they come to their Ground; the Officers commanding the Platoons order them to Halt!

And the Major gives the Word.

To the Front Face!

The Platoons of Grenadiers face to the Front.

The Pioneers to be four Paces in the rear of the referve.

Prime and Load!

Rear Ranks clofe to the Front!

Officers and Serjeants advance their Arms, and the Officers face to the Right-about.           

March!

Explanation --- The Rear Ranks clofe to the Front; the Officers at the fame time march into the Intervals, thofe commanding Companies, coming to the right-about, and drefling in the front rank, and the Supernumeraries going through the intervals of their refpectjve companies to the rear.

The Serjeants at the fame Time fall into the intervals, to complete the Files of Officers.

The Grenadier Officers, with advanced Arms, go to the right-about at the fame time with the Officers of the battalion.

 

EXPLANATIONS,

N. B. The Battalion is drawn up for Firings, and the

Officers ported, as in Plate 2d, Fig. ift.

The Officers which are in the rear to be divided, and neareft the Companies they belong to.

When the Companies are fub-divided, and the Battalion formed into fixteen Platoons, the Subalterns in the rear are to take the Comman4 of a Platoon of their refpec"tive Companies.  As Captains fhould have the Command of Grand Divifions, the companies are therefore placed in this manner, that the Officers may remain with their own companies.

If any of the captains are abfent (who according to the annexed plan are appointed to the grand Divifions) the next oldeft Officers are to command, and the Companies to be changed accordingly.

The Colonel is advanced before the Referve.

The Lieutenant-Colonel in the front rank of the Referve.

The Referve.for the Colours to be fix Files.

The Enfigns with the Colours in the Centre Rank, twoSerjeants in their Front, and two in their Rear.

As many Serjeants as neceffary are to be in the Rear Ranks to compleat the Files of Officers.

The Drummers divided into four Divifions, and to take poft four paces in the rear of the centre of each grand divifion ; the two which are orderly remain with the commasding Officer.

When the Colonel is not prefent the Lieutenant-Colonel takes Poft in the Front of the Battalion, the oldeft Captain in the Front Rank of the Referve, and the next fenior Captain in the Rear of the Referve.

N. B. When the Ranks are clofed, the Major is to inform the commanding Officer that the Battalion is ready to go through the Firings ; and then he goes to his poft in the Rear of Right-Hand Grand Divifion.

The Pioneers clofe at the fame Time with the rear ranks, keeping the Diftance of four Paces from the Rear-

The Adjutant takes his Poft in the rear of the Left.

 

EXPLANATIONS.

Firings by Sub-Divisions, Jlanding.

By the commanding Officer.

Caution!

Preparative!

The Officers commanding the ift and 8th Sub-Divifions ftep forward one Pace.

The Officer of the firft Sub-Diyifion gives the Word:

Sub-Divifion!

Make ready!

Prefent!

Fire!

When the Officer commanding the 8th Sub-Divifion fees the firft Sub-Divifion make ready, he immediately gives the Word:

Sub-Divifion!

When the firft Sub-Divifion prefents, the eighth makes ready, when the firft fires, the eighth prefents, and fires ; and fo on by every Officer commanding the Sub-Divifions,untill the Battalion has fired two rounds ; always preferving proper Intervals of time between each word of command later than the Officer who immediately fires before him.

N. B. The Grenadiers make the 9th and 10th fire.

On the left platoon of Grenadiers firing the fecond round, the firft Part of the Englifh General beats, and the firing ceafes.

N. B. The firft Part of the General is the fignal for all firings to ceafe.

By Grand-Divisions, fianding.

 The Officers commanding the ift and 4th Grand-Divifions ftep forward one Pace ; the Officer of the firft gives the Word :

Grand-Divifion, &c.

On the Fire of the ift, the Officer of the 4th gives the Word.

 So on by every Officer untill the two rounds are fired.

EXPLANATIONS.

N. B. The Officers commanding the two platoons of Grenadiers are to give the caution. Platoon! When the 4thGrand-Divifion makes ready, the fecond fire.  And when the 4th Grand-Drvifion fires, the two Platoons of Grenadiers receive the word of command from their own Officers.

Make ready!

The commanding Officer then gives the Words:

Grenadiers!

Prefcnt!-------Fire!

Firings to the Rear by Sub-Divisions.

Caution!----Battalion!

To the Right-about Face!

The Battalion Faces.

Supernumerary Officers, Serjeants and Pioneers, go thro' the intervals neareft them ; the Drummers round the flanks of the Grand-Divifions.

They poft themfelves in the rear of what was the front rank, and the Officers commanding divifions, change places with the Serjeants which covered their Files.

The 8th Sub-Divifion is the ift to fire ; the ift now becomes the 8th, and fo on.

The Battalion fires two rounds as before,

By Grand-Divisions.

The Battalion fires two rounds as before ordered, beginning with the 4th Grand Divifion, which is now the ift to fire.

Battalion!......To the Right-about Face!

The Battalion faces, Supernumerary Officers, &c. take their former Pofts.

By Sub-Divisions, advancing,

Caution! --- Battalion!

March!

The Battalion dreffes by the Centre.

Halt!

The Battalion dreffes by the right

Preparative!

The Battalion fires from the Centre to the Flanks, beginning with the Sub-Divifion on the right of the Colours.

By Grand-Divisions advancing!

 

EXPLANATIONS,

Caution!-----Battalion!

March!

Halt!

Preparative I

The Battalion fires, beginning with the Grand-Divifion

on the right of the Colours.

By Sub-Divisions, Retreating,

Caution!-----Battalion!

To the Right-about Face!

March!

The Battalion retreats, dreffing by the centre.

The Battalion dreffes by the right.

Halt!

To the Front, Face]

The Battalion faces to the right-about.

Preparative!

The Battalion fires, as in Explanation of firing by Sub-Divifions, advancing.

By Grand-Divisions, Retreating.

Caution!-----Battalion!

To the Right-about, Face!

March!

Halt\

To the Front Face!

Preparative!

The battalion fires, as in explanation of firing by Grande Divifions, advancing.

N. B. Befides the foregoing, the Battalion is fometimes ordered to fire two rounds, beginning with the four right Hand Sub-Divifions at once ; and then the four left Hand ones : Alfo two rounds by Wings, or Half Battalions, beginning with the right.

Manoeuvres ufually pratlifed.

Wheeling by Companies at clofe Ranks.

 

EXPLANATIONS.

 

By Companies to the Right, Wheel\

March!

HaltI

The Battalion is in Columns of Companies fronting to the right.

By Companies to the Right, Wheel!

March!

Halt I

The Battalion again formed, facing to the rear.

By Companies to the Right-about, WheelI

March!

Halt!

The Battalion formed to its proper Front. 

By Companies to the Left, Wheel!

March!

Halt!

The Battalion is in Columns of Companies, facing to the Left.

By Companies to the Left, Wheel!

March!

Halt!

The Battalion formed, and facing to the Rear.

By Companies to the Left-about, Wheel!

March!

Halt!

The Battalion returned to its proper Front.

Advancing and Retreating by Files, from the Right of

Grand-Divifwns.  As in Plate 2d, Fig, 2d.

 

EXPLANATIONS.

The Battalion is fuppofed to be maiching, and receives the Word of Command :           

Grand-Divifions!

By the Right advance by Files I

March I

The three right files of each Grand-Divifion march thretf long Paces forward ; the reft of the battalion turn to the right.  Each Grand-Divifion wheel by files to the left, and follow thofe which moved forward.

The battalion is then advancing in four columns, each of three Men Front.

Form the  Battalion I

March!

The three leading Files of each Grand-Divifion ftand faft ; the others turn to the Left, and then wheel to the Right ; which forms the battalion to its former Front.

If ordered to Retreat.

Grand-Divifions!

Retreat by Files by the Right!

March I

The three right Files of each Grand-Divifion face to the Right-about and retreat ; the others face to the Right, and the files of each Grand-Divifion follow the three which lead.

The battalion retreats in four Columns.

Form the Battalion!

March!

The three leading files of each Grand-Divifion ftand faft; the others turn to the right, and wheel to the left ; when the Divifions have compleated their Wheelings, the whole battalion comes to its proper front, by the word of command.

To the Right-about Face I

N. B. When this Manoeuvre is done from the Left, the Facings and Wheelings are to be varied accordingly.

Advancing by Files, from the Centre of Grand-Divifions.

As in Plate 2d. Fig. ^d.

 

EXPLANATIONS

The battalion moving on, receives the word of command.

Grand-Divifions, from the Centre advance by Files!

March!

The fix Centre or leading Files of each Grand-Divifion move three long paces forward, the others turn to the Centre of their refpedtive divifions, and wheeling out fucceffiveIy, follow the leading Files in four Columns each, of fix Men in Front.

Form the Battalion!

March!

The fix Centre or leading Files ftand faft •, the right Companies of each Grand Divifion turn to the right, and wheel to the left ; the left Companies turn to the left, and wheel to the right, which forms the battalion.

If ordered to retreat the Word of Command is given :

Grand-Divifions, from the Centre Retreat by Files I

March!

The fix Centre Files of each Grand-Divifion face to the Right-about and retreat ; the other Files face inwards, and wheeling to the right and left, follow thofe which lead.

The battalion retreats in four columns, fix men-in front.

Form the Battalion!

March!

The leading files halt •, the right companies of each Grand Divifion turn to the left and wheel to the right ; the left Companies turn to the right and wheel to the left.

When the Wheeling is compleated, the Word is given,

To the Right-about Face!

Advancing by Files, from the Centre of each Wing.

As in Plate 2d. Fig. 4th.

 

EXPLANATIONS.

The battalion moving forward, l'eceives the Word of command.

From the Centre of each Wing, advance by Files!

March!

The fix centre or leading Files, viz. Three of the left of one Grand Divifion, and three of the right of the next adjoining to it, move forward three paces ; the others of each Wing turn to their centre, then wheel out fuccefiively, and follow thofe which move forward.

The Battalion advances in two columns, each of fix men in Front.

Firm the Battalion!

March!

The fix leading Files of each Wing ftand faft ; the right Grand-Bivifions turn to the right and wheel to the left; the left Grand-Divifions turn to the left and wheel to the right, which forms the Battalion.

N. B. If ordered to retreat, it is done as in the foregoing Explanation, by the following Words of Command.

From the Centre of Wings, retreat by Files!

March!

Form the Battalion!

March!

To the Right-about Face!

Advancing by Files, from the Centre of the Battalion.

As in Plate 2d. Fig. 5th.

 

EXPLANATIONS.

 The Battalion moving forward, receives the Word of Command ;

From the Centre of the Battalion, advance by Files!

March!

The fix Centre or leading Files, viz. The three Left of the right wing, and the three Right of the left wing, move three Paces forward ; the others turn to the Centre, and wheeling out, follow thofe which moved forward.

The Battalion is then advancing in one Column of fix Men in Front.

Form the Battalion!

March!

The fix Centre Files ftand faft ; the right Wing turns to the Right, and wheels to the Left; the left Wing turns to the Left,  and wheels to the Right, which form the battalion.

N. B. If ordered to retreat, it is done as in Fig. III. By the following Words^of Command :

From the Centre of the Battalion, retreat by Files!

March I

Form the Battalion!

March!

To the Right-about Face!

N. B. In all Evolutions where the Wheelings are long, and cannot be eafily and expeditioufly effected, by Reafon of the fituation in broken ground (in a wood, or otherwife) not admitting of it ; forming the Battalion, and all fimilar evolutions, may be performed by wheeling and facing brilkly by Files.

From the Right of the Left Wing, forming the oblong Square

by Companies,

As in Plate 2d. Fig. 6th.

 

EXPLANATIONS.

The Battalion moving to the Front,' receives the Word of Command.

By Companies from the right of the left Wing, form the ollong Square!

March!

The 5th or right Company of the left Wing moves 'for- ward, and forms the Head of the Square ; the Reft of the Battalion turn to the Centre, and marches by Files in the Rear in the leading Company.

The three left Companies face to the Left, and form the left Flank, or face of the Square.

Halt!

The three Companies of the right wing, next the centre, face to the Right, and form the right Flank.

Front!

The right Company of the battalion turns to the Right, clofes up and forms the Rear Face.

N. B. If the Square is to move forward, this Company keeps its proper Front: but if it is to Halt, the Company is ordered to face to the Right-about.

Reduce the Square!

March!

The company forming the head of the fquare ftands faft j the fix companies which form the two Flanks, wheel to the Right and Left by companies, clofe up, face to the Right and left butwards, and march by Files oppofite to  their Places in the battalion.  When their own Officers gives the Word, To the Front, Turn I they march up fucceflively to their proper Ground

The company that formed the rear Tace of the Square, faces to the right, while the others are wheeling, and marches by Files untill it covers the companies on the Right, turns to the Front, clofes up, and forms as the other companies are directed.

Forming ^OBLONG SQUARE.

From a Battalion marching in Columns by Companies at

half Dijlance.

As in Plate 2d. Fig. 7th.

 

EXPLANATIONS.

The battalion marching in columns by companies from the Right at half diftance, receives the word of command:

By half Companies form the Oblong Square.

March!

The leading Company ftands faft, the next fix companies being at half Diftance, wheel each from the centre to the right and left outwards, and by half companies form the two faces or flanks of the fquare j the rear company clofes up, and forms the rear face,

N. B. If the Square is to advance,  this company continues in this pofition; if to halt, it is to face to the right-about.

Reduce the Square!

March!

The leading company moves half Diftance forwards, the files of the flank faces, face to the front of the fquare, then wheel inwards by files; until the refpective half companies join, and front by word from their own Officers ; forming again a column of companies at half Diftance.

Form the Battalion!

March I

The firft company on the right ftands faft, the other feven clofe up, face to the left, and march by files untill they come fucceflively oppofite their Places in the Battalion, receive the Word from their refpective Officers, To the Front, Turn! and march up to their proper Ground.

N. B. In this it is fuppofed, that the Battalion marched from the Right ; if it had marched from the Left the 8th Company would have formed the Head of the Square.

Forming Columns fy COMPANIES.

From the Centre of the Battalion,

As in Plate 2d. Fig. 8th.

 

EXPLANATIONS.

The Battalion marching receives the Word of command;

From the Centre form Columns by Companies.

March!

The two centre Companies move on flowly, thofe on the right and left, face inwards, and march by files, when the Officers fee their Companies joined, they give the Word of Command, though not loud, To the Front, Turn! and foon until the Column is formed : The Columns being formed, the commanding or exercifing Officer gives the Word of Command :

March!

The Battalion fteps off with a quick Pace,

Form the Battalion.

The Centre Companies keep moving without gaining any Ground ; the other fix face outwards, aud march by Files to the right and left: As foon as they have got Ground enough to march in Front, the Officers give the Word, To the Front, Turn I and fo on until the Battalion is formed; a Signal is then given from the Centre for the Battalion to move on.

Forming Columns by GRAND-DIVISIONS.

From the Right.

As in Plate 2d. Fig. 9th.

 

EXPLANATIONS.

The battalion marches and receives the word of command,

            By Grand-Divifions form Columns from the Right I

The firft Grand-Divifion continues marching; the other three Divifions face to the Right, march by Files until they fucceffively cover the firft Grand- Divifion -, then ordered by their refpective Officers, To the Front, Turn!

Form the Battalion!

The firft Grand-Divifion ftands faft; the other three march to clofe Order, then face to the Left, and march by Files : When the commanding Officer of the 2d. Grand-Divifion fees he has gained Ground enough to form on the left of the firft, he gives the Word, To the Front, Turn! marches forward in a line with the firft divifion, and orders Halt, Drefs; the other two divifious form in like Manner.

 

Paffing a Defile or Bridge by half Companies.

From the Centre.

As in Plate 2d. Fig. 10,

N. B. There are various methods practifed in performing   this Manoeuvre, among others the following, viz.

Explanations --- The battalion receives the Word of Command:

By half Companies from the Centre pafs the Defile or Bridge I

March!

The two Centre Half Companies, or Platoons, march three long paces to the front ; the other files of the battalion face to the Centre, and march until they are near meeting ; then the half companies two and two fucceffively front, and follow thofe which lead, moving up as they advance to clofe Order.

As foon as the Centre Platoons are got far enough over, they are ordered by their own Officers to Halt; and the other Platoons as they come into their rear, reflectively face to the right and left outwards, marching by files until they come to their proper Places in Battalion, then Front.

 

When ordered to Retreat.

From the Wings by half Companies re-pafs the Defile! March!

The Flank Platoons face outwards, and march by files in the rear, wheeling on the ground they ftand on ; or if preffed for time, they may face inwards, march by Files along the Rear, until the two Platoons meet; turn to the Rear, and re-pafs the bridge : turn outward march to their former Ground and Front.

N. B. It is here underftood that in palling or re-paffing the bridge or defile, a conftant Fire is kept up by every Platoon (from its forming in Battalion) while it continues to front the Enemy.

 

A Charge and Volley by BATTALION.

EXPLANATIONS.

Prepare to Charge!

The Battalion comes to a Recover at one Motion without Cocking. Charge your Bayonets!

The front rank charges only, the other two remain recovered.

March!

The Battalion fteps off with a quick Pace, and when it has advanced as far as the commanding Officer thinks proper, he orders,

Halt!

At which time the Front Rank Recovers.

Shoulder!

The whole Shoulders.

Battalion! Make ready!

At which Time the whole comes to a Recover.

Prefent! Fire!

Rear Ranks! Take your proper Dijiance!

March I

The centre and rear ranks move backwards without facing to the Right-about: the Officers move out to the Front.

Half-Cock your Firelocks! Shoulder!

Shut your Pans!  Return your Bayonets!

Shoulder!

The Officers and Serjeants order their Arms.

 

EXPLANATIONS.

Grenadiers! To the Right, Face I

The Grenadiers face to the right; the Battalion ftands faft.

March I

The left platoon of Grenadiers marches to the right of the Battalion, and the right platoon to its former Ground.

Both platoons are ordered to Halt by" their own Officers.

To the Front Face!

The Grenadiers face to the Front.

The Colours to be fent away with the ufual Form, and the Battalion then to be difmiffed.

N. B. There are feveral other Manoeuvres, fometimes practifed by the Britifh regiments in Europe : The nature of the Service in America is fuch, that they are almoft, if not entirely ufelefs to the troops ferving in this country, they are not therefore here inferted.

In dreffing Ranks, the Soldiers muft obferve to ftand upright, and without ftooping, to caft their Eyes fmartly to the right and l^ft* and fee the third Man's breaft, uking care to keep fix Inches Diftance between the Files.

In covering their File leaders, they muft look between their Heads and the Firelocks.

In marching and wheeling, they muft obferve the fame Rule as in dreffing the Ranks, lift up their Feet with ftiff Knees, and fet them down firm without ftamping ; and not to drag the Feet back, but to move the Body without fhak- ing from one Side to the other.

In order the divifions may wheel with celerity, when they receive the Word March I the Flanks are to ftep off with a quick, but ftrong Pace. As foon as the wheel is performed, a Signal is given from the Flank, on which they catch the flow Pace again.

In all Wheelings to the Right, the Men muft caft their Eyes to the Left, except the Left-Hand Man : And in all Wheelings to the Left, they caft their Eyes to the Right,

except the Right-hand Man, obferving to feel the hand they wheel to, without crouding upon it.

The Performance of all Manoeuvres may be done either with a flow or a quick pace, as the commanding Officer fhall think proper to direct.

 

Some Occafional Words of Command, -with Explanations.

Support your Firelocks! 3 Motions.

  1. Strike and feize the Firelock fo low with the right- hand as juft to adanit the left Arm between it and the Lock in the next Motion.
  2. With the left hand ftrike the right breaft, holding that Arm a-crofs the Body, the lock refting thereon.
  3. Quit with the right Hand, and let the fame fall with Sprightlinefs down the right Side.         

Carry your Arms! 3 Motions.

  1. Strike and feize the piece with the right hand clofie be-low the left Arm.
  2. Strike the butt with the left Hand.
  3. Quit with the right Hand.

Unfix your Bayonets ( Three Motions,

  1. Strike the Piece with the ifght Hand under the Cock without turning the Barrel.
  2. Caft off the Piece a little, and feize the fame with the left Hand around the Swell, that Elbow clofe to the lock.
  3. Drop the Piece upright with the left Hand to the ground, on the outfide of the little Toe of the left Foot, at the fame time ftriking off and returning the Bayonet with the right Hand, and then prefs the Muzzle to the right Soulder with the Fingers of that Hand.

Shoulder! 3 Motions,

  1. Raife the firelock upright with the left hand, that elbow to the lock, the fingers of the right hand being brought under the Cock, the thumb up the piece on the fcrew-nail. v
  2. Strike the Butt with the left Hand.
  3. Quit the right Hand.

Order your Firelocks!

As in the Manual.

Eafe your Arms! 1 Motion.

Bring down your right Hand as low as you can without Conftraint, with the Fingers and Thumb down the Piese and preffing thereon, the back cf the Hand to the Front.

Clap Hands!

Throw the right Hand a-crofs the Piece, clapping hands and bending the Knees eafily.

Handle your Arms! 1 Motion.

Bring up your right Hand to the Muzzle and ftand firm, as in the Order.

 

THE forming of the Column is an Evolution pradtifed by moft nations; yet it is thought by modern authors very defective, and not calculated for the purpofes intended. The Ufe of the Column is, either to form a Line of march, to attack a Pafs, Retrenchments, or a Breach made in the Works of a fortified Place; and therefore the head, front, or breadth of the Column is made more or lefs extenfive according to the Service for which it is defigned.

There are two Sorts of Columns ; one is compofed of Files, the other of Ranks. Each of thefe Columns hath its particular advocates in point of choice. But neither of thefe columns will do for all purpofes ; fince it will be found upr on reflection, that the fort of column which is neceffary for one kind of fervice, will be inconvenient or improper on a. different occafion. If a Column is formed of Ranks, and is attacked in Front or Rear, it can oppofe a regular Platoon or Sub-Divifion, immediately, to the Enemy ; but if attacked in flank and front, at the fame time, it cannot make a proper defence.  There is the fame objection to a column formed of files : It cannot defend itfelf in front if attacked, (at the fame time) in Flank and Front. Where there is no oppofition, in referve, intended by the enemy to oppofe the front, the column of files is preferred. There is a column recommended by a late Author, cqmpofed of Ranks and files, which he calls the mixed Column, that feems to be calcilated for Defence on whatever Side it may be attacked.

Suppofe a Battalion drawn up in Line, and it is thought neceffary to form the mixed column : The commanding Of ficer gives the following Words of command :

Battalion by Files and Ranks form a Colnmn at the Centre.

 

EXPLANATION.

The two centre platoons ftand faft, thofe on the right and left face inwards, to the Centre. The two Centre Grand- Divifions form a Column of Ranks___The Grand-Divifions, on the Right and Left cover the Flanks by Files. But, as the Grand-Divifions on the flanks, marching by Files, will extend much beyond the Column of Ranks, it may be beft to order the Front Files to drefs with the Front of the Column of Ranks, and the rear Sub-Divifion of files to double up on the Outfide of the other, which will form a Column of Files on the flanks of two Sub-Divifions.  The Column thus formed, may be ordered to advance to the attack--- If it penetrates through the Enemy's Lines, and a Referve is prepared to attack the head of the Column, there is a proper Front to oppofe them : and if attacked on one or both Flanks at the fame Time, the commanding Officer orders ;

 

Column form to flank Attacks I

Upon which, the Divifions on the.Flanks face outwards, and oppofe a proper Front to the enemy.  If it is neceffary to extend their Front, the Front Sub-Divifion inclines half its Front to the Right, the Rear Sub-Divifion half its. Front to the Left, march up, drefs, and form a Grand-Divifion in front. In this form they advance to the enemy, keeping up a brifk fire, or charge with bayonets, as the commanding Officer fhall direct; till they gain a compleat Victory.  If the Officer who commands the Column of Ranks routs the Referve, and thinks it neceffary to affift the flank Attack, he may detach a Platoon or Sub-Divifion to each Party,

FINIS

 

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