LESSON FIFTH.

 

ARTICLE I.-To break into column by platoon, either at a halt or in march.

 

171. The company being at a halt, in line of battle, the instructor, wishing, to break it into column, by platoon to the right, will command:

 

1.        By platoon, right wheel. 2. MARCH.

 
 


 

 

 


172. At the first command, the chiefs of platoon will place themselves rapidly two paces before the centers of their respective platoons, the lieutenant passing around the left of the company. They need not occupy themselves with dressing, one upon the other. The covering sergeant will replace the captain in the front rank.

173. At the command march, the right front rank man of each platoon will face to the right, the covering sergeant standing fast; the chief of each platoon will move quickly by the shortest line, a little beyond the point at which the marching flank will rest when the wheel shall be completed, face to the late rear, and place himself so that the line which he forms with the man on the. right (who had faced,) shall be perpendicular to that occupied by the company in line of battle; each platoon will wheel according to the principles prescribed for the wheel on a fixed pivot, and when the man who conducts the marching flank shall approach near to the perpendicular, its chief will command:

 

1. Platoon. 2. HALT.

 

174. At the command halt, which will be given at the instant the man who conducts the marching flank shall have arrived at three paces from the perpendicular, the platoon will halt; the covering sergeant will move to the point where the left of the first platoon is to rest, passing by the front rank; the second sergeant will place himself, in like manner, in respect to the second platoon. Each will take care to leave between himself and the man on the right of his platoon, a space equal to its front; the captain and first lieutenant will look to this, and each take care to align the sergeant between himself and the man of the platoon who had faced to the right.

175. The guide of each platoon being thus established on the perpendicular, each chief will place himself two paces outside of is guide, and facing towards him, will command:

 

3. Left-DRESS.

 

176. The alignment being ended, each chief of platoon will command,  FRONT, and place himself two paces before its center.

177. The file closers will conform themselves to the movement of their respective platoons, preserving always the distance of two paces from the rear rank.

178. The company will break by platoon to the left, according to the same principles. The instructor will command:

 

1. By platoon, left wheel. 2. MARCH.

 

179. The first command will be executed in the same manner as if breaking by platoon to the right.

180. At the command march, the left front rank man of each platoon will face to the left, and the platoons will wheel to the left, according to the principles prescribed for the wheel on a fixed pivot; the chiefs of platoon will conform to the principles indicated Nos. 173 and 174.

181. At the command halt, given by the chief of each platoon, the covering sergeant on the right of the front rank of the first platoon, and the second sergeant near the left of the second platoon, will each move to the points where the right of his platoon is to rest. The chief of each platoon should be careful to align the sergeant between himself and the man of the platoon who had faced to the left, and will then command:

 

Right-DRESS.

 

182. The platoons being aligned, each chief of platoon will command  Front, and place himself opposite its center.

183. The instructor wishing to break the company by platoon to the right and to move the column forward after the wheel is completed, will caution the company to that effect, and command:

 

1. By platoon, right wheel. 2. MARCH.

 

184.. At the first command the chiefs of platoon will move rapidly in front of their respective platoons, conforming to what has been prescribed No. 172, and will remain in this position during the

continuance of the wheel. The covering sergeant will replace the chief of the first platoon in the front rank.

185. At the command march, the platoons will wheel to the right, conforming to the principles herein prescribed; the man on the pivot will not face to the right, but will mark time, conform himself to the movement of the marching flank; and when the man who is on the left of this flank shall arrive near the perpendicular, the instructor will command:

 

3. Forward. 4. MARCH. 5. Guide left.

 

186. At the fourth command, which will be given at the instant the wheel is completed, the platoons will move straight to the front, all the men taking, the step of twenty-eight inches. The covering sergeant and the second sergeant will move rapidly to the left of their respective platoons, the former passing before the front rank. The leading guide will immediately take points on the ground in the direction which may be indicated to him by the instructor.

187. At the fifth command, the men will take the touch of elbows lightly to the left.

188. If the guide of the second platoon should lose his distance, or the line of direction, he will conform to the principles herein prescribed, Nos. 202 and 203.

189. If the company be marching in line to the front, the instructor will cause it to break by platoon to the right by the same commands. At the command march, the platoons will wheel in the manner already explained; the man on the pivot will take care to mark time in his place, without advancing or receding; the instructor, the chiefs of platoon, and the guides, will conform to what has been prescribed Nos. 184 and following.

190. The company may be broken by platoons to the left, according to the same principles, and by inverse means, the instructor ring the commands prescribed Nos. 183 and 185, substituting  left for right, and reciprocally

191. The movements explained in Nos. 183 and 189 will only be executed after the company has become well established in the principles of the march in column, Articles Second and Third.

 

Remarks.

 

192. The instructor, placed in front of the company, will observe whether the movement be executed according to the principles proscribed above; whether the platoons, after breaking into column, are perpendicular to the line of battle just occupied , and whether the guide, who placed himself where the marching flank of big platoon had to rest, has left, between himself and the front rank man on the right (or left), the space necessary to contain the front of the Platoon.

193. After the platoons have broken, if the rearmost guard should not accurately cover the leading one, be will not seek to correct his position till the column be put in march, unless the instructor wishing to wheel immediately into line, should think it necessary to rectify the direction of the guides, which would be executed as will be hereinafter explained in Article Fifth of this Lesson.

194. The instructor will observe, that the man on the right or left) of each platoon, who, at the command march, faces to go right (or left) being the true pivot of the wheel, the front rank man next to him ought to gain it little ground to the front in wheeling, so as clear the pivot-man.

 

ARTICLE II.-To march in column.

 

195. The company having broken by platoon, right (or left) in front, the instructor, wishing to cause the column to march, will throw himself twenty-five or thirty paces in front, face to the guide" place himself correctly, on their direction, and caution the leading guide to take points on the ground.

196. he instructor being thus placed, the guide of the leading platoon will take two points on the ground in the straight line passing between his own and the heels of the instructor.

197. These dispositions being made, the instructor will step aside and command:

 

1.        Column, forward. 2. Guide left (or right). 3. MARCH.

 

198. At the command march promptly repeated by the chiefs of platoon, they, as well as the guides, will lead off, by a decided step, their respective platoons, in order that the whole may move smartly, and at the same moment.

199. The men will each feel lightly the elbow of his neighbor toward the guide, and conform himself, in marching, to the principles prescribed in the school of the soldier, No. 327. The man next to the guide, in each platoon, will take care never to pass him, and also to march always about six inches to the right (or left) from him, in order not to push him out of the direction.

200. The leading guide will observe, with the greatest precision, the length and cadence of the step, and maintain the direction of his march by the means prescribed No. 89.

201. The following guide will march exactly in the trace of the leading one, preserving between the latter and himself a distance precisely equal to the front of his platoon, and marching in the same step with the leading guide.

202. If the following guide lose his distance from the one leading, (which can only happen by his own fault,) he will correct himself by slightly lengthening or shortening a few steps, in order that there may not be sudden quickenings or slackenings in the march of his platoon.

203. If the same guide, having neglected to march exactly in the trace of the preceding one, find himself sensibly out of the direction, he will remedy this fault by advancing more or less the shoulder opposite to the true direction, and thus, in a few steps, insensibly regain it, Without the inconvenience of the oblique step, which would cause a loss of distance. In all cases, each chief of platoon will cause it to conform to the movements of its guide.

 

Remarks on the march in column.

 

204. If the chiefs and guides of subdivisions neglect to lead off and to decide the march from the first step, the march will be begun in uncertainty, which will cause waverings, a loss of step and a loss of distance.

205. If the leading guide take unequal steps, the march of his subdivision, and that which follows will be uncertain; there will be undulations, quickenings, and slackenings in the march.

206. If the same guide be not habituated to prolong a given direction, without deviation, he will describe a crooked line, and the column must wind to conform itself to such line.  

207. If the following guide be not habituated to march in the trace of the preceding one, he will lose his distance at every moment in endeavors to regain the trace, the preservation of which is the most important principle in the march in column.

208. The guide of each subdivision in column will be responsible for the direction, distance and step; the chief of the subdivision  for the order and conformity of his subdivision with the movements of the guide. Accordingly, the chief will frequently turn, in the march, to observe his subdivision.

209. The instructor, placed on the flank of the guides, will watch over the execution of all the principles proscribed - he will, also, sometimes place himself in the rear, align himself on the guides, and halt, pending some thirty paces' together, to verify the accuracy of the guides.

210. In column, chiefs of subdivision will always repeat, with the greatest promptitude, the commands march and halt, no chief waiting for another, bat each repeating the command the moment he catches it from the instructor. They will repeat no other command given by him; but will explain, if necessary, to their subdivisions, in an under tone of voice, what they will have to execute, as indicated by the commands of caution.