Sunday, September 03, 2006

Moving and Attack

1. Marching: This is the quickest way to get troops from one place to another.

a. The regiment is formed in a column of fours, that is four across and as many ranks back as possible.

b. Regimental colors will be at the front with the Color Guard.

c. Musicians in front of the Color Guard.

d. Baggage (tents, cooking utensils, supplies, etc.) will follow up in wagons.

e. Company commanders (usually a Captain) will be at the head of the company while the lieutenant will be at the rear.

f. Regiment commander (usually a Colonel) will move around and check the formation to ensure all is going well.

g. The Lieutenant Colonel and Major will also keep things going.

h. Lieutenants and Sergeants can be posted in the rear to catch stragglers.

i. There is no talking while marching, so any commands will be heard.

j. Once on the move, the command “Route Step” is given, allowing the formation to loosen up and move at a walk.

k. Halts may be used for rest periods or if something is going on ahead.

l. When the formation resumes the march, it is at “Attention” until things get going, afterwards it’s “Route Step.”

m. If there is a straggler, he must gain permission of an officer to fall out. His musket and knapsack must be left with the formation.

n. Ensure canteens are full.

o. Firing of muskets is prohibited on the march.

p. Ensure no trash is thrown away.

2. Battle: This happens when the enemy is spotted:

a. The formation is halted.

b. The companies are spread out into two lines with “A” company on the extreme right the last company on the extreme left.

c. Color Guard in the middle of the formation. The flags are used as a guide.

d. Musicians go to the rear with the Regimental Surgeon to serve as stretcher bearers.

e. Lieutenants and Sergeants are behind their companies in order to keep the formation tight.

f. Guides are poster on the left and right of the formation.

g. The Sergeant Major is on the left while an Adjutant is on the right.

h. The left wing (troops to the left of the flag) is commanded by the Major.

i. The right wing (troops to the right of the flag) is commanded by the Lieutenant Colonel.

j. The Colonel is in the center behind the formation so orders can be quickly issued.

k. Staff officers remain with the Colonel in case dispatches need to be sent to Brigade.

l. If not sent to the rear, Musicians remain with the Colonel.

3. Attack: The methods used to attack an enemy position:

a. Frontal: This is a straight advance on the enemy position. Using several regiments, brigades, divisions, or even the whole army, this puts a lot of force at a single point in the enemy’s line.

b. Oblique: This sends the formation at a right angle toward the enemy position.

c. Flank: This sends the formation directly at the end of the enemy position. Useful for putting concentrated musket fire at a single point.

d. Rear: Is troops can be sent to the rear of the enemy’s position without detection, the position can be surrounded and the enemy forced to surrender.

4. Withdrawal: If you have to pull back:

a. Basic: March the formation backwards until out of enemy musket range. Then have then about face and march to the rear.

b. Fighting: Have the front rank fire a volley, and then go to the rear of the second rank. That rank fires as the first rank reloads. Then the process is repeated.

c. Rout: This is everyone for themselves. This means things have gone very badly. You want to try to avoid that, since unit cohesion will be lost as everything runs for the hills.

5. Types of fire:

a. Volley: Useful for sending a lot of bullets at once at an enemy position. First, the men’s muskets must be loaded. Second, when all things are ready, the command “Present” is called. All the regiment’s muskets will then be leveled (aimed) at the enemy. Then the command “Fire” is called. All muskets are fired. (If this is a new regiment, that means about 1000 muskets are being fired at once.)

b. Independent: After a few volleys, the formation can switch to Independent Fire by the command “Fire at Will.” This will keep the fire going until the command “Cease Fire” is issued.

Another thing to consider is the bayonet charge. That is sending the formation forward after a volley with bayonets fixed. This can break an enemy line if properly used.

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