Skip to main content

Full text of "Military lessons : military schools, colleges and militia"

See other formats


LIBRARY 

OF THK 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA. 

OK 



** 



Received 
A c cess ions No . 



+ : . . . 1 88 J~ . 



Shtlf No. 



\ 



MILITARY LESSONS: 



MILITARY SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, AND 
MILITIA. 



BY PROF. W. T. WELCKER, 

II 

PEOFESSOR OF MATHEMATICS AND CHIEF OF MILITARY INSTRUCTION 
IN THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA. 




NEW YORK AND CHICAGO: 
IYISON, BLAKEMAN, TAYLOR, & CO. 

1874. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, 

BY IVISON, BLAKEMAN, TAYLOR, & CO., 
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 



UNIVERSITY PRESS : WELCH, BIGELOW, & Co., 
CAMBRIDGE. 



PREFACE. 



IN presenting this little volume to the public, the 
author has sought to meet what he believes to 
be a want of the numerous private military schools 
of the United States, of those institutions of higher 
learning where a limited amount of military in- 
struction is given, and of the militia of the dif- 
ferent States. The late wars, home and foreign, 
have shown that a mere knowledge of tactics is no 
longer sufficient ; that some further knowledge of 
the art of war is requisite, not only among those 
destined to be officers, but even among the private 
soldiers. And it is believed that the works hereto- 
fore published upon some of the topics treated have 
been too elaborate, scientific, and technical for those 
who will be prevented, either by want of technical 
preparation or by w^ant of time, from pursuing the 
studies in an exhaustive manner. 

There is but little claim to originality advanced ; 
the following chapters are, in the main, either trans- 



i v PREFACE. 

lations or compilations from various standard au- 
thorities on the different subjects treated. 

But, while the author deems the information 
given sound and valuable, he has avoided, as far as 
possible, introducing mathematics or other scientific 
matter suitable only for the professional officer, who 
studies the whole subject thoroughly, or who per- 
haps is devoted to a single branch, such as military 
engineering or artillery. The aim has been to suit 
the work to all who have received a common-school 
education. 

It has grown up as the result of military instruc- 
tion, over and above that in drill and tactics, given 
to the students of the University of California. 

W. T. WELCKER. 

UNIVERSITY or CALIFORNIA, 
August, 1874. 



CONTENTS, 



CHAPTER I. 

COMPOSITION AND ORGANIZATION OF ARMIES. 

PAGE 
Divisions of Troops, Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery ... 1 

Greek Phalanx ^ 6 

Roman Legion .......... 

Feudal Period . . . .11 

Heavy Infantry .......... 14 

Grenadiers ........... 15 

Different Kinds of Cavalry, Cuirassiers, etc. . . . . . 15 

Light Cavalry . .* 18 

Dragoons . . 

Hussars ............ 19 

Lancers ........... 20 

Artillery 21 

Engineer Troops ......... 23 

CHAPTER II. 

SUPPLY OF ARMIES. 

Pay . . 24 

Pay in European Services ........ 26 

Subsistence Department ......... 28 

Supply of Clothing and Equipage . . . . . . 31 

Medical Supplies 33 

CHAPTER III. 

MOVING OF ARMIES. 

Different Methods of transporting Armies . . . . .35 

In the Neighborhood of the Enemy . . . . . . 37 

Rear- Guard on a Retreat . . . . . . . . .39 

Flank-Guards .... 40 



v i CONTENTS. 

Trains 41 

Of Halts . ' 42 

Commander-in-Chief 43 

Commander of the Advanced- Guard . . . . . . 45 

Selection of Camps .......... 47 

Commander of the Rear- Guard in Retreat 48 

Duties of the Commanders of Flank, Advanced, and Rear Detachments 49 

Duties of Patrols during a March 51 

Regulating Marches by the Nature of the Ground. ... 54 



CHAPTER IV. 

. PASSAGE OP RIVERS ON ICE, BY FORDS, BY BOATS, AND ON RAPTS. 

Selection of the Point of Crossing . . . . . . .58 

To determine the Velocity of the Current 63 

Passage hy Swimming 66 

Passage on Ice 67 

Fords 67 

Passage by Boats 71 

Navigation . . . . . . . . . . .75 

Rafts and Foot-Bridges 77 

CHAPTER Y. 

MILITARY BRIDGES IN GENERAL. 

Bridge over Hellespont by Xerxes 80 

Bridges of Boats . . . 

Pontons of Equipage 85 

Bridges on Country Boats . . . . . . ... 

Bridges on Rafts of Logs . . . . . . . .87 

To find the Power of Flotation 

Bridges on Rafts of Casks, Boxes, and Skins 89 

Trestle-Bridges 

Preservation of Bridges 92 

Passage of Bridges . . 

Flying -Bridges 95 

Destruction of Bridges 

Destruction of the Enemy's Bridges ...... 97 

CHAPTER VI. 

PIELD FORTIFICATION. 

Art of Fortification 99 

Profile of Parapet and Ditch ...."... 102 
Plan .... 102 



CONTENTS. vii 

Redoubt 104 

Flanked Dispositions . . . . . . . . . 104 

Star Forts 106 

Cremaillere, Redan, Lunette, Priest-Cap ...... 107 

Tete-de-pont 108 

Revetments 108 

Fascines 108 

Hurdle Revetments . . . . . . . . .109 

Gabions 109 

Powder Magazines ......... 109 

Traverses 110 

Palisades 110 

Block-Houses Ill 

Obstacles Ill 

Chevaux-de-frise, Crow's-Feet, Abattis 112 

Attack and Defense 112 

Defense 114 

CHAPTER YII. 

STRATEGY. 

Strategy defined 116 

Line of Operations 118 

Defensive Plan 123 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THEORY OP TIRE AND TARGET PRACTICE. 

Initial Velocity . 127 

Recoil 129 

Heating of the Barrel 130 

To find the Hausse 134 

Construction of the Trajectory 135 

Causes of Deviation in the Projectile . . . . . .135 

Combined Effect of the Action of the Air, and of Imperfections in the 

Projectile 136 

Deviation from Unskillfulness of the -Marksman . . . . 138 

Stadia 139 

To calculate the Initial Velocity . . . . . . . 140 

CHAPTER, IX. 

SMALL- ARMS. 

Crossbow 149 

Arquebuse .......... 150 

Firearms .... , 151 



viii CONTENTS. 

Different Methods of forcing the Ball into the Grooves . . .161 

Pontchara System . . 103 

Systeme a tige . . . . . . . . , . 103 

Balle a culot 16? 

Minne-Ball ... 167 

Lancaster Rifle 168 

Breech-Loaders .169 

Repeating Rifles, Remington, Sharpe, Peabody, Ballard, Needle-Gun, 

Chassepot .......... 170 

Winchester Rifle . 171 



CHAPTER X. 

MITRAILLEUSE AND UNITED STATES ORDNANCE. 

Ordinance of the United States Service . . . . . .174 

Shell Guns 175 

Mortars 175 




COMPOSITION AND ORGANIZATION OF AEMIES. 

AN army is a collection of men armed for war, and 
organized in companies, regiments, brigades, and 
divisions, under proper officers. 

In modern times it is composed of Infantry, or foot- 
soldiers ; Cavalry, or various kinds of mounted troops ; 
Artillery, or those who make use of cannon; and Engi- 
neer Troops, consisting of sappers and miners, poritoniers 
and pioneers. 

These main divisions have numerous subdivisions, of 
which the smallest is the Company. This is a body of 
troops varying in numbers from 50 to 200 men; the most 
usual number being about 100. It is evidently the same 
thing as the Roman century, which was commanded by a 
centurion. Among the Israelites, we read in the Old Tes- 
tament of " captains of a hundred " as well as of " captains 
of fifties." 

The permanent commander of a company is denominated 
Captain. Besides the captain there are either two or three 
other officers in every company, called Lieutenants. The 



2 MILITARY LESSONS. 

captain and the lieutenants are called collectively company 
commissioned officers, because they bear the commission 
of the king, or other chief of state,, with his sign-manual. 
Lieutenants are classified as First Lieutenants and Second 
Lieutenants. The second lieutenant is usually the lowest 
commissioned officer in an army. 

The commission is a letter-patent from the king,, or chief 
executive of the state, declaring that he reposes special 
trust and confidence in the wisdom, loyalty, patriotism, and 
valor of A. B., and does thereby appoint him to be (such 
and such an officer), and requires all officers and soldiers 
to obey and respect him accordingly. 

In the United States service there is also the Brevet 
Second Lieutenant, who is a supernumerary second lieu- 
tenant awaiting promotion to the full grade of second 
lieutenant. Between the commissioned officers and the 
non-commissioned officers there intervenes the grade of 
warrant officers. At present there is, in the United States 
military service, but one kind of warrant officers, i. e. the 
Cadet. The cadet is a young officer bearing a warrant from 
the Secretary of War, and is not usually assigned to any of 
the military organizations, but undergoes instruction in the 
science and art of war at the national Military Academy at 
West Point. Upon being graduated at this institution and 
receiving his diploma, he is promoted to some corps of the 
army as Brevet Second Lieutenant, Second Lieutenant, or 
sometimes to a higher grade. Cornets are warrant officers 
of cavalry in the English service, and Ensigns are warrant 
officers of infantry. 



ORGANIZATION OF ARMIES. 3 

In company organizations the officers next below are 
Sergeants. This word is derived by some from the Latin 
word " serviens," and by others from, the Persian word 
<c sarchank " or " sarjank," a prefect or subordinate mili- 
tary officer. The latter derivation wo aid seem to be the 
most probable, from the fact that the word is pronounced 
sarjeant, as if the first syllable were spelled with an a. 

This officer bears an appointment from the colonel of the 
regiment; he wears a sword, and usually in addition he 
carries the arm which is borne by the soldiers of his com- 
pany. The chief sergeant is called the Orderly Sergeant. 
He has, under the commissioned officers, a general control 
and superintendence over the company, calls the rolls, 
keeps the roster, and makes the details of the men for 
guard duty, fatigue duty, and other detachments. He 
wears a sash like the commissioned officers. 

Besides the orderly sergeant there are -three, and some- 
times four, other sergeants, who have the general super- 
intendence of the soldiers, living in quarters with them to 
preserve order and discipline, and upon parade are sta- 
tioned in the " line of file-closers," two paces behind the 
ranks, to see that the men obey commands and properly 
perform the movements which may be ordered. 

Next to the sergeants are other non-commissioned offi- 
cers called Corporals, who are stationed on the flanks of 
the companies to guide the same with steadiness; and 
when any sergeant is absent, that one of them may act in 
that capacity. On guard each relief is commanded by a 
corporal. This completes the list of the officers of a com- 



4 MILITARY LESSONS. 

pany. To every company of infantry there is one drum- 
mer and one fifer, and to companies of horse there should 
be two or more buglers or trumpeters. These compose the 
field-music. The remaining men, who compose the ranks 
of the company, are called the privates. 

Eight companies may, but generally ten companies do, 
compose a Regiment ; which, if the companies contain 
one hundred men, would make the regiment eight hundred 
or one thousand strong. The commander of a regiment 
is denominated Colonel. Next in rank to the colonel is 
the Lieutenant-Colonel ; and a Major is an officer inter- 
mediate between a lieutenant-colonel and a captain. To 
each regiment there is one, and sometimes two, majors." 
The colonel, lieutenant-colonel, and major or majors con- 
stitute what are called the field officers, in contradistinction 
from the captains and lieutenants, who are known as com- 
pany officers. Any number of companies greater than one 
and less than a regiment is known as a Battalion, and 
is properly commanded by a lieutenant-colonel or a major. 

A Brigade is composed generally of two regiments, but 
sometimes of three or four regiments. This body is com- 
manded by a Brigadier-General, the lowest in rank of the 
general officers. 

From two to six brigades constitute a Division, which 
is commanded by a Major-General. To a division there 
is generally attached a certain proportion of artillery and 
cavalry. 

A Corps d'Armee or Army Corps is a body composed 
of all arms and numbers, from twenty thousand, men 






ORGANIZATION OF ARMIES. 

to fifty thousand. It is the appropriate command of a 
Lieutenant-General, and is, in effect, an army, and may 
be detached to act independently. Two or more army 
corps constitute an army, the commander of which is a 
General, making the fourth and highest rank of general 
officers. 

Whenever the proper commander of any of the above- 
described bodies of organization is absent, the next in rank 
takes command ; i. e. the senior officer present assumes the 
command. In this way a lieutenant may command a com- 
pany, a lieutenant-colonel a regiment, a colonel a brigade, a 
brigadier-general a division, etc. Something like the above 
sketch, with here and there a variation, will be a description 
of the organization of every civilized military service. 

The necessities of war must always introduce some sort 
of organization at a very early period, even among the 
most barbarous nations. The desultory efforts of individ- 
uals are speedily found inadequate to meet the shock of 
men combined in a mass ; more especially is this true in 
champaign countries. There must be a leader, and subor- 
dination to a common head, with unity of design every- 
where; but a greater looseness and more of individual 
action is allowable in a broken, mountainous, and timbered 
region than upon plains. The ease with which a loose and 
scattered multitude can be swept away upon an open plain 
by a smaller body of compact infantry, or cut down by 
cavalry, speedily demonstrates the necessity of organization. 

The American Indians display less desire and aptitude 
for civilization than any people whatever ; yet even some 



6 MILITARY LESSONS. 

of their tribes have been compelled to adopt something like 
organization. This is more particularly true of the Co- 
manches, who operate on the extended plains of Texas and 
the neighboring country. 

Greek Phalanx. The earliest formations of which we 
have any very intelligible account are the celebrated Greek 
phalanx and Roman legion, each of which in its turn con- 
quered the known world. The grand phalanx of the 
Greeks was composed of four phalanxes, each phalanx 
being composed of 4,096 men. Sixteen men made a file, 
counting from front to rear ; and four files, making sixty- 
four men, composed a Tetrarchy, and was commanded 
by an officer named a Tetrarch, who may be supposed to 
correspond to the modern captain of infantry. There were 
thus sixty-four tetrarchies in a phalanx, and the front line 
contained 256 men. Thus, the phalanx was a solid rectan- 
gle of men 256x16. These numbers varied at different 
epochs. 

Four tetrarchies made a Syritagmatarchy, commanded 
by a Syntagmatarch, who might correspond with a major 
of our day, but in the functions of his office more resem- 
bled a colonel. The phalanx was commanded by an officer 
called Strategos, who corresponded with our brigadier- 
general. 

The Heavy Infantry, or infantry of the line, were 
drawn up sixteen deep, and they bore the long Macedonian 
pike, which was twenty-four feet long. When this 'for- 
midable weapon was brought down to the charge, those 
of the front rank extended twenty-four feet towards the 



ORGANIZATION OF ARMIES. 7 

enemy, and those of the succeeding ranks a less and less 
distance, unto the sixth rank, whose pikes projected three 
feet to the front, making a formidable and impenetra- 
ble array. The men wore also heavy shields, which they 
used, in a charge, to cover their persons from missiles 
coming either from the front or from above. Besides the 
heavy infantry there were Light Infantry, and two kinds 
of cavalry, heavy and light. 

TJpoii a plain where it could act well the phalanx was 
a terrible body for either offence or defence, but it was 
extremely ill-suited to broken ground or hilly countries. 
There must also have been a great waste of material, be- 
cause after the sixth or seventh rank the remainder of the 
men were idle and nearly useless, except to relieve the others. 

Roman Legion. In the days of the Republic, when it 
was in reality a republic, and previously to the civil wars 
which terminated in the establishment of the Caesars, a 
Roman army usually consisted of two legions and two 
wings of auxiliary troops. The legion consisted of heavy 
infantry, light infantry, and cavalry. The first were cov- 
ered with defensive armor and wore the short Eoman sword, 
which was two-edged, straight, and heavy. They also car- 
ried a javelin about seven feet long, which was named the 
pilum. The light infantry carried a spear called the 
hasta, shorter than the pilum, the short-sword, and had, 
for defence, only a helmet and leather buckler. 

The cavalry, in addition to the helmet and buckler, wore 

)/L\f\f . 

a cuirass for protection ; and, for offense, the Greek lance, 
a long curved sword or saber, and a quiver with darts. 



8 MILITARY LESSONS. 

Like the phalanx, the legion at different times contained 
different numbers of men, but about four thousand was the 
average. The principal officers were sixty Centurions, or 
captains, and six Tribunes, or colonels. In the earlier 
times these tribunes took the command by turns, each tour 
of duty lasting two months. Subsequently a permanent 
commander, styled a Le'gatus, was appointed. 

The habitual order of battle of the legion was in three 
lines within supporting distance of one another, and with 
cavalry on the wings. The greatest depth of formation was 
ten ranks, and a portion of the troops were only six deep. 
Thus, the legion was not so cumbersome as the phalanx, and 
could adapt itself much more readily to the accidents of the 
ground. 

Just preceding the onset the legionaries hurled their jav- 
elins upon the enemy, and then threw themselves upon him 
with the terrible short-sword. But it is apparent that the 
legion was not so good, from its composition, to withstand 
the attacks of cavalry as the formidable array of pikes 
bristling from the phalanx. Owing to the depth of their 
ranks, neither would do when exposed to modem firearms 
and artillery. Imagine the havoc that would be made in a 
Grecian phalanx by a mitrailleuse ! 

Before quitting the legion it may be well to adduce the 
testimony of Josephus upon the subject, although what he 
says has more reference to the discipline of the legion, its 
camps and marches, than to its organization. In speaking 
of the legion as it was in the time of the Emperor Yespa- 
sian, he says : 



ORGANIZATION OF ARMIES. 9 

" If any does but attend to the other parts of their mili- 
tary discipline, he will be forced to confess that their ob- 
taining so large a dominion hath been the acquisition of 
their valor and not the bare gift of fortune, for they do not 
begin to use their weapons first in time of war, nor do 
they then put their hands first into motion, which they 
avoided so to do in times of peace, but as if their weapons 
did always cling to them, they have never any truce from 
warlike exercises, nor do they stay till times of war admon- 
ish them to use them ; for their military exercises differ not 
at all from the real use of their arms, but every soldier is 
every day exercised, and that with great diligence, as if it 
were in time of war, which is the reason why they bear the 
fatigues of battles so easily, for neither can any disorder 
remove them from their usual regularity, nor can fear 
affright them out of it, nor can labor tire them ; which 
firmness of conduct makes them always to overcome them 
that have not the same firmness, nor would he be mistaken 
that should call those their exercises unbloody battles, and 
their battles bloody exercises. 

" Nor can their enemies surprise them with the sudden- 
ness of their incursions ; for as soon as they have marched 
into an enemy's land they do not begin to fight till they 
have walled their camp about, nor is the fence they raise 
rashly made nor uneven, .... but if it happens that the 
ground is uneven it is first leveled ; their camp is also four 
square by measure, and carpenters are ready in great num- 
bers with their tools to erect the buildings for them. 

" As for what is within the camp, it is set apart for 



10 MILITARY LESSONS. 

tents, but the outward circumference of it hath the resem- 
blance to a wall, and is adorned with towers at equal dis- 
tances, where between the towers stand the engines for 
throwing arrows and darts and for slinging stones, and 
where they lay all other engines that can annoy the enemy 
all ready for their several operations. They also erect four 
gates, one at every side of the circumference, and those large 
enough for the entrance of the beasts and wide enough for 
the making of excursions if occasion should require 

" When they have secured themselves, they live together 
by companies in quietness and decency, as are all their 
affairs managed with good order and security. Each 
company hath also their wood and their corn and their 
water brought to them when they stand in need of them, 
for they neither sup nor dine as they please themselves, 
singly, but all together. Their times also for sleeping and 
watching and rising are notified beforehand by the sound 
of trumpets 

" Now when they are to go out of their camp the 
trumpet gives a sound, at which time nobody lies still, but 
at the first intimation they take down their tents and all 
is made ready for their going out ; then do the trumpets 
sound again to order them to get ready for the march, then 
do they lay their baggage suddenly upon their mules and 
other beasts of burden, and stand as at the place of starting 
ready to march. Then does the crier stand at the general's 
right hand and ask them thrice in their own tongue whether 
they be now ready to go out to war or not. To which they 
reply as often with a loud and cheerful voice, ' We are 



ORGANIZATION OF ARMIES. 11 

ready ! ' And this they do almost before the question is 
asked them ; they do this as filled with a kind of martial 
fury, and at the same time that they so cry out they lift up 
their right hands also. 

" When after this they are gone out of their camp they 
all march without noise, and in a decent manner, and every 
one keeps his own rank, as they were going to war." 

The extracts from Josephus here made are somewhat 
copious, but it is thought that the reproduction of the 
daily camp life and discipline of those renowned veterans 
who subdued the world, as it took place eighteen centuries 
ago, cannot fail to be interesting and instructive to the 
military student. 

Subsequent to the decay of the Eoman discipline and 
the loss of the legionary organization, after a long interval 
we come to the Feudal Period. During this period the 
bulk of armies was cavalry, and with but little of organiza- 
tion. Tactics and strategy were almost unknown. Every- 
thing was remitted to individual courage, skill, and enter- 
prise. Two armies were two great mobs who sought each 
other, and when confronted, after some interchanges, through 
their respective heralds-at-arms, of courtesies or defiances, 
fell upon each other pell-mell in two long paralled lines, 
and fought with ferocity and much exhibition of physical 
strength and manual dexterity. The accounts of the bat- 
tles in which the destinies of nations were decided are the 
accounts of a series of detached combats along the lines, 
where the greatest kings and leaders were doing and could 
only do the duties of private soldiers ; and he who could 



12 MILITARY LESSONS. 

swing the heaviest battle-ax with the greatest skill was the 
greatest general. It is not asserted that there were no ex- 
ceptions to this statement, but it may fairly represent the 
system. The cavaliers as well as their horses were gener- 
ally clothed in heavy defensive armor. 

As we advance towards modern times we behold the 
second rise of military science. 

The Swiss infantry first demonstrated the superior virtue 
of organization,, and of disciplined concert of action. These 
troops,, really deserving that name/were not only able to 
defend their own country, but soon were found as merce- 
naries in most -of the continental states of Europe ; their 
palpable superiority causing them to be regarded as indis- 
pensable auxiliaries. 

A succession of able leaders appeared from time to time ; 
such as William and Maurice of Orange and Nassau, 
Gustavus Adolphus, Turenne-, Conde, Eugene, and Marl- 
borough, who restored the lost principles and spirit of the 
art and science of war, and adapted them to firearms 
and cannon. The bayonet replaced the pike, and the deep 
formations of infantry were abandoned, to avoid the exces- 
sive slaughter by projectiles launched by the enormous 
force of gunpowder, and also to utilize one's own muskets 
by a more extended line of battle for the same number of 
troops. Infantry was ranged in three ranks and two or 
three lines at a good supporting distance from each other, 
with artillery in the intervals of battalions, and cavalry on 
the wings or in rear, to be hurled at the opportune mo- 
ment against the enemy's forces, when shaken by the fire 



ORGANIZATION OF ARMIES. 13 

of .infantry or artillery. The three arms were united, and 
caused to co-operate in suitable proportions to each other. 
The improvements of this kind were carried still further by 
Frederick the Great and Napoleon. The infantry was dis- 
covered to be the mainstay, the grand frame of the army, 
and the only arm which was self-sustaining and capable of 
acting alone. 

The part of Artillery is to produce a great moral 
effect upon the enemy, to demoralize him by its terrible 
roar and the tremendous crash of its great projectiles, 
which demolish houses and tear their way to the extreme 
rear of columns ; to strike him at long range, and to 
prevent his coming out from cover at particular points; 
to shake his masses of infantry or cavalry previous to a 
charge; and to concentrate upon his columns advancing 
to the attack a heavy cannonade while yet a great way 
off, and to shatter them with grape-shot (or small and 
numerous projectiles) when within short range. 

The Cavalry were found to be invaluable in escorts, 
reconnoissances, and outpost service ; to fight the enemy's 
cavalry, and to charge his infantry when broken by the 
charge or fire of infantry, or by artillery fire ; to complete 
the rout and dispersion, and to make prisoners. 

Generals learned to use the different arms either simulta- 
neously or successively, according to the demands of the 
hour or locality ; sending infantry to strike or dislodge the 
enemy, over ground impassable by artillery and cavalry; 
and artillery to annoy or drive the enemy when posted 
beyond streams out of range of muskets and impassable by 



14 MILITARY LESSONS. 

cavalry ; to make use of the speed of cavalry in surprises ; 
by concealed marches to burst upon the enemy's flank or 
rear, or to cut his communications and capture his supplies. 

As before remarked,, the infantry is the principal arm of 
the organization ; hence the bulk of the troops must be of 
that description. 

The cavalry should, according to the nature of the thea- 
ter of war, vary from one sixth to one fourth of the num- 
ber of the infantry. The smaller proportion is used in 
broken and mountainous districts, and the larger in level 
countries. 

Proportion of Artillery. About two pieces of artillery 
field artillery to every thousand of the sum of the 
infantry and cavalry have been generally deemed correct. 
Napoleon increased this proportion somewhat, and the ten- 
dency of ideas still more recent seems to be in the same 
direction. 

Heavy Infantry. Lafantry has generally been subdi- 
vided into heavy infantry, or infantry of the line, and light 
infantry. In early times the former were generally armed 
with a sword; but while it has always been debatable 
whether it was not injudicious to load the soldier down 
with this encumbrance, and to fail to rely upon the bayo- 
net, it can scarcely be doubted that the arrangement is bad 
nowadays, when the bayonet exercise is universally taught. 

In the United States service no distinction is made 
among the infantry. Arms of precision and long range are 
issued to all, and all are expected to learn the skill in the 
use of the weapon, and the agility of body and celerity of 



ORGANIZATION OP ARMIES. 15 

action necessary to the movements of 'skirmishers and of 
ligl^t infantry. 

Occasionally we hear the term Grenadiers. This name 
is a relic of the former custom of selecting certain of the 
largest and strongest men, who were trained to hurl by hand 
lighted grenades or shells into the ranks of the enemy. 
The practice still prevails among the besieged, who throw 
these hand-grenades over the ramparts upon the enemy 
when he has got into the ditch and is endeavoring to 
mount the breach. 

Different Kinds of Cavalry. There are some sub- 
divisions of mounted troops which are worthy of a passing 
notice. 

Cuirassiers, or heavy cavalry. These troops are so de- 
nominated from the cuirass a defensive armor for the 
body which they wear. The cuirass is a kind of close- 
fitting metallic jacket, and is composed of a plastron or 
breastplate, a back, and a padding on the inside. This 
internal upholstering is to prevent the cuirass galling or 
abrading the skin of the wearer, and to make it set well 
upon him. The back and plastron are united at top by 
leather straps or suspenders, which are covered over with 
brass in order that they shall not be cut in two by a blow 
from the saber. A leather belt and buckle unite the 
pieces below at the waist. The front of the cuirass is 
formed into a protuberant angle, in order to give greater 
obliquity to the sides of this defensive armor, and to cause 
balls which strike it to glance off. 

Both the plastron and back are bordered by a raised rim 



16 MILITARY LESSONS. 

or groove, to arrest the point of the saber on occasion of a 
thrust, and prevent its passing off on to parts of the body 
which are not protected. Cuirasses are made of iron and 
steel; the breastplate, but not the back, being tempered. 
The plastron is ball-proof at the distance of forty-five 
yards; the back is only saber-proof. This distance is 
fixed upon, because when cavalry in a charge upon infantry 
have arrived within forty-five yards, the infantry have no 
more time to fire, but must promptly betake themselves to 
the bayonet ; hence it is not necessary that the cuirass 
should be ball-proof within that distance. But now that 
we have repeating rifles which can be fired up to the last 
moment, this consideration is no longer sound. The backs 
are made saber-proof, and not ball-proof, in order that the 
horseman may feel that it is safer to face the enemy than 
to turn back upon him. 

After the introduction of firearms, defensive armor had 
been completely abandoned; but the cuirass and helmet 
were restored by Napoleon, who clearly perceived the ad- 
vantages of their use to heavy cavalry. Sappers and min- 
ers should be protected by defensive armor while opening 
trenches and pushing approaches. For them the back of 
the cuirass should be bullet-proof, for they are compelled 
to expose their backs while in the attitude of digging. 

The cavalry helmet is made of the same materials and on 
the same principles as the cuirass. 

The cuirassiers are armed with a saber and pistol. In 
some armies a certain proportion of them are armed with a 
musketoon or carbine also; but the firearm should be a 



ORGANIZATION OF ARMIES. 17 

matter of but little importance, for it is by their shock that 
heavy cavalry should expect success ; therefore their main 
reliance ought to be upon the spur and the saber. They 
should be held in reserve under cover till the opportune 
moment for charging, and then launched against the masses 
of the enemy, shaken and wavering from the fire of artillery 
or infantry, or from any other cause. If a general can 
succeed in hurling his cuirassiers against the flank of an 
enemy's column, his success may be considered as assured. 
There is but little use in cavalry charges against well- 
formed squares of veteran infantry, or even when in line. 
The fire of musketry with its noise and smoke fills the 
horses generally with an uncontrollable terror, and they 
cannot be forced on to the bayonets. Besides, the fire of 
the infantry kills or wounds a number of horses and empties 
a number of saddles, which breaks the continuity of the line. 
A celebrated and familiar instance is to be found in the 
numerous and unsuccessful attempts by Napoleon to break 
Wellington's squares at Waterloo. Here, instead of charg- 
ing in line, deep columns were formed, with the expectation 
that the rear horses, unable to see what was going on in 
front, would by sheer physical pressure drive the head of 
the column upon and through the sides of the squares. 
But the result was a complete failure. The horses which 
fell were stumbling-blocks for others following, and, when 
up to the squares, the wounded and terrified animals could 
not be forced to leap upon the firm array of bayonets, but 
either reared and fell in place, or fled in desperation towards 
either flank of the column, or tore their way to the rear. 



18 MILITARY LESSONS. 

The Prussian infantry at Sedan withstood and repelled 
charges of the French cavalry. 

But when the ranks are disordered and broken the case 
is different ; the horses seem to appreciate the circumstances 
of the case, and dash in with a good will. Few things are 
more terrible to a mob than a charge of dragoons ! 

Light Cavalry have no defensive armor, being, as a 
general rule, armed with saber and pistol only. Sometimes 
it happens that a portion or all of the men are provided 
with carbines. They are used on the field of battle for 
movements requiring speed, for protecting the flanks of the 
heavy cavalry, for pursuing and harassing a routed enemy, 
and for taking prisoners. 

They are also used for escort duties, for reconnoissances, 
for outpost and picket duty, to forage, to levy exactions 
upon unprotected populations, to cut telegraph-wires, to 
destroy railways, etc. 

In the army of the United States there are none but light 
cavalry. None of our neighbors on this continent keep 
heavy cavalry, nor is it probable that such will be brought 
against us from beyond sea. We rely upon our infantry 
and artillery to put those of the enemy in such a condition 
that they would be legitimate game for our light cavalry. 
At the battle of Cerro Gordo the slaughter inflicted upon 
the broken and flying Mexicans was frightful. 

A Dragoon is a mounted musketeer, or an infantry sol- 
dier on horseback. This is the theoretical idea of a 
dragoon; practically the name is often applied to a hus- 
sar. The original design was to transport the men rapidly 



ORGANIZATION OF ARMIES. 19 

to the points where they were required, there to dismount 
and fight on foot. But genuine dragoons are regarded as 
a failure. They are not prepared to fight as cavalry , and 
the speed with which considerable bodies can be moved is 
found not to exceed much that of well-seasoned light 
infantry, and they cannot get over ground which is quite 
practicable to the latter; besides, the services of all the 
men who are required to hold the horses while the others 
are fighting are lost, and when they become separated from 
their horses the latter are liable to be captured; or else 
the fear of it may recall the dragoons from their work to 
prevent it. 

The regiment of mounted riflemen was organized upon 
this theory at the outbreak of the Mexican War ; but during 
that campaign they acted as light infantry, and subsequently 
as light cavalry. Even the name has been abolished, and 
the regiment now constitutes one of the regiments of 
cavalry. 

The Hussar is a light cavalryman armed with saber, 
pistol, and generally with a carbine. 

It is very difficult to load a gun at the muzzle with a 
rammer while seated on a horse, for during the operation 
the rider necessarily loses control of his horse, the motions 
and restiveness of which greatly interfere with placing the 
cartridge in the bore, ramming, returning rammer, and 
capping. Besides, effective firing at long range can be done 
upon few horses and by few men. This would confine the 
useful fire of dragoons and hussars to a short range, where 
accuracy of aim was of slight consequence; under these 



20 MILITARY LESSONS. 

circumstances a repeating pistol with a heavy charge would 
be better. 

Lancers are a kind of cavalry unknown in the United 
States service, but much used and highly esteemed in the 
Eussian and Mexican armies. The French also have some 
lancers ; and the lance is considered the distinctive weapon 
of the Poles. 

The world-renowned Cossacks are an irregular light cav- 
alry of the Russian service, armed with lances, pistols, and 
sabers. Some Cossacks are armed as dragoons, and some 
of the Eussian cuirassiers have the front rank armed with 
lances. 

The Cossack cavalry are remarkable both for the nature 
of the men and that of the horses. The rider and the 
animal are both wild, hardy, intelligent, extremely active, 
capable of much fatigue, thirst, and hunger j and either can 
manage to live and be highly efficient upon very slender 
resources. The Cossacks make extremely long and rapid 
marches. General McClellan, in his report upon the Eussian 
cavalry, states that " a march of forty miles is a common 
thing they will make forced marches of seventy miles ; in 
a thickly settled country they have in two days made six 
marches of ordinary cavalry without being discovered." 
The latter fact also shows their stealthiness and cunning. 

The lance was, for a long period, used by French horse- 
men, but was abandoned about the time of Henry IV. of 
France for the saber and firearms. At a time when battles 
were a series of individual combats, this was a sensible 
exchange, because, man to man, the saber would be better 



ORGANIZATION OF ARMIES. 21 

than the lance; but at a time when the action of masses 
replaced these individual encounters, the case assumed a 
different aspect. If two lines of cavalry, equal in all 
other respects, were to meet, especially at the gallop, few 
would anticipate anything but victory for the lancers. 
Napoleon, by incorporating into his forces some Polish 
lancers in 1807, again introduced the lance into the French 
army, where it maintains itself, as above remarked, to the 
present time. 

As Americans are fine riders and have good horses, it is 
very much to be desired that the lance should be tried in 
our service. It is certain that our troops in the war with 
the Mexicans regarded their lancers as the most formidable 
of their organizations. 

The lance is an arm very valuable in pursuit, which con- 
sideration classifies lancers as light cavalry. The lance con- 
sists of a steel spear-head on a long pole or handle, which 
must be straight, while the head must be tough, oblong, 
pointed, and not bulky, so as to be able to penetrate the 
frame of a man or an animal. 

The center of gravity should be at or near the gripe, so 
that the weapon can be accurately guided ; and accordingly 
the butt-end of the pole should carry a counterpoise, so 
as to throw the center of gravity into the gripe. 

Artillery. Artillery is divided by the caliber of the 
pieces into Siege and Garrison artillery and into Heavy and 
Light field artillery. The first is used in the attack and 
defense of places. Field artillery is drawn by horses, and 
moves with the troops in campaign. It is of course much 



22 MILITARY LESSONS. 

lighter and more mobile than the former. The heavy field- 
batteries are batteries of position; they attain the enemy 
at greater distances than do the light, serve to destroy his 
cover, and often drive him from shelter. Light artillery, 
on the other hand, dashes abont the field according, to the 
varying exigencies of the conflict, and pours its missiles 
into the enemy's troops. 

There are two kinds of artillery, foot and horse artillery. 
The pieces and caissons of each are drawn by horses, usu- 
ally six to a carriage, but in horse artillery the cannoneers 
are mounted on horseback when not serving the pieces; 
whereas in foot artillery the cannoneers habitually follow 
the pieces on foot, and it is only when upon good ground 
and when the design is to move with great speed that they 
are allowed to mount and ride upon the boxes. 

Horse artillery serves with the cavalry, and the foot-bat- 
teries with the infantry divisions. Erom the open and 
dispersed nature of its formation, horse artillery is not ca- 
pable of efficient self-defense. Its value is in offense, and 
it requires to be protected from capture by the other arms ; 
to this end it generally has an infantry support. La Vega's 
battery, which was captured by May's dragoons during the 
Mexican War, had no support. Horse artillery was in- 
vented by Gustavus Adolphus. 

Field artillery is of great importance when the troops are 
raw and new to battle. A skillful general will place his few 
good troops on the points of attack, and protect the other 
points by massing strong batteries there. He will thus lend 
physical support to his less reliable troops, and encourage 



ORGANIZATION OF ARMIES. 23 

them by the moral effect of the guns. On open plains, 
where it can move and fire in all directions, artillery is of 
high importance ; massing strong batteries will supply the 
want of military positions, and the fact that these artificial 
military positions are movable is a great additional power 
in the hands of a skillful general. 

In broken and mountainous countries infantry naturally 
plays the most important part, but even there artillery may 
be very useful to concentrate a heavy fire on a narrow 
defile, to shell and burn villages, demolish houses, etc. 

Engineer Troops are sappers and miners, who open the 
trenches and conduct the approaches in a siege, who sap, 
undermine, and blow up the enemy's walls, and construct 
siege-batteries and mortar-batteries; pontoniers lay and 
preserve military bridges, and pioneers remove obstacles to 
the march of columns, such as fallen trees, etc., or steep 
declivities, or place obstacles in the way of the enemy. 

Besides the various organizations above referred to, there 
are several staff corps to assist the general or to supply the 
troops. Of such are the Adjutant-General's Department, 
the Ordnance Department, the Subsistence Department, the 
Quartermaster's Department, the Medical Department, and 
the Signal Corps. 



CHAPTER II. 

SUPPLY OF ARMIES. 

THE last chapter was devoted to examining the nature 
of the composition and organization of armies ; in 
this let us investigate the methods of supplying them ; for 
after an army has been organized, the next step is to clothe, 
equip, and arm it. 

It will not be necessary for us to descend into very 
minute particulars, for there is no invariable rule upon 
these subjects, the practice and methods of accomplishing 
the object being different in different countries, and in the 
same country at different times. 

Pay. The pay allowed to soldiers and officers by the 
government is distributed to them at regular periods by 
the captains of companies or by the paymaster. In the 
United States service this duty is performed by paymasters, 
who usually have the rank of major, and who visit the 
various bodies of troops in their respective districts once in 
every two months. 

The entire force is, on this occasion, mustered, i. e. paraded 
and inspected, and the presence of the different individuals 
belonging to it verified by calling the Muster-Koll. If 
any of the command should, by wounds or sickness, be 



SUPPLY OP ARMIES. 



25 



prevented from being present at the muster, the mustering 
officer visits the hospital or quarters and assures himself 
that there are present and in the command all those whose 
names are upon the muster-roll. 

The only exception to this rule is in the case of persons 
absent by authority, such as those on furlough or detatched 
service ; and in their case the orders and authority for such 
absence must be exhibited. 

The pay delivered to the individual at the table of the 
paymaster is his own to dispose of as to him may seem 
good. There is no superintendence or control exercised 
over the disbursement of his money by any authority, as is 
the case in some of the services of Europe. 

In the case of non-commissioned officers and soldiers the 
piy is over and above the allowance of Clothing, Quar- 
ters, Rations, and Fuel, all of which are furnished by the 
government. Arms are intrusted to the men to be by 
them used in the discharge of their military duties/ but 
they remain the property of the United States. 

The pay of a soldier of infantry or artillery is as follows : 
private, thirteen dollars per month ; corporal, thirteen dol- 
lars ; sergeant, seventeen dollars. 

For the cavalry, engineers, ordnance, and special corps, 
a few dollars more per month. 

There is, moreover, an extra duty allowance prescribed 
by law of Congress, for duties not contemplated as in the 
habitual routine of military exactions; such as those of 
laborers, teamsters, mechanics, etc., in the Quartermaster's 
Department. Moreover, for wounds and disabilities con- 
2 



26 MILITARY LESSONS. 

tracted or received in service certain pensions are allowed 
by law. 

In European services,, as before remarked, a different 
practice prevails. Tor instance,, in that of Prance, accord- 
ing to Mordecai, "the pay and allowances vary with the 
state of the .troops, whether on peace establishment, assem- 
bled for active service (as in camps of instruction or prep- 
aration for war), or in war. The War Pay is uniform, 
but the compensation in time of peace depends on the 
individual position of the officer or soldier in actual ser- 
vice; such as whether he is stationary or on a march, 
present or absent from his regiment, on furlough, in hos- 
pital, in confinement, or a prisoner of war. 

"There are also supplementary allowances for pay for 
peculiar circumstances ; as for length of service, for travel- 
ing allowances, for residence in Paris, for professors and 
instructors in the schools, for recruiting depots, for table- 
money to certain commanders and others, commutation for 
quarters, forage, -furniture, subsistence, payment for horses 
and property lost, etc. 

" The soldiers receive only a small quantity of the pay for 
pocket-money (centimes de poclie) ; the expenditure of the 
remainder is regulated by the regimental council of admin- 
istration, for their subsistence, clothing, repairs of arms, and 
equipments, etc. In each regiment a captain performs the 
duties of paymaster, and another those of clothing officer."" 

In the Austrian Service the internal administration 
of a regiment is conducted by the colonel, assisted by a 
captain and eight quartermaster-sergeants. This captain 



SUPPLY OF ARMIES. 27 

has charge of the muster-rolls, and all accounts and requi- 
sitions and records of the regiment. He receives from the 
commanders of companies the requisitions for all kinds of 
supplies, and forwards them to the neighboring depots of 
supplies, where the requisitions are filled. He then delivers 
to each captain whatever is intended for his company, and 
that officer distributes the same to the men, and thus 
becomes responsible for the individual payments. 

In the Prussian Service certain officials styled Intend- 
ants do the purchasing and the issuing of supplies, and 
disburse the funds to battalions and companies. They are 
delivered to the company officers and sergeants, who dis- 
tribute them to the men. Materials for clothing are given 
to the men, who make up their own clothing. Bread is 
the only ration which is issued in kind ; other provisions 
are purchased out of the pay or money allowance. This 
portion of the funds is administered by a company board 
composed of an officer, a non-commissioned officer, and a 
private, who are selected by the company. 

The men are paid off every ten days, the funds being 
received by the paymaster, who is a civil officer, and 
turned over to the captain, in whose presence they are paid 
out to the men by the orderly sergeant. The regimental 
commander inquires of the men upon parade whether they 
have received their dues ; and the same question is asked by 
the general upon reviews and inspections. Each soldier has 
a little account-book, in which is kept his account. 

In the Russian Service the supply service is organized 
into various bureaus ; such as the Subsistence Bureau, the 
Clothing Bureau, etc. 



28 MILITARY LESSONS. 

Subsistence Department. In the United States ser- 
vice, in addition to the Pay Department, there are the 
Subsistence Department, the Quartermaster's Department, 
and the Ordnance Department, each of which is presided 
over by a brigadier-general stationed at Washington City. 

The subsistence officers, who are styled commissaries of 
subsistence and assistant commissaries, purchase and dis- 
tribute to the troops the provisions or rations in kind. 
To each regiment there is a regimental quartermaster, 
who also acts as assistant commissary of subsistence ; and 
at posts where there is less than a regiment, a lieutenant 
who belongs to the command also acts in this capacity, over 
and above his ordinary duties. 

These officers are in charge of the depot of subsistence 
stores, and issue the same upon proper requisitions by the 
captains of companies. And they are assisted each by a 
commissary-sergeant, and the rations are delivered to the 
orderly sergeants of companies, who distribute them to the 
men. 

The principal ingredients in the ration of the United 
States army are eighteen ounces of flour, or one pound and 
a quarter of corn meal, or twelve ounces of hard bread; 
three quarters of a pound of pork or bacon, or in lieu 
thereof one pound and a quarter of fresh beef. Besides 
these, to every hundred rations are allowed eight quarts of 
pease or beans, or in lieu thereof ten pounds of rice ; six 
pounds of coffee ; twelve pounds of sugar ; four quarts of 
vinegar ; one pound and a quarter of adamantine can- 
dles; four pounds of soap; and two pounds of salt. 



SUPPLY OF ARMIES. 29 

* 

.On a campaign, on marches, or on board of transports, 
the ration of hard-bread is one pound. 

The above is a sufficiency of substantial and wholesome 
food; in fact, a generous provision. In addition to such 
parts of the ordinary ration as may be used in hospital, 
certain delicacies are allowed to the sick upon the requisi- 
tion of the surgeon. 

The Russian Ration consists of two pounds and three 
quarters of bread, half a pound of fresh meat, salt, oat- 
meal, cabbage, and some brandy. Of this, the bread, the 
brandy, and one fourth of a pound of meat is furnished by 
the government, and the residue is bought from the artel, 
or company mess fund. This fund is created by a certain 
amount taken or stopped from the pay of the men, from 
the wages of the men when doing extra duty, or when 
working for persons in civil life. The authorities encour- 
age these labors, and the whole proceeds are turned into 
the artel. 

The Eussian soldiers eat three times a day. Breakfast is 
made of bread and salt and a little brandy ; at one o'clock 
they dine on bread, and soup of meat, with cabbages inter- 
mixed; the supper, which takes place at four o'clock in 
the afternoon, consists of the same bill of fare as the din- 
ner, with the addition of oatmeal porridge. 

The bread, which is coarse and brown, is sour. The 
soup also is sour; but this ration is said to be healthful. 
Each man has a wooden spoon, and every mess of six men 
a wooden bowl out of which they eat in common. 

The Austrian Ration is mainly made of bread and soup. 



30 MILITARY LESSONS. 

^ 

Each man receives daily from a pound and a half to two 
pounds of bread, and an allowance of about ten cents 
to buy meat, which is usually a quarter of a pound in 
amount ; also some vegetables. In garrison the men have 
soup once a day, at midday ; and for breakfast and supper 
they buy at the sutler's a piece of bread and a small glass 
of brandy. 

The French Ration was during the Crimean war, ac- 
cording to General McClellan, as follows : " One pound 
ten and a quarter ounces of bread, or one pound three 
and a quarter ounces of biscuit ; one and five hundredths 
ounces of rice or beans ; two and one tenth ounces of the 
Chollet prepared vegetables ; eight ounces and three quar- 
ters of fresh meat or salt beef, or seven ounces of salt 
pork; forty-four hundredths of a pint of wine, or eleven 
hundredths of a pint of brandy/'' 

Sometimes sugar and coffee are issued. Each mess of 
five men in the cavalry had their cooking utensils, which 
were carried strapped to their saddles. These utensils 
were the marmite, or camp-kettle; the bidon, a pan for 
bringing water; the frying-pan, and the gamelle or cup. 

The Prussian Kation, when the men are in garrison, is 
one pound and a half of black rye-bread, which is issued 
every four days; and it must have been baked at least 
twenty-four hours before issue. To this is added a small 
money allowance with which the remainder of the food is 
purchased by a commission of officers and non-commis- 
sioned officers. When the troops are on a campaign, the 
ration at its maximum consists of half a pound of meat ; 



SUPPLY OP ARMIES. 



31 



two pounds of bread or one pound of biscuit ; one sixth 
of a pound of rice,, or quarter of a pound of peeled barley, 
or half a pound of beans or pease, or one pound and a quar- 
ter of potatoes, with half a pint of brandy. 

Supply of Clothing and Equipage. In the United 
States service the clothing is made up complete before 
issue, and is generally purchased from contractors. As 
a general rule the clothing is of excellent materials, 
being subjected to a rigid scrutiny before being accepted ; 
but in time of war, when all the peace regulations are 
relaxed, and when the supplies must be upon an enormous 
scale, the materials are often of a very inferior quality, 
and the dishonest and swindling contractor has an oppor- 
tunity of growing rich upon his fraudulent gains. The 
public and general recognition of this truth is evinced 
by the popular epithet, " shoddy rich/' " shoddy* aristoc- 
racy," etc. 

The allowance of clothing for five years, the term of 
enlistment, is seven caps, two pompons, two eagles and 
rings, five pompon-covers, eight coats, thirteen pairs of 
trousers, fifteen flannel shirts, eleven pairs of drawers, 
twenty pairs bootees, twenty pairs stockings, two leather 
stocks, one overcoat, one stable frock for cavalry, five 
fatigue overalls for engineer and ordnance soldiers, and 
two blankets. 

This allowance is found to be more than sufficient 
for the neat, thrifty, and economical; and as all are 
required to be well and neatly clad, all surplus articles 
issued beyond the above allowance are charged to those 



MILITARY LESSONS. 

men who overdraw,, and the amount is deducted from 
their pay. 

One sash is allowed to each company for the first or 
orderly sergeant, and one knapsack with straps, haversack, 
and canteen to each enlisted man. 

Commissioned officers purchase their own clothing from 
their own purses. 

Besides clothing for the men, there is an allowance of 
camp and garrison equipage for the troops as follows : 

Tents while in the field, 

For a general officer 3 

" " staff officer above rank of captain and for field officer 2 

" other staff officers and captains 1 

" subalterns of a company, to each two .... 1 

" 15 foot or 13 mounted men 1 

and to the latter two spades, two axes, two pickaxes, two 
camp-kettles, five iness-pans, and two hatchets. A proper 
allowance of axes and hatchets is also made to the officers^ 
tents. 

Bed-sacks are furnished to the troops in garrison. 
Flags, colors, standards, guidons, drams, fifes, bugles, and 
trumpets are also issued. Forage, fuel, and quarters are 
supplied to the troops in garrison, forage in the field 
sometimes. 

All of the above supplies are furnished by the Quarter- 
master's Department, which does the bulk of the disburse- 
ments for the army ; it being charged with all the trans- 
portation of the service, the purchase of animals, the 
erection of quarters, barracks, hospitals, etc. 



SUPPLY OF ARMIES. 33 

Medical Supplies are furnished by certain officers of 
the Medical Department, called medical purveyors, upon 
the orders of the Surgeon- General, who is stationed at 
Washington City. These supplies are medicines and drugs, 
dressing, bandages, hospital furniture, surgical instruments, 
etc. 

The Ordnance Department has charge of the arsenals and 
armories, and furnishes all ordnance and ordnance stores for 
the military service, and, to some extent, to the militia of 
the several States. The officers of this department on 
campaigns frequently have command of siege and mortar 
batteries. 

The general term " ordnance and ordnance stores " com- 
prehends all cannon, artillery-carriages, and equipments; 
all apparatus and machines for the service and manceuvers 
of artillery ; all small arms, accouterments and horse-equip- 
ment, all ammunition, and all tools and materials for the 
ordnance service. 

The commander of every company or detachment is 
responsible to the government for all the arms, equipments, 
and ammunition issued to his men. 

The clothing of the FrencJi army is so nearly like that 
of the United States, that it is needless to say anything of 
it here. 

That of the Austrian service is well made and of excel- 
lent material. It is issued to the squadron captains, either 
made up without being trimmed, or merely in the shape of 
raw material, according to their option. The overcoat for 
all the cavalry is of thick white cloth, with sleeves and a 
2* c 



34 MILITARY LESSONS. 

long cape; it is made very long and loose. From this 
same white cloth the coats of the infantry is made. It is 
cleaned by washing and pipe-clay, and is in favor with the 
troops. They have no tents, nor do they carry any blankets 
while in the field. 

The clothing of the Prussians is similar, except the 
color ; they wear frock-coats, of dark blue generally. 
The distinctions of rank, army corps, regiment, etc., are 
found on the cuffs and collars. Each soldier has in his 
knapsack one pair of cloth pants, one overcoat, one forage- 
cap, one pair of shoes, one pair of extra soles, one shirt, one 
pair of drawers, brushes, shaving-materials, and twenty 
rounds of cartridges; the weight of the whole is about 
twenty pounds ; and the entire load of the soldier, includ- 
ing arms, accouterments, ammunition, etc., is about sixty 
pounds. 

It is needless to dwell upon the supply of armies, for the 
methods of procuring, distributing, and repairing the various 
kinds of supplies needed by an army will be varied by the 
circumstances of the country and times. It is a matter of 
prime importance, however, to every nation, and affords a 
field for the exercise of a faithful economy, administrative 
ability, and business tact. 




CHAPTER III. 

MOVING OF ARMIES. 

AN army being organized, well equipped, and supplied, 
and a proper proportion of the various kinds of staff 
officers and staff troops assigned to it, and it being supposed 
that it has been thoroughly taught in the department of 
tactics, it may be considered ready to move into the field. 

An army may be transported by vessels at sea, or by 
boats upon rivers ; it may be transported by railways on 
land, or finally it may march. The last is, of course, the 
most usual method. When the march is to be made in our 
own or in a friendly country^ the case is quite different 
from a march in the vicinity of the enemy ; the numerous 
precautions to be taken in the latter case not being neces- 
sary in the former. The troops are sent forward in smaller 
detachments and at greater intervals ; they may also be sent 
by different routes, which need not be very near to each 
other, the governing considerations being comfort and econ- 
omy. Singje regiments would be convenient bodies to send 
forward at a time. 

A small advanced-guard should be sent ahead, sufficient 
to remove obstacles to the march of the main body, to make 
arrangements for crossing rivers, to select camping-places, 



36 MILITARY LESSONS. 

and to make other needful arrangements. A rear- guard 
should follow at a suitable interval of time to pick up 
stragglers. 

The men are allowed to take the route step and to inarch 
at ease, carrying their pieces (which are not loaded) at will, 
but generally at the slope. They advance along the roads 
in columns of platoons, or with a smaller front, as by sections 
or by fours, according to the width of the road. When 
passengers are met on the road, the troops must leave suf- 
ficient space for their passage. On good roads the troops 
should make at least two and a half miles per hour. The 
officers must remain at their posts during the march, and 
maintain general good order, without, however, requiring 
silence or exacting any observance that would be fatiguing 
to the men. After marching an hour, a halt of ten minutes 
should be made, and another of one or two hours midway 
of the march. 

The spots where halts are made should never be in towns 
or villages, but in the vicinity of water; and the ground 
should be dry, so that the men can lie down, because in this 
way they will rest more* rapidly and completely than in any 
other posture, and they will thereby preserve their strength. 
When the halt is for more than ten minutes, they should 
stack arms and take off their knapsacks and accouterments, , 
hanging them on the stacks. 

Throughout the march the officers should take advantage 
of every opportunity which presents itself to rest their men 
and allow them to remove the weights which they may be 
carrying, resuming them only when ready to set out again. 



MOVING OF ARMIES. ' 37 

But in the neighborhood of the enemy many precautions 
will be necessary. Larger bodies will march together and 
on different roads only when they are near to each other 
and no barrier intervenes which would prevent one body of 
troops from coming promptly to the relief of another. 
They must also have adequate advanced-guards and rear- 
guards, with patrols at considerable distances from these, and 
also from the flanks of the columns to prevent ambuscades, 
to find the enemy at sufficient distances to enable the gen- 
eral commanding to make dispositions either to move on to 
the attack or pursuit, or to receive the enemy's attack. 

When there is a necessity for all or many of the troops 
to move by the same road, the different regiments and 
brigades should be separated by intervals sufficient to pre- 
vent crowding and the consequent loss of time. The nature 
of the locality must regulate the size of the intervals; gen- 
erally they should be about seventy-five yards between regi- 
ments, and one hundred yards between brigades; on the 
other hand, the intervals must never be so great as to prevent 
a prompt concentration of the command before an enemy 
could make much headway in an attack. Artillery marches 
by sections or by piece, and cavalry by twos or by fours. 
The part of the rear-guard, on a retreat, which is nearest to 
the enemy, should march by the rear-rank, so that they can 
promptly face to the rear and deliver their fire. 

It has been remarked above that when marching near 
the enemy, advanced-guards, rear-guards, and flank-guards 
should be thrown out to prevent being surprised by sud- 
den attacks. The advanced-guard should, as a general 



38 MILITARY LESSONS. 

rule, be from one fifth to one fourth of the whole force. 
Its duty is to discover the enemy and to send in infor- 
mation of his strength, kind of troops, locality, and appar- 
ent design. After once discovering the enemy, they mast 
never lose sight of him in case he retires; on the other 
hand, should he approach, they must hold him in check 
at least long enough for the main body to prepare to re- 
ceive him. They should examine the nature of the country 
in advance of the main body, removing obstacles and send- 
ing back all information that may be useful. 

The advanced-guard should be sufficiently far ahead to 
allow time to the main body to form before the enemy 
can come upon them. Accordingly, if the advanced-guard 
is pretty strong and independent, it can afford to go farther 
ahead than a weaker one could do, even up to the point of 
putting half a day between itself and the troops following. 
In smaller bodies which do not require much time for 
formation, the advanced-guard should not separate itself 
more than two or three miles. 

The advanced- guard should have an advanced-guard of 
its own of two companies, one company, or a platoon, ac- 
cording to strength. During the late war between Prussia 
and Prance the armies of the latter seem to have been sin- 
gularly deficient in good guards for the head, rear, and 
flanks of their columns. Outpost service generally seems 
to have been ill-performed or totally neglected. At the 
retreat across the Moselle, the French army while en 
cheval, or astride the river (i. e. part on one bank and 
part on the other) were surprised and struck, not by the 



MOVING OF ARMIES. 39 

Prussian advanced-guard, but by a large body of the main 
army ! 

The advanced and flank detachments move at a distance 
of eight hundred or one thousand yards from the main 
advanced-guard, and these detachments send out patrols 
who march five hundred to one thousand yards from the 
heads and flanks of their detachments. 

They must never lose sight of each other, and thus form 
a complete chain around the head and flanks of the ad- 
vanced-guard. 

In a retreat the advanced- guard has but a subordinate 
part to play, the main and important thing being the Rear- 
Guard. They have to preserve order, to remove obstacles, 
and to prevent straggling and running away, etc. 

But to a rear-guard on a retreat belong some of the 
most difficult as well as most important duties ever devolv- 
ing upon troops. They must do everything to fend off the 
enemy from the main body, and allow it to continue its 
retreat quietly and unmolested. To this end they must 
destroy bridges, ruin fords, fell trees, and seize every favor- 
able spot on the route to inflict loss upon the pursuers. 
It should be stronger than an advanced-guard when march- 
ing towards the enemy, because, if this body should be 
beaten and driven in, it can fall back upon the main body, 
or else the main body can advance to its relief; but it 
would never do to allow the rear- guard of a retreating 
force to be broken and driven in confusion upon the main 
body ; it might, and probably would, involve the rout of 
the whole army. 



40 MILITARY LESSONS. 

History is full of examples of the conduct of rear- 
guards; but 'perhaps the most celebrated and interesting 
was that of the grand army commanded by Marshal Ney 
on its retreat out of Eussia. 

If the enemy pushes us vigorously and in force, our 
rear-guard should be strengthened even to one third the 
whole force, so as to allow a greater interval between it and 
the main body. When the army retreats in several col- 
umns, the different rear-guards should keep up a constant 
communication with each other, and keep on a general line 
perpendicular to the direction of the march, so as to pre- 
vent the enemy penetrating the gap made by the one which 
should have moved farther on, and thereby taking some of 
the other columns in flank. With both advanced and rear 
guards there should be a proper allowance of pioneers or 
mounted engineer troops, to remove or place obstacles, etc. 

If defiles are to be passed in retreat, sufficient time and 
space must be allowed to the main body to get through 
safely and without precipitation. 

Flank-Guards. A flank march is a critical, dangerous 
operation in presence of a vigilant enemy; and yet the 
advantages are generally so great when it is successfully 
accomplished, that it is very tempting. There should be 
thrown out a strong flank-guard on the side of the enemy, 
and they should have flank patrollers farther on, who could 
give timely warning of his approach to the flank-guard, 
which should immediately make effort to check and delay 
him until the main force can form in order of battle. If, 
at this moment, we have left one communication and have 
not reached others, the situation is highly dangerous. 






MOVING OF ARMIES. 41 

The whole force should be so arranged as to be able to 
make the most speedy formation in line of battle; and 
there should be parallel columns which could form first, and 
second lines, reserves, etc. The particular corps which are 
to form these various bodies should be designated before- 
hand, and made acquainted with the part they are to play. 
The trains, baggage, ambulance corps, etc., should be, of 
course, with the column farthest from the enemy. 

Trains. To avoid confusion and delay in the march 
of troops, arising from the large number of wagons with 
them, the trains should be divided into three classes. 

The trains of the first class which are needed during the 
march consist of the ambulances provided with the means 
of dressing wounds ; they should be accompanied by some 
surgeons and hospital attendants. When in the immediate 
neighborhood of the enemy, the ammunition-wagons should 
be in this train, so that the men may not fail to have 
plenty of ammunition. If rivers are to be crossed, the 
ponton train also should accompany it. These trains of 
the first class follow immediately after the regiments or 
organizations to which they belong. 

Trains of the second class consist of such as are needed 
by the troops only when in camp. They comprise wagons 
for ammunition, money, papers and records, tools, bag- 
gage, medicines, field-forges, artillery-wagons, pack ani- 
mals of the field and company officers, wagons of the office 
of the commander-in- chief, wagons carrying provisions and 
forage for immediate distribution, and the suttlers^ wagons. 
Ammunition-wagons are kept by themselves, and march 



42 MILITARY LESSONS. 

near the troops. Trains of the second class follow the 
main body in the interval between it and the rear-guard. 
In a general retreat the wagons of this class should be sent 
at least half a day ahead, so as not to impede the progress 
of the troops. 

Trains of the third class are composed of those for 
which there is no pressing necessity. They consist of the 
commissariat-wagons, those of the general hospital, reserve 
ordnance stores, etc. Trains of this kind follow by them- 
selves under an escort. 

To prevent delays from a wagon breaking down, large 
trains should move in sections of about one hundred wag- 
ons each, and these sections should march at a distance of 
about one third of a mile. 

Of Halts. The length of a march near the enemy 
varies with circumstances. Ordinarily it will be about 
seventeen miles, but if necessary it may Breach thirty miles. 
Small detachments, of course, move with more celerity 
than large ones or entire armies. Forced marches should 
never be made without some highly important object. 
Small detachments of cavalry may march forty, fifty, or 
even seventy miles under a great pressure. The ordinary 
rate of march is about three miles per hour ; short halts of 
ten or fifteen minutes should be made every hour. 

When a halt is made for the night or a longer time, in 
order to prevent being turned, detachments and pickets 
should be sent out on all the roads leading from the flanks. 
During a long halt, or one for the night, the train is 
arranged more compactly than usual ; a proper position is 



MOVING OF ARMIES. 43 

selected in which to place all the wagons together, in order 
that, being less scattered, a better watch may be kept upon 
them. When danger is apprehended from the enemy, it is 
best to park the train in column, because this formation 
is changed more rapidly than any other, and from it it is 
easier to take the road at the end of the halt, or when leav- 
ing camp. An average interval of eight yards in width is 
allowed to each wagon in this formation. The harness is 
either piled up behind each wagon, or is hung upon the 
wheels, and the animals are tied to the tongues or poles. 
The distance apart of the different rows of wagons is 
twenty paces. 

Wagons having powder in them are placed apart, and are 
carefully guarded against fire and disturbance. The escort 
bivouacs on the flanks or at the head of the train ; senti- 
nels are posted. If the teamsters are not to be trusted, or 
desertions are apprehended, a chain of sentinels should sur- 
round the whole train. When an attack is expected, the 
wagons should be parked with the hind wheels outside and 
the animals within the enclosure. 

Commander-in-Chief. The commander-in-chief who de- 
signs to make a march which will be in the vicinity of 
the enemy must be thoroughly acquainted with the roads 
and general topographical -features of the district. 

He must send forward staff officers, patrols, or scouts, to 
examine and report to him all the desired information; 
but. if the enemy occupies such positions as to forbid this, 
he must have recourse to the best maps to be procured, 
and supplement this information by interrogating the 
inhabitants and deserters. 



44 MILITARY LESSONS. 

The Prussians, when they entered upon the late cam- 
paign in France, were possessed of complete and detailed 
maps of all the territory which they expected to operate 
in; and they were never at a loss, but seem in some 
instances to have been better posted than the French com- 
manders themselves. 

Moreover, the commander must have guides to pilot the 
different columns; he should procure seize if necessary 
such men as, by the nature of their occupations, are well 
acquainted with the country, hunters, mail-riders, stage- 
.drivers, collecters of revenue, census-takers, etc. These 
guides must be closely watched, for fear of treachery ; they 
should be kindly treated, and informed that, if their service 
is well performed, they will be generously rewarded, but 
that, at the first sign of treachery, they will be shot. When 
their service is over they must be sent back to the rear, and 
precautions taken against their going over to the enemy. 

In his orders for the programme of operations, he must 
avoid descending into particulars so minute as to embarrass 
subordinate commanders, should any event which was unfore- 
seen transpire. But those orders should distinctly specify 
what troops and organizations are to form certain columns ; 
who is to command them ; what they are to do ; by what 
roads to move; the time they must arrive at designated 
points ; and where he himself can be found at various des- 
ignated hours. He should send his trains by routes that* 
will not be needed in case of a check and consequent retreat. 
He must provide a continuous communication betweep the 
different columns, so that each shall know of the progress of 



MOVING OF ARMIES. 45 

the others. In a retreat the rear-guard, and upon an advance 
the advanced-guard, flankers, and all detachments near the 
enemy will have their pieces loaded, but be careful never to 
fire without orders from competent authority. The main 
body do not load until about going into action. 

During secret marches at night no drum or bugle must 
sound, all orders must be given in a low voice, and as little 
noise as possible of any kind be made, while no fires or 
lights should be allowed, no one should even light a pipe. 
Advanced-guards, flank detachments, and patrols should be 
frequently relieved by fresh troops, because they become 
fatigued by constant vigilance and anxiety. 

Commander of the Advanced-Guard. He sends out 
front and flank detachments as soon as the march begins, as 
was explained above. An officer or a non-commissioned 
officer is placed in command of each detachment, with full 
instructions as to what he is to do, and -how to proceed in 
the supposable cases likely to arise. The commander of 
the advanced- guard sees that all these parties maintain con- 
stant communication with him and with each other. 

When he receives deserters or takes prisoners, he must 
question them minutely as to the regiments they belong to, 
where they are, the strength of their guards, the number 
and position of the enemy, what corps and divisions are 
near their own, and by whom commanded, the number of 
the sick and wounded, the quantity and position of their 
supplies, arid in general everything that may be serviceable. 
But all such information must be received with distrust ; 
these persons may deliberately falsify, or they may be so 



46 MILITARY LESSONS. 

ignorant that their information may be worthless. Some- 
times it happens that timid persons will answer in the way 
they suppose the questioner's wishes run. 

It is necessary frequently to repeat the same question 
unexpectedly,, so as to compare the different answers and 
the answers of different individuals to the same questions. 

Everything at all remarkable should be reported by the 
commander of the advanced-guard to the general ; such as 
his arrival and departure, and the time thereof at ferries,, 
fords, villages, and, of course, any news of the enemy. He 
should be careful not to send light and improbable rumors, 
but investigate and verify in person as far as possible all 
reports which he makes. 

Upon entering a town or village, he should have the 
authorities and principal persons brought before him, and 
he should seize the public documents, post and express 
offices. 

As a rule, he should send an aid-de-camp or intelligent 
officer ; he may, if desirable, write in pencil, using a cipher, 
if there is fear of the paper falling into the enemy's hands. 
These reports should be clear, precise, explicit, without 
verbosity, and should show what is known to be fact and 
what is upon hearsay. 

These and all similar reports should be numbered in a 
series, and the date with the hour accurately given, so that 
the general may not be misled into believing that old 
information is new, because it frequently happens that the 
last report reaches its destination before one that was 
despatched previously. If a report is very important, and 



MOVING OF ARMIES. 47 

there is fear that the enemy may get it, or of delay from 
any cause whatever, another copy ought to be despatched 
after the lapse of a suitable time. 

When the enemy is encountered, instant information of 
the fact is sent to the general ; meanwhile the commander 
of the advanced-guard makes those dispositions called for 
by the circumstances of the case. If strong enough,, he 
should advance and fall upon the enemy; but if this is 
not deemed expedient, he may take up a position where he 
can hold the enemy in check until the arrival of the main 
body ; or if he cannot do this, to avoid being cut off, he 
must fall back towards the main body, delaying the enemy 
by all such means as have been heretofore indicated, and by 
such others as may be suggested by the fertility of his own 
genius, the time, and circumstances of the case. He must 
in no case allow the main body to be taken unawares, or in 
the confusion of forming for battle. 

The Selection of Camps for the advanced-guard is a 
matter of high importance ; positions strong and not liable 
to surprise must be selected, if such are to be had. Cities 
and villages are not good for such a purpose ; the attention 
of the men and officers may be distracted from their duties, 
and intoxication may spread among the men; besides, so 
good a watch cannot be kept up, and all that transpires in 
the command may be reported to the enemy, together with 
its strength, composition, and designs. There may be, how- 
ever, good reasons for occupying the place by a detachment, 
which' is sometimes done. 

Should the advanced-guard camp near a defile, its open- 



48 MILITARY LESSONS. 

ings or debouches should be held ; and it may be well in 
some cases to advance through the defile and camp at its 
farther opening. Whatever has been here said applies 
equally to a flank -guard thrown out on a march to the 
flank. It may be well to remark, parenthetically, that one 
of the greatest dangers of a flank march arises from the 
fact that we of necessity abandon our lines of communica- 
tion with the rear ; all secrecy and diligence must therefore 
be used to gain another before the enemy can strike us. 
On a retreat, the commander of the advanced-guard is 
charged with preparing a good line of march for the main 
body, removing all obstacles, preparing the banks of 
streams, repairing or making bridges, and collecting the 
needed supplies for the use of the army. 

Commander of the Rear-Guard in Retreat. His duties, 
as before intimated, are among the most arduous and 
most responsible which a military man is ever called on 
to perform. He will be compelled to fight, it may be 
almost perpetually, and always with the great moral disad- 
vantage of a retreat ; he fights, not for victory, but for safety. 
Upon him devolves the task of sustaining the courage and 
spirits of the army, of preventing loss of men and materials 
left behind, of supplying himself and the commanding gen- 
eral with thorough current information of the enemy and 
his movements. He must throw out flankers, and scour 
the neighborhood of his flanks. 

It may be that the enemy will hasten forward troops on 
the flanks, either with the view of turning the rear-guard, 
and getting between it and the main body, to cut it off, or 



MOVING OF ARMIES. 49 

else to harass the rear-guard by urging it, from the fear of 
such a catastrophe, into a rapid and confused march. 
Wherever there are roads affording facilities for such a 
movement, they should be thoroughly explored, and, if 
needful, held in strength sufficient to thwart or de- 
lay it. 

If in sight of the enemy, and fighting, he should not wear 
out his command by marching or fighting the whole of it 
at once; but rather he should hold positions with part 
of it, while the remainder fall back to other positions, and 
when they have been occupied, that nearest the enemy may 
be abandoned, and so on. No obstinate contests should be 
engaged in for the defence of such positions, nor any useless 
fighting at any time ; he must economize his command, and 
remember that his only object is to protect the retreat of 
the main body. 

Every available means of retarding the enemy must be 
utilized, such as burning and blowing up bridges, destroy- 
ing fords, filling up ravines with large stones tumbled down 
from the cliffs above, felling trees, etc. If a road in a 
ravine is cut out of the side of a cliff, by digging a pit in the 
road and putting some powder in it, a portion of the road 
may be blown away, and the enemy detained a long time. 

Duties of the Commanders of Flank, Advanced, and 
Rear Detachments. It will be remembered that it was 
mentioned that the rear, flank, and advanced-guards threw 
out detachments to march at a suitable distance from them ; 
and that these minor detachments, in their turn, sent out 
squads of fifteen to thirty men, called patrols. In the clay- 



50 MILITARY LESSONS. 

time, or on clear nights, they precede their detachments, 
and, forming a chain around the heads and flanks of 
the advanced-guards, sweep over and examine the whole 
country in the vicinity of the line of march. In an open 
country they can afford to spread out to a greater extent 
than when the case is different. Cloudy and thick weather 
and obscure nights will of course diminish their intervals. 
The object of their being sent out, which is to explore 
the country, will regulate their number and frequency. 
They must at all times keep in sight of, and in commu- 
nication with, each other. If the night should be very 
dark indeed, the patrollers could not operate, and therefore 
should not be sent out. 

When patrollers are sent out, the commanders of detach- 
ments should instruct them in their duties and what places 
to examine particularly. Especially should defiles, woods, 
and villages be examined by the patrols before the detach- 
ments venture into them; otherwise they might be sur- 
prised and cut off. Every person met on the road should 
be closely interrogated as to himself, and as to what he 
may know of the enemy. It will sometimes be well to 
detain him awhile, lest he should go to the enemy. 

Upon drawing near a town or village, one or more of 
the inhabitants should be seized and questioned about the 
enemy; whether he is concealed in the town or its neigh- 
borhood, or whether he has been there lately, and when and 
where he went, etc. The persons who have been seized 
should be detained until the detachment has entirely cleared 
the village. The commanders of these detachments ought 



MOVING OF ARMIES. 51 

never to send in any important report received from the 
patrols until they have verified it in person. 

In the early part of the late campaign in France, the 
Prussians debouched in force from a wood during a battle, 
and caused the defeat of McMahon's army. 

The officer, whose duty it was to have caused that 
wood to be searched, neglected it ; and, as we were in- 
formed by the telegraph, overwhelmed with chagrin and 
self-condemnation, he dismounted, shot his horse, and com- 
mitted suicide by advancing steadily and alone upon the 
enemy, till he fell, pierced by a bullet. 

The detachments must keep up a constant communication 
with each other and with the guards to which they belong ; 
they should beware of getting separated for a long time 
from their guards by impassable obstacles, such as marshes, 
lakes, and woods. But when the separation would not be 
too long, it is well for them tp march on the outer side 
of these obstacles, so as to examine the country be- 
yond. 

When the enemy is found in force, or makes an attack, 
the commanders of these detachments should decline com- 
bat, and should retreat, while skirmishing, upon their 
respective guards. Of course they should do whatever can 
be consistently done to delay the enemy, and to gain as 
much time as possible. 

Should the enemy stand fast, they remain in his presence, 
and if he retires they pursue, keeping him in sight. 

Duties of Patrols during a March. Patrols, are of dif- 
ferent strength; their business is to examine the country 



52 MILITARY LESSONS. 

near the line of march,, and to discover the enemy so early 
as to prevent a surprise. Patrols ought to have at least ten 
or fifteen men in them. The men must stretch out as much 
as the nature of the ground will permit, both to examine as 
great an extent of ground as possible, and to prevent all 
being captured at once. Some should always be able to 
escape and to take in information. 

The men in front, on the flanks, and in the rear of 
patrols are called Patrollers. At night they must close 
in on their respective detachments, but still keep up a 
chain, for fear the enemy should slip through in the dark- 
ness. 

When a detachment is sent forward with orders to attack, 
it should keep its patrols and patrollers closer in, to prevent 
giving the enemy warning too long a time before its arrival 
at his position. 

The individual patrollers jnust exercise extreme vigilance, 
keeping their eyes and ears open. Whatever they see and 
do not thoroughly comprehend, they must visit and inspect ; 
and so of sounds, particularly at night ; such as the giving 
of commands, noise of wagons, neighing of horses, tread of 
numbers of men, etc. If these things are not within the 
limits of their assigned inspection, they must inform a non- 
commissioned officer, who will take measures to investigate 
the matter. The detachments and patrols ought then to 
halt, making the necessary dispositions against surprise. 
Patrols ascend every eminence on the sides of the route, and 
remain there until relieved, or until the detachment has 
passed. 



MOVING OF ARMIES. 53 

Particularly on entering ravines or denies with precipi- 
tous sides the summits of the sides should be carefully 
examined before the detachment enters. 

If a report is to be made concerning anything seen or 
suspected, there must be no trepidation of manner nor 
loudness of voice ; the communication should be in a low, 
calm tone. 

When ascending a hill, one man should go in front of 
the others, and steal up quietly, moving behind trees, 
stumps, rocks, or any accidents of the ground, and when 
near the summit should take off his cap and cautiously 
peep over to see, without being seen. If mounted he 
should dismount. 

When, in daytime, it is necessary for the advanced-guard 
to pass through a village, the front patrollers send one of 
their number into the village, who traverses its principal 
streets, asking for the chief man of the place ; at the same 
time other patrollers ride along the outskirts of the place. 
When the magistrate or principal man of the village has 
teen- found, he is conducted to the commander of the 
advanced-guard^ which will by this time have arrived. If 
it is night-time the patrollers approach the first house, call 
out the owner, and carry him off to the commander, as 
above; afterwards they seek the principal man of the 
place. 

Precautions should be taken upon entering a wood ; the 
skirts should be examined to ascertain whether the enemy is 
not ambuscading there, and the roads leading through must 
be scoured ; and while advancing through a forest, if the 



54 MILITARY LESSONS. 

front patrollers come upon a prairie or open space, they 
must examine the skirts all around. 

When our patrols discover those of the enemy, or when 
flags of truce come in, the commander of the patrol is im- 
mediately informed of the occurrence. The bearer of the 
flag is blindfolded and conducted to the commanding officer. 
If straggling soldiers of. the enemy are perceived they must 
be surrounded and captured. When the enemy is found in 
force, a well-conducted and orderly retreat is made upon 
the detachment. It is only when the enemy suddenly 
bursts upon the patrollers that firing should be allowed, 
for the purpose of giving warning. At the first shot the 
detachment forms and the patrollers fall back upon it. 

In reference to being surprised, after remarking that 
such a thing should never happen at all, it may be well 
to state that there are scarcely any circumstances which 
would justify an officer in the surrender of cavalry ; a bold 
and instantaneous charge will always enable the majority to 
escape. 

Kegulating Marches by the Nature of the Ground. 
When near the enemy it is usual to employ troops of 
all arms in the advanced-guard. If we expect to do any 
fighting we want infantry, artillery, and cavalry, in order 
that the excellences of each may be utilized as the oppor- 
tunity offers. If the country is level and open we use more 
cavalry than when it is rough and covered with forests ; 
light cavalry are used for this kind of duty. The army 
advances in several columns on different roads, the bulk of 
the troops destined for duty as advanced-guards march on 



MOVING OF ARMIES. 55 

one road, while smaller guards march upon the others,, and 
a mutual communication is kept up by means of patrols. 

When the advanced-guard is composed of different arms, 
its distance from the main body depends also on the follow- 
ing considerations : 1st, its composition,, cavalry advancing 
farther than infantry ; 2d, the kind of country ; for if the 
advanced-guard is secure from being turned, it may venture 
farther ahead ; 3d, the object in view. If the main body 
expects to stand on the defensive, the advance should be 
well ahead, in order to give time for formation. But if 
the main body has found a position favorable to making a 
stand, there is no need of an advanced-guard at all ; some 
pickets and videttes, to give notice of the enemy's approach, 
will be sufficient. When pursuing the enemy, the main 
body must be close behind the advance. Generally the 
distance of the guard in. advance should be rather greater 
than the distance apart of the extreme columns of the main 
body. 

In a mountainous country the patrols are infantry, and 
so, likewise, are the head and the rear of every column ; the 
cavalry and artillery marching in the center. In moun- 
tainous countries we are most likely to be attacked, and it 
is here especially that the enemy will desire to fall upon our 
cavalry, for upon such ground, being unable to charge, it is 
quite helpless. 

This is pretty much the truth also with regard to artillery ; 
hence infantry is the sole reliance : it must protect the other 
arms. 

To this end infantry patrols are sent out as far as practi- 



56 MILITARY LESSONS. 

cable to occupy the heights overlooking the line of march. 
Those of the advanced and flank guards hold their positions 
till relieved by those of the rear-guard. 

The order in which the main body marches must likewise 
be adapted to the locality. In a mountainous country or 
in forests the cavalry must not be at the head of the col- 
umn ; because, if attacked there, they will probably be cut to 
pieces, and, in flying to the rear, will carry disorder among 
the other troops. And so with artillery ; still, a few pieces 
can, with advantage, accompany the advance of the column, 
to play upon the enemy if he attacks suddenly. 

The duties of the rear-guard have been more or less 
described above; not much need be added here. If the 
locality will permit, it is composed of all arms. In a 
champaign country the cavalry, by its charges upon a pur- 
suing enemy, can keep him off until the infantry have time 
to fall back to woods, hills, or other strong positions. 

But while retreating through a broken country the cav- 
alry should be at the extreme rear (now the head of the 
column), pn passing over a bridge or through a defile, 
some guns should be stationed at its mouth, along with the 
infantry, to keep the enemy aloof while the other troops pass 
through. After a defile has been passed and the enemy is 
following through it, then is a fine opportunity to concen- 
trate a heavy fire from an extended front on the head and 
flanks of his column as it debouches, while he can do little 
in the way of retaliation. 

If we must retreat through a hostile village, it should first 
be seized by infantry, and then the cavalry can either move 



MOVING OF ARMIES. 57 

round it or gallop through, provided this last would not 
interfere with the fire of the infantry. Once passed, they 
and the horse artillery form to protect the infantry, as they 
emerge from the village. 

The commander of the rear-guard must regulate always 
his own movements by those of the main body; being 
careful not to retreat too soon or too hastily, for fear of 
coming upon it and spreading confusion. 



CHAPTER IV. 

PASSAGE OF RIVERS ON ICE, BY FORDS, BY BOATS, AND 
ON RAFTS. 



one of the most difficult and dangerous of 
all the operations which troops in a campaign are ever 
called upon to perform is the passage of rivers, especially 
in the presence of the enemy or in his vicinity. 

It demands from the commander the highest qualities of 
discretion, secrecy, promptness, and audacity; and from 
the army absolute obedience, silence, and coolness, together 
with a certain amount of mechanical skill and business tact. 

The first considerations to be weighed are those of strat- 
egy, for the selection of tlie point of crossing is of prime 
importance. If our army is in retreat) we should select a 
place where the river makes a sharp and deep bend away 
from us, as is represented in the figure on the next page. 

Here the short chord of the arc A B can be seized, and 
by a comparatively small portion of our forces, while the 
main body of the army makes the passage. This chord, 
strengthened if practicable and necessary by a hasty in- 
trenchment, and mounted with sufficient artillery, will be a 
stronghold from which a heavy fire can be concentrated 
on the enemy to keep him aloof. 



PASSAGE OF RIVERS. 



59 



As soon as possible the greatest amount of long-range 
cannon that is available should be sent across, which will 
immediately take up positions on the banks opposite to A 
and B, whence they can keep up a cross-fire in front of the 
chord A B. These positions should be re-enforced as fast 




''///7 s 



Illllll 

as the troops cross,, which they do at C, and finally 
the rear-guard can withdraw from the chord and make the 
passage under cover of the main body, now already across, 
and who will keep up a concentrated fire across the river. 
The last of the rear-guard will detach the bridge from the 
enemy's bank, destroy the ford, or do whatever shall be 
found practicable to defeat or delay the enemy's pas- 
sage. 

On the other hand, to cross over to the enemy we must 
select a point where the river makes a deep and sharp lend 
toward us. By throwing forward strong detachments on 
our flanks to the points A and B (p. 60) we can keep the 
enemy away from the point of crossing ; for he would be 
chary of venturing into this cul-de-sac, where his troops 



60 



MILITARY LESSONS. 




would be huddled together, with both of his flanks exposed 
and his own fire rendered divergent. 

These, then, are the features of rivers which would 
decide our choice ; but other advantages should be com- 
bined with them, if possible. We should avoid boggy 
land, or places where the animals and vehicles are liable 
to mire down. The approaches ought to be clear, firm 
ground. Should there be no choice in this matter, engineer 
troops must precede the main body, to remove obstacles 
and remedy the bogs by throwing in fascines or making 
the kind of causeway called corduroy. 

If we have to cross to the enemy, we must by all means 
deceive him by making feints of crossing in several places 
at once, and conducting our genuine attempts at night and 
with great secrecy. When retiring before the enemy, we 
can accomplish very little in the way of deception. The 
spot being once fixed upon, it will become a question as to 
the mode of crossing. And this task may be effected by 
swimming, in the case of light cavalry and infantry, with 
bodies of troops quite considerable in numbers, by ford- 



PASSAGE OF RIVERS. 61 

ing, by ferrying over in boats, by rafts, upon the ice, by 
flying bridges, or by ponton bridges. To decide in this 
matter, the general must have been thoroughly informed 
about the river by his staff officers. In addition to the 
facilities presented by the point of passage, or which may 
be collected along the river, such as boats, and timbers 
for making rafts, every well-appointed army will have 
appliances in its trains for crossing rivers. Such has been 
the custom from remote antiquity. It is said that Semiramis, 
in her expedition to the India, carried along boats which 
could be taken to pieces for transportation. Xerxes, we 
know, caused an immense bridge of boats to be thrown 
across the Dardanelles. Boats, rafts made of forest-trees, 
or the skins of animals sewed up and expanded bf air, have 
been in use for the passage of rivers by troops from the 
earliest times. Julius Csesar carried with his armies boats 
made of osier frames covered with leather or raw hides. 
The Emperor Julian made use of similar boats to con- 
struct his bridges f or 4 crossing the Tigris and the Eu- 
phrates. 

Julius Csesar constructed across the Seine a bridge, the 
supports of which were gabions filled with stones ; and his 
bridge over the Rhine was on piles, protected by a row of 
piles, or a stockade, on the upper side, to fend off heavy 
logs and floating bodies which the Germans sent down the 
stream to destroy it. In more modern times Charles the 
Bold passed the Seine near Noret on a bridge of casks. 
In 1589 Alexander Farnese cast three bridges over the 
Meuse near Bessel. A very celebrated bridge was that 



62 MILITARY LESSONS. 

constructed by the Spaniards in 1585 over a stream near 
Antwerp,, and which came near being destroyed by an 
infernal machine invented, by the Italian engineer, Jeuni- 
belli. In 1631 Gustavus Adolphus crossed the Lech on 
a trestle-bridge in the presence of his enemy. In 1672 
Louis XIV. had two bridges over the Rhine supported by 
copper pontons. One of these bridges was at Tolhuys, 
and the other at Aonheim. The copper pontons were 
extensively used in his time and in that of his successor. 
Grebeauval replaced them by wooden bateaux. In the 
year 1746 Captain Guillet cast three bridges over the Po, 
measuring more than five hundred yards, in less than 
eight hours. They were burned immediately after the pas- 
sage of the French army. Since that time a multitude of 
similar instances have occurred. 

In order to decide on the means of passing a river with 
troops, the commander should have a thorough and 
detailed knowledge of the river ; and it is the business of 
his staff officers more particularly that of the engi- 
neers to collect and furnish this information to him. 
For this purpose a careful reconnoissance of the river 
should be made, as well as all knowledge possible to be 
obtained from maps, books, the inhabitants of the country, 
and all other sources. Data should be obtained concern- 
ing the source of the river, its general direction, bends, 
and mouth ; also the number and nature of the tributaries, 
and where they enter ; whether it is navigable, by what, and 
how far ; whether it is navigated ; the number and kind 
of boats and vessels ; what shoals and reefs there are, and 



PASSAGE OF RIVERS. 03 

what whirlpools and gulfs; what parts, if any, pass 
through the enemy's territory. 

Bocks and reefs, the presence of which is indicated by a 
disturbance of the water, are places very dangerous to 
boats ; while the whirls or gulfs are cavities into which the 
water is precipitated, whirling and sinking below the gen- 
eral level. These last are also extremely dangerous to 
navigation. 

The velocity of the water is not the same in the whole 
breadth of the river, but it is greatest in the current) where 
the water is deepest. The current is indicated by a rise in 
the height of the water. In some instances this rise is as 
much as three feet. 

To determine the velocity of the current, we throw in some light body 
which will float, and note the number of seconds it is in passing the length 
of a base measured on the shore ; this distance divided by the number of 
seconds gives the velocity. When the current is too far from the shore, 
anchor two boats in it at a known distance and proceed as before. Or we 
may use a log, as on shipboard ; for this purpose throw in the log, attached 
to a fine, strong string which will freely run off a reel, and observe the time 
in which a certain distance is unreeled. A very slight current is about half 
a yard per second ; an ordinary current, eighty-five hundredths of a yard ; 
a rapid current, one and a half to two and a quarter yards ; a very rapid 
current, two and a half to three and a half yards ; and beyond that an irre- 
sistible torrent. 

The straighter the bank the swifter will be the current. 
As the current is different at different times, we ought to 
know what it is at the highest, the lowest, and mean 
water, and what is the difference of level at those stages, 
and when these ordinarily occur. Note the influence of 



64 MILITARY LESSONS. 

the tides, and how far up they extend ; also the direction 
of the winds, which are likely to bank up the waters. 
Learn if there are any bars, locks, dikes, or levees, and 
their object, and whether their destruction would produce a , 
flood or a ford. With reference to overflows and high 
waters from the melting of snows, we must remember that 
the first occur in March or April, and the later and generally 
the larger in June and July. Freshets are indicated by an 
increase of current which disturbs the water at the bottom 
of the river ; it is said then to run on the bottom. 

Sometimes steady winds blowing up the river for a long 
time bank up the waters, arresting the progress of the cur- 
rent, and causing such a rise as to bring about serious 
accidents. 

Learn at what times the river is frozen, and the thick- 
ness of the ice. The breaking up of the ice sometimes 
causes terrible freshets, because the sunken ice accumulates 
and dams up the river. 

The swifter the current is the greater the size of the 
bodies which it carries ; mountain torrents roll along quite 
large bowlders. In a flat country, deposits of very fine 
sand indicate a feeble current. Thus by inspecting the 
deposits in the bed of a stream, we can judge somewhat of 
the nature of the current. Learn whether the bottom is 
rocky, pebbly, or of sharp stones, which would interfere 
with the fording by horses and vehicles ; whether it is of 
gravel, mud, or shifting sands ; also whether it is covered 
with reeds and rushes which would interfere with the motion 
of boats. 



PASSAGE OF RIVERS. 



65 



Everything which arrests the flow of water favors the 
deposit of the earthy particles which it contains. In this 
way the resistance to the current offered by the sea gives 
rise to the bars at the mouth of rivers and harbors ; and 
so, likewise, with the bars at the mouth of tributaries. 

See whether there are any islands, their number, size, 
location ; whether wooded or not, facilities for attack, and 
defence, etc. 

The width of rivers may be determined by stretching 
across them a small cord or wire which is graduated. 

If this method be not practicable, the 
width may be found, though not so ac- 
curately, by calculation : thus, suppose it 
is required to find the width of the river, 
A B ; draw and measure, on the shore 
where you are, the line B D E, of any 
convenient length, perpendicular to A B ; 
measure E F perpendicular to B E, also 
of a convenient length, and observe the 
point D, where the line FD A cuts B E\ 
measure D E and D B ; then we have 
from the similar triangles A B L and D E F the proportion D E : E F : : 
D B : A B. 

The form of the bottom of the river may be determined 
by sounding with a graduated rod, at fixed distances from 
the river banks. Also the rise and fall of the water may 
be observed by driving pickets into the bottom a short 
distance from the shore. 

Observe whether the banks are steep, and whether they 
are within range-points favorable to attack or defence. 




66 MILITARY LESSONS. 

These, and many other data which will suggest themselves 
to an intelligent officer, should be collected. 

Rivers may be passed by fords, on ice, on floating bodies, 
or on bridges. Perfect order should characterize the dif- 
ferent operations. Care should be taken to -slope down the 
banks at the point of passage, so as to make an easy grade 
for animals and vehicles. 

Passage by Swimming, Swimming should be taught 
to all the troops, and swimming of horses to cavalry. This 
is much attended to in some of the European services, but 
hi this country it is almost wholly neglected. Cavalry can 
pass a river by swimming better than infantry, because the 
horses swim naturally. To swim a horse, the rider ought, 
to a great extent, to let him have his own way; sitting 
quietly and directing him obliquely down stream, so that 
the current may not take too much hold upon him. 

When it is necessary to turn the horse, the rein of the 
bridle on the side to which he is to turn should be taken 
carefully in the hand and his head slowly turned. 

In the passage of the Rhine narrated by Boileau, all of the 
river, except about one hundred yards, was fordable. Some 
individual horsemen attempted to swim this part, and were 
drowned; but afterwards an attempt to swim a squadron- 
front at a time being made, and the men mutually sustain- 
ing each other, it was entirely successful ; and in this man- 
ner the whole cavalry passed and defeated the enemy. 

Horses are frequently discharged from on board ship by 
being thrust into the water, where they will follow to the 
shore other horses swimming and being led by persons in 
boats. 



i 



PASSAGE OF RIVERS. 67 

Passage on Ice. This is an exceedingly precarious 
mode of passing a river. After a corps has succeeded in 
passing, a sudden change of temperature may break up the 
ice and cut off its communications. Besides this, great 
care and prudence are requisite in the operation to pre- 
vent frightful accidents. Ice which is from three inches to 
three and a half inches thick will serve for infantry march- 
ing by single file ; when four and a half inches thick, cavalry 
and light artillery may pass; when four and six tenths 
to five inches thick, heavy field batteries can cross. The 
wheels should be fastened on slides, parallel to the axis of 
the carriage (not to the axles or axle-trees) . A kind of 
sled will thus be formed ; the horses must be taken out and 
led over, and then the pieces and carriages can be pushed 
across by the men. The ice should always be resting on 
the water, otherwise it is very insecure. The strength of 
ice may be much increased in very cold weather, by cover- 
ing it with a layer of straw or of fascines, and pouring water 
over it to freeze. 

To prevent accidents, straw or planks should be placed 
under the horses' feet and under the wheels ; the carriages 
should not follow each other at a less interval than twenty 
paces; cannon of large caliber are slid over on sleds if 
the ice will not bear them when mounted on their carriages. 
In the winter of 1794-5 the French army, by means of 
ice passages, effected the conquest of Holland; and their 
light cavalry captured a fleet of ships ! 

Fords. In a campaign fords are extremely convenient 
for the passage of rivers, not merely by small detachments, 



68 MILITARY LESSONS. 

but by entire armies. In the celebrated Italian campaign 
of 1797 the French army crossed the Tagliamento, in order 
of battle, and attacked and defeated the Austrians. 

History, even the most recent, is full of examples. The 
best fords are those with firm, solid bottoms. In moun- 
tainous regions the fords are beset with large stones, which 
render them impracticable for wheeled carriages; in fiat 
countries there is often mud or fine sand at the bottom, 
which is cut up by the horses' feet, thus destroying the fords. 
In torrent-like rivers, and those subject to freshets, the 
fords are changeable in depth and position, presenting but 
little security. 

The ordinary depth of a ford should not be greater than 
three feet for infantry, four feet for cavalry, and two feet 
four inches for artillery. However, where the current is 
gentle, infantry can take a ford four feet deep. 

It sometimes happens that a river is fordable all except a 
narrow channel, either because the enemy has dug it out, or 
that it is naturally deeper there than elsewhere. This 
channel may be all, or nearly all, filled up by sinking in it 
fascines with stones on them, or boxes or gabions filled 
with stones and gravel. It may be remarked, that if it 
should be found necessary to leave a narrow channel, it 
may be bridged over. 

The location of fords may be found from the inhabitants 
of the neighborhood, or by observing where the tracks of 
vehicles enter the water ; by the increased velocity of the 
current, or the increased width of the river ; by a double 
change of direction within a short distance, and in this 



PASSAGE OF RIVERS. 69 

case the ford runs diagonally from one bank to the other. 
Also fords are sometimes just above a bridge, or at the 
mouths of streams and rivers. 

A very good way of discovering a ford is to descend the 
stream in a boat or canoe,, with a lead-line suspended in the 
water, having the proper depth for infantry or cavalry, as 
the case may require ; on the cord should be a float, which 
would make its appearance when the lead touched bottom. 
When bottom is touched, the party sounding halt and 
sound in all directions for a ford, and mark out its direction 
and width by two lines of pickets driven into the bottom. 

The lower line of pickets may have a line stretching from 
one picket to another, throughout its length, for the safety 
of those who may lose their foothold in crossing, and be in 
danger of being borne off by the current. This last pre- 
caution is very good for night passages. 

Fords may also be formed by sounding with rods or 
poles ; this is said to be the fashion of the Cossacks. They 
spread themselves along the shore, lance in hand, and as 
soon as one has found a ford they all join him, and in a 
very short time determine its width and direction. 

When the location of a ford is known, before adventuring 
into it, swimmers should be sent into it to explore its nature 
and condition, to remove obstacles, and to repair it should 
the enemy have injured it. 

They must fill up all trous-de-loups, or holes, which he 
may have dug there, either with fascines weighted down, or 
with stones and gravel. 

When the water is very swift, a line should be stretched 



70 MILITARY LESSONS. 

along the upper side of the crossing, with empty kegs at in- 
tervals to float it. To this line, small cords are tied at frequent 
intervals, with blocks of light wood fastened at their lower 
ends to keep them floating. These will serve for those who 
lose their footing to seize hold on. 

The Passage. The infantry pass first ; they should 
be in platoons, nearly at full distance. Next comes the 
artillery ; and last, the cavalry. This order is observed, 
because the feet of the horses cut up and injure the ford. 

The infantry soldiers should advance the up-stream 
shoulders, and carry their muskets on that shoulder; and 
to prevent wetting their ammunition, the cartridge-box 
should be fastened on top the knapsack. 

The men must be careful not to gaze steadily at the 
water, because of its making their heads swim, as it is 
called ; they should look at the bank. It is sometimes a 
good expedient to station a line of cavalry along the upper 
edge of the ford, to break the force of the current ; and oth- 
ers along the lower side to catch those who are borne away 
by it. Sometimes (as in very cold weather) foot-soldiers 
mount behind the cavaliers, and so pass over. Finally the 
passage must be controlled by the particular circumstances 
of the case, and a sound discretion. 

When cavalry are fording, the bridle-reins should be 
held somewhat tight, in order to raise the heads of the 
horses and compel them to look at the shore ; for they, 
too, are troubled by the sight of the flowing waters. 
Neither should they be allowed to drink, for the same 
reason. 



'V 

PASSAGE OF RIVERS. //TT }T T '/ 

II w Ai ,' 




A ford should never be attempted when 
ing, unless it is certain that the whole force 
before the ford ceases to be practicable. Moreover, no 
ford should be relied on as a sure means of communication, 
for it may be destroyed by a sudden freshet or other acci- 
dent. 

When on a retreat, fords should be destroyed behind 
us, by digging channels, holes, placing obstacles, sowing 
crow's-feet, etc. Crow's-feet are four iron spikes joined in 
one point, and pointing in different directions; so that 
when three are resting on the ground, one will be pointing 
upwards. Trees trimmed as for abattis may be fixed in 
the way, and any obstacles presented by the locality may 
be utilized for stopping or delaying the enemy. Finally, 
cut the banks into steep bluffs. 

Passage by Boats. Passage of rivers may be made in 
this way either in presence of the enemy, or by surprise, 
for the purpose of protecting the establishment of a bridge ; 
besides, isolated corps, unless too large, may pass in this 
manner. 

In the last case, it has the merit of despatch when com- 
pared with the time necessary to lay a bridge and take it 
up again. 

When we have no boats of equipage, pontoniers and 
boatmen, escorted by light cavalry, proceed to seize all the 
boats to be found on the river, and take them to the point 
of passage ; these men must be provided with the neces- 
sary ropes and tools. Their movements must be rapid and 
skillfully concealed. 



72 MILITARY LESSONS. 

It frequently happens that the enemy has destroyed or 
sunk the boats along his shore, and it becomes necessary to 
raise the sunken ones. In order to raise a sunken boat, 
we bring alongside of it two others, with an interval 
greater than its width between them ; they should be fas- 
tened together by two beams extending across the gunwales, 
and solidly fastened. The boats are fast anchored, to hold 
them in place; then a line is run under one end of the 
sunken boat, fastened to an end of one of the auxiliary 
boats, and the men haul on the other end of the line. 
When the end of the boat is raised above the surface of the 
water, the line is fastened, and a similar operation is per- 
formed under the other end. When the boat has been 
raised, it should be bailed out and set afloat. 

Another method would be to pass lines under the 
sunken boat, then let water into the two auxiliary boats 
until they are pretty nearly submerged, fasten the lines, 
and bail out the boats. On rising, they will lift the 
sunken boat; repeat the operation, if necessary, until it 
can be bailed out and taken possession of. 

Sometimes a sunken boat can be dragged to a shallow 
place where it can be bailed. Auger-holes or ball-holes 
may be filled by conic plugs; leaks and cracks by tow 
steeped in tallow and covered over with strips of plank 
nailed on from the interior. 

When the boats are all assembled at the crossing-place, 
if there is time, their respective capacities should be 
marked upon them. The steadiness of boats increases with 
their size. Their power of flotation is obtained by sub- 



PASSAGE OF RIVERS. 73 

tracting their weight from that of the volume of water 
which they would displace if they were sunk flush with the 
surface of the water. 

A rule used in the French military service is the following : Measure the 
height of the gunwales above the water, the boat being afloat ; calculate the 
area of the horizontal section half-way between the water-line and the top 
of the gunwale ; multiply together these quantities expressed in metres, 
and the product will give the number of cubic metres of capacity above the 
water-line. Now, since the cubic metre of water weighs 1,000 kilograms, 
you have the weight the boat can carry. Suppose the cubic contents were 
8.75 cubic metres, the capacity would be 8,750 kilograms, or 19,250 pounds. 
The kilogram equals 2.204737 pounds avoirdupois, and the metre 39.37 
inches. If the measures were taken in feet, multiply tHe number of cubic 
feet of volume by 62J pounds. But it would never do to load a boat down 
to the extent mentioned ; hence we must cut down this estimate consider- 
ably. Measuring by the pace and the eye would then suffice. 

The lower down the center of gravity is, the steadier will 
the boat ride. The following data will suffice to regulate 
the loading of the boats. A man under arms will weigh 
about 175 pounds; without arms, 140 pounds; and he 
will occupy a little over one third of a square yard. A 
horse will weigh from 900 pounds to^l,000 pounds, and 
will occupy about 9x3 feet. Six persons without arms 
can be placed on a space but little larger than a square 
yard, which gives a weight of near 900 pounds to the 
square yard. 

The boats having had their capacities marked on them, 
they are drawn up according thereto, and crews are 
assigned in the proportion of one pilot to four oars- 
men. The boats are propelled either by oars or poles. 
4 



74 MILITARY LESSONS. 

Where there is no rudder, a fifth oar may supply its 
place. 

Upon its arrival, the body of troops is divided into pla- 
toons, each chief of platoon being informed what boat is 
assigned to him, and when he is to embark. 

The soldiers should neither embark in nor leave the boat 
in a body, for fear of upsetting it. Infantry should enter 
at the bow, and seat themselves upon or at the foot of the 
gunwales, beginning at the stern, the cartridge -box drawn 
around to the front, and the musket between the knees. 
If the water is too shallow near the bank, before entering, 
the boat should be shoved off a sufficient distance, and the 
men can wade into it. This remark also applies to landing. 

While in the boat the men must remain perfectly still 
and silent, and they should be cautioned that, if the boat 
should lean over to one side, not to throw themselves too 
suddenly towards the opposite, especially if the careening 
should arise from running on some obstacle in the water ; 
for there would be danger of upsetting. 

A strict surveillance should be kept on boatmen who are 
strangers, both to see that they perform their duties well, 
and also to prevent treachery. Even those who were 
friendly have been known to jump overboard to e'scape the 
dangers of landing. In the immediate presence of the 
enemy the men should have their pieces loaded and bayo- 
nets fixed ; but they should be forbidden, under the severest 
penalties, to fire without orders. When it can be done in 
shallow boats, the men should sit on the bottom, thus lower- 
ing the center of gravity and rendering the ferriage more 
secure. 



PASSAGE OF RIVERS. 75 

A boat with 25 infantry-men should cross a stream 125 
yards wide in a minute and a half. The efficiency of small 
boats can be increased by lashing together two, four, or 
more. Four boats arranged in this way could carry 80 per 
cent more than when used alone. This expedient was put in 
practice at the siege of Antwerp in 1832. 

With small boats, cavalry are passed by putting six 
troopers in a boat, who lead their horses, swimming three 
on a side ; unless the current is very swift, when only three 
horses will be taken at a time, they swimming on the lower 
side. 

But when there are boats large enough, it is better to 
cross the horses in them. For this purpose a floor should 
be laid on beams upon the bottom, for the horses to stand 
on. The horses should be placed across the boat, head 
and tail alternating, their riders standing near their heads 
and holding the reins close to the bit. It is dangerous to 
place them lengthwise in the boat. A ramp or inclined 
plane is made in the bow to facilitate the getting in and 
out of the animals. 

Artillery is transported dismounted; sometimes it is 
placed on two or more boats lashed together. This last 
method is to be preferred, because it enables us to take the 
pieces over mounted on their carriages. 

In transporting materials and stores, the heaviest should 
be placed in the bottom. Those articles liable to injury 
from wetting, like powder, rations, and arms, must be kept 
out of the water, and covered with tarpaulins. 

Navigation. When, in place of crossing, it is intended 



76 MILITARY LESSONS. 

to navigate some distance along the river, in addition to 
observing all the precautions indicated above, the load 
should be diminished about twenty-five per cent, and the 
convoy should be preceded by a skiff or canoe, to recon- 
noiter and explore. 

A river which has a fall of one in four thousand is of easy 
navigation, and may be ascended by sail ; but a fall of one 
in two thousand is too swift for sail alone, and towage must 
be resorted to. Eivers with a fall of one in fifteen hundred 
are impracticable. Where the passages are very dangerous, 
local pilots must be procured. 

A celebrated passage was made on the 25th of Septem- 
ber, 1799, by the French army of the Danube before 
Dictiken. The boats which had been collected on the Aar 
and the Eeuss, not being able to reach the point of passage 
without passing under the fire of the enemy, they were 
taken over a portage by wagon and by hand. The head of 
the convoy arrived at night at Dictiken ; the boats were 
taken to the shore and arranged in order; it took one 
hundred men to carry some of the largest, while twenty 
men were sufficient for the smaller ones. 

The boats all being in place and provided with their out- 
fits, the boatmen lay down each behind his own boat, oar in 
hand. The smallest and lightest boats formed the right 
division, which was to lead the assault ; those of medium 
size formed the left wing, whose duty was to carry an 
island occupied by the Eussians, and whence they had a 
reverse fire on the point of passage. The heaviest boats 
formed the center. The artillery, commanded by General 



PASSAGE OF RIVERS. 77 

Foy, had taken up a position to effectually protect the 
passage. Such was the silence and good order that reigned 
throughout this operation, that neither the Eussians nor even 
the French troops themselves heard a sound. At a signal 
given by General Gasan, the banks of the river were cov- 
ered with troops, who assaulted and beat the enemy, despite 
a heavy fire of grape. Another instance of boat passage 
under the fire of the enemy was that at Queenstown, by the 
American troops. The landing of General Scott at Vera 
Cruz was a specimen of well-organized and thoroughly suc- 
cessful boat service, although no opposition was offered by 
the enemy. Many more instances could be adduced. 

Eafts and Foot-Bridges. Eafts may be used, instead 
of boats." They have the advantage of not 'being liable to 
be sunk by the fire of the enemy, but are troublesome to 
construct, and require time. They are composed of logs, 
trimmed and very roughly dressed, to be fastened together ; 
and ordinarily rectangular in shape, being held together by 
cross-pieces pinned or spiked to the logs. To make the 
rafts of the same consistency throughout, the logs should be 
arranged with the butts and tops alternating. The power 
of flotation of rafts formed of light wood is in proportion 
to their volume. For example, if the wood weighed six 
tenths as much as water, each cubic yard would sustain 
about eight hundred pounds. When rafts are long in the 
water they become water-logged, and lose their serviceable- 
ness. Eafts may be made of empty casks, fastened under 
light beams, which are covered with branches of trees. 

In loading rafts the troops must go upon them in good 



78 MILITARY LESSONS. 

order and carefully. If a great number should rush upon 
them at once, they would infallibly capsize them. Infantry, 
marching by the flank, should first come upon the raft and 
occupy the middle of the whole length. Then two more 
bodies should come on simultaneously, the one going in 
front, the other in rear of those already established ; and so 
on, until the load is complete. The men should hold their 
muskets resting on their feet. 

Similar precautions are taken with cavalry; the -horses 
are placed crosswise the raft, head and tail alternating. In 
loading with artillery, place the heaviest pieces in the 
middle, and distribute the remainder evenly over the raft, 
according to weight. 

Navigation by rafts is advantageous where the bottoms 
of the rivers are rocky and uneven, but they are slow, 
require to be started in much farther above the landing, and 
drift much more than boats ; besides, it is difficult with 
them to make the exact landing. 

One of the most memorable passages on rafts was that 
made in 1701, across the Dwina. The king of Sweden sent 
across the first troops in boats, and these were followed by 
one hundred rafts, which had been prepared by General 
Dalberg ; the Swedes carried the works of the Saxons, and 
forced them to retreat. 

Foot-Bridges. Small streams may be crossed by foot 
logs or bridges, caused by felling trees across. Where 
they are somewhat wider, cut a tree on each bank, opposite 
to each other. Retain the butts ashore, and let the tops 
swing around from above, lowering them away by lines, so 



PASSAGE OF RIVERS. 79 

that the tops shall meet in the stream,, interlacing and 
forming a salient angle up stream. Fasten them together, 
and remove whatever would impede the passage. 

In this country, where every one knows something of 
frontier life,, there would always be found among the troops 
many whose experience and knowledge of such things 
would suffice to take advantage of the particular circum- 
stances of each case. 






CHAPTER V. 

MILITARY BRIDGES IN GENERAL, 

Etlie last chapter we discussed the passage of rivers by 
iwimming, on the ice, on rafts, by boats, and by fords. 
But no means of passing rivers is so reliable for armies as 
that by bridges, and such is the usual method. Military 
bridges are those thrown across a river temporarily, for the 
passage of troops. They are, of course, much inferior in 
stability to permanent bridges, and they exact much care 
for their preservation. 

As hinted before, this idea is by no means modern ; but 
military bridges were in familiar use in very remote ages. 
The bridge over the Hellespont, constructed by order of 
Xerxes, is an instance ; and it is a matter of curio u interest 
to observe how closely it resembled a modern ponton- 
bridge. 

Herodotus says : " A bridge was there constructed by a 
different set of architects, who performed it in the following 
manner ; they connected together ships of different kinds ; 
some long vessels of fifty oars, others three-banked galleys, 
to the number of three hundred and sixty on the side 
towards the Euxine Sea, and three hundred and thirteen on 
that of the Hellespont. The former of these were placed 



MILITARY BRIDGES IN GENERAL. 81 

transversely, but the latter, to diminish the strain upon the 
cables, in the direction of the current. 

" When these vessels were firmly connected together, they 
were secured on each side by anchors of great length : on 
the upper side, because of the winds which set in from the 
Euxine; on the lower, toward the ^Egean Sea, on account 
of the south and southeast winds. They left, however, 
openings in those places sufficient to afford a passage for 
light vessels, which might have occasion to sail into the 
Euxine or from it; having performed this, they extended 
cables from the shore, stretching them upon large capstans 
of wood ; for this purpose they did not employ a number 
of separate cables, but united four of biblos with two of 
white flax. These were alike in thickness and apparently so 
in goodness ; but those of flax were, in proportion, much the 
more solid, weighing not less than a talent to every cubit. 

" When the pass was thus secured, they sawed out rafters 
of wood, making their length equal to the space required 
for the bridge; they laid them in order across upon the 
extended cables, and then bound them fast together. They 
next brought unwrought wood, which they placed very regu- 
larly upon the rafters; over all they threw earth, which 
they raised to a proper height ; and finished all by a fence 
on each side, that the horses and other beasts of burden 
might not be terrified by looking down upon the sea." 

When we get through with our account of ponton- 
bridges, it will be seen that we have not improved so much 
as some might suppose on the engineers of the time of 
Xerxes. 



MILITARY LESSONS. 

A military bridge consists, in general, of a platform 
about twelve to fourteen feet wide, made of strong planks, 
and is without parapets or fences, as Herodotus calls them. 
This platform or roadway rests upon small beams, which 
are supported by boats, rafts, or trestles. The portion of 
the bridge comprised between two consecutive supports is 
called a bay, and the two at the ends are called abutment- 
bays. The bridges are named after the kind of supports ; 
as ponton-bridges, trestle-bridges, raft-bridges, etc. 

The depth and velocity of the water, and the materials at. 
our disposal, will determine the kinds of supports to be 
used; but it may often happen that we shall use several 
different kinds of support in the same bridge. 

This kind of bridge being very frail, a prudent general 
would not trust to a single one only, because an accident to 
it might arrest the march of the troops at any moment, and 
compromise the safety of those who were already across, 
and thus cut off. The strategic choice of locality was 
indicated in the preceding chapter. In addition to what 
was there said, some other conditions must be combined, 
when practicable. Steep and high banks should be avoided, 
because otherwise we should be compelled to dig long 
ramps, or inclined plane^, at the abutments. These ramps 
should not be steeper than one upon six ; and it is desirable 
that the banks should not be more than six or seven feet 
high. We should avoid placing the bridge below a tribu- 
tary held by the enemy, lest he should send down floating 
bodies to injure or destroy it. 

Where the water is so shallow that the boats would rest 



MILITARY BRIDGES IN GENERAL. 



83 



on the bottom, and be in danger of being crushed by the 
superincumbent load, they should be replaced by trestles. 
The axis, or middle line, of the bridge should be as 
nearly straight as possible, and the supports, of whatever 
kind, should have their lengths in the direction of the cur- 
rent, which otherwise would have too heavy a bearing upon 
them, and a tendency to overturn them. If the supports 
of the bridge are floating bodies, they should have such 
dimensions that the weight of the volume of the water 
displaced should exceed the weight of a bay of the bridge, 
increased by the greatest weight which is destined to be 
upon it at any one time. 

Bridges of Boats. These are constructed either with 
the boats of the army equipage or with the boats of the 
country. 

Boats of Equipage. These are a part of the equipage 
of the army, and move with it. Their details differ in dif- 
ferent countries, while their essential features are the same 
in all. 

That of the United States service and which, is a 
modification of the French is as follows, taken from 
the Manual for Engineer Troops, by General Duane : 

34 ponton-wagons, each loaded as follows : 7 long balks ; 1 ponton, 
inside of which are placed 12 balk lashings ; 7 rack lashings ; 7 
rack sticks ; 6 rowlocks ; 2 spring lines ; 5 oars ; 2 boat-hooks ; 
under the rear axle is lashed one anchor. 

22 chess-wagons ; load of each, 41 chess and 2 cables. 

4 trestle-icagons ; load of each : 2 trestle-caps, 4 legs, 4 shoes, 4 
chains, and 14 short or claw balks. 



84 MILITARY LESSONS. 

4 abutment-wagons ; load of each : 2 abutment sills, 1 trestle-cap, 2 

legs, 2 shoes, 2 chains, 14 short balks. 
4 tool-wagons ; loaded with carpenter's and intrenching tools, spare 

cordage, etc. 
2 traveling -forges. 

Being 70 wagons, carrying 12 complete trestles, and 238 long and 
118 short balks (beams or joists), 8 abutment-sills, 200 rowlocks, 
192 oars, 100 boat-hooks, 70 scoops, 5 pumps, 10 buckets, 24 pick- 
ets, 240 rack sticks, 48 rack collars, cordage, 44 cables, 128 spring 
lines, 728 balk lashings, 360 side-rail lashings, 2 sheer lines, 6 sets 
of large double blocks, and 6 sets small double blocks. 

If the equipage does not travel with the army, it should 
have a strong escort. In dry weather the pontons should 
be frequently wetted. 

Before proceeding to construct a ponton-bridge, the 
materials should be assorted and arranged near the first 
abutment of the bridge. The pontons are launched below 
it. The construction begins with that of the first " bay." 
To this end, the ground is cut down, or raised, as the case 
may require, to the height of the boats. A beam with its 
upper surface on this level is then imbedded perpendicular 
to the direction of the bridge, and held in place by pickets 
driven into the ground. A ponton is then placed in posi- 
tion either 10 or 20 feet (according to circumstances), from 
the beam or sill on the bank, and securely moored with its 
length perpendicular to the bridged axis. Balks are now 
placed with one end on the mud-sill, and the other just 
passing beyond the outer gunwale of the ponton, the balks 
being lashed to the gunwales. On top of these balks 
are laid the chess, or planks, which form the roadway. 



MILITARY BRIDGES IN GENERAL. 85 

Another boat or ponton is anchored 20 feet 'from the last, 
and balks are laid from the first boat to the second, lashing 
the ends to the gunwales and also to the ends of the balk 
first laid. On these balks are laid chess as before, and 
then the side-rails are lashed down on the en'ds of the 
chess at the sides of the bridge, to hold the planks in 
place. Proceeding in this way, a bridge is speedily laid 
across the entire width of the river. Generally every 
alternate ponton is anchored up-stream, arid every fourth 
one down-stream. The distance of the anchors from the 
boats should be ten times the depth of the water ; other- 
wise, when a strain is brought to bear upon them, the 
anchors will trip. Spring-lines, or guy-ropes, should be 
run from the ponton near the banks to fastenings on shore. 

If the stream is narrow, say seventy-five yards wide, 
strong cables may be stretched from shore to shore, and 
fastened as taut as possible. The pontons may be fastened 
to these at the proper intervals by short lines, thus obviat- 
ing the use of anchors. 

The details of these operations have been organized into 
a regular drill, the men being divided into suitable detach- 
ments, the files numbered, and to each file specific duties 
assigned. The effect of this is to cause the work to 
advance without confusion and with immense speed. 120 
pontoniers ought to construct a bridge from 100 yards to 
110 yards long in about one hour. 

These pontons of equipage are wooden boats 31 feet long 
and 6 feet wide. Besides these there are smaller ones cov- 
ered with canvas, which go to form bridges for advanced- 
guards and light-cavalry expeditions. 



86 MILITARY LESSONS. 

These pontons are composed of two side-frames,, 21 feet 
long by 2 feet 4 inches deep ; they are connected by mov- 
able transoms. The pieces are of 4-inch scantlings of strong 
but light pine. The ponton is set up by placing the side- 
frames parallel, putting the transoms in place, and lashing 
them. The canvas cover is then drawn over the frame and 
lashed fast ; the canvas should be painted black. 

The canvas ponton-train is the kind used in the Russian 
military service. This ponton with its cover complete 
weighs 720 pounds, and has a flotation of 13,428 pounds. 
The weight of the flooring, etc., of one bay is 1,476 pounds. 

If there should be a probability of the enemy sending 
down floating bodies with a design to destroy the bridges, 
certain sections should be so constructed that they may be 
promptly detached, making passageways or draws through 
which the floating bodies may be allowed to pass; after 
which the detached sections may be replaced. The num- 
ber of these draws must be proportioned to the probable 
number of floating bodies to be sent down. 

If the river has tributaries flowing from our side suffi- 
ciently large, it may be found convenient to construct in 
them portions, or even the whole, of the bridge, and to float 
it down to the place of crossing ; in this way most of the 
work could be done without hindrance from the enemy. 
Thus after the battle of Essleng a bridge was constructed 
under shelter of Alexander Island, and at the proper time 
floated down ; and in a few minutes put into position across 
to left fork of the Danube. 

Bridges on Country Boats. Inasmuch as these boats 



MILITARY BRIDGES IN GENERAL. 87 

will be of different sizes and shapes, some adjustments will 
become necessary. Those of the same size should be ar- 
ranged together, to prevent sudden changes of level, or 
steps, in the roadway, and the long and narrow ones 
ought to be placed in the current; whereas those upon 
which the current would take a great hold should be in 
the still water. 

If any of. the boats should be found too weak, they can 
be strengthened by fastening cross-pieces on them ; and on 
these cross-pieces should be fastened three string-pieces, 
one over the axis of the boat, and the other two parallel 
and near the gunwales. These pieces, will receive the 
balks of the bridge. When a boat is found to be too low, 
a trestle may be securely fastened in it, and of sufficient 
height to come up to the level of the balks. The balk, or 
beams, may be secured by lashing, by spikes, or by cramp- 
ing-irons. If anchors are wanting, the boats may be 
moored to fixed points, to rocks, to sunken mill-stones, 
to boxes filled with stone, etc. 

A justly celebrated bridge was that made by Napo- 
leon in 1809 by main force across the Danube. With 
but slender resources, the French troops constructed, over 
the three channels of the Danube, bridges near 1,000 
yards in extent, and in the presence of an enemy 160,000 
strong ! 

Bridges on Rafts of Logs. These bridges have the great 
advantage of not being liable to be sunk by the enemy's 
fire, and the disadvantage of taking a long time to be built, 
of requiring a great deal of timber, of presenting a large 



88 MILITARY LESSONS. 

surface to the action of the current,, and of being unwieldy 
and difficult to place in position. They should never be 
placed in positions where the current flows more than two 
yards per second. 

The lightest woods, such as willow, fir, poplar, cotton- 
wood, birch, and those woods of which the specific gravity 
is considerably less than that of water, should be chosen. 
The stability of rafts is greater as they are more oblong in 
shape : hence long logs should be chosen ; and when they 
cannot be had of sufficient length, two may be spliced 
together. Those ordinarily used for rafts are 35 to 45 feet 
long, and about 1 foot in diameter ; their number is deter- 
mined by the specific gravity of the wood, the volume of 
the logs, and the weight to be borne. 

The volume may be determined approximately by the following formula : 
JF= 0.785 L _D 2 ; in which Fis the volume, L the length of the log, and D 
the diameter at the middle ; or F= L C 2 . 0.0795, in which C is the girth 
or circumference at the middle point. 

To FIND THE POWER OF FLOTATION. Weigh a cubic foot of the 
wood, subtract this weight from 62J pounds, and the remainder is the flota- 
tion of a cubic foot. 

Knowing, then, the flotation of a single log, and also the 
weight of the bridge-timbers of one bay, as well as the 
greatest weight that will ever be on it at any one time, we 
can easily calculate the number of logs to be in each raft. 

The result of this calculation, however, should be in- 
creased by two or three logs, to make up for the loss of 
buoyancy by imbibing water or becoming soaked. This 
can be pretty well remedied by painting or tarring the ends 



MILITARY BRIDGES IN GENERAL. 89 

of the logs. Before this is done the up-stream ends should 
be cut whistle-shape, or like the bow of a scow, to present 
less resistance to the water. For the same reason the plan 
of the upper end of the raft should be a salient angle, and 
the lower end a re-entrant angle. The logs should be 
neatly trimmed before being thrown into the water for 
building ; they are then assembled in the rafts, butts and 
tops alternating, and are fastened together by three or four 
cross-pieces spiked or pinned to the logs. These cross- 
pieces are scantlings or saplings, and they should have a 
good bearing on the logs, the tops of which are flattened or 
countersunk for that purpose. On top of the cross-pieces 
others running lengthwise are placed, to receive the balks 
of the roadway, which should be elevated enough to clear 
the waves and to allow ordinary floating bodies to pass 
under. If draws are necessary, they must be made of 
boats, as being more easy to take out and replace. 

In 1796 the French army, having no bridge equipage, 
constructed one of rafts across the Adige, near Hoveredo, 
which had a draw of two boats near the middle. That 
bridge was 125 yards long; the rafts were 48 feet long by 
16 wide. Being well made, it lasted a long time, and 
was taken and retaken several times by the Austrians and 
French. 

Bridges on Rafts of Casks, Boxes, and Skins. These 
bridges will only suit on small streams far from the enemy, 
because they are easily destroyed. A framework is prepared, 
rectangular in plan, having four longitudinal pieces 25 feet 
long, connected by four cross-pieces from 6 to 9 feet in 



90 MILITARY LESSONS. 

length. Two of the long pieces are near to either edge of 
the raft, being placed apart a little more than the bung 
diameter of the casks, which are placed under and in this 
rectangular space, end to end, with their bungs up, so that 
when they leak hand-pumps may be inserted to pump 
them out. In this position they are lashed fast, and make 
a raft of great buoyancy. A similar raft may be made 
of boxes which have been calked and painted to make them 
water-tight. 

The rafts thus formed of casks or boxes will be placed at 
proper intervals for bridge-supports, and the roadway will 
then be built upon them as has been explained for rafts of 
logs. In some countries, as Spain, Italy, and Southern 
France, a multitude of wine-bags, or bottles formed out 
of cattle-skins, are found. These, when made air-tight and 
inflated with air, make bridge-supports suitable for light 
bridges. 

Trestle-Bridges. This kind of bridge is suitable over 
shallow streams with firm bottoms. The water ought not 
to be over 9 feet deep, and the current not swifter than 5 
feet per second. Such bridges have the advantage of not 
requiring much material for their construction, which ma- 
terial can be brought from the neighboring forests and 
houses. These trestles are a large kind of carpenter's 
horses, made of light wood so as to be easily handled. 

They are placed in the water at intervals of 12 to 15 
feet/ with their lengths in the direction of the current. 
On these trestles are laid the balks which support the road- 
way. They are also of admirable utility in constructing 



MILITARY BRIDGES IN GENERAL. 91 

bridges over deep ravines, where wagons might be stalled 
and the march of an army delayed. In a country 
the topographical features of which are like those of Cali- 
fornia, where these gulches are common, this would be of 
high importance. 

Should the bottom of a stream be boggy, the feet of the 
trestles would sink into it ; this can be obviated by a suit- 
able shoe fastened to them, or mud-sills secured beneath. 

Where the water is not too deep, the men can wade in to 
place the trestles ; but when the depth of the stream for- 
bids, the bridge will have to advance from one shore, being 
successively built from its front end. 

Two long beams moving on a roller can be used. Place 
the trestles on their front ends, and roll forward until the 
trestle has come over its place, and then lower it into its 
position with ropes. Or else twx> skids may be used, 
reaching down to the plow of the next trestle, which is 
slided down the skids to place, and set upon its legs by 
hauling in on ropes and pushing out with long poles. 
Upon the trestles when in position are laid the balks, over- 
lapping about a yard, and they are securely lashed to the 
trestles and to each other. If a draw is necessary, it must 
be of boats. 

The crossing of the Beresina, in November, 1812, on the 
disastrous retreat of Napoleon's grand army .out of Russia, 
was made by two trestle-bridges about 200 yards apart, 
and being about 100 yards long. The trestles were from 3 
feet to 9 feet in height, and their cap-pieces were 14 feet 
long. 



92 MILITARY LESSONS. 

They were constructed with lumber obtained by demol- 
ishing houses in the village of Wesselowo, and were placed 
about 14 feet apart. In place of balks they used saplings 
about 5 inches in diameter, and they used saplings for 
flooring of one of the bridges. The other had a plank 
floor, the planks being taken from the houses of the vil- 
lage. These bridges would have amply sufficed for the 
passage of the whole army, had good order been main- 
tained; but all discipline being lost, vast crowds poured 
upon the bridges, and produced disasters unexampled in 
history. The pontoniers, although worn out by a forced 
march, constructed these bridges in the space of twenty- 
four hours ; they were compelled to swim amid the ice 
to place and repair the trestles, and their generous de- 
votion cost most of them their lives. 

Preservation of Bridges. -To defend a bridge from 
floating bodies, launched by the enemy or drifting on the 
current, the following means are employed : 

1. A lookout guard is stationed on the river, about 
1,000 yards above, and this guard is provided with skiffs, 
long lines, anchors, grapnels, cramping-irons or staples, 
with mallets to drive them, boat-hooks, etc. 

These boats, stationed at intervals one above the other, 
are rowed to any floating body that comes along ; one end 
of a line is fastened to it, and the other sent ashore or fas- 
tened to a fixed point. The floating bodies are either towed 
ashore or swung round on to the shore by the action of the 
current. If some of the floating bodies elude these precau- 
tions, they should be steered towards the draws in the 



MILITARY BRIDGES IN GENERAL. 93 

bridge,, and the sentinel on the bridge signaled to open the 
draws. 

2. A floating stockade or boom is sometimes stretched 
diagonally across the river, so as to prevent the descent of 
the floating bodies,, and run them ashore. A boom is a 
long chain of large logs, floating in the water with their 
ends fastened together by short chains ; each log ought to 
be anchored. The angle made by the boom with the cur- 
rent should be about 22, which requires its length to be 
2 1 the width of the river. The boom is laid thus oblique 
so as not to receive a square shock from the floating bodies, 
and to direct them ashore. 

3. The ends of the bridge should be movable, so as to 
adjust to sudden rising or falling of the water. 

Passage of Bridges. Military bridges being liable to 
many accidents, there ought to be as many of them as pos- 
sible. It is dangerous to risk everything upon only one ; 
the slightest accident might compromise the troops who 
have already passed. The unstable nature of these com- 
munications requires the utmost precaution. A sentinel 
should be stationed at each end of the bridge, and others 
along it at such intervals that they can see and hear every- 
thing that transpires, and carry out and enforce the follow- 
ing regulations : 

Infantry should march by the flank without beat of 
drum and in silence, being careful not to preserve the 
lock-step while on the bridge, because it would set the 
bridge to oscillating back and forth, and injure it se- 
riously. 



94 MILITARY LESSONS. 

If this motion should start, the troops should halt, and 
remain standing until it subsides. 

Cavalry should dismount, and each man lead his horse 
with a short rein, and prevent his trotting. 

Care must be taken not to overload the bridge; fresh 
troops not being allowed to come on before those already 
crossing shall have completed the passage. 

Such interval should be kept between the different bod- 
ies, that there will be no stopping and crowding at the 
end of the bridge. Carriages in single file and twenty 
paces apart should march along the middle line of the 
bridge ; all drivers except those on the wheel-horses dis- 
mounted and leading. If any of the carriages should be 
too heavily loaded, a part of the load may be taken off ; if 
one should break down on the roadway, the team should be 
promptly unhitched, the load stored in the nearest boats, 
and the carriage thrown overboard. 

Infantry should never be mingled with artillery or cav- 
alry in crossing at the same time. The troops should 
instantly obey the command " Halt ! " given by a sentinel, 
and resume the march only when commanded to do so. If 
there should be several bridges, one should be exclusively 
for infantry, and another for cavalry or carriages. If there 
is a ford, also, the cavalry should cross there in preference. 

Should there be a herd of beef cattle along with the 
army, they should be crossed in lots, or five or six at a time. 
It being the nature of these animals to huddle together 
in a crowd when frightened, if there were too many to- 
gether they would ruin the bridge. Besides, as they nat- 



MILITARY BRIDGES IN GENERAL. 95 

urally swim well, they should be got across by swimming 
when practicable. No fires, not even lighted pipes or 
cigars, should be allowed on the bridge, for fear of burning 
it, or of explosions. 

The sentinels must keep a sharp lookout for signals 
from above, reporting them or anything else of unusual 
nature to the officer of the bridge. They either halt 
troops or accelerate their march as circumstances may 
demand. 

On ponton-bridges, infantry march in two ranks, or 
even three if the bays are not more than fifteen feet apart, 
cavalry in one rank, and the heavier field-pieces should 
be drawn by only four horses. 

A detachment should be detailed to tighten the cords, 
to tend the draws, to raise the anchors now and then lest 
they become too deeply imbedded, and to make all the 
little repairs that may be requisite. If the bridge is likely 
to be frozen up, care must be taken to have it dismantled 
and removed in time, lest when the thaw comes it should 
be carried away. And if the bridge is destined to re- 
main, the ice must be broken around the supports every 
day. 

Flying-Bridges. By this term we designate a boat, a 
draw, or a raft, hel'd by a hawser or chain, which prevents 
it descending the river, and which is caused to go from 
one bank to the other by being held by a rudder oblique 
to the current. Flying-bridges have the advantage of 
being easy to construct, but they do not afford a continu- 
ous communication, and can serve but a small body of 



96 MILITARY LESSONS. 

troops. Experience has shown that the length of the 
cable should be one and a half to two times the width of 
the river. The cable is kept above the water by floats* 
such as casks,, or boats, at suitable intervals. Thirty-six 
men can in an hour construct a flying-bridge on six boats 
of equipage, which would carry over two hundred and 'fifty 
men, or two pieces of artillery with twelve horses. This 
bridge would cross a stream of two hundred yards' width 
in a 'minute and a half. 

We will close this chapter by a few hints as to the 
repair and destruction of bridges. In general, bridges are 
repaired by the same means which were employed in their 
construction. Bridges upon piles are frequently made in 
the rear of an army to keep open communication when it 
is necessary to take up our ponton-bridges and send them 
forward with the army. 

Nothing need be said of the repair or construction of 
pile-bridges, for that operation is going on about the 
wharves of our cities all the time. When a masonry- 
bridge has been cut by the enemy, we can make a tempo- 
rary wooden bridge over the gap. If the cut is too wide 
for our beams to reach, intermediate supports may be 
made by piles, trestles, or boats. 

Destruction of Bridges. If we are compelled to abandon 
a bridge, it should be sunk, burnt, or blown up. It may be 
burnt by putting straw, tarred fascines, or dry sticks under- 
neath several places and setting fire at once. If there is 
not time for this, a large fire should be built in the road- 
way, taking up planks and piling on. This would detain 



MILITARY BRIDGES IN GENERAL. 97 

the enemy some time. Bridges may be blown up by 
fastening barrels of, powder or loaded shells under the 
roadway, and firing them by slow-match or portfires. 

Bridges may be sunk by knocking holes in the boats, at 
the same time cutting the lines and throwing the plank 
overboard. Masonry-bridges are blown up with powder ; 
several arches ought to be blown up at once, to make the 
repair more difficult. When greatly pressed for time, sev- 
eral hundred-pound barrels should be suspended beneath 
an arch, and fired simultaneously. 

Destruction of the Enemy's Bridges. This is an opera- 
tion of the highest importance, especially when we are resist- 
ing an attack which he makes by main force. If we can 
succeed in destroying his bridge after a portion of his troops 
have crossed, we will thereby cut him in two, and the 
result should be a brilliant victory in our favor. Different 
means are employed for the destruction of the enemy's 
bridges : 1st. Bafts and boats heavily loaded should be 
sent down the current against the bridge, to destroy it by 
the shock; these floating bodies should have in front a 
strong mast, well stayed, and of a height sufficient to en- 
counter the bridge and strike it with violence. 2d. Use 
may be made of fire-boats loaded with incendiary mate- 
rials and well supplied with shells and hand-grenades which 
explode from time to time, and intimidate any who might 
wish to approach the fire-boat. 3d. Infernal-machines, 
destined to destroy the bridge by their explosion, may 
be brought into service. They consist of boats provided 
with strong chambers of frame-work or iron filled with 



98 MILITARY LESSONS. 

powder, and weighted down by heavy bodies to increase 
the force of the explosion. 

Fire is communicated by a pistol or musket, the muzzle 
of which opens into the powder, the hammer being cocked 
and the trigger connected with a lever, which when it 
touches the bridge will draw the trigger and explode the 
charge. Barrels and boxes filled with powder, and these 
or other arrangements for explosion, ought to be sent down 
in great numbers, and particularly in the night, so that 
some will surely escape the guard and arrive at the bridge. 
They should be so ballasted as to keep the right side up. 



CHAPTER VI. 

FIELD FORTIFICATION, 

IN military language any construction or device which, 
renders a position to be held by troops stronger than 
it was left by nature is called a Fortification, 

The proper construction of fortification is called the art 
of fortification ; and this art is divided into two great 
. branches, which are termed respectively Field- Fortification 
and Permanent Fortification. These terms of themselves 
immediately suggest the principal difference between the 
two kinds of constructions ; for while permanent fortifica- 
tions are made at such places as are of enduring importance, 
like seaports and cities, and are constructed of the most 
lasting materials in an elaborate manner, field-fortifications 
are constructed hastily of earth, with the addition of wood 
and such other materials as are furnished by the locality, 
and are intended only to subserve the purposes of a cam- 
paign. 

We will here confine our attention solely to the latter. 

Suppose two bodies of troops equal in numbers, courage, 
discipline, skill, and equipment to meet each other in hostile 
array upon an open plain. The circumstances are equal; but 
if one of these bodies were posted on a hillside it would 



100 MILITARY LESSONS. 

possess an evident advantage over its opponents, who 
would be compelled to climb the hill to reach it. The 
party on the hill would have called into their aid the force 
of gravity, no inconsiderable force, and the assailants 
would be under both a moral and physical disadvantage. 

If, moreover, the party on the hill had selected a position 
where there was a ravine or ditch at the foot of the hill, it 
is easy to see that their position would be yet stronger. 
Again, should they withdraw behind the crest of the hill, 
to such a distance that, while they could still see and fire 
upon their enemy as he was struggling across the creek or 
ditch and was climbing the hillside, and yet have their 
persons save their heads and shoulders screened from 
the missiles of the enemy by the crest of the hill, it is evident 
that they would possess a third great advantage over their 
assailants. 

In these simple considerations can be discovered the 
principal feature of a fortification. To make a fortification 
we must make the hillside, the sheltering crest, and the 
obstructive ditch, where none previously existed. One of 
the simplest instances of a fortification would be had by 
digging a trench or ditch in front of a straight line of bat- 
tle, throwing the dirt on the side from the enemy, and out 
of it forming an embankment or breast-height, behind 
which our own troops could stand, and over which they 
would fire upon the approaching enemy. 

I have supposed a case in which the contending forces 
were equal in all respects. But fortifications are resorted 
to most generally by the weaker, when in presence of a 



FIELD FORTIFICATION. 101 

stronger force, weaker, be it noted, in absolute efficiency, 
for it often happens that a force numerically the greater 
is, by reason of inferior equipment, discipline, or morale, 
really weaker than its opponent. 

The ground-plan of a fortification may have a multitude 
of shapes, according to varying circumstances of locality 
and design in view ; but the cross-section of the works, or 
profile as it is generally called, is essentially the same in 
all, consisting of the embankment, or parapet) and the 
ditch. 

When defensive works are thrown up very hastily, and 
are intended merely to receive battle in, they are constructed 
by digging a slighter ditch, and the dirt is thrown on the 
side towards the enemy. The troops in this case stand in 
the ditch, and derive their shelter partly from the ditch and 
partly from the dirt thrown up on its bank. This kind of 
intrenchment received, during the late civil war in the 
United States, the name of rifle-pits, but that term was 
previously applied, especially by the Allies at the siege of 
Sebastopol, to small round excavations dug by single rifle- 
men, or bodies of two or three riflemen, who crept forward 
during the night and made their lodgements, ready to open 
on the enemy at daybreak. These pitmen were sharp- 
shooters to pick off officers, cannoneers, etc. 

But the usual case is where the parapet is on the side of 
the ditch from the enemy. 

The following is a representation of the profile of a para- 
pet and ditch. F G, the bottom of the ditch, is nine feet 
ten inches wide ; while the top E H is eighteen feet. It is 



MILITARY LESSONS. 




PROFILE OF PARAPET AND DITCH. 



seven feet deep; the interior crest A is eight feet above 
the terre-plein, or natural surface ; the exterior crest C is 
five feet six inches above the same. B is the banquette 
treacly four feet wide, and at a perpendicular distance below 
the interior crest of four feet three inches. The banquette 
slope is the ramp falling from B rearwards to the terre- 
plein. The banquette- slope and tread are made only when 
the parapet is too high for a man standing on the natural 
surface to shoot over. A is the interior slope ; A C, the 
superior slope, and C D is the exterior slope ; D E is the 
ber m ; E F is the scarp, and G H is the counter-scarp. 

By prolonging the line of the superior slope A C, it will 
be observed that a ball from a musket lying on that line 
would strike the ground beyond the ditch at M, and con- 
sequently all the space within the angle H M L would be 
dead space, or not attainable by missiles fired from the 
works. To remedy this, another embankment having the 
gentle inclination of the superior slope is made upon the 
counter-scarp bank of the ditch, which has the effect of 
exposing the entire person of the enemy as he approaches. 
This embankment in front of the ditch is called the glacis. 

Plan. "When the enemy has no choice but to approach 



FIELD FORTIFICATION. 103 

directly from the front, a straight parapet and ditch will 
make a good defence ; but this could be improved by flanks 
running forward from the right and left of the line so as to 
bring a cross-fire on the enemy as he approached. 

But .the enemy certainly will not approach directly from 
the front if lie can avoid it, but will if possible march 
around the flanks of our work and come upon us in the 
rear. This operation is called turning the work, and 
neutralizes or destroys its utility. If he cannot succeed 
in turning the work he will at least endeavor to come upon 
it in a slanting direction, that is, with his line of march 
making a very small angle with the direction of the para- 
pet ; in which case very little of our fire could be brought 
to bear upon him. 

This would be true even of the musketry-fire, but still 
more so of that from the artillery, because the pieces with 
which field-fortifications are usually armed are too small to 
fire in barbette (i. e. over the top of the parapet), but are 
fired through notches or troughs cut down in the parapet, 
which are named embrasures. 

As these embrasures necessarily allow only a limited 
field of firey or sweep to the right and left for the cannon, 
they cannot be brought to bear upon a column of troops 
advancing in a slanting direction. To avoid the incon- 
venience here spoken of, deflections are made in the direc- 
tion of the parapet to produce flanking arrangements that 
will give cross-fires, of which more will be said anon. 

It is only in a few localities, such as narrow gorges, 
ravines, and streets, that the enemy would be compelled to 



104 



MILITARY LESSONS. 



approach from the front. The general case is that he can 
turn a line of works,, especially if it is a short one. To 
secure ourselves against this disaster, it is a natural expe- 
dient to fortify in all directions, thus inclosing the position 
to be fortified. A plan which would naturally suggest it- 
self would be a square or a parallelogram. 



But upon inspecting such a plan it will be seen that if the 
assailant approaches along the prolongations of the diago- 
nals, in other words, marches upon the corners, he would 
be exposed to a feeble fire. The angles included between 
the arrow-heads are called Sectors-without-fire. 

To get rid of these sectors-without-fire we must resort to 
what are called Flanked Dispositions. In these, certain 
portions of the work are thrown forward towards the enemy 
and are called Advanced Parts, while others are held back 
and are called retired parts. Such a disposition is shown 
in the following diagram. 



FIELD FORTIFICATION. 



105 




Wherein A B and E F P are the advanced parts, and 
B CDJEztfQ the retired parts, A and A B are the faces, as 
are also E F and F P ; B C and D E are the flanks, and 
C D is the curtain. A D and (7 7^ are the lines of defence ; 
A B and E F P are the salient angles ; B C D and J? (7 
-# are re-entering angles, and A D E and F C B are angles 
of defence. 

It will be seen that the angle between the arrow-heads 
at F is swept by a fire from the flank B C, and also from a 
flank perpendicular to F P prolonged, and which is not 
shown in the figure. And so of the other sectors-witliout- 
fire. 

The face* may vary in length from thirty to eighty yards, 
the flanks from twenty to forty yards; and the curtain 
should never be less than twelve times the relief, which is 
the height of the interior crest above the bottom of the 
ditch. 

The kind of a front which we have just described is 
called a Bastioned Front. The bastion front is the best for 
an inclosed fort, because not only are the sectors-without- 
5* 



106 



MILITARY LESSONS. 



fire remedied, but the ditches are thoroughly swept by the 
fire of the garrison. 

In the square redoubt before spoken of the sectors-with- 

out-fire may be pretty well 
remedied by making what are 
called Pan-coupees, the cor- 
ners being cut off, and re- 
placed by shoulders, the fire 
from which will be in the 
directions of the diagonals; 
but still the ditches are dead 
spaces, in which the enemy, 
once arrived there, is comparatively secure. 

Besides these are star forts, which give something of a 
flanking arrangement, as may be seen in the figure above. 

Not only may flanking dispositions be used for isolated 
positions, but also to connect and secure the different parts 
of long lines which are used to strengthen extended posi- 
tions. 

If we have a position where the flanks are secure from 
being turned, by reason of precipices, impassable moun- 
tains, water or morasses, it may be fortified by a Cre- 
maillere or Indented Line. 






FIELD FORTIFICATION. 



107 



Should the position be assailable not only in front but 
on the flanks, while the rear is secure, there are various 
other dispositions which can be used, according to locality 



A 




and other circumstances. We may mention the Redan, 
the Lunette, and the Priest-cap, or Swallow-tail. 

Long lines may be secured and connected redans, lunettes, 
and cremailleres, or any combination of them which may be 
found expedient. There are continuous lines, and lines 
with intervals. The first have no openings through which 
the enemy might penetrate, except a few for the conven- 
ience of the defenders, and these are usually covered and 
concealed from view by small redans in front of them. 

The second kind are marked by detached forts, which are 
separated by wide intervals, the intervening spaces being 
defended only by cross-fires from the forts. The Eedan 
Line is a series of redans connected by curtains, the faces 
of the redans about 60 yards long and the curtains about 
180 yards. In this arrangement the ditches are not flanked, 
or swept by our fire ; this defect is remedied by changing 
the curtains from long straight lines to broken ones, con- 
' stituting new redans, with their faces perpendicular to those 
of the original redans. This is called the Tenaille Line. 



108 MILITARY LESSONS. 

A great variety of combinations of lines has been used 
by different engineers, but it would not profit to enter into 
an examination of them here. 

Tete-de-Pont. A tete-de-pont, or bridge-head, is a de- 
tached fort placed near the end of a bridge to secure the 
same. Its plan may be a redan with a pan-coupee, a 
lunette, priest-cap, or any form suitable to the locality. 
If practicable, it should be supported by the fire of bat- 
teries placed on the opposite shore, which shall cross in its 
front, and sweep along its flanks. 

Revetments. When the slopes of any of the embank- 
ments of fortifications are not steeper than the natural slope 
of the earth, they will stand and do very good service, with 
no other preparation than packing and ramming; but to 
prevent the effect of rains, it is well, when there is time, 
to cover the surface of the slope with sods of grass. 

These sods should be cut from a sward where the grass 
is short and has thickly matted roots; they should be 
evenly cut in rectangles, and laid like the tiles of a pave- 
ment. But this precaution, which is optional on gentle 
slopes, is necessary on steep ones, like the interior slope 
of the parapet, the scarp and counter-scarp of the ditch. 

Any facing made to sustain the face of a slope is called a 
revetment. It may be of sods, stone, or wood, and also of 
a mixture of clay and earth ; these last materials are mixed 
with water into a stiff paste or mud, and laid on about a 
foot thick, being well packed. 

Fascines. A fascine is a cylindrical bundle of rods or 
twigs, bound together or wrapped with witkes. They are 



FIELD FORTIFICATION. 109 

from 9 to 12 inches in diameter, and from 10 to 20 feet 
long. 

To make a revetment of fascines, say for the interior 
slope, the first layer is laid horizontally at the foot of the 
slope, being about half imbedded below the banquette-tread, 
and held in position by stakes driven into them, and also 
by having withes leading to anchoring-pickets driven into 
the interior of the parapet at intervals of a few feet. On 
top of this layer, as the parapet rises, is laid another layer 
of fascines fastened to the anchoring-pickets and to the fas- 
cines below, and so on to the top. 

Hurdle Revetments. A hurdle revetment is made by 
laying parallel poles along the face of the slope and in its 
direction, driving them into the earth at its foot, and then 
making a kind of wicker-work by interlacing twigs or 
withes with the poles. The poles are laid as if they had 
been driven in an upright row at the foot of the interior 
slope first, and then inclined over until they lay against 
that slope. 

Gabions. Gabions are sometimes used for a revetment. 
A gabion is a hollow cylinder of basket-work, made of 
twigs. They are set on top of each other, in the direction 
of the slope, and filled with earth. 

A revetment is often made of scantling and planks. 

Bags filled with sand are often used to form a revetment 
when great haste is necessary, and even to throw up a 
hasty shelter or parapet. But as the bags soon rot, they 
are only used for works of a very temporary character. 

It may be well to say a word about Powder-Magazines. 



110 MILITARY LESSONS. 

Some place must be had, of course, for storing the ammu- 
nition. The requisites are that it be safe from fire, the 
enemy's shot, and dampness. If the site of the work is 
dry ground, they ought to be placed under ground, the sides 
and top being made of framed work, and planks or fas- 
cines. The vault, may be about 6 feet wide, and of the 
same height, with length sufficient to hold the ammunition. 

On the top of these should be a thickness of 6 feet of 
earth, and the entrance, which should be from the rear, 
should have a splinter-proof screen, to prevent fragments 
of the enemy's shells from entering it. Where the soil is 
very wet, the powder-magazines are sometimes placed in 
the traverses. 

A Traverse is a short embankment, generally made with 
gabions, which run perpendicularly to the rear from the 
parapet. When traverses are used there are always several, 
and their object is to prevent the splinters of the enemy's 
shells from having an extended range up and down, or to 
the right and left, along the work. Usually two pieces of 
cannon are found between two traverses. The traverses ex- 
tend to the rear only far enough to shelter the cannoniers. 

Palisades are forts made of wooden logs set into the earth 
in an upright position to form walls. The logs are hewn 
flat on the sides which are in contact, and the garrison fire 
through loop-holes cut between the logs. There may be 
more than one tier of loop-holes ; the men firing through 
the upper holes while standing on a staging constructed 
against the palisades, and upheld by a parallel row of posts 
about six feet to the rear. 



FIELD FORTIFICATON. Ill 

Block-Houses are built of logs either upright or horizontal, 
and often of two thicknesses, the one upright and the other 
horizontal. They are provided with loop-holes, and are 
sometimes defended by a ditch with a draw-bridge. Being 
usually square or rectangular in plan, they have sectors- 
without-fire. 

This can be remedied by having two stories, the upper 
story being turned around, or so placed that its walls shall 
be perpendicular to the diagonals of the lower story. With 
this arrangement the fire from the upper story will entirely 
remove the sectors-without-fire. 

Obstacles. It may be well to cast a passing glance at 
some of the devices which are classified under this heading. 
When the enemy is approaching the work to assault it, it 
is desirable to reach him at the earliest possible moment 
with our projectiles, and to detain him under fire as long 
as we can. With this view we cut down all trees within 
extreme range of the fort, level off banks and small hillocks 
behind which he could be concealed or protected, and make 
whatever arrangements are practicable to diminish the num- 
ber of avenues of approach. 

If the routes by which he can come upon the work are 
few, his men will be more massed together, and therefore 
more vulnerable, while we, being called to attend to but a 
few points, will be able to bring to bear a greater propor- 
tion of strength on him. 

Among the obstacles designed to detain the enemy in 
front of the work are ckevaux-de-frise> trous-de-loups or 

e/ ' J- 

military pits, crow's-feet, mines, abattis, etc. 



112 MILITARY LESSONS. 

A Cheval-de-frise is a log or scantling bored through by 
augers, the alternate holes running through in directions 
perpendicular to each other. Through these staves or poles 
are passed up to their middle, having both ends shod with 
pike heads. Crow's-feet are composed of several v sharp iron 
spikes, united at a single point, but all pointing outwards, 
so that when thickly scattered on the ground they form a 
serious obstacle to the march of troops. 

Abattis are trees cut down and laid with their tops to- 
wards the enemy. Only the smaller branches are cut off, 
while the longer limbs have their ends sharpened and 
pointed towards the enemy. They are interlocked and 
tied together. 

Trous-de-lonps are pits dug in the ground to about the 
depth of six feet, and are five or six feet in diameter at 
top. They have a stake, sharpened at top, planted in the 
bottom. 

Mines are deposits of gunpowder placed under the glacis, 
and connected with a hose or train leading under the par- 
apet. They are intended to be exploded when, the enemy 
arrives over them ; and their moral effect is immense. 

Attack and Defense. An attack may be made openly 
or by surprise, but in either case it is necessary to obtain 
all the information possible about the work beforehand. 
Much valuable information may be obtained from spies and 
deserters, but this information should be received with all 
the circumspection recommended in a previous chapter. 

Another method is by reconnoissance ; that is, to go and 
see. An officer, attended by an escort sufficient to drive in 



FIELD FORTIFICATION. 113 

the pickets and outlying parties from the garrison, ap- 
proaches and examines the defenses, endeavoring to observe 
the strength, equipment, and nature of the garrison, the 
nature of the work, the depth and width of the ditch, 
whether dry or filled with water, the number, caliber, and 
position of the cannon, the presence or absence of obstacles 
in front of the ditch, etc. If an attempt to surprise the 
post is to be made, it should be done at night, selecting the 
time about two hours before day, because then the sentinels 
are always less vigilant than earlier in the night, and be- 
sides, the garrison will be in a deep sleep. 

The storming party will, of course, approach in the 
stealthiest manner, picking their way around or through 
obstacles. Engineer troops with tools should precede them, 
to remove obstacles. If the ditch is deeper than six feet, 
scaling-ladders should be taken along for the purpose of 
descending into the ditch and mounting the parapet on the 
other side. Sentinels must be secured or bayoneted. 

There should always be several false attacks made along 
with the true one, to divert the attention of the garrison, 
confuse them, and divide their forces. The false attacks 
must be conducted by parties strong enough to convert 
them into true ones, should they meet with better success 
than they anticipated. 

The leaders of the different parties should all know 
which is the true attack, so that, should they succeed in 
getting into the work, they may hasten to that point. 

The storming parties should be of picked troops, espe- 
cially of such as had volunteered upon that occasion. 



114 MILITARY LESSONS. 

When an open attack is made, all obstacles should be 
destroyed, as far as can be done bj the fire of artillery. 

A heavy fire should be concentratedi on the enemy's guns 
until they are silenced. Shells should be fired into the 
parapet to cause the earth to slide down into the ditch, 
forming a ramp by which the parapet may be mounted. 
When the assault is about to be made, a cloud of light 
troops is thrown out to open a fire on the garrison, and 
divert their . attention from the storming columns. 

These last should advance over the intervening ground 
with the utmost celerity. The remainder of the troops 
follow close to repel sorties, and support the stormers, who 
will not stop to fire, but rely exclusively on speed and the 
bayonet. 

Defense. To make a successful defense there should be 
troops enough to allow of two ranks all along the ban- 
quette, and a suitable reserve beside. The defenses and 
equipments must be put into the most serviceable condi- 
tion. When an attack is expected, the enemy must be 
closely watched by scouts and patrols, and lookouts must 
be stationed at those places behind which he could ap- 
proach unperceived. Bodies of troops sufficient to repel 
and keep aloof all reconnoitering parties must be main- 
tained on the outside. At night the number of sentinels 
must be increased, and after midnight unusual vigilance 
enjoined and enforced. In anticipation of an attack the 
different troops should have their duties assigned them, and 
they should be drilled therein. Occasionally, but not 
frequently, false alarms of an attack should be made, 



FIELD FORTIFICATION. 115 

to accustom the minds of the garrison to such an emer- 
gency. 

The men, in case of ' a real attack, should be exposed as 
little as may be consistent with a good defense. For in- 
stance, while the enemy is cannonading the work previous 
to an assault, all the troops except the cannoneers and sen- 
tinels may lie down behind the parapets and traverses. 
The reserve should be kept sheltered until called into 
action. 

When a night attack is expected with confidence, fire- 
balls should be thrown out to light up the neighborhood 
of the enemy, and to disclose his movements. 

Should the enemy^s storming columns be shaken and 
thrown into confusion by the fire of the garrison and by 
the obstacles, a sortie should be made in force to complete 
their confusion and to put them to rout. 




CHAPTER VII. 

STRATEGY. 

IN this chapter only a few of the leading principles of 
strategy will be considered, the subject being one the 
discussion of which might be carried to almost any extent ; 
vast tomes might be, and have been, written upon the sub- 
ject, but it is deemed expedient here to spend but a little 
time in its examination, and we will confine ourselves to 
its leading features. This not because the subject is of 
but little importance, far from that ; but because it is in 
its nature less definite and fixed, less subject to specific 
rules than any branch of the art, and because it is impossi- 
ble to give directions for all the cases which may arise. 

Strategy is defined in Scott's Military Dictionary to be 
"the art of concerting a plan of campaign, combining a 
system of military operations determined by the end to be 
attained, the character of the enemy, the nature and re- 
sources of the country, and the means of attack and de- 
fense." It has also been defined to be " generalship, the 
science of military command, the science of conducting 
great military operations/'' Although it may be difficult 
to improve on these definitions, it is certain that they are 
somewhat vague. 



STRATEGY. 117 

In directing the movements of bodies of troops, there 
are three departments calling for consideration ; to wit, 
Tactics, Grand Tactics, and Strategy. Tactics comprise 
those precise, formal, well -ascertained, and elementary 
movements of troops upon a small theater, which are pre- 
scribed in works on that subject. Grand Tactics have a 
more extended range, are the movements on a more ex- 
tended scale, are less definite, not so clearly foreseen, and 
are not executed by uniform technical commands. Grand 
tactics also have their theater on the field of battle or in 
the immediate vicinity of the enemy. The adaptation of the 
different arms of service infantry, cavalry, and artillery 
to the different kinds of ground; the selection of the 
proper time for them to come into action ; the disposition 
of brigades, divisions, or army corps ; turning movements 
during a battle ; the posting and ordering of reserves ; 
feigned attacks, retreats, and ambuscades, may be con- 
sidered as belonging to the domain of grand tactics. 

Strategy has a still more extended range, looks further 
into the future, and combines and directs the movements 
of large bodies of troops, and even armies over a greater 
scope of country ; still, the limits of strategy and grand 
tactics are so commingled, that it is not always practicable 
to point out distinctly where the one ceases and the other 
begins. Many of the operations described in the chapter on 
moving of armies belong to the domain of grand tactics, 
and some were strategic. 

Strategic points are such as are of great importance to 
us for securing our subsistence, insuring our safety, facili- 



118 MILITARY LESSONS. 

tating our success, or which may enable us to annoy, foil, 
or defeat the enemy. Of such are cross-roads, particularly 
in a timbered and broken country, where roads are of prime 
importance ; places where railways meet, passes through 
mountains, fords across rivers and plains where navigation 
is interrupted by falls or rapids, large cities, fortified posts, 
the capital of a country, etc., etc. 

There may be no strong reasons of a physical kind or 
reasons in themselves strictly military for making the capi- 
tal of a country an object of great interest, and yet political 
and moral considerations may confer upon it great strategic 
importance. 

The first things which should engage attention in the 
planning or conduct of a campaign should be the Base of 
Operations, the Line of Operations, and the Objective Point. 

The Base of Operations may be a point, but is more gen- 
erally a line, whence our army sallies forth to march upon 
the enemy, from which we draw our supplies and reinforce- 
ments, and upon which we expect to fall back in case of 
reverse or disaster. In case we invade the enemy 's ter- 
ritory by land, it would naturally be the frontier of our 
own. 

But if we are engaged in a defensive campaign, it would 
be a chain of fortified posts or cities, or a river, parallel to 
the frontier, and in which would be stored our reserves of 
men and materials, #nd behind which we could retreat in 
case of necessity. 

The Line of Operations is the line or route along which 
we advance from the base, and it should be perpendicular 
to it. 



STRATEGY. 119 

t 

The Objective Point is that point of the enemy's country 
which it is our object to strike,, such as the point where his 
forces are stationed, the capital of his country, or the grand 
depot of his- supplies. 

These three things must be maturely considered,, and 
settled upon with great circumspection and deliberation 
before we begin to act. We must form a distinct con- 
ception of what is to be done,, whence to set out, how to 
go, and where to go. If we propose an invasion, it may be 
that the geography of our country offers but one frontier 
from which we can advance upon the enemy, and then this 
will necessarily be the base of operations. On the other 
hand, we may have a choice of several, and we would select 
that one from which we could soonest reach the objective 
point, and could at the same time most easily keep open 
our communications. If two lines of our frontiers meet 
in a salient angle penetrating the enemy's territory, it would 
be well to begin the demonstration by assembling on the 
apex so as to create doubt in the enemy's mind as to which 
was to be our base of operations. 

If we should move from out a re-entrant angle, our flank 
would be secured during the earlier part of the march by 
the contiguity of portions of our base to the right and left ; 
but, on the whole, it is probable that a straight line per- 
pendicular to the line of operations is as good as any. 

When once we move from the base we should advance 
with the utmost speed upon the objective point ; for time, 
in war, is the most important of all things. 

Under no consideration must we expose ourselves to 



120 MILITARY LESSONS. 

being cut off from the base ; amid all the varying phases 
which may appear during the campaign, this injunction 
must be borne steadily in mind. Should there be indis- 
pensable passes, fords, or bridges to be left in our rear, they 
must be fortified and held in sufficient strength. We 
should remember that every inhabitant of the country may 
be a spy or a messenger for the enemy. 

If the enemy is carelessly dispersed in cantonments or 
otherwise, it would be our policy to strike his center, and 
then, turning towards either wing, to beat his separate corps 
in detail. Thus being stronger than the enemy in any one 
combat, we should by acting with vigor and despatch be 
sure to crush in succession all his forces, and might termi- 
nate the campaign and the war at one blow. 

Should we, however, find the enemy on the alert, with 
his troops well in hand, and occupying a strong defensive 
position, we may make a feint or a real attempt to cut his 
communication with his base, and thus inflict great loss 
upon him, or compel him to abandon his strong position. 
In this way we will attack him under more favorable cir- 
cumstances, or, what may be found to be still more to be 
desired, compel him to attack us on ground of our choos- 
ing. But this movement is one of great hazard, because 
we must not sacrifice our own communications. 

There may be, however, circumstances under which a 
general would not hesitate to abandon completely his own 
communications, and throw himself upon those of his 
enemy. If he knew the enemy's troops to be greatly 
inferior to his own in numbers, discipline, or spirit, or that 



STRATEGY. 121 

their general was wanting in decision, slothful or vacillat- 
ing, and that the population was an unwarlike one, upon 
whom he could subsist without creating an insurrection, he 
would not hesitate to do so. It would be an additional in- 
ducement to make this hazardous move, if by so doing he 
could throw back the enemy upon some impassable barrier, 
such as the sea, a mountain range without passes, or an 
impassable river. 

On the contrary, should the enemy's general be an able 
one, this attempt would almost certainly terminate in dis- 
aster ; and if the population were warlike and accustomed 
to arms, seeing an invader in this position, which in general 
must be regarded as a false one, and stung to resistance by 
his exactions, they would rise in mass to the assistance of 
their own army and overwhelm him. It requires a great 
genius to see distinctly all the elements entering into such 
a problem, to balance them together and combine them so 
as to eliminate the real truth, and to be able to decide 
whether such an attempt is feasible or not. It is much 
easier to write about such things than to do them. 

There is no rule in strategy which can be dogmatic and 
exact; any one will admit of great many exceptions. 

There were never two campaigns or two battles exactly 
alike. A general should be perfectly versed in the rules 
and principles of strategy, and at the same time be pro- 
vided with profound knowledge of men and things, and 
that sound and admirable discretion which would enable 
him to know when and how far to depart from those rules. 

Thus it was recommended above that, when a general 
6 



122 MILITARY LESSONS. 

* 

found the enemy's troops scattered, lie should throw him- 
self between them ; if he should find them scattered, but 
not sufficiently far apart, it would be the worst thing he 
could do. He must know when he attacks one fragment 
'that he has time to beat it, and have his troops in hand 
again before succor can arrive. And here, by the way, is 
a distinction between grand tactics and strategy. To get 
between the enemy's divisions would in strategy be a most 
fortunate move, while as a matter of grand tactics it would 
almost surely result in ruin. 

Should the invader be successful, no rules are necessary 
as to what should then be done. It will be easy enough to 
carry out ulterior operations. But the case is quite differ- 
ent if he meets with a reverse so serious as to require a 
retreat. The invader will then be in a position calling for 
the very highest qualities of a tactician, a strategist, and a 
man. As a general rule the lines of operations now be- 
come the lines of retreat should be one. To divide the 
army into different columns would be to expose them to be 
beaten and destroyed in detail with great facility. The 
army should be held in as compact a mass as possible, and 
it should pursue a single line of retreat towards the most 
available point of the base. It should be conducted with 
the utmost speed compatible with good order, but it must 
not be allowed to degenerate into a rout or a flight. All 
available means must be employed to deceive the enemy as 
to the line of retreat, to destroy every facility for, and to 
throw all possible obstacles in the way of, pursuit. 

Where strong passes or defiles are found which are not 



STRATEGY. 123 

likely to be turned, it may be well to seize and hold them, 
and then to await his assault. This will serve to rest the 
army, give an opportunity to restore its organization, and, 
by beating off the enemy, the spirits of the men. Then, 
while the enemy is still in the confusion of his repulse, the 
retreat must be resumed. Often it will be best to effect 
this at night, some light cavalry being left behind to keep 
up the camp-fires, and to make, as far as may be, the usual 
appearance of things about camp until the retreating force 
has got a good start : then they will rejoin the main body. 

Still, there may be occasions when it would be best to di- 
vide the force, and to pursue different and divergent lines 
of retreat. Should there be a strong probability of the dif- 
ferent columns reaching the base in safety, it will be best 
to divide. The columns being smaller could move with in- 
creased speed ; the pursuer would probably lose some time 
while hesitating which to pursue, and, at the worst, it might 
be that he could not overtake and destroy more than one 
fragment, and thus the others could be saved. Large 
bodies of light cavalry, such as the Cossacks, may retreat 
with great speed upon different points of a desert, continu- 
ally scattering and disappearing into it, safe from pursuit. 
This is frequently done by our border Indians. The in- 
fantry of the Scottish Highlands have frequently escaped 
after this fashion into their mountain fastnesses. 

The Defensive Plan. A defensive war may be carried 
on by remaining near our own borders and a 'little within 
them. Thence we sally into the enemy's country upon 
favorable occasions ; we have the advantage of short lines 



124 MILITARY LESSONS. 

of operations, being near our own base ; in fact, the whole 
country will serve as a base to us. When the enemy enters 
our country, he will be continually weakened by detach- 
ments to hold the places he may take, to protect his con- 
voys of supplies, and to keep open his communications. 
The population, being unfriendly, will act as spies on his 
movements, and will inflict loss by cutting off stragglers, 
patrollers, etc., etc. 

The dispositions to be made in the defensive plan cannot 
be prescribed in a dogmatic manner. So many circum- 
stances come up for consideration, such as the nature of 
our own population, whether warlike or not ; the nature of 
the enemy, whether able and enterprising or the opposite ; 
the topography of the country, and a number of other cir- 
cumstances which ought to have weight in the decision, 
that none but the most general direction can be given. 

It is useless to attempt to defend the whole frontier; it 
is not practicable, and the attempt weakens our force by 
dispersion, so that it will have little or no effect on the 
enemy, and becomes liable to destruction in detail. 

It is best to seize and hold by a considerable force the 
points of penetration most favorable to the enemy, while 
the main body occupies a central position to the rear. 

With the main body the advanced posts must keep up a 
constant communication by means of swift couriers, signal- 
men, and telegraph. The enemy must be kept under con- 
tinual watch; and all his movements promptly reported to 
head- quarters. When he attacks any of the posts it must 
be stoutly defended to detain him there, until the main 



STRATEGY. 125 

body and other detachments can be concentrated upon him. 
For this purpose an ample supply of the means of quick 
transportation must be kept in hand, ready at a moment's 
warning; such as railway-cars, wagons, etc. Should he 
succeed in penetrating the frontier, it may be well to lure 
him into the interior, where he may be attacked at disad- 
vantage. We should endeavor to fall upon his flanks 
while marching, or, still better, to cut his communications 
by getting in his rear. 

Everything which could be of use to him must be re- 
moved or destroyed. If he can be defeated in such a 
position, there is every probability of his total ruin. 

If this method of dealing with the enemy be not found 
practicable, we will know almost certainly what his lines of 
operations will be. Upon these we must have fortified and 
strengthened the narrow passes? or other strong places not 
liable to be turned, where we will receive his attack, and 
will expect to convert his repulse into total ruin. 

Should we be unsuccessful here, we must fall back, and 
concentrate on similar positions previously prepared, and so 
on in succession, rememberirg that it will never be too late 
to despair.- 

We will add but a few more remarks on this subject. 
The government should be extremely careful in selecting 
the general-in- chief ; and when he is once selected, they 
should not hamper him with minute instructions, but 
leave him a wide latitude of discretion. Nor should they 
be in great haste to remove him upon the first misfortune. 
Misfortunes and defeats have happened to the greatest mas- 



126 MILITARY LESSONS. 

ters of war. Evidences of incapacity should be clearly per- 
ceived before a removal is resorted to. The fear of such a 
contingency may cramp the genius, and to a large extent in- 
capacitate -a really able general. Another thing to be borne 
in mind is, always to follow up a victory. How many great 
victories are recorded in history which have been without 
fruit from Hie supineness of the victors ! 

The army should be habituated to expect success, and to 
know that when the enemy is broken and driven from the 
field of battle their work has just begun. 

When he is retiring in dismay and confusion,, it will be 
ten times easier to break him up and annihilate him than 
to fight him another battle. Let the light cavalry and horse- 
artillery be launched upon his flanks and rear, incessantly 
pursuing and destroying. Let the remainder of the army 
follow as fast as may be ; the animation of success and the 
certainty of more success and greater success ought to 
destroy fatigue ; victors can afford to go hungry. 

An endeavor has been made in this chapter to point out 
some of the leading ideas of strategy : there are several 
treatises on this .subject; the elaborate one of Jomini being 
generally considered the best. The principles of strategy 
are not changeable j they are founded on human nature and 
the topographical features of the theater of war. These do 
not change. Tactics and even fortifications change with 
every new armament of the troops, but it is not so with 
strategy. Hence the best method of becoming acquainted 
with the subject is to closely study, assisted by good maps, 
the campaigns of the great masters, Alexander, Hannibal, 
Caesar, Napoleon, Wellington. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THEORY OF FIRE AND TARGET PRACTICE. 

"T^TOTWITHSTANDING all the talk which we hear 
JL 1 about bayonet charges, it has long been recognized 
to be a fact, that the principal effect of infantry is to be 
found in their fire. And this is still more certainly the 
truth since the universal introduction of arms of precision, 
and the greater amount of target practice which obtains in 
the instruction of soldiers. It is proposed here to investi- 
gate to some extent the principles on which firing is done ; 
but beforehand to make some remarks upon the phenomena 
of the combustion of gunpowder in the barrel of a gun. 

When powder is inflamed in the barrel, an elastic fluid is 
developed which escapes- with violence from its confinement, 
and drives before it whatever is in its way. The velocity 
with which the ball is chased from the gun is the speed 
with which it moves. Velocity is space passed over in a 
unit of time. The initial velocity is that with which the 
projectile moves at the instant of leaving the gun. 

Powder does not bum all at once, but progressively ; the 
exterior grains burn first, and disengage a large volume of 
gas, which, moving with a high velocity, penetrates into the 
interstices of the remaining grains, setting them on fire, 



128 MILITARY LESSONS. 

and so on until all the grains are burned. In this way, at 
each successive instant more and more gas is developed, 
so that the ball, although it moves over the length of the 
gun-barrel in an extremely short time, yet acquires its 
velocity gradually, and attains its maximum velocity only 
when it has arrived at the muzzle of the bore. 

Any degree of dampness is injurious to gunpowder, so 
that its effect is less in rainy than in dry weather. 

The initial velocity of the projectile depends on the 
amount of the charge, the quality of the powder, the length 
of the bore, the size and density of the ball, and on the 
windage. The Windage is the amount of space between 
the sides of the bore and the surface of the ball ; or, it is 
the space by which it fails to fill the bore. 

For any given ball and given length of bore, there is a 
maximum velocity, beyond which it is useless to try to go. 
In smooth-bore cannon it is attained by a charge one third 
the weight of the ball. If there is no windage, as is the 
case in rifles, the experiments of different nations, though 
quite various in result, seem to indicate a charge about one 
tenth the weight of the modern balls. The longer the 
projectile is subjected to the accelerative force of the gas, 
the greater velocity will it require, which would indicate 
long barrels as the best ; but there is a limit to this, arising 
from various causes. In smooth-bore arms, there is, on 
account of the windage, shocks and friction of the ball 
against the sides of the bore, which rapidly diminish the 
velocity, and place a limit to the length of the barrel, which 
for such pieces is about forty inches. 



FIRE AND TARGET PRACTICE. 129 

The more resistance the gas of exploded powder meets 
with the more force it develops ; consequently the heavier 
the projectile is the greater the amount of motion it re- 
ceives. A ball twice as heavy 'as another will receive more 
than half as much motion from the same charge. With a 
given charge small and light projectiles receive the highest 
velocity while within the bore, but as soon as they are out 
they rapidly lose it, because of their relative incapacity to 
overcome the resistance of the air. 

Recoil. There is no action without a corresponding 
reaction, and consequently we find that the greater the 
charge the more is the bottom of the bore driven back, and 
the action on the arm is greater than it is on the projectile, 
because the arm receives the whole of the reaction, while 
the projectile, on account of the windage, does not receive 
the whole of the action ; besides, the gas continues to react 
on the piece, even after the ball has left the muzzle. The 
velocity thus impressed upon the gun is called the recoil. 

With an initial velocity of 1,475 feet, the smooth-bore 
infantry musket would experience a recoil which, if it were 
expressed in velocities of the ball, would be 2,314 feet ; 
that is to say, that the ball would have to be moving with 
a velocity of 2,314, in order that it might strike the musket 
and communicate to it the velocity which it really has when 
the ball leaves it with only a velocity of 1,475 feet. 

But velocities are in the inverse ratio of the masses to 

be moved; and the musket spoken of weighs about 174 

times as much as its ball, so that the backward velocity of 

the gun is Yr-T = 13-3 ^ ee ^- This velocity is sufficient to 

6* i 



130 MILITARY LESSONS. 

hurt the shoulder, unless the gun is pressed tight against 
it, joining the mass of the man's body to that of the gun. 
Now if we suppose the effective weight of the body acting 
in this manner is ten times that of the gun, the velocity of 
recoil would be only 1.3 feet, which is easily bearable. 
Moreover, this does not take in to account the crook or 
angle in the stock of the piece, which 'mitigates very much 
the effect of the recoil, because the force being thus de- 
composed into two components, only one of them is ex- 
pended against the shoulder; the other tending to rotate 
the gun upwards. 

The ball leaves the gun so quick that the recoil has not 
much effect on the accuracy of the fire ; still it has some, 
and in guns for very close target shooting we see very 
heavy barrels ; their force of inertia being great enough to 
nearly or quite destroy all inaccuracy from the recoil. 

AVhen the ball is not down in contact with the powder, 
the gas, moving with a high velocity, is suddenly arrested 
by the ball, and there is every probability of the barrel 
being burst ; and the farther the ball is from the charge, 
the greater the danger. Not only may such an accident 
arise from a ball above its proper position, but mud or 
frozen snow have been known to burst a gun in this 
way. 

Heating of the Barrel. This arises from rapid firing, 
and bright and polished barrels heat faster than others. 

Experience demonstrates that a gun cannot be handled 
after it is heated to more than 165 or 170 Fahrenheit; 
and as gunpowder requires a heat of about 400 to explode 



FIRE AND TARGET PRACTICE. 



131 



it, there can never be any danger from the heat of the 
barrel. 

There are three lines necessary to be known in a fire- 
Fig, i. 



JK 



\A 




arm with their relative positions, to wit : 

The line of sight) the visual ray A B E G which passes 
along the top points of the breech and muzzle,, and is 
directed upon the object to be struck ; second, the axis or 
line of fire, which is the axis of the bore prolonged CD X ; 
third, the trajectory D E' T G H, described by the center of 
the ball in its flight. The projectile, being fired along the 
direction of the axis CD X, would follow that line if it 
were not drawn by the force of gravity ; but under the 
influence of that force it is always below D X. If it did 
not encounter the resistance of the air, that is, were it fired 
in vacuo, the curve described would be a parabola ; but the 
resistance of the atmosphere modifies the shape of the 
curve, and modifies it the more as the velocity is greater. 
The shape of a gun, large or small, is larger at the breech 
than at the muzzle, so that the line of sight makes an 
angle BED with the axis, and cuts it at a short distance in 
the point E. The angle B E D is called the Angle of Sight. 

As the lowering of the ball in the earliest moments of its 



132 MILITARY LESSONS. 

flight is but small, the trajectory cuts the line of sight in a 
point E 1 quite near ito E, especially in small arms, passes 
above it, and afterwards in the descending branch cuts it a 
second time at G, which is named the Point-Blank. The 
axis, the line of sight, and the trajectory all lie in the same 
vertical plane, called the plane of fire. This is quite natural, 
for there can be no reason, in the ordinary condition of 
things, why the ball should go to the right rather than to 
the left, when it is of homogeneous material and symmet- 
rical in shape. The Range is the distance to which the 
projectile goes ; B G is fas point-blank range. 

The Angle of Fire is the angle which the axis makes with 
the horizon, or a level line ; on a level plain the range in- 
creases as the angle of fire increases up to a certain limit, 
which depends on the size and velocity of the projectile. 
This angle is called the angle of greatest range, and is never 
greater than 45, which is the angle of greatest range of a 
projectile in vacno when supposed to be moving with a low 
velocity. The angle of greatest range for a musket is from 
25 to 35. 

There are several causes which would make the range 
vary from the point-blank range, the chief being, first, the 
velocity of the ball ; second, its diameter and weight ; third, 
the inclination of the line of sight ; and, fourth, the shape 
of the barrel. 

1. We have already remarked that the velocity depends 
on the charge, length of bore, etc. 

2. The diameter and weight of the ball will produce 
changes in the range, because the larger and denser it is, 



FIRE AND TARGET PRACTICE. 133 

the better will it overcome the resistance of the air, the 
longer retain its velocity, and the more accurate be its flight 
compared with another ball having the same or even a 
greater velocity, but which is smaller and less dense. 

3. The inclination of the line of sight will make a dif- 
ference, but only when that inclination is considerable. 
When the gun is pointed upwards the force of gravity 
diminishes the velocity and brings the point-blank near ; 
on the other hand, when it is pointed downwards, gravity 
helps the ball onward and produces the contrary effect. 
But for inclinations within 15 above and below the level, 
this effect amounts to but little. 

4. The greater the difference between the diameters of 
the breech and muzzle, the greater will be the angle B ED 
= X E G } and the greater the distance to the point-blank. 
On the other hand, the less the difference between those 
diameters, the nearer will the point-blank be brought. If 
this difference be continually diminished, the line of sight 
will finally become tangent to the trajectory, and there will 
be no point-blank; consequently, if the line of sight is 
parallel to the axis, there is no point-blank. 

In the same model of arms the forms are the same, con- 
sequently the angle of sight remains the same ; the charges 
are the same, and so are the balls ; the habitual elevations 
and depressions are within +15, so that we consider the 
points- blank and trajectories as practically invariable. It 
results from this that the line of sight and trajectory may 
be considered as having a constant relation to each other; 
and we would know the principles of fire if we knew the 



134 MILITARY LESSONS. 

positions of the different points of the trajectory with re- 
spect to the line of sight. 

Figure 1 shows that, in order to strike an object at the 
point-blank, we must aim directly at it, that is at G ; that 
to strike an object P this side of the point-blank, we must 
aim under it by the space P M' = P M } which is the rise 
of the trajectory above the object Q, and, on the other hand, 
if we wish to strike an object Q, beyond the point-blank, 
we must aim above by the space N' Q = N'Q, the distance 
of the trajectory below the object. If we were to aim 
directly at Q, the ball would pass below it at ff. 

Now if we increase the angle of sight, the part of the 
trajectory E TH lying above the new line of sight, KH, 
will be greater ; the ball being fired under a greater angle 
will go farther, and the new point-blank If will be more 
remote than the former one G. The angle of sight may be 
augmented, and the diameter of the breech apparently in- 
creased by using a hausse, or hind-sight A K. (Fig. 2.) 

This hausse enables us to look directly at the object 
instead of aiming above it, which will be, of course, more 
accurate and more convenient. These hausses are often 
seen on the breeches of muskets, or near them, and either 
turn on hinges or are arranged to slide up and down upon 
upright pieces. 

To find the Hausse. Having directed the line of sight 
AB on the point n, raised above the object by the distance 

Fig. 2. 



FIRE AND TARGET PRACTICE. 135 

q n, fix the arm in that position, then place a small stem or 
standard A K on the bore of the breech, and sight along it 
from B to q, and mark the point K where the prolongation 
of q B passes. 

It will readily be understood that the use of the hausse 
has the effect of augmenting the angle of fire, for it lowers 
the breech and raises the muzzle which increases the angle 
of fire. 

Construction of the Trajectory The line of the trajec- 
tory can be calculated from an equation which is approxi- 
mately true, and then constructed, but it is better done by 
experiment. 

Place on a line upon a level surface a number of screens 
made by stretching canvass upon frames and fire a number 
of shots, under the same condition as to aim, elevation, 
charge, etc., through them, and then find on each screen 
the mean position of the points struck or mean impact. 
These points of mean impact being connected, give the tra- 
jectory. One screen only may be used by placing it succes- 
sively in the different positions. After firing on 'it at each 
position, the screen may be covered with paper or cloth 
pasted on it. 

Causes of Deviation in the Projectile. 1. The barrel. 
Want of accurate construction or any crookedness here will 
prevent the ball following the proper direction. Any 
change in the position of the sights will change the range 
or the direction. Thus if the hausse, or hind-sight, is too 
much to the right, the ball will go too much to the right ; 
and the same for the left. 2. The windage. The ball 



136 MILITARY LESSONS. 

being loose in the bore will ricochet from one side to the 
other as it passes out, and consequently will not follow the 
axis. This is not so in the rifle. This bounding may 
take place in any direction, but it usually occurs in a 
vertical plane, modifying the angle of fire by several min- 
utes of a degree. 

Combined Effect of the Action of the Air, and of Imperfec- 
tions in the Projectile. When a body is thrown out into 
the air it takes up a motion of rotation, and the point 
about which it rotates is its center of gravity. The center 
of gravity is that point by which the body must be sus- 
pended in order to remain in whatever position is given to 
it. The rotation is around an axis passing through the 
center of gravity. 

If there were no resistance of the air, the centre of grav- 
ity of the body would move as if the body were not turn- 
ing; but the fact is quite otherwise, on account of the 
resistance which the air makes to a body moving with a 
high velocity. 

This resistance, which when the round ball first leaves 
the gun is about 98 times its weight, causes so much 
greater effect as the motion is eccentric, that is, as the 
amount of air encountered is greater. In a ball of perfect 
sphericity and homogeneous material, the center of gravity 
and the center of figure coincide, and the only resistance is 
that of friction. 

But as balls are not perfectly round and homogeneous, 
these two centers will be separate ; now the force of the 
powder acting on the mass is applied to the center of grav- 



FIRE AND TARGET PRACTICE. 137 

ity, and the air acting on the surface is applied to the 
center of figure ; hence will arise a motion of rotation of 
the center of figure around the center of gravity, the 
lighter part of the projectile around the heavier part; a 
motion which will be greater as the two centers are farther 
apart, and the resistance of the air greater. 

The effect of the resultant of the resistance of the air 
would nearly always be to push the ball out of the plane of 
fire, for it would be an accident for it to happen to be 
directly in the path of the center of gravity. 

The trajectory would thus become a curve of double 
curvature. 

If the axis of rotation should be perpendicular to the 
plane of fire, and the center of gravity be in that plane, 
there would be no deviation. If the center of gravity 
should be in the plane of fire, and the heaviest part in 
front, there would be no rotation at all. 

The motion of rotation just spoken of, in connection 
with those of the shocks in the barrel, gives rise to very 
irregular trajectories. The greater, then, the resistance of 
the air, the greater the deviation ; and of balls of the same 
size, the lighter will be farthest driven from its path. 

And it is to be remarked, that balls of the same material 
and less diameter will be deviated in a greater proportion. 
Thus a ball one half the diameter of the musket- ball would 
weigh ^ as much ; the resistance of the air due to its 
weight would be 92 X 8 ; but since the surface of the little 
kill is only | that of the larger one, the resistance would 
be 98 4 = 98 X 2 ; double as much as that of the larger 
ball in proportion. 



138 MILITARY LESSONS. 

All things else then being equal, the largest, densest, and 
best shaped balls are those which are least driven from the 
natural path. 

4. The temperature and degree of dampness of the air, 
and amount of dampness of the powder, will influence the 
range and trajectory. 

5. The wind blowing across the path of the ball will 
cause it to deviate more or less, according to the strength 
of the wind. If it is a strong wind blowing directly 
across the trajectory, it has been found to deviate the ball 
about |- inch in 1GO yards. It acts like an accelerative 
force, the deviation being proportional to the squares of 
the distances; thus at 320 yards the deviation would be 
^ X 4 = 2 inches. The wind may also throw a ball up or 
down as well as sidewise. 

Inaccuracy may also arise from the unevenness of the 
ground over which we fire deceiving the sight. 

When firing at a moving object it is necessary to aim at 
the point where we suppose the object will be when the 
ball has gone over the distance. For instance, a horseman 
crossing the line of sight at the distance of 160 yards at a 
gallop say with a velocity of twenty -two feet per second 
will advance eleven feet in half a second. The ball will 
arrive there in that time. The horse is about nine feet 
long, so we should aim about three to four and a half feet 
in front of his head. 

Deviation from Unskillfulness of the Marksman. The 
greatest cause of deviations are in the marksman himself. 
A soldier after having taken a good aim often destroys it 



FIRE AND TARGET PRACTICE. 139 

by a sudden jerk on the trigger. Soldiers should be taught 
to take aim with an empty gun, at first with a rest and 
then offhand. The visual ray must pass from the bottom 
of the notch of the hausse, or hind-sight, to the top of the 
front-sight, and thence to the object. If the eye is raised 
above the proper position, the gun will shoot too high. 
They should be practiced in snapping caps at a lighted 
candle, so as to learn to pull the trigger gradually, keeping 
the line of sight on the flame. If placed three and a half 
feet from the muzzle, it will be blown out by a correct aim. 
From this they should advance to firing blank cartridges, 
and afterwards firing ball cartridges, carefully at a target. 

They should be taught to plant their feet firmly ; the 
left foot thrown to the front, and the right foot at a dis- 
tance of one pace to the right, and pointing in that direc- 
tion. The sights must be exactly on top ; should they be 
revolved over towards the right, the ball will go too much 
to the right ; and the converse. 

Target practice should be frequent and conducted with 
the utmost painstaking. The men should be taught to 
judge of distances promptly and with accuracy. To this 
end men should be stationed at different distances, which 
should be known to all, and the soldiers taught to note 
what features or parts of the dress are distinguishable by 
the eye at the different distances. Afterwards men should 
be stationed at unknown distances, and the troops prac- 
ticed in guessing them ; they should be subsequently 
measured. 

Stadia. This is a little instrument carried by the 



140 MILITARY LESSONS. 

officers and non-commissioned officers, which is used to 
determine distances. It is an oblong piece of brass out of 
which is cut an isosceles triangle,, the base of which is 
much smaller than its altitude. The stadia when used is 
held at an uniform distance (the length of the arm) in front 
of the eye ; the altitude of the triangle being horizontal. 

It is graduated with a number of vertical lines, on which 
are marked certain numbers. These numbers are the dis- 
tances in yards at which a constant object, like the height 
of a footman from top of cap to sole of foot, can just be 
seen through the triangular slit at those marks. On the 
other side it is graduated for a horseman. To keep it at a 
constant distance from the eye a string is attached with a 
knot at the loose end, which is placed between the teeth 
when the instrument is in use. The string is attached to a 
slide, which moves right and left over the triangular slit, 
and assists in taking sight. 




To calculate the initial Velocity. Let two vertical disks 
of paper or cloth be placed at a known distance apart on a hori- 
zontal axis, and set to revolving uniformly with considerable velocity. 

Place the muzzle of the gun close to one of the disks, being parallel 
to and immediately over the axis of the machine; fire the gun, 



FIRE AND TARGET PRACTICE. 



141 



and note the position of the two points through which the ball 
passed. 

Suppose the disks were nine feet apart, and the machine mak- 
ing eight revolutions per Siuto : one revolution would be made 





in g- = 0".125. The ball first passed at 0, which was then in a ver- 
tical line, and through the second disk at F, which by that time was 
on the vertical line. Measure the angle VAC: suppose it = 30 
= ^ the whole circumference. Hence the wheels were revolving 

0". 125 

12 

104 



If the ball goes nine feet in ^^ of a second, how far will it go in 

: 8 65 feet; and 



10000 
or a whole second ? 104 : 9 : : 10000 : x = 



10000 

ioooo v 

that was the initial velocity. 



CHAPTER IX. 

SMALL- AEMS. 

IT is proposed to mate a slight historical sketch of small- 
arms^ commencing with a hasty glance at those which 
antedated the invention of gunpowder. It is not pos- 
sible to find out what arms were first invented, nor when 
nor by whom. 

The exigencies of men in the simplest form of savage 
life would demand weapons of some kind for the purposes 
of hunting, and for defense against wild beasts. Almost 
simultaneously wars would arise having their origin in the 
passions of men or the necessities of self-defense. Unable 
to cope successfully with those whom nature had endowed 
with superior strength, the weak would seek to supple- 
ment their deficient power by the artificial aid of weap- 
ons. 

The first weapons undoubtedly were clubs and goads, 
or sharpened poles. As the stronger would still be the 
victors in this kind' of strife, the weak would resort to 
fighting from a distance by hurling stones. At first, no 
doubt, this would be done by hand, and soon after by 
slings. Then would follow arrows shot from bows, giv- 
ing an opportunity for skill to triumph over mere force. 



SMALL-ARMS. 143 

The discovery of metals at a late date would induce 
the invention of lances, swords, helmets, and defensive ar- 
mor for the body. We are told in the Book of Genesis 
that Abraham, when he went to the rescue of his kins- 
man Lot, "numbered of the servants born in his house 
three hundred and eighteen well appointed and pursued 
them (the enemy) to Dan/'' 

It is very remarkable that we should find in the Bible 
so little distinct and valuable information on the subject 
of weapons, for the Israelites were a very warlike people, 
and they were almost continually engaged in war with 
their neighbors. These wars are recorded with their re- 
sults ; but almost nothing is given in detail of the nature 
of their arms. 

Eome, Greece, Egypt, and Assyria have all left us sat- 
isfactory records on this subject in the way of descrip- 
tions, inscriptions, pictures, bas-reliefs, and specimens 
either handed down or dug out of ruins; but the case is 
different with Palestine. And yet we are far more fa- 
miliar with the history of the Israelites than with that of 
any of their contemporaries. 

Something, however, -can be gleaned by minute atten- 
tion to this subject. The earliest mention of the sword 
is in Genesis xxxiv. 25, where, in the account of the 
massacre of Shechem, it is stated that " Simeon and 
Levi took each man his sword and came upon the city 
boldly and slew all the males/'' Frequent mention is af- 
terwards made of the sword, b it we know nothing of its 
shape, weight, and mode of use. It was called a ckereb ; 



144 MILITARY LESSONS. 

and as David,, who was not remarkably large and strong, 
was able to use with facility the chereb of the giant 
Goliath, we may infer that the ordinary sword was much 
less in proportion to a man than is the modern sword. 
We also infer that it was worn in a scabbard and slung 
from the waist by a belt, from the expressions, "girding 
on the sword/' " men that drew the sword/' etc. 

There are different kinds of spears mentioned, the lar- 
gest of which was the chanith. Of this sort was Goliath's, 
with its handle like a weaver's beam, and its iron head 
weighing 600 shekels, about 25 pounds. 

There was also the cidon, which is supposed to have 
corresponded with the javelin. A third kind was the ro- 
macli, which was a spear in common use. Bows and ar- 
rows are mentioned in Genesis, while the earliest mention 
of slings is made in the Book of Judges, chapter xx. 
Occasional reference is made to breastplates, helmets, 
and shields. Battering-rams are mentioned in Ezekiel 
iv. 2, and elsewhere in the same book. These implements 
of war were well known to the Egyptians and Assyr- 
ians. 

At a very early period cities were protected by walls, 
from which arrows and stones were fired upon the assail- 
ants, and from which chariots, armed with scythes, issued 
to carry, by the speed and strength of horses, dismay and 
havoc amid the ranks of the enemy. Soon came the use 
of cavalry acting by their shock, and elephants, on the 
backs of which were towers filled with archers ; then cars 
carrying catapults and balistse ; and then cross-bows, mus- 



SMALL-ARMS. 145 

kets, cannons, repeating rifles,, mitrailleuses. Who can 
foresee the end of these mechanisms? 

Courage and skill, strengthened by military discipline 
and a knowledge of the art of war, are potent elements 
of victory; but the effect due to the nature of the arms 
is incontestably great. 

Thus the use of cuirasses at one time gave the prepon- 
derance to physical strength; but the invention of fire- 
arms removed this distinction. You will readily recall 
to memory the saying that " gunpowder makes all men 
equally tall." Even when both parties use the same arm, 
the difference of quality, shape, and method of use is of 
high importance. Witness the speedy and pa-ralyzing 
defeat of the Sadowa campaign, due more than to any 
other cause to the difference between the Austrian rifle 
and the Prussian needle-gun. The greatest of generals 
have ever been solicitous to secure the best improved 
arms. The Romans, those great masters of the art of 
war, never hesitated to abandon their own arms or mili- 
tary devices, and to adopt those of their enemies, when 
they found them of superior quality. 

Arms may be classified into those requiring for their 
use more than one man, or artillery, and those suscep- 
tible of being used by a single individual, or small-arms. 
Let us confine our attention, for the present, to the lat- 
ter. Small-arms are of two kinds, those with which we 
strike the enemy immediately and directly, such as the 
sword, the saber, and the lance or bayonet, and, secondly, 
protective arms, used for fighting at a distance. Of this 
7 J 



146 MILITARY LESSONS. 

kind are the musket, rifle,, and pistol in modern times, 
and among the ancients the bow, the sling, and the cross- 
bow. 

The first class were those first in use. They were made 
of wood, having points and edges of bone or flint ; after- 
wards they were manufactured out of copper and bronze, 
as these were metals more easily worked than iron. The 
precise epoch at which weapons of iron and steel were 
introduced among the Komans cannot be ascertained, but 
it is highly probable that the short Spanish sword which 
they adopted was of iron, tempered or converted into 
steel, inasmuch as iron ore abounded in Spain. 

The arms of the ancients were pikes, swords, sabers, and 
axes. The pike, according to its dimensions, was called 
by different names. The sarissa of the Greeks was a pike 
from 16 to 26 feet long, and was borne by the infantry; 
the lance, which was neither so long nor so heavy, was 
the weapon of the cavalry ; and the hasta, of medium pro- 
portions, was used by both kinds of troops. The pilum 
of the Romans was about seven feet long ; it could be used 
as a pike, but ordinarily it was hurled against the enemy. 
The javelin was a half-pike, and served the same purpose 
as the Eoman pilum. The Franks used an arm called the 
angon, which was a javelin, but the point had beards 
turned towards the rear, like those of a fish-hook, which 
when buried in the flesh or in a buckler was extremely 
difficult to be extracted. The javelot was a long and very 
sharp dart thrown by the hand. The lance carried by the 
knights of the Middle Ages was from 13 to 20 feet in 



SMALL-ARMS. 147 

length, and had a heavy shoe on the end to make it more 
manageable. 

Somewhat akin to the pike was the sponton and the 
demi-sponton, which was between 6J and 7 feet long, and 
was in use during the times from Louis XIII. to Louis XY. ; 
the halberd and partizan, which, beside the pike-head, had 
on each side a little ax, or an ax and a point, or two 
crotchets or hooks. They were in the hands of the officers 
of the foot troops only. 

Swords and sabers were of various shapes and dimen- 
sions. The Roman sword was broad, short, and straight, 
being very suitable for thrusting; that of the Gauls was 
long, straight, and keen, but was liable to break during a 
combat. The scimitar is a heavy saber sharply curved 
towards the point. The dagger is a heavy poniard. The 
ax is a very ancient arm, and has had a variety of sizes 
and shapes. The Franks used a small ax or hatchet, 
called the francisk, which they threw at the enemy. Then 
came battle-axes, marteaus (a species of hammers), and 
masses d'armes, calculated for breaking and crushing 
armor. 

Among protective arms the Sling is the most primitive. 
It is a sack, or bed of leather, sustained by two thongs, one 
larger than the other, and wrapped around the hand, the 
other retained under the thumb until the moment of pro- 
jecting the stone which lies in the sack, when it is allowed 
to escape. By a rapid motion of rotation a strong cen- 
trifugal force is impressed upon the stone, which can be 
hurled more than 300 yards. 



148 MILITARY LESSONS. 

The inhabitants of the Balearic Islands formerly had a 
great reputation as slingers. 

The Bow, likewise,, goes back to a very high antiquity. 
The bow is usually made of the yew-tree, which is both 
tough and elastic, and varies in length from 5 to 8 feet for 
battle purposes, although it must be noted that the Ameri- 
can Indians make use of much shorter bows, which are 
deadly at short range. It is not unusual for them to drive 
an arrow through the body of a buffalo, and the combina- 
tion of rapidity of firing with accuracy of aim is superior 
to that of the revolver. But the quiver is soon ex- 
hausted. 

In ancient times the Cretans were renowned as archers, 
and in times more recent the bow was the toy, the pride, 
and the triumph of England. According to the stories 
of certain authors, the man who could not put one dozen 
arrows into the target in one minute was no soldier at all. 
They report also that the arrows would pierce through a 
two-inch plank at a distance of 250 yards. Bows are 
sometimes made of steel, and, whether made of wood or 
metal, it is the elasticity of the material which gives the 
bow its power; and the larger, tougher, and heavier it is 
the more powerful the weapon becomes. 

The Arrow, as is well known, is a long and slender 
stalk or shaft of wood, armed with a sharp head of . steel, 
and having some feathers arranged on either side near the 
rear end. The sharp and long head of the arrow easily 
cleaves the atmosphere, and the feathers, meeting with 
more resistance from the air, are compelled to remain in 



SMALL-ARMS. 149 

the rear, thus insuring the point moving in front and 
striking the target. By this simple and ingenious mech- 
anism the superiority of the bow over stone-slinging ma- 
chines was speedily demonstrated. 

The Parthians also were famous archers, and probably 
owed to their bows their independence from the Roman 
yoke. 

You will remember how helpless the Roman legions 
were, even though commanded by so able a general as 
the Emperor Julian, when pursued and harassed by the 
mounted archers of Parthia. 

The crossbow was a more formidable arm than the 
bow even, since more powerful bows could be used, and 
the accuracy of the fire, for the average man, was much 
superior. It was introduced into England from the East 
by Richard Coeur de Lion at the .'time of the Crusades, but 
it was not adopted by the Erench till a somewhat later 
period. 

The Crossbow consisted of a bow mounted crosswise 
upon a stock shaped something like a gun-stock, with 
the butt arranged to fit against the shoulder, and permit 
accurate aim to be taken by the eye. Along this stalk 
was a channel in which was laid the arrow. Towards 
the rear, and about in the position of the hammer of a 
modern gun-lock, was a small wheel, in a notch on the 
rim of which was the bow-string when drawn back for 
a shot. To this wheel was attached a trigger; and when 
the trigger was drawn, the wheel revolved, releasing the 
string which chased the arrow before it along the channel. 



150 MILITARY LESSONS. 

When the bow was very strong, there was attached a 
reel and crank for hauling back the bow-string to its 
place. 

The Arquebuse (from arqui, or arc, and buse, a nozzle 
or tube) was a crossbow in which the open channel 
was replaced by a tube or barrel, to contain the pro- 
jectile, which was generally a lead ball. This barrel was 
slit on either side to allow the bow-string to traverse 
back and forth. 

The sling, bow, and crossbow had the disadvantage 
of spreading the troops out so that their formation was 
not suitable for receiving charges of cavalry, and, besides, 
their range was not very considerable. 

Hence we are not surprised that a low value was set 
upon them in the ancient armies compared with the kand- 
arms, like swords and pikes, which permitted a close 
order and the shock of heavy lines or columns. 

When firearms were first introduced, although very 
much superior to the ancient protective arms, they were 
not adapted to the kind of formation then in vogue. 
Men armed with them could not act in the interior of 
solid squares which were used to resist cavalry ; but after 
the fire of artillery had abolished the practice of deep 
formations, and when the musket had become both a hand- 
arm and a projective arm, the infantry found their prin- 
cipal force was in their fire. 

The use of defensive armor was general in ancient 
warfare. The infantry of the line wore helmets, cui- 
rasses, steeled half-boots and bucklers; and the heavy 



SMALL-ARMS. 151 

cavalry were cuirassed by bands of leather covered with 
sheet-brass. Coats of mail were worn in the time of 
Charlemagne, but continuous armor was not yet intro- 
duced. In France Louis VII. first adopted that kind of 
armor. It was improved and rendered heavier from time 
to time, so that at last a knight could only be killed by 
the battle-ax or morteau, which could crash through his 
habiliments of steel. But the fire of artillery, which soon 
after came into general use, changed this fashion. 

Firearms. When firearms were first introduced as a 
military weapon, they were not what we now call portable 
firearms, that is, such as are easily handled by one man, 
but were much heavier. 

The culcerin,, the hand-cannon, the baston, and bom- 
bard', were the various names of certain arms which were 
much the same, consisting essentially of an iron or brass 
tube which was mounted on a trestle when it was to be 
fired. They were loaded with gunpowder and a ball of 
lead, and fired off by means of a burning match. They 
required two men for their service, as they weighed from 
25 to 70 pounds. Although such machines would now- 
adays be regarded as ridiculously clumsy and inefficient, 
they had a very decided effect, since there was no cuirass 
that could withstand their projectiles. Accordingly they 
multiplied rapidly; introduced first about 1350, by the 
year 1380 they were in general use.* 

* It is said_ by some that the English had five cannon placed on a hill 
near the village of Crecy in 1340, during the famous battle there under Ed- 
ward III. 



152 MILITARY LESSONS. 

Breech-loading weapons also were invented and tried 
about this era some of these cannons having a movable 
breech or chest to contain the charge,, which could be 
taken out and replaced, being fastened in position by an 
iron key or wedge ; but as these arrangements were not 
sufficiently secure, and gave rise to numerous accidents, 
they were soon abandoned. 








As the culverins were heavy and awkward to handle 
and point, they were soon replaced by a smaller gun resting 

on trunnions, which per- 
mitted them to revolve on 
a horizontal axis, and the 
inclination was given by 
an elevating screw placed 
under the breech. The 
whole was supported by a 
tripod. By this means the gun could be turned in 
any direction, and the necessary elevation or depression 
given to it. The breech terminated in a handle, which was 
held in the left hand while the match was applied by the 
right. These guns were denominated arquebuses, without 
any very good reason that we can see. 

Soon after this was invented a lighter kind of arquebuse, 
fitted on to a stock that could be raised to the shoulder. 
The vent was pierced in the side of the breech, and there 



SMALL-ARMS. 153 

was a pan provided near to and under it, to hold the priming 
powder. The marksman held up this arquebuse with his 
left hand, at the same time pressing it against the shoulder, 
and with the right hand applied the lighted match to the 
powder in the pan. Still this arm was too heavy to be 
used without a rest, which was accordingly provided in the 
shape of a fork stuck in the ground. 

The improvement of firearms rapidly brought on their 
adoption. They were used by the Burgundians to defend 
Arras against Charles VI. in 1414, and in 1449 twenty 
thousand men armed with arquebuses marched from Milan 
to raise the siege of Mariquan. 

At a time somewhat subsequent, the people of Brabrant 
used 300 small bombards in the siege of Bruges. 

Firearms were slow in making their way among the 
French, owing to the attachment of that people to the 
institutions of chivalry ; but they began to come into use 
under Charles VII. and Louis XI. At that epoch they 
were quite common in Switzerland, Flanders, and Italy. 

Ten thousand hand- cannons were employed by the Swiss 
in the battle of Morat ; and in the expedition of Charles 
VIII., one tenth of the infantry were armed with arque- 
buses, and in the time of Francis I. they had become 
common in France."* 

Although the arquebuse had been manufactured so light 
that it could be fired without the use of a rest, it was 

* They were introduced into the English army in 1471, when Edward 
IV. landed at Ravenspur, having 300 Flemings in his train, who were 
armed with portable firearms. 

7* 



154 MILITARY LESSONS. 

impossible to attain much accuracy in the fire, on account 
of sighting while touching off with the match. This in- 
convenience was remedied by the two following inventions. 
The first was made in 1380,, and consisted of a kind of 
sweep, or vertical piece revolving on a horizontal axis,, the 
lower end occupying the position of a trigger, and being 
pressed by the finger in the same manner. The upper end 
was composed of two jaws enclosing a piece of burning 
slow-match ; when the finger was pressed on the trigger, 
this upper end approached the priming-pan and inserted 
the end of the match into the powder. 




The second kind of mechanism, called the wheel-lock, 
was perfected at Nuremberg in 1517. It consisted of a 
small wheel made of steel, having its circumference cut into 
little channels and ribs, like the edge of a milled dollar. 
This wheel was placed in the priming-pan, to the bottom 
of which it reached in the midst of the powder. The 
wheel was connected on the interior with a small chain, 
which chain was attached to a spring, after the manner 
of the machinery of a watch. Behind the pan was the dog 
or cocky holding between its jaws a composition of iron and 
antimony, which was called pyrites. A spring pressed the 
dog down, bringing the composition in contact with the 
periphery of the wheel. 



SMALL-ARMS. 155 

To put this lock into action a crank was fitted on the 
end of the shaft of the wheel,, and by turning the crank 
the chain was wound up around the axle and the spring 
drawn taut. When wound up,, a small pin was slipped in 
to hold the wheel in place, and then the crank was re- 
moved. The gun was now ready to fire, or cocked, as we 
would say nowadays. To fire it off the cover of the pan 
was turned on its hinges, disengaging the pin; immediately 
the spring set the wheel to turning, and its rough edge 
whirling in contact with the composition created sparks 
of fire, which exploded the priming. 

Small arquebuses with this kind of lock were made about 
the year 1545 for the use of cavalry. They were short, 
and the stock terminated in a gripe for the hand, being 
intended to be fired with only one hand, the arm being 
extended. They were first fabricated at Pistoie, a town in 
Tuscany, and hence were named pistols. 

The diminution of the caliber of the arms rendering their 
effect too slight, some arquebuses of a heavier caliber were 
made, the stock at the rear departing from the line of direc- 
tion of the bore at a considerable angle. This was done to 
diminish the shock from the recoil; which was effected 
still further by placing the butt of the piece against the 
plastron of the cuirass, thus spreading the influence of the 
recoil over a greater surface. They were called petrinals, 
or poitrenials, from the French word for breast. They 
were, however, very awkward pieces, and were soon aban- 
doned. 

We may as well explain the word caliber, or cotober, 



156 MILITARY LESSONS. 

which we have just used. The caliber of an arm is deter- 
mined by the weight of its projectile in aliquot parts of a 
pound ; thus a gun is of the caliber of twenty when twenty 
of its balls weigh a pound. 

The Spaniards, under the Emperor Charles V., used at 
the battle of Pavia the mousquit, or musket,, which was a 
heavy arm of the caliber of eight, and required a fork for 
a rest. These pieces were soon after successfully reduced 
in caliber down to eighteen or twenty to the pound, and 
this caliber has reached down to our days. 

Rifled arms, that is, pieces with spiral grooves cut on 
the interior of the bore, were known as early as the end of 
the fifteenth century. 

The invention of firearms did not bring about the im- 
mediate disuse of the sling, the bow, and the crossbow. 
They were not finally abandoned as military weapons until 
about 1560, while the English, owing to their superiority 
as archers, clung to the bow until 1627. 

Notwithstanding the advantages presented by the new 
arms, they possessed the same drawback as the old ones in 
preventing that kind of formation necessary for resistance 
to the onset of cavalry. 

Such was the condition of firearms after three centuries 
of experiment and improvement, when the invention of the 
flint-lock brought about an entire revolution. 

The matchlock required the soldier to keep on hand 
a supply of slow-match and to keep it burning, which 
betrayed ambuscades and night marches; besides it was 
almost impossible to use them in damp weather, and quite 



SMALL-ARMS. 157 

out of the question in the rain. The wheel-lock, although 
somewhat better, was complicated, costly, and often missed 
fire. 

The flint-lock was introduced, and speedily it went 
through a number of modifications, until it attained the 
form which all are familiar with, wherein the trigger, being 
pulled by the finger, gives play to the main-spring, the 
main-spring dashes forward, the cock having the flint in 
its jaws; the flint strikes against the steel face of the 
battery, peeling off little fragments of the metal, which by 
the friction and velocity of the flint develop heat sufficient 
to become red-hot, forming sparks. The shock throws 
back the battery, exposing the powder in the priming-pan, 
and the sparks, falling into the same, explode it. This 
superior arm required a considerable time to drive out 
the match-lock, which was so extremely simple, from that 
dread of complicated machinery which militates at the pres- 
ent time against the adoption of improved arms. The 
flint-lock was introduced into the English service in 1692, 
under William of Orange. 

The musket was finally recognized as by far the best 
protective arm ever known amongst mankind, but it was 
not yet a ^<z^/-arm. Accordingly the first and second 
ranks were armed with pikes to resist cavalry, and three or 
four ranks in rear of them were provided with muskets. 
The invention of the bayonet, which speedily followed, 
converted the musket into a /land-arm as well as a projec- 
tive arm, and it could now fulfill the office of the pike, 
which it soon superseded, and reduced the formation of 



158 MILITARY LESSONS. 

infantry to four ranks at first and then to three ranks. At 
the present time, in some services, as that of the United 
States, for instance, there are but two ranks. 

The Bayonet takes its name from Bayonne, where it was 
first fabricated in the year 1640. At first bayonets were 
small pikes, that is, they had a steel pike-head set upon a 
short wooden stock, which was inserted into the muzzle of 
the musket. They had, of course, to be removed before 
firing. Thirty years after, a bayonet with an elbow, and 
a hollow socket to fit over the muzzle, was invented; and 
the musket in this perfected state solved the important 
problem how to properly form the infantry of a modern 
army. 

Gustavus Adolphus is accredited by some authors with 
the invention of the cartridge. This invention increased 
wonderfully the rapidity of the fire, though at first the 
priming-horn was used with a finer kind of powder for 
priming, and it was only in 1744 that the cartridge was 
used both for loading and priming. 

. The next step was the invention of the percussion- 
cap, in the present century. This is an English invention,* 
and speedily drove the flint-lock out of use. 

In the percussion-lock the hammer strikes on a small 
copper cap placed on a small hollow tube, or cone, which 
opens on to the charge in the bottom of the gun-barrel. 
It is much more certain than the flint ; the explosion 
takes place more promptly, which increases the accuracy 
of the fire ; and firing can take place even in heavy rains. 

* By the Rev. Mr. Forsythe, 



SMALL-ARMS. 159 

In the bottom of the cap is placed a small quantity of 
fulminating powder,, composed of two parts of fulminate 
of mercury to one of saltpeter. This is protected from 
dampness by a coating of Japan varnish, or some other 
lacker. The ramrod, or rammer,, was formerly of wood; 
one iron rammer being furnished to every ten men; but 
now all muskets are provided with steel rammers. 

The percussion-musket, with its improved bayonet, 
would seem to have left but little to be wished for in 
the way of an infantry weapon; but, on the contrary, 
the number of proposed improvements has, since its in- 
troduction, been greater than ever before. Men of me- 
chanical genius, both soldiers and those in civil life, and 
in all civilized countries, during the last twenty years, 
have turned their attention in this direction. The con- 
sequence has been an enormous number of projected and 
patented improvements, some of which enjoyed a brief 
celebrity and were then thrown aside, while others, of 
more enduring worth, remain and mark distinctly the 
different stages of progress. 

The problem which those men have proposed to them- 
selves had three branches : 

1. To increase the rapidity of fire ; 

2. To increase the range of the projectile ; 

3. To increase the accuracy of the fire. To strike 
the enemy more surely, to strike him farther off, and to 
strike him more frequently, was then the object in view. 

We cannot undertake to notice, even in a cursory 
manner, all these improvements, for want of space and 



160 MILITARY LESSONS. 

time, it would require volumes,, nor would the amount 
of benefit or interest be commensurate with the labor and 
patience requisite were we to go over them all. I shall 
therefore confine my attention to the more important. 

The general tendency of experiment and improvement 
has been in the direction of the abandonment of the 
smooth-bore and the substitution of the rifle. We have 
already adverted to the knowledge of the theory of rifled 
arms in former times. The difficulty of loading and the 
slow rate of firing caused them to fall into disuse, or 
rather prevented their coming into general use. 

Their superior accuracy, however, kept them in the 
hands of sportsmen, and they have been largely used by 
the people of the United States, even as a military 
weapon, as is shown by the history of our perpetual con- 
tests with the Indians upon our borders, and of our wars 
with Great Britain. 

The victory of General Jackson at New Orleans over 
the veterans of Packingham, who had been seasoned by 
years of fighting under the leadership of so great a mas- 
ter as Wellington, against the French led by Napoleon's 
marshals, was mainly due to the deadly accuracy of the 
American rifles. The rifle is in an especial manner the 
weapon of America. 

The Germans were the first in Europe to make much 
use of the rifle. Arms with grooves were used in Ger- 
many as early as the fifteenth century. These grooves, 
however, ran straight and parallel to the axis of the bore. 
No notable improvement was observed, but they served 



SMALL-ARMS. 161 

at least the good purpose of demonstrating that the ball 
would obey the grooves and move in the direction of this 
axis. Subsequently an immense improvement was found 
to be produced by making the grooves helices, or giv- 
ing them a twist. The ball was then found to move with 
two motions : one of direct translation due to the impulse 
of the gases caused by the burning of the powder; and 
another of rotation about an axis parallel to that of the 
bore. This latter motion of rotation was found to be 
increased by increasing the twist of the rifles or grooves. 
But there is a practical limit to this, because of the in- 
creased friction and retardation which results in the little 
ridges of lead which fill the grooves stripping off and 
the ball marching direct across the grooves and lands 
or spaces which separate them. 

/ A variety of circumstances must be taken into account 
in establishing the inclination of the grooves; a sort of 
general indication is, that in a rifle-musket with a bar- 
rel about forty inches long the grooves should make about 
a half-turn in the bore. 

Different Methods of forcing the Ball into the Grooves. 
The first was to force a tight ball, either naked or cov- 
ered with a greased patch, into the bore, and when at 
the bottom, by blows of a mallet or with the rammer, 
to compress the lead, cause it to spread out and fill the 
grooves. This operation deformed the ball, injuring the 
accuracy of its flight, and required besides much time. 

Another method was to load at the breech, the cham- 
ber into which the ball was inserted being somewhat 



162 MILITARY LESSONS. 

larger than the bore; the gases forced the ball forward, 
completely filling the grooves. This was no doubt the 
best method; but the complicated and imperfect mech- 
anism of breech-loaders heretofore has kept them in 
disfavor, and it is only at the present day that a satis- 
factory solution has been found to the problem to make 
a good breech-loading rifle. 

A third method was to cast the balls with ridges pre- 
pared to fit the grooves, and load at the muzzle. 

As you will readily imagine, this did not entirely de- 
stroy the windage; besides, it did not give good prac- 
tical results. 

The fourth method consisted in simply pushing a very 
tight ball covered with a patch down to the position of 
the powder, but without ramming. This was the Amer- 
ican custom. The hold taken on the ball by the grooves 
was but slight, and only a portion of the benefits of rifling 
were obtained. 

As early as 1828 Captain Delvigne proposed a breech- 
pin hollowed out to sufficient depth to contain the pow- 
der of the charge, and leave a small amount of space to 
spare. 

This chamber was of somewhat smaller diameter than 
the bore of the piece, so that the bottom of the bore, by 
its connection with the mouth of the chamber, formed a 
projectory rim or shoulder upon which the ball rested 
and by which it was prevented from entering the chamber 
and being pressed down on the powder. The powder 
was thus secured from being crushed and injured, and 



SMALL-ARMS. 163 

besides,, two or three taps of the rammer caused the ball 
to expand into the grooves equally on all sides. This was 
a very great improvement; but the ball was much de- 
formed by the blows of the rammer,, and the lower part 
was,, in point of fact, driven into the chamber to such an 
extent as to diminish seriously the amount of space 
which there should be between the powder and the pro- 
jectile, and in some cases even to press upon the pow- 
der. 

Pontchara System. To remove the defects just spoken 
of, Colonel Pontchara proposed to place on the bottom 
of the ball a small wooden sabot, which was a short 
cylinder hollowed out on top to make a bed for the ball, 
and having a greased patch on the lower end which ex- 
tended a part of the way up the sides. The sabot was 
to prevent the lower portion of the ball being hammered 
into the chamber, and the greased patch was to clean the 
gun of dirt and residuum. Meanwhile a great variety 
of grooves or rifles, differing as to number, inclination, 
depth, and shape of cross-section, was tried, to find out 
by experiment the .best. 

The Systeme a tige was next introduced by two French 
officers, MM. Thouvenin and Minie. 

Instead of the chamber hollowed out of the breech- 
pin, a tige, or stem, was screwed into the breech-pin and 
extended a short distance in the direction of the axis of 
the bore. Around this stem, or tige, lay the powder of 
the charge, and on its top rested the leaden ball which 
expanded into the grooves as before under the blows of 



164 MILITARY LESSONS. 

the rammer. By this time the rammer-head had been 
hollowed out so as not to flatten the upper surface of 
the ball. 

Minie also tried a ball of a new shape,, the cylindro- 
conical ball, being a cylinder terminated towards the 
front by a cone. Near the base of the cylinder was cut 
a groove. This groove was found to play a very impor- 
tant part, but the origin of it was somewhat singular. 
It was intended at first to be merely a little reservoir for 
grease, to replace the greased patch of the Delvigne 
system. A woolen yarn was saturated with grease and 
tied into this groove, whence, as the ball moved along 
the bore, it dispensed its grease to the sides of its cylin- 
drical surface. When, from any cause, the thread was 
left off and the groove remained open, it was discovered 
that the accuracy of the ball's course was very much 
increased. 

We will refer to the philosophical cause of this effect 
again. 

The stem was 1.417 inches long; its top was flat; it 
was a cylinder of 0.34-inch diameter; the rifle had 4 
grooves, which made one turn in 4.664 feet; the caliber 
was 0.689-inch; and the ball, of which the diameter was 
0.676-inch, weighed 1.65 ounces. 

The charge of powder was 64.8 grains; and the gun, 
without its bayonet, weighed 10.15 pounds. The elevating 
sight, or hausse, was graduated up to 1,421 yards. 

Experiments upon the grooves demonstrated that there 
should be at least two, because one caused the ball to leave 



SMALL-ARMS. 165 

the gun in a false direction, but that the number should 
not exceed/cw. 

It was also ascertained that there existed a certain 
relation between the twist of the grooves and the charge 
of powder. When the grooves were much inclined, a 
heavy charge drove the ball across the grooves, deforming 
its shape and losing the rotary motion ; on the other hand, 
when the grooves had too little inclination, there was not 
sufficient rotation. 

It was also discovered by the experimenter, that if 
the grooves had a twist to the right from the left, the ball 
deviated to the right ; and if the turn was from right to 
left, the ball went to the left of the point aimed at. To 
this deviation the name derivation, or drift, was given. 

They finally settled upon a twist of one turn in 6 feet 
and from left to right, the drift to the right from this 
inclination being counteracted, as they supposed, by the 
natural inclination of the soldier to aim too much to the 
left, especially at long ranges. 

A multitude of experiments was made upon the shape 
of the ball; combinations of the cylinder and cone were 
made in every possible way. 

One remarkable result led to the suspicion that much 
of the accuracy was due to the groove, or cannelure, 
around the base of the ball. Study and experiment 
developed the theory of Captain Tamissier of the French 
artillery as follows : In order that a cylindro-conic ball 
may have the best possible effect, it is necessary that the 
point should keep in front, and that its axis of rotation 



166 MILITARY LESSONS. 

should follow the inflection of the trajectory. Should the 
axis of the ball maintain constantly its first direction,, the 
resistance of the air would tend to make it turn about an 
axis perpendicular to the trajectory, and passing through 
its center of gravity. 

. For example, let A B C be the trajectory described 
by the center of gravity of the ball, p p' p" three positions 




of the ball on the curve with its axis parallel to its first 
position, and R R! K' the direction of the resistance of the 
air, which acts always in the direction opposite to the balPs 
motion. It is seen from the figure that at the position p 
the resistance R has only the effect to retard the motion, 
but that in the positions p p" the forces K Jl" acting 
upon a greater surface than R to retard the motion, 
tend at the same time to force the axis of the ball more 
and more from the trajectory and to make it turn in a 
direction opposite to that of its flight. 

Now suppose there was a groove around the base of 
the ball ; the moment its point was raised off the trajec- 
tory the groove on the under side of the cylindrical part 
would be opened out and exposed to the action of the 
current of the air, which would haul the point down again 
to the trajectory. And if the point were to deviate to 
right or left, or in any direction whatever, it is easily seen 



SMALL-ARMS. 167 

that the same action would take place,, and bring the point 
back to the trajectory. 

Tamissier believed that if the number of grooves should 
be increased, this effect would be enhanced, as more sur- 
face would be presented to the action of the air. Accord- 
ingly he had such balls made, and experiment confirmed 
his theory, and established three as the most suitable 
number of grooves. 

Balle a culot. In the tige rifle, as was seen above, the 
ball was compelled to expand into the grooves by blows 
of the rammer. But this effect was produced in very un- 
equal degrees by different men ; some scarcely expanding 
the ball at all, while others hammered and mashed the ball 
out of all shape. It was sought to remedy this defect by 
expanding the ball by the action of the powder alone, and 
without the action of the soldier in the matter. 

Minie-Ball. Captain Minie invented a ball with a hol- 
low in its base of the shape of a frustum of a cone, into 
which a little culot, or wedge, which was of iron and of 
the same kind of shape, was forced by the action of the 
powder ; expanding the sides of the ball so as to fill the 
grooves with the lead. The general shape was cylindro- 
conic. This was the celebrated Minie-ball, of which all 
have heard so much. The Minie rifle is any rifle firing 
the Minie-ball. 

At the termination of experiments made with the Minie 
ball, and which demonstrated its practical success in the 
year 1849, Captain Faucompre, of the French artillery, 
presented a hollow ball which he claimed would be ex- 



168 MILITARY LESSONS. 

panded by the action of the gas without the aid of the 
wedge. Experiments showed that the expansion of this 
ball was very good, though inferior to that of the wedge- 
ball. 

And trials led to the important discovery that Minie's 
new ball did almost, if not quite, as well without the 
wedge as with it. When it is fired without the wedge, the 
gas enters the cavity and stretches it outward in all direc- 
tions, instantaneously and completely cutting off the wind- 
age and filling the grooves. 

A multitude of experiments have been made on sundry 
modifications of balls, and many peculiar advantages have 
been claimed for this, that, and the other ball ; but the 
limits of a paper like this will not permit me to enter upon 
an account of them. 

And these experiments were not confined to the ball, 
but many modifications and projected improvements have 
been made in the arm itself. The singularity of the Lan- 
caster rifle merits a passing notice. This is an English 
invention, and its peculiarity is in the construction of the . 
bore. It was 39 inches long, and had no grooves, but was 
smoothly and elliptically bored out. The elliptical bore 
had an increasing twist and a diminished cross-section as 
it approached the muzzle ; the smaller axis which is 
to be regarded as the caliber being 0.543-inch at 
the breech and 0.540-inch at the muzzle, while the 
greater axis which takes the place of the grooves 
was 0.557-inch at the breech and 0.543-inch at the 
mnzzle. 



SMALL-ARMS. 169 

The twist was half a turn .in the length of the bore. 
The ball was a cylinder terminated at the front by a hemi- 
sphere. There was a conical cavity in the base of the 
ball filled by a conical plug, which expanded it on the 
wedge principle. There were three grooves on the exterior 
of the cylinder of this ball. 

The Lancaster rifle gave good results as to range and 
accuracy, but it was difficult to load, and liable to accidents 
from jamming of the ball, if any impediment occurred in 
its passage out of the bore. 

Breech-Loaders. The great advantages of loading a 
gun to the breech, for all purposes, and more particularly 
for men on horseback, are so palpable, that numerous 
endeavors to construct a good breech-loading arrangement 
have been made from time to time. 

Heretofore these mechanisms were so complicated that 
they not only made the arm very expensive, but they easily 
got out of order, and were condemned as practical failures. 

Various kinds of revolvers were tried likewise. In these 
a number of chambers already loaded revolved into conjunc- 
tion with a common barrel, and were discharged through 
the same ; or else a number of barrels previously loaded 
were revolved into a position where they were successively 
discharged by a common hammer. The best of these were 
Colt's, an American invention, and that of Dean and Ad- 
ams, an English modification of the principle of Colt. 
These are so familiar that we need not linger upon them. 

Eepeating Rifles. These are a still greater advance 
and improvement. They use a metallic cartridge, con- 



170 MILITARY LESSONS. 

sisting of a copper tube closed at one end,, at the bottom 
of which is placed the fulminate ; on top of this comes the 
powder of the charge, and the ball, of the approved, elon- 
gated pattern, closes the mouth of the tube, thus presenting 
the priming, charge, and projectile in one neat, compact 
and convenient cartridge, admirably adapted to breech- 
loading. 

Some of the most recent and best of the breech-loaders 
are the Remington, SJiarpe, Peabody, Ballard, and the- 
Prussian needle-gun, and Chassepot of the French. 

The needle-gun, however, does not use the metallic 
cartridge above described, and is fired by a slender steel 
shaft, or needle, driven forward by a helical spring pene- 
trating from the bore of the cartridge to its front, where it 
passes through the fulminate, igniting it and exploding the 
charge. This presents the unique advantage of causing the 
powder of the charge to burn progressively from front to 
rear, thus making use of all the powder. 

When the fire is communicated at the bottom of the 
cartridge, some of its grains are blown out of the bore, like 
small projectiles, and lost. 

This gun, although made so famous by recent events, is 
much inferior to some of the rifles mentioned above, 
because the latter are not so complicated, and can be used 
more expeditiously. 

The next progressive step beyond these was a class of 
breech-loaders, which were not single-loading breech-load- 
ers, but had magazines where were deposited several car- 
tridges, which were successively introduced into the bore 



SMALL-ARMS. 171 

by the machinery itself. The Spencer is such a rifle, 
having a magazine in the butt of the stock extending from 
the lock down to the butt-plate. It contains seven car- 
tridges, and the arm was invented in 1860. 

Next came, in 1862, the " Henry " rifle, which has a 
magazine extending along the under side of the whole 
length of the barrel, and containing fifteen cartridges. 

This gun is operated by two very simple motions, and 
can be fired thirty times in a minute, without unusual 
haste. It can be fired twice as fast as the Spencer rifle, 
and six times as fast as the Prussian needle-gun. 

A modification and great improvement on the Henry 
rifle is the Winchester rifle, another American arm. 

The magazine is entirely closed, excluding dampness and 
dirt; and while the machinery for loading and firing is the 
same as that of the Henry gun, there is a much improved 
mechanism for extracting the cylinder which contained the 
cartridge before firing, and it presents the double advan- 
tage of the magazine and an arrangement which makes it a 
single-loading breech-loader. So that it may be used as a 
single-loading breech-loader as long as may be desirable 
without ever using one of the shots in the magazine, and 
giving more rapid shots than the needle-gun does, and 
then, at the last moment, there is a reserve of fifteen shots, 
which could be fired in less than half a minute. And this 
remarkable weapon, presenting such unprecedented advan- 
tages, has a simple machinery not liable to be easily 
deranged. 



CHAPTER X. 

MITRAILLEUSE AND UNITED STATES ORDNANCE. 



mitrailleuse is a revolver or revolving gun, 
JL. mounted upon a cannon carriage like a field-piece. 
There are several different patterns, differing more or less 
in their details. The first was invented by Dr. Gatling, 
an American. It was patented in 1862. In general, this 
" machine-gun " consists of a number of barrels, from six 
to thirty-seven, assembled about an axis, to which they 
are parallel. They are revolved by a crank which is turned 
by hand, the barrels being fed with cartridges by a hopper 
fastened on top of the machine. The locks, which consist 
of three pieces, and a spiral spring, are concealed within a 
case of metal, 4iear the base of the breech. 

In the Gatling gun there is an arrangement by which 
it has a horizontal sweep over an arc of 12, which permits 
a distribution of fire over an enemy's front of greater or 
less extent, according to his distance. The following is 
copied from the " Army and Navy Journal" of August 20, 
1870: "The mechanical simplicity of the Gatling gun is 
its distinguishing merit. The report of Lieutenant-Com- 
mander Skerrett to Bear- Admiral Dahlgren, dated May 20, 
1863, we reproduce as a fair description of the battery then 



MITRAILLEUSE AND U. S. ORDNANCE. 173 

submitted for approval : The gun consists of six rifle bar- 
rels of -j 5 Q 8 0-inch caliber ; each barrel is firmly connected to 
a breech-piece by a screw of one inch in length. 

The breech-piece is composed of one solid piece, which 
is made secure to a shaft one and three fourths inches in 
diameter. The barrels are inserted in the breech-piece 
around the shaft on a parallel line with the axis of said 
shaft, and held in the proper position by a muzzle-piece 
bored by the same gage as the holes for the breech-piece 
for the reception of the barrels. The breech-piece is also 
bored in the rear end for the reception of the locks, on 
a parallel line with the barrels, each barrel having its own 
independent lock revolving simultaneously, so that in case 
one lock or barrel becomes disabled, those remaining can 
be used effectively. 

Between the locks and the barrels is a receptacle for the 
charges on a parallel line with the locks and barrels. As 
the entire gun revolves, the charges find their way through 
a hopper, fed from cases, containing any given number, 
instantaneously. The breech-piece contains the locks, and 
is protected by a heavy casing of gun-metal, made fast to a 
upright iron frame, resting on trunnions one and a half 
inches in diameter. It is screwed to the frame by four 
bolts. Inside this casing is attached an inclined ring 
which the hammers of the lock ride until coming to the 
point of the line of fire, when the discharge takes place. 
The locks are composed of three pieces and one spiral 
spring, and are entirely protected from dust or any injury. 
The gun is mounted as other field-pieces, with limber 
attached. 



174 MILITARY LESSONS. 

The Journal further states that there are now manufac- 
tured of the Gatling gun five sizes,, " a ten-barrel gun of 
-j^-inch caliber, of T 5 ^, of -j 6 ^, of fo, and a six or ten 
barrel gun of one-inch caliber. The first two are capable 
of over 400, and the larger sizes of 200 shots per minute. 
The largest size discharges a solid lead ball of \ pound 
weight (a shower of 100 pounds per minute), or a canister 
cartridge containing 16 balls, and has an effective range of 
1| miles; the second size, 4-J-ounce balls; the third, 1,490 
grains; the fourth, 450; the fifth, 370. With the three 
smaller calibers the weight of metal is canister. 

A recent trial of trajectory showed for 

Deg. Min. 

300 yards an elevation of . . . 54 

500 " " " ... 1 20 

800 " " "... 1 59 

900 """"... 2 5 

1,000 " " "... 2 26 

ORDNANCE OF THE UNITED STATES SERVICE. 

The following is a list of the different kinds and calibers 
of the ordnance now in use by the army of the United 
States, for which the author is indebted to Colonel Julian 
McAllister, United States Ordnance Corps : 

2.90-incli 10-pdr. Parrott gun, iron, banded; projectiles 10 \ and 9| ft). 

3 " 3-incli ordnance rifled gun. 

3.67 " 6-pdr. smooth-bore, bronze. 

3.67 " 20-pdr. Parrott gun, iron, banded ; projectiles 19 \ or 18| ft). 

4.20 " 30-pdr. Parrott gun, iron, banded ; projectiles 29 ft). 

4.50 " siege gun, iron ; projectiles 36ft). 



MITRAILLEUSE AND U. S. ORDNANCE. 175 

4.62-inch 12-pdr. smooth-bore, iron, bronze. 

4.62 " 12-pdr. smooth-bore, iron; siege and garrison. 

5.30 " 18-pdr. smooth-bore, iron; siege and garrison. 

5.82 " 24-pdr. smooth-bore, iron; siege and garrison. 

6.40 " 100-pdr. Parrott gun, iron, banded; projectiles 101, 99 J, - 

and 80 ft. 

6.40 " 32-pdr. smooth-bore, iron; sea-coast. 
7 " 42-pdr. smooth-bore, iron ; sea-coast. 

7 " 42-pdr. smooth-bore, iron ; banded. 

8 " 200-pdr. Parrott gun, iron, banded; projectiles 150ft. 
VIII " Hodman, smooth-bore, iron. 

10 " 300-pdr. Parrott gun, iron ; banded. 

X " Rodman, smooth-bore, iron. 

XII " Rodman, rifled-gun, iron. 

XIII " Rodman, smooth-bore gun, iron. 

XV " Rodman, smooth-bore gun, iron; projectiles 328ft. 
XX " Rodman, smooth-bore guu, iron; projectiles 1,000ft.; 
charge, 250 ft of powder. 

SHELL GUNS. 

Bronze, field; 4.62-inch, 5. 82-inch, 6.4-inch. 
Iron, siege; 5. 8 2 -inch and 8 -inch. 
Iron, sea-coast; 8 -inch and 10-ineh. 
Columbiads ; 8 -inch and 10-inch. 

MORTARS. 

5.82-inch Cochorn; bronze. 
8 " light, siege ; iron. 
8 " heavy, sea-coast; iron. 
10 " light, siege ; iron. 
10 " heavy, sea-coast; iron. 
13 " heavy, sea-coast; iron. 

Cambridge : Electrotyped and Printed by Welch, Bigelow, & Co. 



THIS BOOK IS DUE ON THE LAST DATE 
STAMPED BELOW 



AN INITIAL FINE OF 25 CENTS 

WILL BE ASSESSED FOR FAILURE TO RETURN 
THIS BOOK ON THE DATE DUE. THE PENALTY 
WILL INCREASE TO SO CENTS ON THE FOURTH 
DAY AND TO $1.OO ON THE SEVENTH DAY 
OVERDUE. 



SEP 



liv 

*4s 




AUG301985 



RECEIVED BY 



LD 21-100m-7,'33 



Welelcer,! \V.T. 

Military lessons. 



Oct. 13 '15 Sddy 



P 13 19- 






i. 



' 



/ ]1 



- 



/ 



B 03950