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´╗┐Title: Instructions for Officers and Non-Commissioned Officer of Cavalry on Outpost Duty
Author: Arentschildt, Lt-Col
Language: English
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  First Hussars King's German Legion:




  Twelfth Light Dragoons.






         *       *       *       *       *













 The Commanding Officer of a Picquet, as soon as the same has been
 given up to him, should take care to have the names of his men written
 down, as well as the Regiment and Troop they belong to; inspect their
 ammunition and fire arms; and order them to load. He likewise should
 inquire if the men are provided with provisions and forage, and in
 case they are not, it must be reported to the Regiment, in order that
 supplies may be sent after them. Inquiries are likewise to be made
 where the reports are to be sent to.



 On the march to the spot where the Picquet is to be placed, the
 Officer must pay great attention in examining the country, and
 particularly observe the places where he would make a stand in case
 the Picquet should be attacked by the Enemy: for instance, behind a
 bridge, a ravine, between bogs, &c., in order to keep off the enemy as
 long as possible. This is of the utmost importance to give the Corps
 time to turn out. The Commander of a Picquet who retires with his
 men at full speed, and the Enemy at his heels, deserves the severest
 punishment; he must retire as slow as possible, and constantly



 _By Day._

 Being arrived at the spot chosen by himself, or pointed out to him,
 he forms his Picquet, and takes out as many men as he thinks he has
 occasion for as Videttes. To fix upon the number of Videttes, is
 much facilitated by riding on the top of a hill, and observing the
 number of roads and hills in front. With these Videttes he goes on,
 and places them in such a manner that every one of them is able to
 see individually what is coming towards the Picquet, as well as the
 neighbouring Videttes. The remainder of the Picquet dismounts in the
 mean time, with the exception of one Sentry, who is to be placed a
 little in advance. The bridles are not to be taken off. In placing
 the Videttes the Officer will have acquired a sufficient knowledge of
 the country to be able to judge whether any of them are superfluous,
 (which is much to be avoided, as men and horses are unnecessarily
 fatigued by it,) or whether there ought to be more. Two-thirds of
 the Picquet now unbridle: it is to be recollected that the whole of
 a Picquet should never unbridle. The Officer then reconnoitres the
 country. Every one ambitious to do his duty well will make a little
 sketch, in which the following are to be marked;

  1. Roads; 2. Rivers; 3. Bridges and Fords; 4. Morasses, cavities,
  hollow roads, and mountains; 5. Wood; 6. Towns, Villages and their

 If the Officer does not acquire such an exact knowledge of the
 country, he cannot be responsible for the security of his Picquet, and
 of the corps to which he belongs.

 By this time he will have had opportunity to fix upon the spot where
 his Picquet and Videttes ought to be placed at night.

 _By Night._

 It is impossible to lay down any fixed, principles on this subject;
 but the general rules are, to advance the Picquet at least two or
 three English miles in front of the main body: to place it behind a
 bridge, ravine, wood, or bog through which the road passes, in order
 to be enabled to make a stand immediately on being attacked, and to
 place Videttes in front and flanks. Small Patrols of two or three men
 in front, and flanks at half an hour's interval, and constantly kept
 in motion, will give perfect security, particularly if one of the
 men sometimes dismounts, and listens with his ear on the ground: he
 will hear the march of troops at a great distance. This precaution is
 indispensable in stormy weather. Upon coming by night to a new spot,
 particularly in a mountainous or woody country, small Patrols must be
 pushed forward immediately in all the roads, &c., to secure in the
 first instance the placing of Videttes, &c., &c.

 If the enemy is near, no fire is to be lighted, and the spot where the
 Picquet stands should be changed very often; one-half of the Picquet
 should be mounted, the other stand with the bridles in their hands.



 Great part of what is said in sections I. and II. is likewise to be
 applied here. As soon as the Officer is arrived at the Picquet that
 is to be relieved, he forms at its left flank, or behind it, as the
 nature of the ground requires, draws out a non-commissioned officer,
 and as many Videttes as he has to relieve, (the remainder dismounts,)
 and proceeds with the Officer commanding the old Picquet and his own
 non-commissioned Officer to relieve the Videttes. The Officers should
 be very particular in delivering the detail of their duties, and the
 following is to be observed on such occasions.

 1. All written orders or instructions must be delivered, and the
 verbal orders written down and signed by the Officer who is relieved.

 2. The outlines of the sketch belonging to the Officer commanding the
 old Picquet are to be copied and filled up afterwards--

 3. To whom the reports are to be sent.

 4. Where the Picquets on the flanks are stationed; what roads lead to
 them; how often Patrols are exchanged between them in the night. In
 case the roads to them are little known, or difficult to be found, the
 Non-commissioned Officer of the old Picquet must show them to that of
 the new one, who takes another man with him.

 5. Inquiries must be made as to the knowledge the Officer has of the
 enemy, particularly where he patrols to; whether he thinks that the
 Picquet has been well posted, at night as well as in the day, or
 whether improvements can be made. If such an improvement is found to
 be necessary by placing one or two more Videttes, they ought to be
 posted immediately, but the same is to be reported without delay.

 At the relief of the Videttes, both the officers of the old and new
 Picquets should be present. They must listen to the delivery of
 instructions from the old Vidette to the new one, and the latter is to
 be desired to repeat what has been delivered to him, to prevent any
 mistake. The principal points of these instructions should be: on what
 roads and from what part of the country the enemy may be expected to
 advance; where the neighbouring Videttes are stationed, in order to be
 able to repeat their signals, which they may have particular orders to
 make. The new Vidette must be very particular in occupying the same
 spot that the old one did, as sometimes the difference of one yard
 may be of great consequence in observing or being observed at a great

 If the relief is not made with the above-mentioned exactness, all
 orders that have been issued may be misunderstood or quite forgotten
 in the course of two or three days.

 After all the Videttes have been relieved in this manner, the spot
 where the Picquet and Videttes have been stationed in the night are
 to be pointed out to the Officer of the new Picquet.

 The old Picquet now marches off, and the new one takes its place. The
 horses may be then unbridled, except one-third or one-fourth.



 _By Day._

 A Dismounted Sentry who is able to see the movements of the several
 Videttes, and who can acquaint the Picquet with them, is a measure so
 necessary for the safety of the Picquet, that it never ought to be

 One-third or one-fourth of the horses are always bridled up and ready
 to advance; the men must never take off their swords and belts;
 one-half of them may sleep in the middle of the day, the other in the
 afternoon, that they may be all perfectly alert at night.

 The men must not be allowed to go into houses or villages in the
 neighbourhood; such straggling leads to irregularities, and on being
 rapidly attacked by the enemy the horses will be lost.

 When the men water their horses, they must bridle them up, and take
 everything with them; none but inexperienced and negligent Officers
 will allow the men to water their horses at any distance with merely
 the halter on, and leaving the bridle with the Picquet.

 In short, a Picquet must at all times be ready for an attack in half a

 How often the Picquets are to patrol, where to and how far, is
 generally ordered by the Officer commanding the outposts. If there are
 no orders upon these subjects, the following Patrols will be sent:

  The first at half an hour before daybreak, or so early that it has
  time to arrive at the place of its destination at daylight; here it
  will remain until it is full daylight. Whoever leads the Patrol is to
  go up on the top of a hill, where he can look about to a considerable
  distance, and then he returns, the second Patrol at ten o'clock;
  the third at two o'clock; the fourth towards evening; the fifth at

 This arrangement, however, depends upon the distance of the enemy,
 except the morning Patrol before daylight, which is to go under all

 It cannot be too frequently told to all Patrols, that they are often
 to look to the rear when they return. The Enemy very frequently
 succeeds in following a negligent Patrol of this kind, and surprising
 the Picquet, which thinks itself perfectly secure. In a close country
 it is very advisable after the return of a patrol, to send forward
 again a few men at the distance of a mile, to be certain that the
 Enemy did not follow the Patrol.

 _By Night._

 The proper time for the Picquet to go to the night post is when it
 gets too dark for the day Videttes to see at any distance; they are
 then called in, and the position for the night is taken up.

 If there are any apprehensions of being betrayed to the enemy by spies
 or inhabitants of the country, it is advisable to change the spot
 again, but the Videttes will remain.

 In case the enemy is very near, the Picquet must be mounted; this is,
 however, very fatiguing for men and horses; it is, therefore, better
 to cause one-third or one-half to mount and to advance about a hundred
 yards; the remainder is to stand by their horses.

 At night the Videttes may be relieved every hour. The Relief should
 ride along the chain of Videttes; this may be considered, at the same
 time, as a visiting Patrol. Besides this Patrol, the Videttes are to
 be visited every half hour to be quite sure that none of them have
 deserted or fallen asleep. If the enemy is near, the Videttes should
 be all double; which is at all times to be recommended in preference
 to single Videttes, if the strength of the Picquet will allow it.

 In case a man deserts, the spot where the Picquet is stationed ought
 to be instantly changed to some hundred yards' distance, and the fire
 to be extinguished; the Videttes are to be made acquainted with this
 change, and double attention paid. In such cases double Videttes
 patrol among themselves in the following manner:

  _Fig._ 1.

      1    2        3    4        5    6
  ....0    0  ....  0    0  ....  0    0....

 No. 1 patrols to his left, and when returned No. 2 proceeds to No. 3,
 and returns to his station: No. 3 patrols to No. 2, and when returned,
 No. 4 will go to No. 5 and return; 5 and 6, and all the other Videttes
 do the same. If this is done it is impossible that anything can pass
 unperceived. The desertion of any man must be reported without delay.

 When the Enemy is close, the following measures not only contributes
 to insure security, but is the best way to learn when the Enemy is
 on the move. A few men are to patrol during the night every hour
 beyond the chain of Videttes, in different directions, and to go as
 close to the Enemy as they can, unperceived. As soon as they are far
 enough, one man dismounts and listens with his ear on the ground;
 he will be enabled to hear at a considerable distance when Troops
 march. This undoubtedly gives security to the outpost; but it is
 particularly recommended, being the only means to ascertain the secret
 movements of the enemy in the night, to discover which the greatest
 exertions ought to be made, as it is of the utmost importance to the
 Commander-in-chief to be immediately acquainted with them.

 The Picquets have frequently no orders to detain people that pass
 through the line of outposts towards the enemy; but in the evening
 and during the night every one attempting to do so must remain with
 the Picquet until daylight. Persons suspected of carrying any papers
 with them are to be searched, and sent to the Commanding Officer, with
 a written statement why they appear suspicious. Half an hour before
 daylight the morning Patrols will be sent on the roads in front, and
 as soon as it is quite light the Picquet and Videttes take up their
 position for the day.



 Although little can be said upon this subject, (everything depending
 upon the nature of the country,) the following rules may be applicable:

 _By Day._

 They are generally placed upon hills, to enable them to have a good
 view of everything in front. In a mountainous country the ravines and
 narrow valleys now and then cannot be observed at the top of a hill;
 in this case a Vidette is to be placed in the bottom. It is desirable
 to place the Videttes on the top of hills, near a tree or large
 stone, to prevent the enemy from seeing them, as he may conclude,
 by seeing one of them, what position the whole line of Videttes and
 Picquets, and even sometimes the corps to which they belong, have
 taken up.

 When the Videttes are placed in such a manner that they can overlook
 their front, see each other and the ground between them, so that
 nothing can pass unperceived, they are placed as they ought to be.

 In order to spare men and horses, no more Videttes than necessary are
 to be out.

 In a thick fog the Videttes stationed at a considerable distance on
 the flanks are taken off the hills and placed on more suitable spots.
 The country may require that the position fixed upon for the night
 should be taken up during the day, in which case the country in front
 must be continually scoured in all directions by small Patrols; which
 measure always gives sufficient security.

 _By Night._

 The Videttes are taken off the hills, and placed on the roads, behind
 fords, bridges, ravines, &c., by which the enemy may approach the
 Picquet. At a clear moonshine they ought to be near a tree or bush, to
 prevent their being seen by the enemy, as in a close country it may
 happen that he approaches them unperceived, notwithstanding all their
 attention. They should be placed at the bottom of a hill, so that
 any object moving on the top would be easily perceived even in the
 darkest night.

 They are by no means to be advanced further than that, their firing
 can be distinctly heard by the Picquet, even in a stormy night.



  And what the Officer Commanding the Picquet has to observe on their
  making Signals.

 _By Day._

 1. When a Vidette discovers anything suspicious on the side of the
 enemy, should it be a rising dust or the glittering of arms, he should
 move his horse in a circle at a walk. The Officer should instantly
 proceed to the Vidette, accompanied by a corporal and four men, and if
 he cannot distinctly discover by his spy-glass the cause of the dust,
 he should send off the men that accompanied him, as a Patrol, or go
 himself; so far that he can report in case he sees Troops, how strong
 they are, whether consisting of Cavalry, Infantry, or Artillery,
 but particularly in which direction they march. This report must be
 dispatched in writing, without the least delay.

 The Commander of a Picquet should never omit to report occurrences of
 this kind, although they may have no connexion with the security of
 his Picquet. Patrols and Picquets must always report the movements of
 any body of Troops, even of a small number.

 2. If the Videttes observe Troops marching towards them, but yet at
 a great distance, they will ride the circle in a trot. The Officer's
 duty is, as in 1.

 3. If the enemy's Troops come towards the Picquet, and are at only
 one English mile distance from it, the Videttes circle in a gallop.
 The Officer immediately advances with his whole Picquet. His duty is
 prescribed in the paragraph on the Attack of a Picquet.

 If the enemy is so near that the Videttes are obliged to gallop to
 their Picquets for their own security, they fire their carbines and
 pistols in case the Picquet should not have advanced.

 _By Night._

 1. As soon as the Videttes hear a suspicious noise, even at a great
 distance, such as the rattling of carriages or artillery, the barking
 of dogs in the villages in front, or if they observe any fire, one of
 the Videttes must instantly report it to the Officer of the Picquet,
 in order that the circumstances may be inquired into by a Patrol.

 2. Should any person approach the Vidette, he must be challenged with
 "Who comes there?" so loud that the Picquet and the next Videttes are
 able to hear it. If those that approach do not halt upon this, the
 Vidette should challenge a second time; if they do not halt, he should
 fire, and retire on the road pointed out to him, &c., &c. But if
 those that he challenged halt, he cries out "One man dismount!" and at
 the same time, "Sergeant advance!" The dismounted man he desires to
 approach, but not nearer than three yards, and holds the cocked pistol
 directed against him. The Officer of the Picquet must be instantly
 there, and examine carefully where the person or persons came from,
 who sent them, and what for, (when the enemy has the intention to
 surprise a Picquet, he sometimes pretends to be a friendly Patrol,)
 to what regiment they belong, the name of their Brigadier, Commanding
 Officer and Captains--where their regiment is encamped, &c., &c.; if
 they are able readily and justly to answer these questions, they may
 pass unmolested, as in that case one may consider it a certainty that
 they are no enemies.



 Any person coming from the enemy with a Flag of Truce, must never be
 allowed to advance further than the chain of Videttes. When a Vidette
 makes the signal, the Officer of the Picquet meets the Flag of Truce
 with four men, and desires the bearer of it to halt, if possible in
 a bottom, or makes him face towards the side he came from, as it may
 be only the intention of the enemy to make observations respecting
 our position, or to see how the Picquet is placed, in order to
 surprise it in the night. Does the bearer of the Flag of Truce only
 bring letters, they are to be taken from him, and a receipt given for
 them; if he insists upon being allowed to proceed, permission must be
 asked, which being obtained, the person proceeding is blindfolded;
 a Non-commissioned Officer leads his horse, and brings him to the
 General's quarter. Should there be more persons than one, the
 remainder must stay where they are, until the other returns. A Flag of
 Truce ought to be treated with the utmost politeness; if refreshments
 can be given, it is desirable to do so; but no conversation relative
 to our position and to the army is to be permitted.

 After a Flag of Truce has left the Videttes, the Picquet must be very



 _At Daytime._

 As they are discernable at a distance, but cannot be known to be
 deserters, a proportionate number from the Picquet must already
 have advanced to the line of Videttes when they approach. Deserters
 generally make themselves known by flourishing the cap about their
 head, and calling out "Deserter!" But this is not to be depended
 upon; their further behaviour must be previously observed. They are
 to be told that it is an order in the army to take their arms from
 them--that is to say, their swords: the flints are only taken off the
 fire-arms. In proportion to their number they are then to be brought
 to the General's quarter by one, two, or three men, and their swords
 returned to them.

 Whenever any property is taken from a deserter, the act is always to
 be severely punished.

 _At Night._

 Great caution is to be used in this instance. The Videttes must order
 them to halt at some distance, and by no means allow them to come too
 near. The Picquet advances, and the Deserters are to come towards it
 one by one, and be disarmed immediately. After all this is done, they
 are brought to the rear. Deserters must be examined respecting the
 movements, &c., of the Enemy.



 _By Day._

 The first to be done is to report what is going on, and in a
 mountainous and woody country at the same time to acquaint the
 Picquets on the flanks with it. After this the Picquet advances, but
 in such a manner that it cannot be cut off, and begins to skirmish.
 It will seldom be practicable or suitable to advance farther than the
 chain of Videttes. Is the Officer obliged to retire, it must be done
 as slow as possible, to gain time for the Corps to turn out. If the
 Commander of the Picquet has previously fixed upon places where to
 make a stand, as prescribed in Section II., it is now time to make
 use of them, when he has retired so far. The best way for cavalry to
 defend a bridge, ravine, or ford, is the following (fig. 2):

 [Illustration: _Fig. 2._]

 When the Picquet has been obliged to retire three or four hundred
 yards to the bridge, the Officer is to gallop over it with the same,
 and to post himself in A, as close as possible, with his right flank
 on it, leaving the passage open. As soon as his skirmishers see that
 he has taken up his position, and that the passage over the bridge is
 open, they likewise gallop over it, and face about again in B. The
 Enemy will certainly halt, and if he pushes on, those in A have only
 to cut him down as he is not in a state of defence, being obliged to
 expose his left flank: those in B charge likewise, or fire upon him
 at eight yards' distance. In this manner the Enemy must halt, and is
 obliged to retire a little, in order to throw skirmishers in C, to
 drive away the Picquet by their fire. However, time is gained by this,
 on which sometimes the honor and welfare of the Corps depend. This
 consideration only could induce me to be so circumstantial upon this

 When the Picquets on the flanks are not attacked at the same time,
 they can be sometimes of service in acting upon the Enemy's flanks;
 yet the nature of the ground must not endanger them to be cut off.
 But however favorable the ground may often be, it appears sometimes
 surprising to see that the nearest Picquets frequently do not
 undertake anything on such occasions, and behave exactly as if the
 whole business did not concern them at all.

 In general, it is a rule that the Picquets that are not attacked,
 retire in a line with those engaged.

 _By Night._

 It is mentioned in Section VII. that when the Videttes have fired
 their fire-arms, they must gallop back by the road pointed out to
 them. It is of the highest importance to instruct the night Videttes,
 that, in case the Enemy should rapidly attack them, they are not to
 retire towards the Picquet, but a hundred and fifty yards to the right
 or left of it, firing constantly in the meantime, and trying by these
 means to mislead the Enemy, and draw him after them. The Picquet
 hereby gains time to mount, and to fall in the Enemy's flank and rear,
 with a great noise, who will certainly suspect to have fallen in an
 ambush, be puzzled, and perhaps lose some prisoners. Immediately after
 this attack is made, it will be best to fall back again on the road
 fixed upon for a retreat. It is therefore necessary to show the men
 in the day the road which the Videttes are to take, when they are
 attacked in the night, and likewise whereabout they are to rejoin the
 Picquet. The other part of the retreat is nearly the same as in the
 day, with this difference only, that there cannot be skirmishers in
 front, but only two or three men at the head. It is necessary to fire
 as much as possible, but wherever a stand can be made, an obstinate
 defence is desirable. It is unnecessary to remark that a report is to
 be sent as soon as attacked.


 _By Day._

 Suppose the same consists of one Officer, two Non-commissioned
 officers, and twenty-four men, the officer commanding tells them off
 as in fig. 3.

 [Illustration: _Fig. 3._]

 This gives an extension of 1,500 yards, which is sufficient for
 twenty-four men. If the column is larger, the Advanced Guard is
 likewise stronger and more extended. A rule is, that the Advanced
 Guard should take up so much ground, that when it discovers the enemy,
 the column has sufficient time to form and make dispositions, either
 for attacking or retiring. The several divisions of the Advanced Guard
 must always keep their support in sight, and be careful to preserve
 the same distances. When the column halts, the Advanced Guard does the
 same, but the three men at the head instantly occupy the neighbouring
 heights, in case the enemy should be within four or five hundred

 If the Advanced Guard comes to a wood which is supposed to be 2,000
 yards broad, the Sergeant reinforces the three men at the head with
 six more, who extend themselves so far to the right and left as to be
 in line with the first three, that they can see each other, and what
 is concealed between them, and he follows with the two men left him,
 the three men in advance on the road. Should the wood be too large,
 the Officer must send two men to the right, and as many to the left,
 round it, who are carefully to examine whether they can see the traces
 of troops marched into the wood, which is to be immediately reported.
 The column halts until this is ascertained.

 Generally only two men march at the heads, but this is wrong; there
 ought to be three, whose duty is the following: Is a height in front,
 the centre man of the three trots on until he can look over it; if
 there is one to the right or left of the road, one of the other two
 men does the same. Near an enemy this must always be done, supposed
 even that the hill is 1500 or 2000 yards distance. Men that go on
 the top of a hill to reconnoitre in this manner, (they may belong to
 an Advanced Guard or a Patrol,) must proceed more carefully than is
 generally done. As a great deal depends upon seeing the Enemy, and
 not to be seen by him, they must, when nearly on the top of the hill,
 take off the cap, and only go as high as just to be able to look over;
 this produces the great advantage, that the Commanding Officer may
 observe the marching Enemy, and make his arrangements accordingly for
 a retreat, an attack, or an ambuscade. All these advantages are lost
 when the Enemy discovers us.

 Should the march be directed towards a village, one man goes round
 it to the right, the other to the left, and the third through it, if
 the situation of the village permits to do so. The Non-Commissioned
 Officer of the Advanced Guard also trots on until he arrives near the
 village, and reinforces the men going through it with three more; one
 of these four men goes to the right, the other to the left, through
 the bye-roads; two men proceed through the middle of it, at such a
 distance from each other, that the hindmost always keep in sight the
 one before him. Should these men in patrolling the village find no
 inhabitants, they are to look into the windows, ride into the yards,
 and examine carefully if perhaps the Enemy concealed himself; those
 going round the village look at the entrances to see if Troops marched
 into the village. The Sergeant, with his men, follows slowly; when he
 has passed through the village he collects his men, sends three men
 again at the head, and reports to his Officer, who has halted behind
 the village, that the same is patrolled, &c.

 It is unnecessary to observe, that these and other precautionary
 measures are not requisite when the Enemy cannot be expected.

 _By Night._

 The Advanced Guard is told off as by day, but the distances between
 the several divisions must not be as large. The Officer's Division
 is a hundred yards from the column, the Sergeant a hundred from the
 Officer's, and the head fifty from the Sergeant's party. Between these
 Divisions, single men are to ride, who can see each other, to prevent
 the communication being lost.

 If an Advanced Guard is unexpectedly attacked during the night,
 or meets with the Enemy, it has no other choice but instantly to
 fall upon him. The Non-Commissioned Officer must be instructed to
 disperse, in such a case, to the right and left, and to fire as much
 as possible; but the Officer advances rapidly with his Division, and
 charges. This is the only way to give time to the column to prepare
 for an attack. It is an unpardonable fault in an Advanced Guard to
 be frightened, and to retire upon the column, every thing will then
 be in confusion, and it would have been better, if there had been no
 Advanced Guard at all; but if it advanced with intrepidity the column
 has time.

 Should the Advanced Guard be obliged, by a superior force, to retire,
 after having fought bravely, this retreat ought to be made on either
 side of the Column, but never on the Column, because the latter would
 be fired upon, and the confusion increased.

 On all these subjects the men should be previously well instructed.
 Every Commanding Officer of a detached party must consider it as one
 of his first duties to give clear and circumstantial instructions to
 his men, without which they will frequently act contrary to his ideas,
 even with the best intention.


 Is told off in separate divisions, the same as an Advance Guard, only
 in reverse order (fig. 4.)

 [Illustration: _Fig. 4._]

 The object of a Rear Guard is to prevent the enemy's approaching the
 column unperceived; two men in the Rear are sufficient, but these must
 be picked men. When the march is undisturbed, they often halt on the
 heights so as just to be able to look over to the rear, to discover
 the enemy. When a mountain is near, the Officer will do well to ride
 on the top of it, and to look about the country with his spy-glass.

 If the enemy follows closely with a few men, to see the strength of
 our column, it is to be tried to lead them into an ambuscade, and
 to make prisoners, or to drive them off. But in case the Rear is
 attacked, it is instantly to be supported by the Serjeant's Troop,
 and this by the Officer's Troop, which both immediately advance for
 that purpose, in order not to allow the enemy to come too near the
 Column. The Commanding Officer of the Column will then support him,
 or give directions to retire slowly. If the enemy follows with a
 more considerable force, suppose one squadron, _without_ attacking,
 the Rear Guard will follow the Column in the subsequent manner. When
 the Column is a thousand yards distant from the Officer's Troop, he
 trots on to the ordinary distance of five hundred yards, halts, and
 fronts; as soon as the Serjeant sees that the Officer has fronted, he
 trots on to five hundred yards' distance from the Officer, and fronts
 likewise, the two men in the rear trot on to the same distance from
 the Serjeant's Troop. In this manner the Rear alternately follows the
 Column, which prevents the enemy from coming too near; at the same
 time an engagement is avoided, and the horses saved. Whenever the
 Column halts, the different parties face towards the enemy.

 At night, the Rear Guard behaves in the same manner as prescribed for
 the Advanced Guard; that is to say, the intervals between the several
 Troops are to be shorter, and a sufficient number of single men placed
 in them not to lose sight of the Column and each other.




 Patrols are detached on the Flanks, when the enemy can disturb the
 Flanks of the column. They are placed in the following manner (fig. 5):

 [Illustration: _Fig. 5._]

 The two men in A must not only from time to time communicate with the
 Advanced Guard--that is to say, one of them incline to the left until
 he can see it--but the other, when there is a height near, even at a
 thousand yards' distance, must ride so far on the top of it that he
 can look over. When attacked, Side Patrols behave as Advanced and Rear
 Guards. They meet the enemy, and do not suffer him to come too near
 the Column.

 When a Side Patrol meets with a wood in the direction of its march,
 the disposition is altered (fig. 6).

 [Illustration: _Fig. 6._]

 The officer detaches the Serjeant's Troop to the right, the Corporal's
 and four men to the left, and himself remains with his men in the
 centre. The Serjeant sends two men to the skirts of the wood; these
 must look at the tracks, and one of them ride on a height, if any is
 near; the remainder divide themselves to the left of these two men, at
 such a distance that they can keep each other in sight. The Corporal
 divides his men in the same manner from the Right Flank of the Column
 to the Officer's Troop. If the Officer perceives that these two lines
 are not extensive enough to cover the ground towards his Troop, he
 detaches a sufficient number of men to the right and left to form a
 perfect line, which line must be careful never to get at the head of
 the Column. The Non-commissioned officers endeavor to keep their men
 in the same line with the Officer's Division.

 It sometimes excites pity to see the men unnecessarily gallop
 and fatigue their horses on such occasions, only from want of
 instructions, without doing more good than they would have done at a



 This is done in the same manner as if (Section I.,) a Side Patrol
 meets with a wood, with the difference that two men are likewise sent
 round to the left extremity of the wood.



 Consists generally of a pretty considerable force, to be enabled to
 defend themselves against a small hostile party or patrol, and are
 sent for the purpose of ascertaining whether a certain place is in the
 Enemy's possession, whether he is on the move against us, or whether
 a certain district is occupied by him. Such a Patrol marches, after
 having passed the chain of Videttes, with the ordinary precautions of
 having three men for Advanced, and two for Rear Guard, and sends, in
 case the country requires it, one man to the right, and another to the
 left, on the heights.

 As not unfrequently the safety, but also the attainment of the object
 for which the Patrol was sent out, depends upon its not being seen by
 the Enemy, before the Patrol has discovered him, it is of the utmost
 importance to instruct the men at the head very accurately, they must
 not merely be satisfied with looking before them, but look at the
 tracks of the cross-roads very minutely, and mount every hill with
 caution, &c.

 If this is done, the Patrol will sometimes have opportunities to make
 prisoners. When a Patrol sees the Enemy advance towards it with not
 too strong a force, it must try to conceal itself and rapidly attack
 the unsuspecting enemy: he will get into confusion, fly, and perhaps
 lose some prisoners. If the Enemy has been discovered before, but is
 too strong, the Patrol retires: is perhaps not seen by him at all; and
 circumstances may allow that it is able to continue its march, and to
 obtain the object of its first destination. All these advantages are
 lost when the Enemy discovers it.

 A Patrol must never enter a village or wood until it has been
 explored; but this is to be managed in such a way that the Patrol is
 not delayed: for the leader of it must not forget that the Officer who
 sent him out calculates the time of his return: if he does not come
 back near that time, he that sent him will get apprehensive, and send
 another Patrol after him, whereby men and horses are fatigued, which
 would have been avoided had the Leader of the Patrol been active in
 the performance of his duty.

 If a village is to be passed at night, which the Enemy can be expected
 to have occupied, the Patrol is to halt (about five or six hundred
 yards) on the side of it. When no Videttes of the Enemy are visible,
 a few men are sent to the right and left, who approach gradually
 to ascertain whether the entrances of the village are occupied by
 Infantry, and to try to find an inhabitant, whom they bring to the
 Patrol, or listen whether they can hear anything. If nothing can be
 learned by these means, the Patrol proceeds with the same precautions
 as mentioned in a former Section.

 If a Patrol is ordered to ascertain by night, whether and how a
 village is occupied, three of the best horses are to be picked out for
 the head, eight men are to follow at twenty-four yards' distance,
 and the remainder of the Patrol follows at a hundred yards' distance:
 in this manner the Enemy's Vidette must be approached, without the
 least noise; as soon as the Vidette challenges, the advance of the
 Patrol must go on at full speed to take him prisoner. Should they be
 unsuccessful in this, the eleven men, together rapidly attack the
 Picquet, to bring off a prisoner, with whom they retire. The alarm
 will be given in the village, to a certainty, and the sounding of a
 trumpet or the beating of drums will enable us to judge by what Troops
 it is occupied. If a Patrol goes so far that it is obliged to feed the
 horses, it should never be done in a village, but in an open country
 under some trees, and Videttes are to be placed during the time.

 If it is necessary to get provisions and forage out of villages, they
 are to be brought out.

 On such occasions, as on all others, the inhabitants are to be treated
 with politeness, and to rob them of anything deserves the severest
 punishment, and it is but natural if they betray such unpleasant
 guests to the Enemy.

 If guides are required, or inquiries made after a road, more than one
 must be inquired after, to leave the people in uncertainty which road
 the Patrol means to take. Guides that are sent home are best to be led
 astray, by marching a wrong way until they are out of sight.



 These only consist of a few men, six or eight, and are generally
 sent on the flanks, and sometimes in the rear of the Enemy's Army,
 without the knowledge of the Enemy; are to go now and then at a great
 distance; and are to remain for a considerable time, to make the
 necessary observations; therefore this is the most difficult duty for
 Light Cavalry.

 Many rules laid down for other Patrols are likewise here applicable.

 A Patrol of this kind marches without Advanced and Rear Guard, and,
 if the country should require it, only one man rides on the heights
 without showing himself. If the Patrol proceeds so far, that it
 is obliged to march with great precaution, it must quit the great
 roads wherever it is possible, and take its march by bye-roads, deep
 valleys, &c., &c., to reach unseen the place of its destination. A
 Guide on horseback will be of great service to such a Patrol; but he
 is to be paid for it, and treated well. When feeding the horses, it
 must go off the road into a bush or wood, and one man climbs up a
 tree to keep a look-out. If anything hostile approaches, the Patrol
 escapes without noise, and chooses another place of concealment until
 it can proceed by roundabout ways without danger. A fire can only be
 lighted with great caution, but it is better to avoid that entirely.
 If an inhabitant accidentally meets with the Patrol at night, he must
 remain with it until the march is continued. Should a Secret Patrol
 be discovered by the Enemy, notwithstanding all precautions, it must
 fly; as soon as the enemy gives up the pursuit, it must make attempts,
 by roundabout ways, to get notwithstanding, to the spot where its
 commission can be carried into execution.

 This sometimes succeeds beyond expectation. A well-informed and clever
 officer is particularly required for this kind of duty; who speaks
 the language of the country, and has a knowledge of the customs,
 habits, hopes, and fears of the inhabitants. Such a one will be secure
 close to the Enemy, and be able to give the most certain and best

 It is to be remarked, that if the Leader of a Patrol, when returned,
 cannot answer the following questions about the roads he passed, viz:

  Are they rocky, sandy, or boggy?

  How many rivers and rivulets he passed; and the distances from one to
  the other?

  Are the banks of them bold, or only an impediment, &c.?

  How many bridges lead over them? wooden or massive?

  Are fords beside those bridges, passable at every season for Cavalry,
  Infantry, or Artillery, &c.?

  How many villages are on the road, and what are their names, and the
  distances from one to the other?

  Does the road go through wood; or is it at some distance; apparently
  how large, and what kind?

 he has lost sight of a principal point of his duty.

 The foregoing Instructions can only be considered as a sketch of the
 duties of the Light Cavalry. The young, yet inexperienced soldier may
 look upon it as an introduction to his duties; he can only expect to
 acquire accomplishments by his own reflections and exertions.







  Twelfth Light Dragoons.





 1. The Officer commanding a Picquet should have the Names and
 Regiments of the men written down: he should inspect their arms and
 Ammunition; he should see that they are provided with Provisions and
 Forage, and should thoroughly understand the Orders which he receives.

 2. On the march to where the Picquet is to be stationed, the country
 should be examined, and the places where a stand could be made in case
 the Picquet should be attacked, ought to be particularly observed. It
 is of the utmost importance to give the corps time to turn out, and
 the Commander of a Picquet who retires at full speed, with the Enemy
 at his heels, deserves the severest punishment. He must retire as
 slowly as possible, and constantly skirmish.

 3. Upon arriving at the spot chosen for the Picquet, the Officer
 should ascertain the number of Videttes necessary, by observing
 the roads and hills in front; he should then place them in such a
 manner that they can each see what is coming towards the Picquet, and
 at the same time observe one another. In the mean time the Picquet
 should dismount, placing one Sentry a little in advance; and as soon
 as the Videttes are placed, two-thirds of the Picquet may unbridle.
 The Officer should make a little sketch, marking the roads, rivers,
 bridges, or fords, morasses, cavities, hollow roads, mountains, woods,
 towns, villages, and their distances. An officer cannot feel confident
 for the security of his post, unless he has acquired an exact
 knowledge of the country.

 4. The principal rules for posting a Picquet at night, are to advance
 it two or three miles in front of the main body, behind a bridge,
 ravine, wood, or bog, through which the road may pass, to place
 Videttes in front, and on the flanks, and to send out Patrols of two
 or three men each at half an hour's interval. Sometimes a man should
 dismount and listen with his ear to the ground, by which means he
 will hear the march of Troops at a great distance. This precaution
 is necessary in stormy weather. Upon coming by night to a new spot,
 Patrols should be sent out in every direction before the Videttes are

 5. If the Enemy is near, no fire should be lighted, the post should
 be frequently changed, one-half of the Picquet should be mounted, one
 hundred yards in advance, and the other half should keep the bridles
 in their hands.

 6. Upon relieving a Picquet, the new one should form in the rear of
 the old, the Videttes should be relieved, and the detail of duties
 should be thoroughly explained to the non-commissioned Officers and
 Privates. The Commander of the old Picquet should deliver over to the
 new one all written Orders, and the verbal Orders should be written
 down and signed by the Officer relieved: he should likewise inform
 him to whom reports are to be made, and give him every information
 he has relative to the Enemy, the Patrols, the Country, &c., and the
 night posts should be pointed out. At the relief of the Videttes, both
 officers of the old and new Picquet should be present, and listen
 to the instructions given by the old Vidette to the new one. These
 instructions should be from what part of the country the Enemy may be
 expected, where the neighbouring Videttes are stationed, in order to
 be able to repeat their signals. A Vidette should never move from the
 spot upon which he is placed, as the difference of a yard may prevent
 his observing, or being observed, at a great distance.

 7. A dismounted Sentry should be placed in front of the Picquet, where
 he can observe the movements of the different Videttes. One-third of
 the horses must always be bridled up, and be ready to advance; the
 men must not take off their swords or belts; one-half may sleep in
 the middle of the day, the other half in the afternoon, so that they
 may be all perfectly alert at night. The men must not be allowed to
 leave the Picquet, or to go into the villages, or houses, in the
 neighborhood. When the men water their horses, they must bridle them
 up, and take everything with them; in short, a Picquet must be always
 ready for an attack in half a minute.


 8. In sending out Patrols, the following Rules should be observed: The
 First should go out in the morning in time for it to arrive at its
 destination before daybreak, where it should remain until the Officer
 who commands it has had time to go to some rising ground and look over
 the country. The Second at Ten. The Third at Two. The Fourth towards
 Evening. And the Fifth at midnight. This arrangement, however, depends
 upon the distance of the Enemy, except the morning Patrol, which is
 to go under all circumstances. A Patrol, in returning, should look
 often to the rear, as the Enemy frequently succeeds in following a
 negligent Patrol. The Non-commissioned Officer should be particularly
 careful not to allow the men to fatigue their horses; if it should be
 necessary to feed, it should never be done in a village, but in an
 open country, and a Vidette should be placed during the time. No man
 should be permitted to leave his horse for a moment, and any man who
 attempts to use an inhabitant of the country ill, or to take anything
 from the town by force, must be severely punished.

 9. The time for the Picquet to go to the Night Post is when it becomes
 too dark for the Videttes to see at any distance. They are then called
 in, and the position for the night taken up. In case of any desertion,
 or that there are apprehensions of being betrayed to the enemy, by the
 inhabitants or spies, the Picquet should change its ground, but the
 Videttes remain.

 At night the Videttes must be relieved every hour and visited every
 half hour. The Videttes should at all times be double if possible. In
 foggy weather, and when it is very dark, the double Videttes should
 patrol among themselves, and communicate with one another. When the
 Enemy is near, the following measure contributes not only to security,
 but is the best method of knowing when the enemy is on the move: A few
 men should patrol during the night beyond the chain of Videttes in
 different directions, and as near the enemy as they can unperceived;
 they should then dismount and listen with the ear to the ground.

 10. Every person attempting to pass the Outpost must be detained till
 the morning. After the morning Patrol has returned, or has reported
 that all is well, the Picquet should take up its position for the day.

 11. Videttes should be placed by day on a high ground, so as to have
 an extensive view, but if possible near a rock or tree, so as not
 to be perceived by the Enemy; when the Videttes are placed in such
 a manner that they can overlook their front, see each other and the
 ground between them, so that nothing can pass unperceived, they are
 placed as they ought to be.

 12. By night, Videttes are taken off the hills and placed on the
 roads, behind fords, bridges, ravines, &c.; they should be placed at
 the bottom of hills, so that any object moving at the top would be
 easily perceived. They should by no means be advanced further than
 that their firing can be distinctly heard by the Picquet.

 13. When a Vidette observes anything suspicious on the side of the
 Enemy, such as the glittering of arms, rising of dust, &c., he is
 to move his horse round in a circle at a walk; the Officer should
 instantly proceed with a Corporal and four men to the Vidette; and
 examine with his glass, or by a Patrol, thoroughly into the cause,
 after which he must make his report. If the Vidette observes Troops
 marching towards him, but at a great distance, he is to ride the
 circle in a trot; the officer acts as in the former case. If the Enemy
 should approach the Vidette at no great distance, he is to ride the
 circle at a gallop. The Officer should advance with his whole Picquet;
 his further duty is prescribed in Par. 15. If the Enemy is so near the
 Videttes that they are obliged to gallop to the Picquets for their own
 security, they should fire their Carbines or Pistols. By night, if
 the Videttes hear a suspicious noise, even at a great distance, such
 as the rattling of Carriages, barking of dogs, or if they observe any
 fire, one of them should instantly report the circumstances to the
 officer of the Picquet, in order that it may be inquired into by a
 Patrol. If any one should approach the Videttes, they must challenge,
 and desire the person or persons to halt till the Officer is informed.
 Should the person refuse to halt, being twice challenged in a loud
 voice, the Vidette is to fire. Great caution must be observed by night
 if a Deserter should come from the Enemy, the Videttes must not let
 him approach too near; they must make him halt till the Officer comes
 up. By day, the Vidette is to make a signal to the sentry of the
 Picquet, should a Deserter approach, and a party will be immediately
 sent to receive him.


 14. No person coming from the Enemy with a Flag of Truce, is to be
 allowed to advance farther than the chain of Videttes. When the
 Vidette makes the signal, the Officer of the Picquet should meet
 the Flag of Truce with four more, and desire the bearer to halt, if
 possible, in a bottom, as the intention is frequently only to make
 observations on the position of the Picquet, in order to attack it at
 night. If the bearer only brings Letters, a receipt is to be given
 to the bearer and sent back; but if he insists upon being allowed
 to proceed, further instructions must be obtained from the Officer
 commanding the Outposts. A Flag of Truce ought to be treated with the
 utmost civility, but no conversation relative to the Army is to be

 15. When a Picquet is attacked, the Officer is immediately to
 communicate with the Picquets on his flank, and with the main body;
 he is then to throw out his skirmishers, and if obliged to retire,
 it must be done as slowly as possible, to gain time for the corps
 to turn out. If the commander of the Picquet should have fixed upon
 places where to make a stand, (as recommended in Par. 2,) he will
 find the advantage; if it be a bridge, ford, or ravine, he should
 act in the following manner: upon approaching the place, suppose a
 bridge, he should gallop over it with his Picquet, and form with his
 right flank to the Enemy, taking care to leave the passage open. The
 skirmishers immediately after gallop over, and form directly fronting
 the passage of the bridge, and to the rear of the Picquet; the Enemy
 must necessarily halt, in order to drive the Picquet away by their
 fire; consequently, time is given to the main body, which is the grand
 object. If the Picquets on the flanks should not be attacked at the
 same time, they should endeavour, without exposing themselves to be
 cut off, to act upon the Enemy's flanks. In general, it is a rule for
 the Picquets not attacked to retire in a line with those engaged.


 16. If an Officer, two non-commissioned Officers, and twenty-four
 Privates, form the Advanced Guard, the Officer should post himself
 about five hundred yards in front of the columns, with thirteen men,
 a serjeant and eight should be detached five hundred yards in advance
 of him, and three men five hundred yards in advance of the whole. The
 principle upon which an Advanced Guard, Rear Guard, or Side Patrol is
 sent out, is to give time to the column to make dispositions to attack
 or retreat, should an Enemy be discovered. The several divisions of
 the Advanced Guard must keep their support constantly in view, and
 if a wood, village, or ravine appear upon their front or flank, it
 must be carefully examined before the column proceeds: at night, the
 interval between the divisions of an Advance or Rear Guard, should
 be much less than during the day, and a communication should be kept
 up between the divisions, by two or three single men placed at such
 distances that they can see each other.

 17. A great deal of responsibility is left to a non-commissioned
 Officer on outpost duty: he has frequently the command of Patrols,
 Picquets, &c.; it is therefore necessary for him to obtain a thorough
 knowledge of his duty. Unless he has authority to keep up the
 strictest discipline, and to make the men under him pay the greatest
 attention to all Orders, he is not fit for his situation, and he is
 to recollect that the safety and honor of his Regiment may frequently
 depend upon the manner in which he executes his duty.


 18. All Officers in command of Picquets, Patrols, &c., must make
 written reports of any thing which occurs. There are few occasions
 when it is necessary to send a verbal report, and it should, if
 possible, be avoided, as it is very difficult to find Non-commissioned
 Officers, and Soldiers, who will deliver it correctly. A commander
 of a Post or Patrol, must be very cautious not to create unnecessary
 alarms; he must report as fully and as correctly as possible. If
 he reports the movements of the Enemy, he must recollect that
 considerable confusion may arise from saying "to the right," or "to
 the left;" he must say, to _our_ right, or to _our_ left, or to "the
 ENEMY'S right," or to "the ENEMY'S left." If a Non-commissioned
 Officer cannot send a written report, he must explain the message
 thoroughly to the Private, and should the latter deliver it
 incorrectly, he must expect to be punished.




  SECT. I.--Parading the Picquet,                                    11

  II.--Marching for his destination,                                 12

  III.--If no Picquet was on the spot before,                        12

  By Day,                                                            12

  By Night,                                                          14

  IV.--Relieving another Picquet,                                    15

  V.--During his stay on Picquet,                                    17

  By Day,                                                            17

  By Night,                                                          19

  VI.--Placing of Videttes,                                          21

  By Day,                                                            21

  By Night,                                                          22

  VII.--Instructions for the Videttes, and what the Officer
  commanding the Picquet has to Observe on
  their making signals,                                              23

  By Day,                                                            23

  By Night,                                                          24

  VIII.--On the arrival of a Flag of truce,                          25

  IX.--Deserters coming from the Enemy,                              26

  At Daytime,                                                        26

  At Night,                                                          27

  X.--When the Picquet is attacked,                                  27

  By Day,                                                            27

  By Night,                                                          32


  By Day,                                                            33

  By Night,                                                          36


  Its Object and duties,                                             39


  SECT. I.--Side Patrols,                                            41

  II.--Patrolling a wood,                                            45

  III.--Patrols of Discovery,                                        46

  IV.--Secret Patrols,                                               49


  Picquet,                                                           55

  Patrols,                                                           59

  Flag of Truce,                                                     63

  Advanced Guard,                                                    65

  Reports,                                                           67





  One Volume, 12mo, Price 75 cts. by mail, post paid.


 J.W. RANDOLPH--_Dear Sir_:--I have only had time to look over the
 Military work of Capt. _Buckholtz_, because of my pressing duties,
 yet I am satisfied that, if printed, much valuable information to our
 citizen soldiery will be furnished.

 The popular works upon military matters, now before the public, are
 confined to ordinary drills and parades. What is now wanted, is a
 treatise going to show when the various movements of Artillery,
 Cavalry, Infantry and Rifle, as taught in their respective drills,
 should be used in presence of an enemy,--what grounds should be
 selected for battle and encampment--what precautions to be taking when
 advancing or retreating--when to act in column--when in line, how
 to post the different arms to act most favorably--information most
 essential to success, and without which, no matter how personally
 brave troops may be, they are exposed to almost certain disaster in
 presence of an equal number of well drilled and well manoeuvered
 troops, and this information Capt. Buckholtz furnishes in his work.

  I have no hesitation in recommending it.

  Very respectfully yours,

  CHARLES DIMMOCK, Capt., &c., &c.

 Published and for sale by


 Also for sale by Booksellers generally.



  Prepared and arranged by CAPT. L. V. BUCKHOLTZ, with plates,
  16mo. muslin. Price 50 cts. by mail, post paid.


 "This is a mere pocket-book in size, but it is crowded with
 instruction for military men--instruction gathered and condensed
 from the great bulk of works on military science. It encloses grains
 of wheat, threshed, as it were, out of the great stack--is simple,
 convenient and comprehensive. It is from the pen of Captain Buckholtz,
 of this city, a gentleman who has seen service on the continent of
 Europe, and who is an accomplished officer."--_Richmond Dispatch._

 "We are always pleased to meet with a Southern Book, one written,
 printed and bound in our own section by our own people, and we
 therefore greet with pleasure two military works now before us, by
 Captain Buckholtz, and published by J.W. Randolph, Richmond.

 The first is "_On Infantry Camp Duty, Field Fortification, and Coast
 Defense_." Under the head of Infantry Camp Duty we are instructed in
 out guards, patrols, vanguard, side-guard, rear guard, ambuscade,
 surprise, and transports. In Field Fortification we have instructions
 on fortifications, regularly constructed forts, attack and defense,
 fortresses, and a description of the principal parts of fortified

 The chapter on Coast Defense is most excellent.

 As an elementary work on the subjects treated, this book has no
 superior, and we commend it to our military.

 The second book is, "_Tactics for Officers of Infantry, Cavalry,
 and Artillery_." This is a most complete military work, comprising
 instruction in the three departments of the army, and contains much
 information which we have never met with in the popular military works
 of the day."--_Norfolk Southern Argus._

 Published and for sale by


 Also for sale by Booksellers generally.

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