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Howe's Light Infantry
Exercise, 1774

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Disclipline Established by Major General Howe
for
Light Infantry in Battalion

Sarum, Septr 1774

Words of Command for Light Infantry Companys in Battalion, Sarum September ‘74.

WORDS OF COMMAND

EXPLANATION

Battn form at order

........... at open order

............at extended order

The files to be at two feet Interval

...................... at four feet Interval

.......................at ten feet Interval

To the Rt or to the Lt
form the line of “March,”
“March, March,”
or “Advance”

The whole faces as directed and the Men of the Rear ranks step to the Rear of their File leaders upon the word “March & c.” and then the Column follows their leading officer as directed.

NB: the Command “March” signifies slow time, “March, March” quick time, and “Advance” run.

To the Front
To the Right Form
To the Left

If to the front when marching to the Right, the leading Company forms to the left of the leading file; the other Companys when the ground will admit (Advance) in File obliquely to the Left and form in their proper order as soon as the leading files halt in their places in Battn.

If to the Right when marching to the Right the Files run up and face to the Right, the order of Files and Company will then be reversed, what was before the left Company will become the Right.

If to the left when marching by the Right the Files run up and Face to the Left.

Or Forward to the Right Form. When marching by the Right; the leading File turns to the Right; the other Files form upon the Left of the first file, and so in successive order, until the whole is formed.
Or Forward to the Left Form. When marching by the Right, the leading file turns to the Left, the other files form upon the Right, in this order the Front and Comys will be reversed as before.
Or (when marching by the Rt) oblique to the Right, and to the Front form.

The first or leading file halts, the other files move in the shortest line and forms upon its Right, the other Companys march in file obliquely to the Right and form in the same order, which reverses the order of files and Compys.

The same directions Vice Versa, marching from the Left.

From the Rt or Lt of Companys, Divisns, or Platoons, March &c. The Companys face and lead to the front in file, as directed, in parallel directions the leading file does not face.
To the Front, Right, or Left Form

If to the Right when marching by the Right, the Captain of the Right Company orders his Company to form to the Right, the other Compys take the shortest line, and form on the Right of the Company as before mentioned.

The same directions Vice Versa, if ordered to form to the Left, when marching by the Left, and the order of Files and Companys will be reversed.

Or Forward to the Right, or to the Left Form. When marching by the Right, if ordered forward to the Right form, the Companys then form in their proper order, and so Vice Versa if marching by the Left.
From the Right or Left of Compys to the Center form the line of March. The Center Company leads, followed by the other Companys alternately, the Left Company closing the Line.
Of Battn to the Center form the line of March. The Center files of the Bn stands fast, the Companys upon the Right face to the Left, and those upon the Lt to the Rt, the rear rank men stepping into their places.
March, &c. The Column proceeds.
To the Rt & Lt form The files move briskly up and face outwards.
Resume the Line of March. The Wings Face and move as before.
To the Rear Form. The two rear Companys wheel to the Right and Left and form to the Rear, the Companys of the Right Wing march in file from their Right flanks, taking the nearest line to form to the Left of the Rear Companys of that Wing, the Companys of the Left Wing march from their Left Flanks and form to the Right of the Rear Companys of that Wing; the Front Rank men in the Front.
Resume of the Line of March. The Companys of the Right Wing (when faced to the rear) turn to their Right from their Right Flanks, and those of the Left Wing turn to the Left, from their Left Flanks, the two Flank Companys meeting in the Rear of the Center, the other Companys taking the nearest line to form the order of march as directed the Front Rank men lead.
Or to the Rear form the Line of March. The Wings face and the Front Rank men lead at the word “March &c.”
To the Front, Right or Left Form. If to the Right, the Right Wing forms as before, the Companys of the left taking the shortest line in File to form in their proper order - The Right Wing doing the same if ordered to form to the Left, and the whole follows the same direction, when ordered to form to the Front.
From the Center of Companies to the Center form the line of March, March, March At the word “March, March” the Companies face to their own Centers, the two Center files of each Company excepted, the Rear Rank men stepping to the Rear of their File leaders, the Center Company leads the line followed by the other Companys alternately from the Right to Left, the Left Company of the Battn closing the line of March.
To the Rear form. The Rear Company wheels by Files to the left about and forms to the Rear, the Companys of the Left Wing wheel by files to the Left about, and form to the Right of the first formed Company - The Companys of the Right Wing wheel by files to the Right about, and form to the Left of the first formed Company.
Resume the Line of March. The Companies form into Columns, from their Centers, the Left Company which is the leading Company, wheels to the Right about, the other Companys of the Left Wing doing the same, and those of the Right Wing wheel to the Left about and take up the order of March.
To the front or to the Front Company; and to the Right or to the Left form. If to the Front, the leading Company forms; the next obliquing and dressing to it in Battalion; if to the Right the front Company forms as ordered, the Right Wing then forms to it, on its Right, the Left Wing forms on its Left- If to the Left, the Wings form on its Right and Left as before.
Or Form two Fronts. The Companies of the Right Wing form to the Right, dressing to the Right of the Front or leading Company - The Companies of the Left Wing form to the Left, the most advanced Company covering the Rear of that which was the leading Company in Line of March, the other Companys of the Left Wing, dress to the Left of the first formed Company of that Wing.
Resume the line of March. As before explained.
To the Rt or to the Lt and to the Front form. If to the Right and to the Front, the Right Wing form to the Right, and the Left to the Front. Vice Versa if to the Left and to the Front form.
Resume the Line of March. As before explained.
Or Form Battalion. The Flank Wing dresses by the Front Wing, already formed.
From the Center of Compys to the Rt of to the Lt form the Line of March. The Companies (the two Center Files excepted) face to their own Centers, the Right of Left Company leads as directed followed in line by the other Companies.
To the Front, Right or Left Form. As before explained.
Or Forward to the Rt or to the Lt form. Do. [ditto]
Or Oblique to the Right and to the Front Form. As before explained if marching to the Rt.
Or Oblique to the Left and to the Front form. If Marching by the Left
From the Center of Companies March &c. The Companies leads out from their Centers to the Front, and March in parallel directions.
To the Front, Right or Left Form. As before explained.
Or Forward to the Rt or to the Lt Form. Do.
Battn upon the Center to the Right or to the Left change the Front. The Wings as directed goes to the Right about at the word “March,” and the other Wing wheels by Files, and the Wing that faced about does the same to the Rear, these Files turning to their proper Front, as soon as they get to their ground.
Battn to the advanced Compy or Companies Form, or to the advanced File Form. The Companies that are to fall back go to the Right about, and the Files front as soon as they are in their places, the Companies receive the necessary words of Command from their respective Commanding Officers.
Battn to the Rt about Change the Front The front Rank men goes to the Rt about, the Rear Rank men moving round to cover their File Leaders - The Companies are then reversed - Repeated brings the Battn to the former Front.
From the Center of Compys to the Rt or to the Lt oblique. Each Company marches from its Center, in an oblique direction as ordered.
Forward to the Front Form. They march straight to the Front as before explained.
By Companies to the Center, form a Column - Or by Divns, or by Platoons to the Center, form a Column.

The two Center Companies, Divisions or Platoons march forward, those of the Right Wing wheels half to the Left, and those of the Left Wing, a half wheel to the Right, and Cover to the Rear of the two in Front.

To form Battalion the Divisions March obliquely to the Right and Left.

NB: the leading Company, File or Files of a Column of March is the Front; and when the Column is ordered to form to the Front, the whole dresses to the leading point in whatever direction it may be, at the time it halts.

To the Center of Compys form Column. The Companies form into Columns to the Rear of their two Center files.
To the Right or to the Left “March, “March” The Companies move as hereafter directed.
Advance To turn the Enemys Flank.
Or from the Center of Companys to the Rt and Lt form Columns, Advance. To turn both Flanks, the Companys advance from their Center. If to the Right, the Right Company marches obliquely to the right, the next Company marching with its front in a parallel Line, about four paces to the Right of the Rear of the leading Company; the other Compys following in a similar and parallel direction.
To the Left Form.

The leading Company turns its Front to the Left and forms, the other Companys do the same, and form on the Left of the leading Compy.

Similar directions Vice Versa in advancing by the Left.

Advancing to the Right and Left.

The Companies upon the Right of the Center, move to the Right as abovementioned and those of the Left, march to the Left.

When marching from the Center of Battalion, to form two fronts at Right Angles.

To the Right and to the front Form, to the Left and to the Front Form. If to the Right and to the Front form, the Right Wing forms to the Right and the Left to the Front. - If to the Left and to the Front, the Left Wing forms to the Left, and the Right to the Front.
Battn Resume the Line of March The Wings face and the Battalion proceed from the Center by Files.

Retreating Movements

From the Right or from the Left of Compys Retreat, March &c. At the word “March &c.” the Companies face as directed, the Front Rank men stepping immediately behind their respective Rear Rank Men and March to the Rear.

Front

......Form.

The whole comes to the Right about.

.......As before explained.

To the Center of Companies form Columns. The Companies form into Columns, to the Rear of the two Center Files.
To the Right about Face, March, March The whole faces to the Rear.

Front

....Form.

As before explained.

Many thanks to Gavin Watt of the KRRNY for supplying this information.
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