DUTIES OF THE [INFANTRY] SOLDIER
FROM August V. Kautz'
Customs of Service, Philadelphia 1864.
transcribed into text from an original copy
by Paul Calloway
DUTIES OF THE SOLDIER
47. ONE of the first things a solder has to learn on entering the army, is a proper military deportment towards his superiors in rank: this is nothing more than the military way of performing the courtesies required from a well-bred man in civil life, and a punctual performance of them is as much to his credit as the observance of the ordinary rules of common politeness.>>
48. "Sergeants, with swords drawn, will salute by bringing them to a present; wit muskets by bringing the left hand across the body, so as to strike the musket near the right shoulder. Corporals out of the ranks, and privates not sentries, will carry their muskets at a shoulder as sergeants, and salute in like manner." (Reg. 255)>>
49. "When a soldier without arms, or with sidearms only, meets and officer, he is to raise his hand to the right side of the visor of his camp, palm to the front, elbow raised as high as the shoulder, looking at the same time in a respectful and soldier-like manner at the officer, who will return the compliment thus offered." (Reg. 256.)>>
50. "A non-commissioned officer or soldier being seated, and without particular occupation, will rise on the approach of an officer, and make the customary salutation. If standing, he will turn toward the officer for the same purpose. I f the parties remain in the same place or on the same ground, such compliments need not be repeated." (Reg. 257.)>>
51. The foregoing regulations should be strictly observed by enlisted men; and their faithful performance will add much to the military reputation of a company or regiment.>>
52. The following customs are equally binding, though not provided for in Regulations: ->>
When soldiers are marching in the ranks, they do not salute, unless ordered at the time. If employed at any work, they are not expected to discontinue their employment to salute.>>
53. A soldier or non-commissioned officer, when he addresses an officer, or is spoken to by one, salutes; on receiving the answer or communication from the officer, he again salutes before turning to go away.>>
54. When a soldier enters an officer's quarters armed, he simply makes the required salute, and does not take off his cap; but without arms, or with side-arms only, he takes off his cap and stands in the position of a soldier, and delivers his message or communicates what he came for in as few words as possible and to the point.>>
55. A slovenly attitude, frequent changes of position, or much gesticulation, is exceedingly unmilitary, and looks bad. Say what you have to say in a prompt, courageous manner, without diffidence or hesitation; and, if always respectful, no matter what the subject, it is much more likely to be considered when delivered in a drawling, hesitating, and timid manner.>>
56. A mounted soldier should always dismount if the officer he wishes to address is dismounted. A mounted soldier passing an officer salutes with the hand, except when he has his sabre drawn, and then he salutes with the sabre.>>
57. When a soldier enters an officer's quarters, he remains standing in the position of a soldier until invited to sit down. When soldiers are in a room and an officer enters, they should rise and remain standing until invited to sit down.>>
58. Soldiers should bear in mind that the officer has his duties to perform, and that they are more weighty and important than any soldier can have, and that his leisure time is limited, and they should therefore avoid, as much as possible, troubling him with unimportant matters, or, at least, not be disappointed if they receive short answers.>>
59. In a company of seventy or eighty men, if each one should go only once a day to his captain with any matter, it is easily seen how annoying such a thing would soon become.>>
60. Soldiers should learn, as far as possible, to manage their own affairs; and, whilst their company commander is the legitimate person to apply to for anything needful or when in difficulty, his time should not be trespassed upon with regard to matters they should know themselves.>>
61. The company commander, through the first sergeant, is the proper person to apply to for all indulgences, such as passes, furloughs, &c., and for clothing, rations, pay, and the adjustment of all differences and difficulties in the company.>>
62. An application to any other source will most generally be answered by referring the applicant to his company commander, whose duty is to attend to the wants of his men. Only when the company commander neglects his duty in this respect is a soldier justified in applying to his regimental or post commander.>>
63. The first duties which a newly-enlisted soldier is called upon to perform are to familiarize himself with his camp or garrison duties.>>
64. He is provided with clothing, which he is expected to adapt to the best advantage to improve his military appearance, by the best means in his power. There is usually a tailor or two in the company or among the recruits, who is excused from all duty possible, to fit soldiers' clothing for a moderate compensation.>>
65. Under the instruction of a drill-sergeant, he is taught the first principles in the "Scholl of the Soldier." After a certain progress in the instruction without arms, his arms and accoutrements are issued to him; for these he is held responsible, and, if injured or lost by any fault of his, they are charged to him on his muster-roll, and their value deducted from his pay at the first subsequent payment.>>
66. Should the arms or accoutrements be lost or destroyed or injured in any way not the fault of the soldier, the commanding officer may order a board of survey, who, if the facts authorize it, may relieve the soldier from the payment.>>
67. The soldier's instruction is usually completed at the depot for recruits, before the recruit reaches his company; if not, it is continued when he joins it. After he is fully instructed in the "School of the Soldier," he is ready to be placed in the company ranks.>>
68. This is the usual course pursued with the soldier in the regular army, and, as far as possible, it should be followed with volunteers and militia. But, as they are usually called into service for special purposes and on sudden emergencies, the same thoroughness cannot be attained, and is not expected.>>
69. The duties of the thoroughly-instructed soldier partake of two kinds, depending upon whether he is in a garrison or camp of instruction or other camp, and in the field in front of the enemy in time of war.>>
DUTIES IN CAMP OR GARRISON>>
70. IT is the duty of the soldier, under all circumstances, to be always present with his company for duty, and attend all the standing roll-calls and exercises, unless specially excused by his commanding officer, or he is sick and excused by the surgeon, or is absent on duty.>>
71, The various duties to which a soldier is subject are matters of regular detail, - each soldier taking his regular tour of each as it comes, - and consist, in the main, of the following: ->>
1st. Guards. 2d. Working-parties, or Fatigue. 3d. Daily duty.>>
72. The roster for these various details is kept by the first sergeant, and the longest off are the first to be detailed. The details are usually published to the company at retreat roll-call for the next day.>>
73. At the hour fixed, the detail is paraded for the duty by the first sergeant on the company parade-ground, and marched to the parade-ground or rendezvous for such parties, and received by the sergeant-major or adjutant, who inspects the guard or party, and, after all the details have arrived, sees that they are properly equipped as required, and then turns the detachment over to the officer detailed to take charge of it, who immediately proceeds to march it to the performance of the duty required.>>
74. For guard, the form and ceremony are prescribed in Regulations. (Reg. 375 to 398.) A soldier cannot leave his guard or party, until regularly relieved or marched off, without permission from his superior officer. (Articles of War 44 and 50.)>>
75. ON GUARD. - When the guard has marched on, it is divided into three reliefs, and in each relief the soldier is numbered, and he retains his number and the same relief during his tour, unless specially changed.>>
76. When the soldier is placed upon post, he becomes a sentinel; his duties then are of two distinct characters, -those which belong to all sentinels on all posts, and those peculiar to the post on which he is placed. The former are called general, and the latter special.>>
77. When called upon by the commanding officer, the officer of the day, or some officer or non-commissioned officer of the guard, to give his orders, he does so, in substance, in the following general terms, which he should understand sufficiently well to explain in detail, viz.:->>
78. "I am required to take charge of this post and all public property in view; to salute all officers passing, according to rank; to give the alarm in case of fire, or the approach of an enemy, or any disturbance whatsoever; to report all violations of the Articles of War, Regulations of the Army, or camp or garrison orders; at night, to challenge all persons approaching my post, and to allow no one to pass without countersign until they are examined by an officer or non-commissioned officer of the guard.">>
79. "My special orders are" (here state them as they are given, as when in charge of commissary or quartermaster stores) "to take charge of all these stores, and to allow no one to interfere with or take them away, except by direction of the quartermaster or commissary sergeant, or the quartermaster or commissary himself.">>
80. He should know what is meant by the above, and be able to explain it in detail. Thus, to take charge of his post means to walk diligently the length of his beat, the limits of which are generally indicated to him; to take charge of all public property in view is to prevent, if possible, any damage being done to houses, fences, tents, trees &c. by any unauthorized persons: if he cannot do so without leaving his post, he calls out for the corporal of the guard, and his number, and reports the matter to him.>>
81. To salute all officers, according to rank, who may pass near his post, means to halt and face outwards, and stand at a "carry," until the officer has passed, if the officer is of the rank of captain or below; if above the rank of captain, the sentinel must "present arms." He must, also, "present arms" to the officer of the day and commanding officer, whether above or below the rank of captain.>>
82. This involves a knowledge of the uniform of officers A safe guide is the fact that all officers above the rank of captain in the army have a double row of buttons on their coats, whilst captains and lieutenants have only a single row.*>>
83. Armed bodies of men passing near the sentinel's post, commanding by an officer, are entitled to a "present;" if under a non-commissioned officer, they are saluted with a "carry." To give the alarm is to call out "the guard," to fire off his piece, or to cry "fire.">>
84. To report all violations of camp or garrison orders, or Regulations, or of the Articles of War, is to call the corporal of the guard and report the facts to him. This includes all the irregularities usually prohibited among troops, such as discharging fire-arms, committing nuisance, drunkenness, disorderly conduct, sale of liquor, gambling, improper or excluded characters, and, in general, every thing that is known to be prohibited improper.>>
85. To challenge is to call out, "Who comes there?" Soldiers usually commence challenging after taps, and continue until reveille; although it is sometimes ordered to commence challenging immediately after retreat.>>
86. No. 1 sentinel is always posted at the house, tent, or bivouac where the guard is quartered. His beat is always in front of the guard, and his duties are mostly special. The prisoners are more or less under his charge. He salutes officers passing, as on other posts; but, in addition, he calls, "Turn out the guard," for the officer of the day, commanding officer, and all general officers and all bodies of troops approaching, and announces at the same time who approaches. He reports violations as other sentinels, but does not receive the countersign; but, challenging at night, he commands, "Halt," and calls, "Corporal of the guard," and repeats the answer received. If the officer of the day or any one entitled to the compliment, he commands, "Halt; turn out the guard, officer of the day!">>
87. The other sentinels of the guard are posted according to numbers, and in the order most convenient for going from and returning to the guard. They are generally posted two hours on and four hours off.>>
88. The following Regulations are sufficiently clear and distinct without explanation: ->>
"399. Sentinels will be relieved every two hours, unless the state of the weather, or other causes, should make it necessary or proper that it be done at shorter or longer intervals.
"400. Each relief, before mounting, is inspected by the officers to the officer of the day, and to the commanding officer of the post. To all other officers they will carry arms.
"421. When a sentinel in his sentry-box sees an officer approaching, he will stand at attention, and as the officer passes will salute him, by bringing the left hand briskly to the musket, as high as the right shoulder.
"422. The sentinel at any post of the guard, when he sees any body of troops, or an officer entitled to compliment, approach, must call -'Turn out the guard!" and announce who approaches.
"423. Guards do not turn out as a matter of compliment after sunset; but sentinels will, when officers in uniform approach, pay them proper attention, by facing to the proper front, and standing steady at shouldered arms. This will be observed until the evening is so far advanced that the sentinels begin challenging. >>
"424. After retreat (or the hour appointed by the commanding officer), until broad daylight, a sentinel challenges every person who approaches him, taking, at the same time, the position of arms port. He will suffer no person to come nearer than within reach of his bayonet until the person has given the countersign.
"425. A sentinel, in challenging, will call out - 'Who comes there?' If answered -'Friend, with the countersign,; and he be instructed to pass persons with the countersign he will reply -'Advance, friend, with the countersign!' If answered -'Friends!' he will reply -'Halt, freinds! Advance one with the countersign!" If answered - 'Relief','Patrol', or 'Grand rounds,' he will reply -'Halt! Advance, Sergeant (or Corporal), with the countersign!' and satisfy himself that the party is what it represents itself to be. If he have no authority to pass persons with the countersign, if the wrong countersign be given, or if the persons have not the countersign, he will cause them to stand, and call - 'Corporal of the Guard!'>>
"426. In the daytime, when the sentinel before the guard sees the officer of the day approach, he will call - 'Turn out the guard! Officer of the day.' The guard will be paraded, and salute with presented arms.
"427. When any person approaches a post of the guard at night, the sentinel before the post, after challenging, causes him to halt until examined by a non-commissioned officer of the guard. If it be the officer of the day, or any other officer entitled to inspect the guard and to make the rounds, the non-commissioned officer will call -- 'Turn out the guard!' when the guard will be paraded at shouldered arms, and the officer of the guard, if he thinks necessary, may demand the countersign and parole.
"428. The officer of the day, wishing to make the rounds, will take an escort of a non-commissioned officer and two men. When the rounds are challenged by a sentinel, the sergeant will answer - 'Grand rounds!' and the sentinel will reply -'halt, grand rounds! Advance, sergeant, with the countersign!' Upon which the sergeant advancesand gives the countersign. The sentinel will then cry -'Advance, rounds!' and stand at a shoulder till they have passed.
"429. When the sentinel before the guard challenges, and is answered - 'Grand rounds,' he will reply - 'Halt, grqnd rounds! Turn out the guard; grand rounds!' Upon which the guard will be drawn up at shouldered arms. The officer commanding the guard will then order a sergeant and two men to advance; when within ten paces, the sergeant challenges. The sergeant of the grand rounds answers -'Grand rounds!' The sergeant of the guard replies - 'Advance, sergeant, with the countersign!' The sergeant of the rounds advances alone, gives the countersign, and returns to his round. The sergeant of the guard calls to his officer - 'The countersign is right!' on which the officer of the guard calls - 'Advance, rounds!' the officer of the rounds then advances alone, the guard standing at shouldered arms. The officer of the rounds passes along the front of the guard to the officer, who keeps his post on the right, and gives him the parole. He then examines the guard, orders back his escort, and, taking a new one, proceeds in the same manner to other guards.
"430. All material instructions given to a sentinel on post by persons entitled to make grand rounds, ought to be promptly notified to the commander of the guard.
"431. Any general officer, or the commander of a post or garrison, may visit the guards of his command, and go the grand rounds, and be received in the same manner as prescribed for the officer of the day."
89. Sentinels must be respected under all circumstances, and should not be held responsible for orders they execute in good faith; and no officers have authority to interfere with them, except as provided in par. 413, Army Regulations.>>
90. Sentinels are often, even in times of peace, placed in trying and difficult positions. In times of popular excitement, they may be posted for the protection of persons or property threatened with violence. Under such circumstances, coolness and firmness are the first requisites. No danger or circumstances will justify a sentinel in leaving his post without orders.>>
91. If a sentinel, from any cause, wishes to leave his post, he calls for the corporal of the guard, who will relieve him, if necessary, by another sentinel, or take charge of his post until he can return to it. The following Articles of War show the importance with which a sentinel's post is invested.>>
"Art. 45. Any commissioned officer who shall be found drunk on his guard, party, or other duty, shall be cashiered. Any non-commissioned officer or soldier so offending shall suffer such corporeal punishment as shall be inflicted by the sentence of a court-martial.
"Art. 46. Any sentinel who shall be found sleeping upon his post, or shall leave it before he shall be regularly relieved, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as shall be inflicted by the sentence of a court-martial.
"Art. 50. Any officer or soldier who shall, without urgent necessity, or without the leave of his superior officer, quit his guard, platoon, or division, shall be punished, according to the nature of his offence, by teh sentence of a court-martial."
92. There are instances where sentinels would seem almost justified in leaving their posts, as when their own lives are endangered by remaining, and there is no possibility of their affording the protection and guard for which they were posted, as when a camp or fort is shelled from a distance. Under such circumstances, if not relieved at once, call for the corporal of the guard.>>
93. When sentinels are required to remain at their posts at all hazards, the soldier has no alternative except to die at his post if necessary. No nobler death can fall to the lot of a soldier; whilst no greater ignominy can befall him than to desert his in time of danger, when the lives of others are dependent upon the performance of his duty.>>
94. To be surprised, or to fall asleep, in times of danger, is a crime of the gravest character, and punishable with death. Sometimes, when popular violence is threatened, the courage and firmness of a single sentinel may intimidate and keep back a mob, whilst timidity and doubt might encourage them. True courage will defend the post to the last. No man can desire a nobler death than to die in the cause of right.>>
95. Soldiers should know, however, that they are held responsible for the execution of their orders as well as their obedience; and they should therefore, fully understand them. Ignorant and inexperienced officers sometimes give illegal and unjustifiable orders, for which the officer who gives them, and the soldier who obeys, may both be held responsible, either by military courts, or civil tribunals if there are any.>>
96. Soldiers should bear in mind that no orders will protect them in the commission of personal wrongs. They stand upon the same footing as any officer or citizen in civil life; and if a soldier, in the discharge of his orders, shoots a person, he may be arraigned and tried, and is at the mercy of a military court or jury, even when it is apparent that he will or should be acquitted. These are trying circumstances, and, fortunately, of rare occurrence; but even these should not deter a soldier from doing what he knows and believes to be his duty.>>
97. Again, a sentinel, in the execution of his orders, has frequently the power to subject persons to great inconvenience and humiliation, who, from inadvertence or misapprehension, have come under his control. Whilst he might be sustained in the severity of his course, it is not contemplated that he shall abuse his authority or misuse his temporary power.>>
98. STABLE GUARD. - In cavalry and artillery, this guard is usually placed over the horses at night, to watch them and prevent any of them from making their escape or injuring themselves. It consists usually of a non-commissioned officer, and three men for each company or battery, and forms a separate detail. (Reg. 562.)>>
99. They may be put on with or without arms; and, although the same precision and attention as on camp guard are not required, they are equally responsible with other guards with regard to sleeping on post, or leaving or neglecting their duty in any way.>>
100. Neatness and correct soldierly bearing are enjoined on all sentinels. Precision in the compliments to officers, and in marching on and off duty, reflects credit upon the soldier, and secures to him the consideration and attention of his superiors.>>
101. Orderlies and color-sentinels are usually selected from the neatest, cleanest, and most soldierly-looking members of the guard. These duties are of a lighter and more complimentary character, and are the first steps to promotion.>>
102. FATIGUE. - This term is applied to all duties not strictly military, such as laboring in the trenches, making roads, foraging, improving the grounds about a post or camp, &c., and is usually performed without arms, except when, in the vicinity of the enemy, it is necessary to guard against attack.>>
103. Fatigue-parties are always under the direction of an officer or non-commissioned officer, who is held responsible for the conduct of the men.>>
104. No soldier can leave his fatigue or working party, without permission from his superior officer, until he is regularly relieved.>>
105. Usually, in established camps and garrisons, the guard which marches off in the morning goes on fatigue the next morning, called "general police," for the purpose of sweeping and cleaning the common parade-ground, the vicinity of officers' quarters, and other places not immediately occupied by companies or detachments.>>
106. This detail, being consecutive with the guard, requires no other notification except the order that such will be the practice. Absentees from sickness and other causes are, therefore, not replaced, but must be accounted for.>>
107. In cases of more than ordinary fatigue or exposure, it is the custom to make an issue of whiskey to the men on fatigue. To obtain this issue the sergeant or corporal of police makes out a return, called an "extra return," giving the number of men and number of gills, one gill being allowed to each man. This return is signed by the officer in charge of the party; and it is then submitted to the commanding officer of the regiment, post or detachment, who attaches his order for the issue, and the whiskey is then drawn from the commissary and issued to the men by the sergeant.>>
108. DAILY DUTY. - A soldier is on daily duty when he is put upon some continuous duty that excuses him from the ordinary company duty but does not entitle him to additional pay from the government, - such as company cooks, tailors, clerks, standing orderlies, &c.>>
109. The company cook are one or more men in each company detailed to do the cooking for the entire company. This is the case usually in companies where it is not the custom to distribute the provisions to the men; for in this case the messes furnish their own cooks, and they are not excused from any duty except what is absolutely necessary and which their messmates can do for them.>>
110. The law authorizes the detailing of one cook to thirty men, or less; two cooks if there are more than thirty men in the company. It also allows to each cook two assistant cooks (colored), who are enlisted for the purpose, and are allowed ten dollars per month. (See par. 269.)>>
111. The cooks are under the direction of the first sergeant or commissary-sergeant, who superintends the issue of provisions and directs the cooking for each day. Company cooks for the whole company are generally detailed in turn, and for periods of a week or ten days.>>
112. Company tailors. - One or two tailors are usually detailed on daily duty in each company to fit and repair clothing for the men of the company. They are generally excused from such duties as materially interfere with their work, and receive such compensation from the men as will remunerate them for the materials they require and the extra work they may perform. This is usually done under the direction of the commanding officer of the company, under such regulations as he may establish.>>
113. Company clerks. - These are experienced penmen selected from the companies to assist the first sergeants in making out their returns, reports, muster-rolls, copying orders, &c. One to each company is generally sufficient to do all the writing, who are usually excused from such duties as the necessities of the service will justify.>>
114. Orderlies are soldiers selected on account of their intelligence, experience, and soldierly bearing, to attend on generals, commanding officers, officers of the day, and staff officers, to carry orders, messages, &c. They may be taken from the guard daily, or put on permanently while the duty lasts: in the latter case they are reported on daily duty and are excused from all other duty that would interfere with their duty as orderlies.>>
115. EXTRA DUTY.- Where soldiers are detailed on some continuous duty or labor for ten days or longer, in the quartermaster, commissary, or some other department, where they are entitled to additional pay, it is called "extra duty." They are most generally employed in the quartermaster's department as mechanics, laborers, teamsters, &c., and are under the orders of, and paid by, the department in which they are employed.>>
116. They are generally excused from all military duty, except Sunday inspections, reviews, and musters, but may be required to attend drills when their instruction is not complete. Extra duty pay has been discontinued by the Act of March 3, 1863, sec. 35, but is still allowed in some cases, according to a decision of the Third Auditor.>>
117. DETACHED SERVICE. - When soldiers are sent away from their companies, under orders to do duty elsewhere, from the post, camp, or garrison, they are on "detached service," and are so accounted for. The first for guard are detailed for detached service, and, if employed otherwise at the time, are relieved, if possible, in time to reach the camp or post to march with the detachment. This is intended only for short and frequent detachments. In cases when the detachment is more or less permanent, it is not the custom to follow these rules, but to be guided, in making the details, by the nature of the service.>>
118. Where there is a possibility that the soldier may be detached for a long period, he should be accompanies by his descriptive roll and clothing account, in order that hey may draw his pay, and such clothing as hey may need during his absence. This matter is sometimes overlooked by the officers, and should be remember by the soldier, as he is most affected by the neglect.>>
DUTIES IN THE FIELD>>
119. A soldier's duties in the field are nothing more than the practical application of the duties he has learned in camp or garrison to the purposes of war. Troops are said to be "in the field" when they are operating against the enemy, and are occupying temporarily the country, towns, cities, or intrenchments in the vicinity of the foe, or permanently encamped in their neighborhood. They are also said to be in the field when on the march through the country in times of peace.>>
120. In the field there are, in addition to camp-guards and police-guards, advanced guards, out-posts, pickets, and reconnoissances. On these guards the soldier's duty has not so much detail about it: much of the ceremony of camp-guard is omitted and modified to suit the circumstances; every thing is made subservient to the all-important end, -watching the enemy. His presence of mind, good judgement, and courage on these duties are put to the greatest test.>>
121. ADVANCED GUARDS are thrown out to the front in the direction in which the enemy is expected, to guard against attack or surprise. They may be composted of details united from the brigades, forming a "division-guard," and covering the front of the division, uniting with the guards of the divisions on the right and left; or "brigade-guards," composed of details from the different regiments of the brigade, and covering its front in the same manner.>>
122. The senior colonel or other officer of a "division-guard" is the "general officer or senior captain is usually detailed as "field officer of the day." These guards are usually thrown some distance in advance, sometimes several miles, and always far enough to give the troops time to form and prepare for battle before the enemy can come upon them. If the guards are thrown out too far to be relieved daily, they go on for several days at a time.>>
123. OUTPOSTS are isolated advanced guards of greater or less strength. When composed of small detachments, they are called "picket-guards.">>
124. RECONNOISSANCES are made by troops against the enemy for the purpose of finding out his position and strength. The term generally implies a strong party. When the force is small, it is more generally called "reconnoitring" or "scouting.">>
125. The special duty of the soldier in advanced guards, outposts, pickets, and reconnoissances, is that of "picket," "skirmisher," and "flanker.">>
126. PICKET. - This term is used differently, and has different meanings in various works. It is used in our army to designate the advanced sentinels of an "advanced guard." Courage and common sense are the principal requisites for a picket.>>
127. The instructions which he receives are generally plain and easily understood: the only difficulty is to remember them at the critical moment. Pickets are either infantry or cavalry, or both together. The term "vedette" is frequently applied to cavalry pickets. The general rules for picket should be well understood by ever soldier.>>
128. "The duties of the pickets are to keep a vigilant watch over the country in front, and over the movements of the enemy, if in sight, to prevent all unauthorized persons from passing in or out of the lines, and to arrest all suspicious individuals. In case of an attack, they will act as a line of skirmishers, and hold their ground to the last moment. If forced to retire, they will slowly close their intervals and fall back upon their supports." (General Order No. 69, Head-Quarters Army of Potomac, 1862.) The following Regulations are important: - >>
"620. The sentinels and vedettes are placed on points from which they can see farthest, taking care not to break their connection with each other or with their posts. They are concealed from the enemy as much as possible by walls, or trees, or elevated ground. It is generally even of more advantage not to be seen than to see far. They should not be placed near covers, where the enemy may capture them.
"621. A sentinel should always be ready to fire; vedettees carry their pistols or carbines in their hands. A sentinel must be sure of the presence of an enemy before he fires; once satisfied of that, he must fire, though all defence on his part be useless, as the safety of the post may depend on it. Sentinels fire on all persons deserting to the enemy.
" 622. If the post must be where a sentinel on it cannot communicate with the guard, a corporal and three men are detached for it, or the sentinels are doubled, that one may communicate with the guard. During the day the communication may be made by signals, such as raising a cap or handkerchief. At night sentinels are placed on low ground, the better to see objects against the sky.
"624. On the approach of any one at night, the sentinel orders - 'Halt!' If the order is not obeyed after once repeated, he fires. If obeyed, he calls - 'Who goes there?' If answered - 'Rounds' or 'Patrol,’ he says - 'Stand: Advance one with the countersign.' If more than one advance at the same time, or the person who advances fails to give the countersign or signal agreed on, the sentinel fires, and falls back on his guard. The sentinel over the arms, as soon as his hail is answered, turns out the guard, and the corporal goes to reconnoitre. When it is desirable to hide the position of the sentinel from the enemy, the hail is replaced by signals; the sentinel gives the signal, and those approaching the counter-signal.
"639. Bearers of flags are not permitted to pass the outer chain of sentinels; their faces are turned from the post or army; if necessary, their eyes are bandaged; a non-commissioned officer stays with them to revent indiscretion of sentinels.
"640. The commandant of grand guard receipts for dispatches, and sends them to the field officer of the day or general of brigade, and dismissed the bearer; but if he has discovered what ought to be concealed from the enemy, he is detained as long as necessary.
"641. Deserters are disarmed at the advanced posts, and sent to the commander of the grand guard, who gets from them all the information he can concerning his post. If many come at night, they are received cautiously, a few at a time. They are sent in the morning to the field officer of the day, or to the nearest post or camp, to be conducted to the general of the brigade. All suspected persons are searched by the commanders of the posts."
129. Pickets should look out particularly for deserters; and parties representing themselves as such should be require to lay down their arms before they approach. A flag of truce should also be received with caution: it is usually a white flag, borne by an officer and accompanied by an escort. The flag is sometimes, particularly in the night, preceded by a trumpeter blowing parley.>>
130. The escort is halted at a distance, and no one is permitted to advance except the bearer of the flag. If the bearer has only a letter to deliver, it is taken and receipted for, and the bearer and his escort turned back to their own lines. If it is necessary to take the bearer to the commanding officer, his eyes are bandaged, and he is escorted thither.>>
131. Great precaution must be exercised with regard to parties passing out, to see that they are authorized to go and that they are not deserters. Soldiers frequently, from idle curiosity, or a spirit of adventure, or a desire of plunder, may take advantage of a friend or messmate being on post, and seek the indulgence of passing beyond the lines. Sentinels and soldiers should know that this is exceedingly irregular, and may be fraught with terrible consequences. No personal considerations should influence a soldier to so serious a neglect of his duty.>>
132. All sentinels of advanced guards should received the countersign before sunset and, whether this is neglected, or not, they should commence challenging immediately after.>>
Compliments are dispensed with on picket-duty.>>
133. The practice of pickets firing upon those of the enemy is barbarous; and retaliation is scarcely a sufficient excuse for doing it. Pickets should not fire unless an advance is intended, or in the cases heretofore indicated.>>
134. Firing on pickets has a tendency to produce false alarms, or its habitual practice may create indifference, and thus an actual attack pass unobserved until a decided advantage is gained by the enemy.>>
135. The habit of pickets communicating with those of the enemy is irregular, and should not be indulged in, unless sometimes by the officers for some specific object.>>
136. SKIRMISHERS are soldiers thrown forward and deployed at intervals of ten to twenty paces, according to the point they are to cover; if a column on the march, or a line of battle advancing to attack, to conceal the movements or to give timely notice of the enemy. They may be either infantry or cavalry.>>
137. On the march, the column usually proceeds on the road, preceded by and advanced guard proportioned to the strength of the column, - usually about one-tenth of the whole force. From this the skirmishers are taken, one-third being retained for a reserve; the remainder are deployed as skirmishers on the right and left of the road, and from one hundred and fifty to three hundred yards in advance of the reserve, which itself is about four hundred yards in advance of the head of the column.>>
138. A non-commissioned officer, with two or three men, march on the road, and the skirmishers on the right and left of the road, regulate their march on them. In this manner the march is conducted under the direction of the commanding officer of the advance, who has his instructions from the commander of the column.>>
139. The skirmishers should endeavor not to advance beyond or fall in rear of the line, should keep their proper intervals, and be guided by the centre of the line.>>
140. Skirmishers should use their eyes and ears. They are the feelers with which the army searches its way into the enemy's country; and every suspicious or important circumstance should be reported at once to their immediate superiors. No one should be allowed to escape from their approach who might give information to the enemy; and all suspicious characters should be arrested and sent to the rear.>>
141. When skirmishers precede a line of battle preliminary to an attack, they advance and engage the enemy, unless otherwise instructed; and when the line arrives within range of the enemy, they are usually recalled, and form in the rear of the command to which they belong.>>
142. FLANKERS are skirmishers placed on the flanks of an advancing column, three or four hundred yards distant, extending from the extremities of the line of skirmishers to the rear of the column, and parallel to it. They march in file, with intervals of ten to twenty paces.>>
143. Their duty is to guard against an attack from the flank, and to give notice of the approach of an enemy in that direction. Their duties are entirely similar to those of skirmishers; and when forced to retire, they fall back fighting, and form on their reserves or supports that are marching inside of them in the direction of the column.>>
THE INFANTRY SOLDIER.>>
144. In the infantry is the main strength of an army. Cavalry and artillery are the auxiliaries. The final results of a war or campaign are achieved by this arm of the service; and the foot-soldier should bear in mind the importance of his position, and seek to achieve the highest perfection of his arm. No cavalry or artillery can stand against perfect infantry properly handled.>>
145. The sharpshooters, deployed as skirmishers, and supported by the main column of infantry, out of range, will pick off the cannoneers, and silence in a short time a battery of artillery; and the best cavalry will disperse before a firm line of infantry that reserves its fire until the enemy is within short range, and shows a determination to receive them on the bayonets of their empty muskets.>>
146. The infantry soldier should bear in mind that, with whatever exultation the cavalry or artillery pass him in advancing upon the enemy, the grand result cannot be achieved without him, and that the presence of the musket and its proximity is what enables them to precede him in the fight.>>
147. A well-instructed and disciplined infantryman is always prepared for duty. His hours of leisure are devoted to preparation. His clothing is prepared and cleaned, his knapsack always packed, his arms and accoutrements in order, and his ammunition secure.>>
148. The supply of necessary articles in the field should be limited to the smallest possible amount; and industry will make up for many a deficient article. Messes unite, and each carries an article that can be used in common.>>
149. By repeated washings and cleanings, one suit of clothes can be made to look as well as if a change were on hand. For fatigue-duties, then cotton overalls and blouse worn over the only suit will protect it and make it last much longer, and are much lighter than an extra suit.>>
150. The shoes are the most important item of clothing to the foot-soldier. The army bootee is much the best. The soles should be broad, the heels low and broad. Woollen socks should be worn. The feet should be bathed frequently in cold water. Boots are universally impracticable for marching. If the ankles require support, the French gaiter can be worn: they are also a very good protection from mud and dust, and protect the trousers.>>
151. An hour's drill, morning and afternoon, when not marching, is a necessary exercise, no matter what may be the proficiency of the regiment or company. It keeps the body in condition for service at any moment, and is conducive to health.>>
152. A good soldier makes his company and regiment his home, and never absents himself without proper permission, and then returns punctually at the expiration of his pass. The habit of always being absent is exceedingly pernicious; it cultivates tastes and habits that are detrimental to the soldier's best interests, and he is almost sure to be absent when most wanted, and loses, perhaps, a favorable moment to do himself a credit.>>
153. He should learn to wait: a soldier's life is made up in waiting for the critical moments. The times for distinction are few, and quickly pass; and, once gone, he has a long time to wait for the next opportunity. Constant training and faithful watching are necessary, so that he may see the proper moment and be in the best possible condition to perform his duty.>>
154. A soldier is dependent on his officers for pay, clothing, subsistence, and medical attendance; but his health, success, and promotion depend, in the main, upon himself. Within certain limits, he must look out for himself.>>
155. He must learn to make the most of his pay and allowances. His rations are abundant for his subsistence, and, if not always palatable, a little ingenuity in cooking, a little management in exchanging for the products of the country, will make his rations do him; whilst spending his pay for things to eat, and disregarding his rations, is a want of frugality that should be corrected.>>
156. His clothing is also sufficient; and many soldiers save from sixty to one hundred dollars of their clothing allowance, which is paid to them in money at the expiration of enlistment. A little industry in mending and cleaning his clothes will well reward his labors in the savings of the frugal soldier. To this end, he should be provided with a little wallet, containing an assortment of thread, needles, buttons, scissors &c., and should economize and use up faithfully his allowance of soap.>>
157. He can readily save all his pay, and make his spending-money by labor during leisure hours in many ways which are afforded him in the vicinity of a camp or garrison. The effort, however, to lay up money should not be carried to an extent that would interfere with his duties as a soldier.>>
313. THE appointment of corporal is the first step to promotion in the army, and may lead to the highest distinction in military service. The corporal is usually selected from the most intelligent privates, who have been longest in the service, and who are noted for their military appearance and attention to duty.>>
314. The sergeants are appointed from the corporals; and they should therefore look upon their position as one of probation, and should seek to perform well their part, in order that they may be advanced.>>
315. The pay of a corporal of artillery and infantry is the same as that of a private, thirteen dollars per month, owing to the fact that when the pay of privates was increased that of non-commissioned officers was not changed. In the cavalry their pay is fourteen dollars per month; in the engineers and ordnance, twenty dollars. They get one ration per day, except the corporal of ordnance, who receives a ration and a half. They get a small increase on the allowance of clothing to a private.>>
316. The duties of a corporal are simple, and depend for their successful performance mainly upon his capacity to control and direct soldiers in the performance of their duty. They take charge of the smaller details for fatigue and police duty in camp and garrison duty: their most important duty is that of Corporal of the Guard. They frequently succeed to the responsibilities of sergeant in his absence, and should therefore be familiar with his duties.>>
317. Corporals should bear in mind that they are entitled to implicit obedience from the men placed under them; and, whilst they are not usually authorized to confine soldiers on their own judgement, they should always be sustained by their superiors in the performance of their duties, and in the execution of their office.>>
318. When a soldier neglects his duty towards a corporal, the corporal should at once report the fact to the first sergeant, whose duty it is either to decide in the matter, or to report it to his company commander.>>
319. Non-commissioned officers have it in their power at times to favor certain soldiers, that is, to relieve them from the most disagreeable part of the duty before them, and give it to others. Such distinctions soon destroy their influence over men, and give rise to trouble and difficulty.>>
320. They should seek to be just towards the men, treat all alike, and when a hardship falls upon an individual he should have no grounds for thinking he has been especially selected.>>
321. The corporal should insist upon obedience, without being arbitrary, and should maintain his position as a non-commissioned officer firmly, but without arrogance. When he first receives his appointment, his calibre meets with the severest tests. Soldiers, for a time, will be apt to try the material he is made of, which they do in many ways, and by progressive steps, and, if not checked, will increase to a complete disregard, and terminate in an entire inefficiency of the corporal.>>
322. He should take the first opportunity, and make it the decisive issue that will settle once and for all that he intends to maintain his position with the jealousy of the highest grade.>>
323. Corporals should be living examples for the soldiers in the neatness and cleanliness of their clothing, arms, and accoutrements. They should be the first to tall into ranks at roll-calls, and should have their tents or bunks, wherever their quarters, always systematically in order.>>
324. They should be familiar with the "School of the Soldier," and capable of instructing the recruits in the elementary principals of tactics.>>
325. In the field, where it is sometimes difficult to cook for the entire company, it is divided into messes and the non-commissioned officers placed in charge of the different messes pro rata. They attend to drawing provisions for their mess, and are held responsible for the conduct of the messmates in the keeping of their tents and the care of the camp and garrison equipage in their charge.>>
326. CORPORAL OF THE GUARD. - This is the most important duty that falls to the corporal. He should be perfectly familiar with the duties of the sentinel, and able to instruct the members of the guard in their duties.>>
327. Ordinarily, a guard consists of a lieutenant and sergeant of the guard, and three corporals, one to each relief. As soon as the guard has marched on, it is divided into three reliefs. The senior corporal is assigned to the first relief, the next to the second, and the third corporal to the last relief.>>
328. As soon as his relief has been assigned to him, the corporal makes a list of the names and numbers, beginning on the right, the odd numbers being in the front rank, and the even numbers in the rear rank. The list is handed to the sergeant of the guard. The corporal should keep a copy of it also.>>
* *NOTE. - Officers of the Navy at a short distance can not be recognized by this means, as they all have double rows of buttons.
Source: DUTIES OF THE [INFANTRY] SOLDIER, August V. Kautz', Customs of Service, Philadelphia 1864.