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    What is the difference between Scott's/Gilham's/Hardee's/Hardee's Revised drills? by Tom Ezell

    Below is an article that was written for our AC FAQ, circa 2001. It was lost in the first major crash but I do have access to that data and am unearthing a few gems.
    Last edited by paulcalloway; 01-08-2007 at 04:33 PM. Reason: Adding Author's name
    Paul Calloway
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  2. #2
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    Dec 2003

    Re: What is the difference between Scott's/Gilham's/Hardee's/Hardee's Revised drills? by Tom Ezell

    Below is an article that was written for our AC FAQ, circa 2001. It was lost in the first major crash but I do have access to that data and am unearthing a few gems.

    Be aware, the links contained probably don't work:

    What is the difference between Scott's/Gilham's/Hardee's/Hardee's Revised drills?

    by Tom Ezell for the AC FAQ project

    Major General Patrick Cleburne established formal training for his brigade and regimental commanders where they studied the manuals and “recited” their lessons to the General on a regular, weekly basis to ensure they knew how to put their commands through the specified manuevers, and war-gamed situations so as to have at their fingertips a working, intuitive knowledge of which maneuvers and formations would work best in a given combat situation. These “skull sessions” were then translated to battalion, brigade, and division drills with the full unit, much like a sports team rehearses its plays before the Big Game.

    As reenactors, we rarely do that. Instead, we simply line up and go get ‘em… with the result that our battle demonstrations rarely resemble those of the War, and we make a poor representation of the Old Boys who were so proud of their discipline and drill. I see far too many battalion and brigade commanders on the field who have, by all appearances anyway, never cracked the cover of the School of the Battalion, much less own a copy.

    Sharp, crisp drill and the discipline that derives from it is a key factor in the morale and reputation of any unit, be it a reenactor group or an original company of volunteers. A key concept is to pick a single manual that is appropriate for your unit’s impression, and learn it by heart. There are key, “mission-essential” maneuvers that should be imprinted on your pysche, other tasks make good topics for “hip pocket” training during down time at events or other unit gatherings or demonstrations. Once you have learned one manual by heart, it is only a simple step to accommodate the differences in other drill manuals.

    The way to learn drill is on the same path as Carnegie Hall… ya gotta study, and you have to practice under the close supervision of a skilled instructor. And practice... and practice some more. Period soldiers practiced drill at squad, company, and battalion level from five to eight hours per day until it became imprinted in their minds. So much drill was not only to fill the soldiers’ time during the day (Idle soldiers are the Devil’s playthings), but also to make the maneuvers and the immediate response to commands instinctive, what was routine and instinctive on the drill field will also become instinctive when the bullets start to zip around your ears and musket balls split skulls like so many ripe pumpkins.

    There are a lot of manuals out there... to “expand and revise” on some notes I put together on the Authentic Campaigner forum, here are the basic differences in the various drill manuals, as well as some background on each:

    The Foundation…
    Before the War of 1812, the only official guide for both infantry tactics and military administration in the U.S. Army was Baron von Steuben’s “Blue Book,” composed in 1777. Since von Steuben’s manual was based on the tactics of the Prussian armies of Frederick the Great, by the early 1800s many American officers argued that military developments during the Napoleonic wars made the “Blue Book” obsolete as a tactical handbook. The American military build-up during the War of 1812 renewed interest in this problem.

    In March 1812, the War Department adopted a manual on infantry tactics written by Colonel Alexander Smyth, which condensed and adapted the French regulations of 1791, the basic infantry system of the Napoleonic armies. One year later, Smyth’s work was replaced by another version of the same French system by Colonel William Duane, a Pennsylvania journalist turned soldier. Neither Smyth nor Duane had a high reputation within the army for knowing what they were writing about, and many field commanders resisted using their manuals. Some officers continued to rely on von Steuben’s drill, others dutifully followed either Smyth or Duane, and not a few devised and implemented drill systems of their own.

    Scott’s Infantry Tactics (1835)
    In a late move to end the confusion caused by the proliferation of drill styles, the War Department established a board of experienced field officers in December 1814, headed by Winfield Scott, to produce yet another translation of the French infantry tactics of that time. Completed early in 1815, and revised under Scott’s direction in 1824 and in 1835, Scott’s Infantry Tactics remained the U.S. Army’s fundamental infantry system well into the 1850s, and was the infantry manual in use during the 40-year period following the War of 1812, including the various Indian wars, filibustering expeditions and the War with Mexico.

    Based on the flintlock smoothbored musket, several distinctive features of Scott’s drill include the use of the “lockstep,” and carrying the musket in the left hand, thus a soldier has to “cast about” his weapon in moving it from the left side of the body to the “ready” position before aiming and firing. At the “ready” position, the weapon is held vertically in front of the body, with the lock toward the front, before bringing it to the soldier to the position of “aim.” Loading the flintlock required 12 steps. (Note: Later versions of the Manual of Arms for the Musket (often, incorrectly, called ‘Scott’s’) were written for percussion muskets. These have TWO positions of ‘ready’. The first, executed from “shoulder arms”, is as described above. The second, “Ready from the position of PRIME”, is just like ‘Hardee’s’. Why? Because with the flintlock, arms are “shouldered” every time the weapon is loaded; but with the percussion musket, after the first firing weapons are loaded and immediately brought to the ready.)

    Maneuvers in line of battle were performed at the common time (90 steps per minute) using what was called the “lockstep”, e.g., a flat-footed step where the man in the rear ranks was virtually stepping in the footprints immediately behind his file partner. There was no ready provision for marching by the flanks, instead the battalion shifts to a road marching formation by wheeling into columns of platoons. (The flank march could be executed either from the halt, or while marching. The only difference from later manuals is that there is no “doubling” and “undoubling”; therefore, the men must march in “lockstep” to keep the column from lengthening out.)

    Changing from one formation to another required the line to halt. If Company strengths were greater than 70 men, the companies and battalion could be formed into a line three ranks deep to deliver massed volleys. The three-rank line can not only fire volleys (the front rank kneels at the command “Ready” to avoid having their heads blown off!), but can also “Fire by Two Ranks”. This is the equivalent of the later “Fire by file” except that only the two front ranks participate in the firing. The rear rank re-loads weapons and passes them to the center rank.

    The three volumes of Scott’s, School of the Soldier, School of the Battalion, and Evolutions of the Line, are available on-line at Leonard Jones’ Drill Network site, at http://home.att.net/~Rebmus/SCOTTSTACTICS.htm.

    Hardee’s Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics (1855):
    Advances in infantry tactics and weaponry in the early 1850s led the Army to update its doctrine to take into account the new advantages offered by percussion ignition weapons and the newfangled M1841 and M1855 2-banded rifles. Lt. Col. William J. Hardee wrote a new manual focused primarily on light, rifle-armed infantry that became the Army’s new standard. Hardee’s new manual was a translation and adaptation of the current French infnatry manual, Ordonnance du Roi sur l’Exercice et les Manoeuvres des Bataillons de Chasseurs a Pied. Based on combat exeriences in Algeria in the1830s and 1840s, the French had reorganized their doctrine to place higher emphasis on the tactical concepts of skirmishing - developing the concept of “comrades in battle,” grouping skirmishers in self-sustaining units of four men, equipping the light infantrymen with accurate, long-range rifles, and instituting a program of intensive training in fencing, bayonet drill, gymnastics, and the decisive use of the bayonet which became known as “zouave” drill. Significantly, the old cadence of 90 steps per minute was increased to 110 and 165 steps per minute, allowing formations to maneuver more quickly and effectively. Significantly, Hardee’s Tactics was recognition of the importance of light infantry tactics in an army that did not have specific light or heavy infantry units, while retaining the line infantry evolutions.

    The most important improvements in Hardee’s new manual, which took into account the long-range capabilities of the rifle, were an increased tempo where quick time (110 steps per minute) was now the norm, and double quick time (165 steps per minute) was common, along with simplified instructions to deploy a column into line at the double quick, without first halting. “Doubling” was introduced to allow a line of battle to move quickly and simply by the flank, from two ranks into columns of four. The rifle was now carried in the right hand, somewhat simplifying the manual of arms. (Interestingly enough, while the new Hardee’s tactics became the standard form of infantry evolutions, the Army Regulations still referred to Scott’s old School of the Soldier as the basis for most of the parade and ceremonial evolutions of soldiers under arms.)

    Hardee’s 1855 Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics is the version of “Hardee’s” which is most commonly sold by sutlers as a pocket-sized pamphlet or the full manual. A copy is available on-line at http://www.public.asu.edu/~roblewis/ACW/hardeetoc.htm.

    William Gilham’s Manual for the Instruction of Volunteers and Militia (1860)
    While Hardee’s new 1855 manual became the doctrine of the Regular Army, most of the State volunteers were still equipped with the old .69 caliber muskets. Militia drill often resembled a circus act more than a military maneuver. In the aftermath of mobilizing the Virginia state troops in response to John Brown’s October 1858 raid on Harper’s Ferry and Brown’s execution shortly thereafter, it became clear to Governor Wise of Virginia that the proliferation of assorted drill systems within the Virginia state troops was out of hand. Wise then directed Major William Gilham, the infantry tactics instructor at the Virginia Military Institute, to come up with a standard drill manual for all Virginia troops. The result was the Manual for the Instruction of Volunteers and Militia, which became a popular reference among volunteer officers.

    In setting up his system, Gilham used a mixture of Hardee and Scott’s for his School of the Soldier. Part 1 (soldier without arms) is largely taken from Hardee’s 1855 School of the Soldier, but Scott’s manual of arms is used for the smoothbore musket (Virginia’s militia was mostly equipped with the old .69 caliber smoothbores), with Hardee’s Schools of the Soldier for troops armed with the 2-bander rifles. Gilham used Hardee’s instructions for both the School of the Company and School of the Battalion nearly verbatim.

    Gilham tried to make his manual a comprehensive handbooks for the volunteer officer, incorporating not only infantry drill but also that for cavalry and artillery, as well as the provisions from the Army regulations for parades, reviews, guard mount, picket duty, and general military administration. For a one-source reference to how a military unit functioned in the early 1860s, Gilham’s manual is a good source, and wouldn’t really be matched in this regard until August V. Kautz published his handbook, Customs of Service for Officers of the Army, in 1866.

    Selected parts of Gilham’s School of the Soldier and School of the Company are available on line at http://www.geocities.com/pvtbuck2. Printed versions of the entire book are available from Sh@mrock Hill books (http://bookguy.com) for approximately $50.

    U.S. Infantry Tactics (May 1861)
    It may be useful here to mention the 1861 U.S. Infantry Tactics. After Hardee resigned and joined the Confederate Army early in 1861, it became a bit of an embarrassment for the U.S. Army to have its basic Infantry doctrine written by an enemy officer. Thus came the May 1861 U.S. Infantry Tactics, which is essentially the current edition of Hardee’s 1855 manual, reprinted with a Federal cover and end pages.

    Basically, this manual adopted Hardee’s School of the Company and School of the Battalion, but retained the Manual of Arms for the Musket for the ‘line’ companies, while using Hardee’s Manual of Arms for the Rifle for the (presumably rifle-armed) ‘flank’ companies. This concept is similar to Gilham’s. Unfortunately, this manual has not been reprinted - as far as I know. A copy is available on-line at the “Making of America” library collections at http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/...a;idno=AJS4261. (Several links to the “U.S. Infantry Tactics” will refer to this web site as a copy of Casey’s Tactics, but this predates Casey’s work by more than a year.)

    Hardee’s Rifle and Infantry Tactics (1862)
    In the secession crisis of late 1860 and 1861, Lt. Col. William J. Hardee cast his lot with his native state of Georgia, and resigned from the U.S. Army to enter the Confederate service. In July 1861 he found himself in northeastern Arkansas drilling volunteer soldiers armed almost exclusively with 3-band, .69 caliber smoothbore muskets, many of them flintlocks. Throughout the Confederacy, the fledgling volunteer companies found themselves with 42-inch barrel muskets or 40-inch barrel rifle-muskets, both having socket bayonets. Not only did Hardee’s Tactics produce difficulty for militia units trying to learn the new evolutions, his manual of arms proved awkward, and even sometimes impractical for the longer muskets (e.g., in fixing bayonets and stacking arms).

    As Dom dal Bello described it a few years ago in the Camp Chase Gazette:
    “While in Mobile in the spring of 1861, Hardee entered into partnership with Mobile publisher S.H. Goetzel & Co. to produce an edition of his “Tactics” that included a revised manual of arms for the 3-band weapons commonly found in the Confederate army. Goetzel advertised this edition as “Hardee’s Correct, Complete, Perfect, and Revised and Improved Infantry and Rifle Tactics.” Note that the adjective “Light” has been removed from “Infantry,” making this manual applicable to all infantry, no matter how armed or organized. Hardee himself stated this edition was the “only COMPLETE, CORRECT, AND REVISED EDITION, and THIS EDITION ONLY contains the IMPROVEMENTS AND CHANGES which I have recently made.”

    (It should be noted that the “only Complete, Correct, and Revised” version still uses the old 1855 illustrative plates showing a soldier with a 2-band rifle with sword bayonet.)

    His ‘perfected’ manual was the 7th edition, published by his publishers, S.H. Goetzel & Co. of Mobile, Alabama. This is commonly called the “revised Hardee’s.” Hardee meant this manual to replace his 1855 edition, for use throughout the Confederate army by troops armed with 3-band muskets and rifle-muskets. The changes actually were slight. The same basic shoulder movements were retained, as well as the “light infantry” concepts of skirmishers, double quick time, etc. However, those parts of his 1855 manual of arms that had been written specifically for the 2-bander were adjusted to suit the 3-bander. The main differences lie in the position of the musket during loading, fixing and unfixing the bayonet, and stacking arms. Each of these movements was revised to take into account the greater length of the musket and rifle-musket over the rifle, and the socket bayonet in lieu of the rifle’s sword bayonet. Excellent discussions of the background and specific differences in the 1855 and 1861 version of Hardee’s Infantry Tactics are available on-line at and

    The State of North Carolina adopted this revised 7th edition of Hardee’s Rifle and Infantry Tactics as the official North Carolina Drill Manual and had the official state publisher (John Spelman) print it, along with the 3rd volume of Scott’s Evolutions of the Line (which under Hardee’s system, was the manual for brigades, divisions and army corps) as a official state manual.

    The original text of the 1855 manual had never been copyrighted, however, and eager publishers in the Confederate States printed innumerable copies of their own “wildcat” edition of the 1855 manual. While it is not improbable that many Confederate officers purchased these locally printed editions, living historians who wish to accurately portray Confederate troops of the Army of Tennessee who were trained under the direct supervision of “Old Reliable” himself should use the 7th (revised) Edition, and not the pre-war 1855 version.

    While there are numerous reprinted editions of the 1855 Hardee’s (like the Confederate of old, the re-enacting press has taken generous advantage of the lack of copyright), reprints of the Goetzel edition of Hardee’s Rifle and Infantry Tactics are very limited. In 1997, the 26th North Carolina reenacting group made a limited reprint of the North Carolina Drill Manual from an original copy found in their state archives. This work is itself out of print, and becoming somewhat of a collectible in its own right. In October 2004, Ken Mink produced an authentic copy of the Goetzel edition in two volumes which is still available from a variety of vendors. For a printed reference copy and for living history use, this version is highly recommended.

    Hardee’s 1861 Rifle and Infantry Tactics (Goetzel edition) is available on-line at Leonard Jones’ Drill Network at http://home.att.net/~MrsMajor/1862.htm .

    Silas Casey’s Infantry Tactics (1862)
    Brigadier General Silas Casey served as a division commander in the Army of the Potomac during the 1862 Peninsula campaign. After his division was routed at the battle of Seven Pines, Casey was reassigned to duties more in line with his level of competence, and spent the remainder of the War running camps of instruction for new recruits in the Military District of Washington. In August 1862, his new three-volume version of the U.S. Infantry Tactics was adopted by the U.S. Army as its standard infantry doctrine, replacing the 1861 U.S. Infantry Tactics as well as the earlier editions of Hardee’s. Casey’s Tactics was mostly a revision of Scott’s Infantry Tactics, using the Schools of the Soldier, Company, and Skirmisher from the 1861 U.S. Tactics, but expanding and paying more attention to the instructions in volumes 2 and 3 (regimental, brigade, division, and (for the first time) corps tactics. Casey’s Tactics became the basic doctrine for the U.S. Army from the autumn of 1862 until late 1866, when an updated version by Emory Upton was adopted in its stead.

    The first volume of Casey’s Tactics is posted on-line at http://www.usregulars.com/caseyshome.html. The first volume of Casey’s (Schools of the Soldier, Company, and Skirmisher) is widely available through most sutlers, while C.J. Daley offers an authentic set of the 3-volume handbooks.

    Modern Syntheses:
    For on-line references to most of the drill manuals and many tactical handbooks in use during the Late Unpleasantness, it’s really hard to beat Leonard Jones’ “Drill Network” site, at http://home.att.net/~Cap1MD/Drill.htm. You’ll find nearly everything here except the 1862 Casey’s, and I would not be surprised if ol’ Leonard is quietly transcribing this one, too...

    The one modern synthesis of the 1860’s drill manuals that I would whole-heartedly recommend is Dominic dal Bello’s work, Parade, Inspection, and basic Evolutions of the Infantry Battalion, also referred to as “PIE” by the acronym addicts, currently in its 4th edition. Dal Bello’s handbook is not a complete transcription of any of the period drill manuals; it is a focused handbook that lays out the “mission essential” maneuvers prescribed in the School of the Battalion (scaled to the size of a typical reenacting battalion) as well as selected tasks such as dress parade and inspections that are only covered in the Army Regulations. If you wear or are planning to put on shoulder straps or bars/stars, this little volume is something you should promptly memorize. Used alongside a copy of the appropriate volumes of your selected drill manual, this is an invaluable training aid in learning to form and maneuver the battalion or a company as part of a battalion.

    Mark Tackitt of the 1st Confederate Division staff has compiled a handy little handbook of the school of the soldier and key maneuvers in company and battalion drill, "Guides Posts!", which is available on-line at http://www.zipcon.net/~silas/guidesposts/index.htm, or may be downloaded in Adobe PDF at http://www.zipcon.net/~silas/Drill/mcdbooklet.htm.

    One manual to avoid at any cost is “Heitman’s Simplified Hardee’s”... which is probably the source of half of the “reenactorisms” in drill, the other half arising purely from someone’s imagination. If you have this book, burn it, or donate it to the local paper recycling efforts, and get yourself a real drill manual.

    If you are the sort of person who learns visually, Media Magic produced two videotape sets in 1998, The School of the Soldier, Parts I and II, which provide a fairly good example of soldiers demonstrating both Hardee’s and Casey’s drill. These tapes usually sell for $25 apiece at Fall Creek Suttlery,

    In the end, however, nothing can beat sitting down, reading, re-reading, and digesting the original manuals, and then practicing those lessons time and again.
    Last edited by paulcalloway; 01-08-2007 at 04:32 PM. Reason: Updating thread
    Tom Ezell

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