Ralph Middleton Parker.

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Pack Trains carrying about 250 lbs. per animal will
march 20 to 25 miles per day, on ordinary roads, but in
rough country, not more than 10 to 15 miles.

Auto Trucks or wagons drawn by tractors vary so in
their marching ability that no fair average has been decided
upon. ,

Halts — Commands are halted occasionally to rest. The
first halt is made after 45 minutes of marching, and is
for about 15 minutes. This halt should not be made in the
vicinity of dwellings, as it is for sanitary purposes, and
for adjusting clothing and equipment. After the first halt,
foot troops halt to rest about 10 .minutes in every hour.
The men fall out, but remain in the immediate vicinity of
their places in column after the first halt.

Cavalry halts only about five minutes per hour, to examine
horses' feet, adjust equipment, etc.

Field Artillery will halt for 'about 5 to 10 minutes per
hour, to inspect and made adjustments.

It is desirable to finish the march as soon as practicable.
Marches of less than 15 miles for Infantry and 25 miles for
Cavalry will not be divided by long halts, On larger marches,
which will extend into the afternoon, it is well to rest and
feed during the noon hour. Such a halt should be made at
a place selected with a view of obtaining good ground, shade,
shelter and water. During long rests arms are stacked and
equipment removed. Mounted Troops dismount and loosen
cinches.

In the tropics, in order to avoid the heat of the day,
marches may be commenced earlier in the morning, and a
long rest taken during the hotter hours. The anarch may be
resumed later in the afternoon. It is not very satisfactory,
however, to arrive at a strange place late in the day. Troops
should not be halted near towns, except when necessary to
get water and supplies; in which case the men will remain
in column.

^ In small commands units halt and start at command or
signal. In large commands, the commanders of units halt
and start at the time indicated in orders. All unit com-
manders will have their watches set with that of the com-
mander.

Crossing Bridges and Ferries — ^When there is cause for
delay, the troops should be informed as to the probable length
of the delay, in order that they may take advantage of the
time to rest.



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128 Tli« Colnnin

When crossing difficult places, every effort should be made
to prevent checking the march of the troops in the rear.
Units may be required to overlap and seek other passages.
When a company is forced to slacken its pace at a crossing,
the head of the company should slacken its pace till the rear
is past the obstacle. The company resumes its place in the
column by quickening its pace.

Fords, bogs, bridges, etc., should be carefully examined
before crossing, and when necessary, an officer is detailed to
superintend the crossing; whose instructions must be com-
plied with.

When temporary bridges are used there will be a bridge
guard, under an engineer officer, for its care. His orders
relative to the bridge will be considered as those of the com-
mander.

In quicksands, swamps, treacherous fords, etc., the way
will be carefully marked \^ith stakes in the day, and with
lanterns at night. A fire vill also be built at the exit.

Foot troops will ford deep swift currents, on as wide a
front as possible; holding hands or locking arms.

The men should refrain from looking at the water, but
watch the landing place.

It is sometimes advantageous to have the mounted troops
ford first, above the Infantry, to break the force of the
current.

Delay at difficult fords is often lessened by finding several
places to cross at once.

Animals and wagons will deepen fords having mud and
sand bottoms, necessitating the selecting of other places for
crossing.

Persons operating a ferry must not be interfered with.

Men enter pontoons or barges, singly at the bow, and move
toward the stern. In larger vessels .men may march in by
twos. They retain their places. In small boats and in rough
weather the men will sit down. When the crossing is dan-
gerous they will remove their equipment.

Horses are loaded singly. In a single row, they are placed
head and tail, side by side. In double row, they face inward.
If a horse falls overboard he is let loose.

Guns, caissons and wagons are loaded by hand, and teams
go on same vessel when possible.

In unloading, the men leave from the bow in order, and
do not rise until their turn.

With rafts the center is loaded first, and the load is equally
distributed.



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Tli« Colamn 129

The center is the last place to unload.

Cattle will be required to swim if possible. Rafts are

dangerous on account of the tendency of cattle to crowd into
one place.

Care of Troops — Commanders must keep themselves
informed as to the condition of the troops, and the progress
of subordinate units in the rear.

Water supplies must be carefully examined and marked
"Good" or "Bad," especially in commands where cholera and
other diseases of the stomach or intestines are prevalent.

Guard against excessive eating or drinking. Make can-
teen last for day's march. Canteens should be replenished
when necessary. This should be done in an orderly manner,
and under the inspection of a responsible person.

Advance guards may require inhabitants to place water
along line of march for troops. It is sometimes necessary
to convey a supply of water in wagons.

When the water question for the day is doubtful, the horses
should be watered before leaving. '•

As many troops as possible should be watered at the same
time.

Watering animals is a test of the discipline of a command.

Units water in turn, and at a place corresponding to the
positions they occupy in the column.

Animals of Artillery and trains are watered in camp, before
leaving and upon arrival, except when there is ample time
to water from buckets or to unhitch.

In hot weather precautions as to selecting shade and fresh
air for resting should be considered. Men should be cau-
tioned not to drink too freely. Green leaves and wet hand-
kerchiefs in the hats, often give relief. When overheated the
men must not cool too suddenly.

Straggling — No man should leave the ranks without per-
mission. Officers and non-commissioned officers will report
those disobeying this rule.

Enlisted men away from their organizations will be ar-
rested by the Military Police; who will send all men so
arrested to their companies, with statements of the circum-
stances. V •

Those who pillage land commit other crimes, are arrested
and dealt with according to law.

Camp or Bivouac — Upon approaching camp the Com-
mander issues the halt order.

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130 Kinds of Marches

KINDS OF MARCHES

Peace Marches — (1) Marches in change of station.

(2) Practice marches.
Marches in Campaigns— (1) Concentration marches.
(2) Marches in the presence of the enemy.
(3)- Forced marches.
(4) Night marches.
Changing Station — The march order may be issued to
cover several days, or for each day. It prescribes the fol-
lowing :

(1) The distribution of troops.

(2) Time of starting.

(3) Camping places.

(4) Time for calls.

(5) Any other. necessary details.

To lessen the discomfort distances may be increased.

On' muddy roads the mounted troops may be made to fol-
low the Infantry. In high vegetation or deep mud they may
be made to break the way for Infantry.

Field trains may march with their regiments and supply
trains, conveniently placed.

Practice Marches — These are for two (2) purposes.

(1) Hardening the men and animals.

(2) For teaching officers their duties in campaign.
They should conform to the conditions they are meant to

simulate, and should always include field service instructions.
The issuing of field orders will be required for all tactical
exercises.

Concentration Marches — Are for the purpose of
assembling troops at a certain point. Time and road spaces
are the principal elements to be considered. These are af-
fected by the road and weather conditions, etc.

A column of troops on the march must not be cut by
another.

When two commands meet at cross-roads, the senior has
the right of way. If near the enemy, the senior decides on
which shall precede.

If .one column overtakes another, it may pass on if its
commander be the senior; otherwise with the senior's con-
sent.

Marches in the Presence of the Enemy — The order in
such marches is controlled by tactical considerations and is

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Kinds of Marches 131

determined by the plan for the employment of the troops.
When contact with the enemy is probable columns are closed
up and march on wide fronts. Com,munication is kept up
between columns on parallel roads, and all impedimenta kept
in the rear. If a part of a unit of infantry is assigned to
the advance guard, the rest of that unit marches at the head
of the main body.

In an advance the artillery is near the head of the main
body in order to assure its prompt action. Sufficient infantry
should precede it to insure its security. The artillery com-
'•mander should accompany the commander of the column. If
there is danger from the flanks the artillery may be broken
into columns not longer than a regiment with detachments
of infantry, in front, on the flanks, and in the rear of each.
This formation is not conducive to quick action. However,
to reduce delay the artillery may be marched in double col-
umn and its combat trains follow immediately the last in-
fantry unit. When moving into action artillery has the right
of way. An example of the march of the main body of a
division is as follows:

1 regiment infantry. 1 battalion artillery. Regiment artil-
lery. 2 brigades inifantry (less 1 regiment). Engineers.
Signal troops. Artillery combat trains. Trains.

In marching through defiles, forests, or at night, it may
be advisable for the. artillery to be placed at the rear.

Trains — Military trains should be guarded at all times.
Field trains are guarded by jmen on duty with it, by con-
valescents and other noneffectives, by dismounted men of the
cavalry and members of the artillery reserve. Supply, am-
munition, and engineer trains are guarded by military police.
When marching into action trains should be placed so as not
to interfere with movements. Pontoon trains, when needed,
should be as far forward as practicable. When wagons break
•down or stall the load should be transferred to others and
the road cleared promptly.

Forecd Marches— The conduct of a forced march is
controlled by the distance and the time in which it is to be
made. They are only imade when necessary. With large com-
mands they are more difficult than with small ones. Foot troops
make forced marches by increasing the marching time. Halts
for cooking and sleeping are arranged to afford the maxi-
mum benefit. An increase in the pace is seldom advisable.
The maximum day's march for infantry and trains is 28 to
30 miles. Such a march should not be for more than 36

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13S Kinds of iCarcliM

hours. If the march continues for several days, each day's
march should be of more than average length. Foot troops
should be especially favored with best roads and not inter-
mingled with vehicles and mounted men. If possible their
packs should be transported. Mounted troops increase the
gait and the time of marching. They may make SO miles per
day for three or four days. The usual hourly halts are made
and a two hour halt is made in the middle of each day's
march, when horses should be unsaddled and fed. The
rate of march should be five miles an hour, excluding halts.
Single marches of 100 miles are made in 24 to 30 hours,
during which halts are made every hour and two hour
halts are made at the end of the first and second thirds of
the march. The rate of march should be five and one-half
miles an hour. Marches of 30 to 40 miles at six miles per
hour can be made under favorable conditions. In small well
seasoned commands the rate may be increased. A forced
march of 150 miles should be made in about 3 days. Forced
imarches of 200 miles should be made at the rate of 30 to
40 miles per day. The horses and men should be relieved
and assisted by requiring the men to dismount and lead for
periods and should be permitted to remove sweaters, coats,
etc., if desirable.

Night Marches — ^These are made to avoid excessively
hot day marches or to surprise the enemy or secure a favor-
able position. Good roads and moonlight are desirable. A
few hours rest should be taken and best discipline maintained.
The following precautions should be taken : See that proper
road is followed; contact is maintained between units; that .
men are stationed at crossroads and changes of direction;
guides are secured; troops kept closed up. When the march
is secret additional precautions are taken. Silence is main-
tained, mouthpieces of bugles are removed, articles of equip-*
ment secured to prevent rattling, smoking is prohibited,
habitations are avoided and extra time allowed in the event
of having to leave the road. Cavalry marches in the rear
of infantry and the artillery follows the cavalry and has a
special infantry escort.

Convoys by Land— The term convoy applies to any
train by which suppli«s are forwarded to an army. The
term also applies to troops guarding such train. There are
also convoys of prisoners on land and transports by water.



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Xinds of MazthM 133

Wagon Convoys— These consist of not more than
100 wagons usually and occupy about a mile of road space.
An officer is in charge of a convoy which is divided
into sections of 20 to 30 wagons each, under a noncommis-
sioned officer or wagon master. Military police assist and
protect the convoy. Where the transportation is hired or
impressed a strong guard is necessary. There should be 25
yards between sections, two yards between wagons, and the
rate of march should be two to two and one-half miles an
hour, halts included. Halts for breathing on long inclines
and for locking wheels on descents are permitted. Long halts
should be avoided. The slowest teams are placed in the
lead. Loads from broken wagons are transferred to others
and the road promptly cleared.

Security — Security is furnished by an escort of infantry
and enough cavalry should be provided for scouting and
communication, also some engineers for repairing roads and
bridges. In open country the proportion of cavalry should
be greater. The strength of the escort depends upon : Size of
train; risk; nature of the country; length of march; etc
Trains containing explosives require an extra strong escort.
The senior line officer with the troops is in command. He
should consult and defer to the wishes of the officer in charge
of the train. Officers casually with a convoy have no au-*
thority over it.

Distribution of Troops — Advance guard. ' Main body.
Flank guard (if necessary). Rear guard.

Advance Guard — The advance cavalry, if any, precedes
the train 3 to 5 miles reconnoitring the front and flanks.
There should be guides and interpreters. Bridges should be
guarded and topography should be carefully examined. The
remainder of the advance guard marches about a mile in
front of the train. Its commander should examine the coun-
try with a view to selecting places for parking in the event
of contact with the enemy. The head of a train should not
enter a defile until the further end is guarded.

The main body marches at the most important point, either
at the head, rear, or center of the train, ordinarily at the
center. If it .marches at the center it is advisable to place
a body of infantry at the head and tail of the convoy.

The rear guard marches a short distance in the rear of the
train, in usual rear guard formation. Its strength is usually
about one-sixth of the escort.

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134 Xlnds of XarohM

Camping — The commander selects the place for camp-
ing with regard to water supply, fuel, grass, and d'efence. A
field enclosed by wire is desirable. Animals will not be
herded if there is danger of attack, or unless otherwise, im- .
perative. During halts the train is parked. The shape of
the park depends upon the existing conditions. Ordinarily
when at a distance from the enemy it is parked in column
of sections or half sections with 20 yards between subdivis-
ions and intervals of six or eight yards between wagons. A
more compact formation may be secured by placing the
wagons axle to axle and tying animals to picket lines in front
of the wagons.

Formation for Defence — Two lines facing each other;
the diamond; a square; a rectangle; an oval; a circle; with
the poles pointing inward. Wire entanglements and trenches
should be constructed when necessary. The camp or park
is protected by outposts.

Defence of* a Convoy— The duty of an escort is to keep
the enemy from gaining a position permitting effective fire
on the train and to prevent surprise. The flanks are the
most vulnerable parts. The escort fights only when neces-
sary and does not pursue when the enemy is repulsed. If
the enemy holds a commanding position on the Une of march
* he must be dislodged, or the convoy must take a different
road. The advance cavalry should report the presence of the
enemy to the commander as soon as possible when it is
known, in order that the commander may make preparation
or any change that he may deem necessary. If menaced by-
small parties the convoy should continue; if attacked by a
superior force the train is parked in a defensive formation
under the protection of a skirmish line. The defence should
be made at some distance from the convoy. Couriers should
be dispatched to notify the commander of the nearest troops.
Should the enemy be repulsed his retreat should be carefully
verified before resuming the march. If the train cannot be
saved the commander should escape with the most valuable
part, destroying the remainder.

Attack of a Convoy— The most favorable times for
attacking a convoy are: When passing through woods; de-
files ; or, over bridges ; going around a sharp bend ; on steep
slopes; on difficult roads; when teams are being watered;
or at any time when it is not prepared for immediate defence.
The convoy should be forced to halt. It should be thrown

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FirinfiT 135

into confusion by an attack from an unexpected quarter.
Artillery and machine guns should be employed against it.
If captured, portions which cannot be carried off should be
destroyed.

Prisoners— In addition to an escort to repel attempts at
rescue there should be a guard of ten foot soldiers and
several mounted men for every hundred prisoners. Prisoners
are formed in companies and marched in column. Their
officers are marched separately. Prisoners should be treated
kindly, but warned that an attempt to escape will draw fire.
If the convoy is attacked the prisoners are made to lie down.
At night they are guarded in well lighted buildings or en-
closures.

FIRING

Firing is divided into the following classes:
Volley Firing, which has a very limited use, is used in
early stages of action against unusual targets. It may be
used also in what is known as "fire of position." When the
ground is such that the effect of volleys upon it may be
seen, volley firing' is an excellent means of finding the range.
Fire of Position is the fire employed by troops which
are not taking part in the advance against a position, to
assist the troops which are actually making the attack. It is
usually directed from some favorable position to a flank, or
from some elevated position in the rear of the attackers.
Volley firing is executed Jiabitually by platoon.

Firing at Will is the class of fire usually employed in
combat. It is delivered with deliberation, slowly at the
longer ranges; more quickly and with deliberation consistent
with the rapidity required at lesser ranges, and rapidly where
the target is so near that great deliberation is not required,
to render the fire effective.

Clip Fire has limited application. It is used in early
stages of combat, to steady the men, to cause brief pauses in
firing and for short heavy bursts of fire.

The operation of firing consists of determining and an-
nouncing the range, indicating the target and commencing
the fire.

For determination of ranges see notes on Small Arm^
Manual herein. The usual method used, is estimation by two
or more men, selected for their accuracy in this particular

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136 Tiring

art, and taking the mean of their estimates. This can be done
very quickly, when the range finders have been trained to
estimate ranges on the first signs of the enemy.

Target Indication — In order to indicate the target to
the men it is necessary to do two (2) things :

(1) Show them the target or its location.

(2) Show them its extremities.

To show where the target is, call the men's attention to
some distinct and conspicuous object near the target, or in
line with it; and by using this object as a reference point,
endeavor to give the direction and distance from it to the
target. For instance, let us imagine that a wind imill or a
tree, or a certain house might be so situated that iDy calling
attention to "the wind mill nearest the large red bam," or
to "the north end of the white dwelling," or "the right of
the five trees on the hillside," the eyes of the command will
be directed in the general direction of the target, and fixed
on a definite object.

Having indicated the reference point, the next step is to
announce what the target is, so that the men will know what
to look for. Then the distance and direction of the target
from the reference point will be announced. In doing this,
the reference point should be considered, as in the center of
a clock dial, with 12:00 o'clock directly beyond it and in
prolongation of a straight line from the center of the com-
mand to the reference point. The imaginary figures on the
dial would then be used to indicate direction from the re-
ference point to the target. To show the distance from the
reference point to the target, place the hand, back to the
front, and fingers extended, twenty inches (20") from the
eye, and see how many fingers can be included between the
target and the reference point.

The next step to be taken after the location of the target,
is to indicate the extremities. The end, usually that nearest
the reference point, has been indicated as the location. Hold
up the hand as before and see how many fingers it takes to
exactly hide the target, then give the direction, right or left,
of the first point located — so many fingers. This completes
the operation. It takes a good many words to explain such
a simple process, but the execution of it requires but a few
seconds.

The method explained above is often satisfactory, but will
not cover all cases, because frequently there is terrain, in
which reference points are difficult to find, or do not exist

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Shelter 137

at all. When such is the case another simple .method is to
announce the target as being at such o'clock, which, without
having referred to any other point, means that the command
is considered as being in the center of an imaginary hori-
zontal clock dial, with 12:00 o'clock straight to the front,
and that the target is in .the direction corresponding to that
of the imaginary number indicated.

There are other and better methods than those indicated
above, but they take considerable study and practice, and
some of them require more or less special equipment for such
training.

SHELTER

To maintain efficiency troops must have shelter. In peace
troops are usually under canvas when in the field. For in-
surrection or riot duty public buildings may be used. Private
buildings are not used without the owners* consent. In war,
public buildings are used when necessary to care for sick and
wounded. This will be avoided when individuals offer shelter
or shelter may be had for reasonable rent. Seizure is not
resorted to except in emergencies. In enemy territory public
and private buildings may be used. For sanitary reasons
private buildings are seldom used. In such cases civil au-
thorities should be consulted. Families should not be in-
terfered with when it can be avoided. Troops under canvas
are said to be in camp. When on the ground without shelter
they are in bivouac. When in buildings, or improvised
shelter they are said to be in cantonment. Cantonments are
usually developed from improvements and additions to camps.


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Online LibraryRalph Middleton ParkerAn officer's notes → online text (page 12 of 18)