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Cavalry drill regulations, United States Army online

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ing at any gait or is halted. The extension is effected toward
the direction of march. When possible the deployment should
be made upon ground protected from hostile view and fire.
Whatever the method employed for the extension, the leader
controls the movements of the base (par. 323). The other
troopers, moving at a gallop, form foragers in accordance with
the methods indicated.

The squad, deployed as foragers, is marched to the front
and halted, obliques, resumes the original direction, executes
changes in gait and changes of direction, by the commands
and methods prescribed for the squad in line.

406. The appropriate substitution of skirmishers for for-
agers, is made in the commands for movements in extended
order, dismounted (par. 368-e). The skirmishers move at a
run to their positions on the line of foragers.

407. A greater or less interval than 3 yards between for-
agers may be ordered, the words at (so many) yards being
added to the preparatory command so as immediately to follow
the word foragers or skirmishers.

408. Being in line, to form foragers: 1. Foragers, 2. MARCH.
The guide continues to be the base and advances (par. 405)

at the gait of march unless the leader indicates otherwise
(pars. 337-/, 405). The troopers to the right of the guide
move at a gallop obliquely to the right front; those to the
left obliquely to the left front. The troopers take position





abreast of the base in the same order as in line and at inter-
vals of 3 yards measured from the side of the base. Should
the ri2:ht trooper be the guide, all oblique to the left; should
the left trooper be the guide, all oblique to the right.

In the execution of the corresponding dismounted movement
(commands: 1. Skirmishers, 2. MARCH — par. 406) the troop-
ers move to their places at a run, taking intervals of one-half
pjice, unless some other interval be indicated (pars. 36S-e,
407). (Fig. 31.)

409. Being in column of fours, twos, or troopers, to form
foragers: 1. Right (left)

front into foragers, 2. A


The le-ft trooper of the /

leading element of the col-
umn as the base of the de-
ployment advances at the
gait of march (par. 337-a)
unless the leader indicates
o t h e r wise (pars. 387-/,
405), the other troopers of
the leading element deploy-
ing as indicated in par. 408.
The remaining troopers
move obliquely to the right
front at a gallop and ex-
tend the line in similar
manner, the order of the
successive elements being
the same, from left to right
in line, as it formerly was
from head to rear in the

The possibility of the in-
version of troopers in the
fours as a result of forming
foragers from column of
tivos or troopers should be kept in mind. No such inversion
can occur in movements executed from column of fours. The
movement described in this paragraph is one of those referred
to in par. 468-&. (Fig. 41.)


' /

[}' /




Fig. 41, par. 409.


410. Being in disorder, to form foragers:

Foragers may be formed from any condition of diKspersion
or disorder by methods similar to those indicated in pars. 408
and 409. At the command : 1. Foragers, 2. MARCH, the troop-
ers nearest the leader ride toward him at a gallop. The leader
indicates the guide (par. 373), who follows the leader; the
other troopers, moving at a gallop, take position, with the
proper interval, on the right and left of the guide, without re-
gard to order.

Line of foragers from a condition of disorder may also be
formed by first rallying the squad (par. 416) and then forming

Dismounted, skirmishers may similarly be formed.

411. Being deployed as foragers, to march to a flank: 1. By
the right (left) flank, 2. MARCH.

Each trooper turns 90° to the right and marches in the new
direction (par. 389). A column of troopers at 4 feet distance
results. The line of foragers may be resumed by again march-
ing to the flank by the use of corresponding commands and

Gaits are regulated as in par. SS7-(l.

Dismounted, each trooper moves as in par. 81. If at a halt
the movement of the foragers by the flank is executed by the
same commands as when marching.

412. Being deployed as foragers, to march to the rear: 1. To
the rear, 2. MARCH.

Each trooper executes an about to the left (pars. 389, 486).
To march again to the front the commands: 1. Forward,
2. MARCH, are given. Each trooper executes another about
to the left. If a line of foragers be halted while marching to
the rear, each trooper turns to the left about and halts,
faced to the front (par. 474).

Gaits are regulated as in par. SS7-d.

Dismounted, each trooper executes to the rear (par. 82).
If at a halt, the movement of the foragers to the rear is exe-
cuted by the same commands as when marching.

413. The squad may be extended in depth as well as in front.
The commands are : 1. Fours (twos, or troopers) at so many
yards distance, 2. MARCH. This movement may be used to
cross a fire-swept area when such a course is necessary. The


leader indicates the point wliere the squad is to be reassem-
bled. The fours (twos or troopers) move out successively
from head to rear in column or right to left in line. Each
element may extend laterally on its guide. The gait is the

414. Being deployed as foragers and in order (par. 470)
to assemble: 1.

Assemble, 2. A


guide advances
and follows the
leader. The
other troopers
close in on the

guide and form ___ "comwand-

in line upon him ^^" ..-^ 1. ASSEMBLE.. 2. MARCH . ^ -
in the same rela-
t i ve

which they were
at the moment Fig. 42, par. 414.

the assembly was

commanded. The leader halts the guide at any time if it is
desired to assemble w^ithout gaining further ground in the di-
rection of march. The leader, by moving in any desired direc-
tion, may regulate the direction toward which the assembly
is executed. Gaits are regulated as in par. 337-e, the elements
other than the base taking a correspondingly faster gait. The
assembly in each unit is explained for that unit (par. 468-&).

The leader may, by prior designation of any trooper (e. g.,
a flank trooper) as guide (par. 873), cause the assembly to
be executed on that trooper by the commands and methods
just indicated.

The troopers always start to assemble in line, but when an
assembly in column is desired it may virtually be accom-
plished by the leader's designation of a flank trooper as the
guide before ordering the assembly and cautioning: COLTTMN
as soon as the assembly begins. The fours, as they succes-
sively assemble toward the base, then take their places in
column of fours instead of in line; the leader takes post in
front of No. 2 (par. 325).

same rela- f\ rC i( ^ ^ \ \ ^n

r-.ei.':fl fl () fl


If there be not space to advance in column of fours, the
assembly in column of twos or troopers may be accomplished
by corresponding commands and methods.

The squad executes assemble only when deployed as foragers
and in order. Under other conditions the rally (par. 416), fol-
lowed by count fours, more easily accomplishes the purposes of
the assembly (Def.).

In executing the assembly dismounted the troopers close in
on the guide in double time tuithout special command if the
guide and leader continue to advance (par. 339-fir) ; otherwise
they close in at quick time unless double time be commanded
(par. 339-&). (Fig. 42.)

415. If to the rear (par. 412) be executed by the squad, a
temporary loss of order occurs. If it be desired to pass to
close order without resuming the march to the front and
assembling (par. 414), the squad may rally (par. 416) and
count fours.

416. Being in any formation, or not formed, or in disorder, to


FiG.^43, par. 416.

rally: RALLY. When the rally is ordered the signal is habitu-
ally accompanied hy the oral command, both the signal and
the oral command being repeated until understood and obeyed.
The signal is obeyed at once, there being no preparatory com-
mand for this movement..

The leader takes position at any point or moves in any
desired direction, and at any gait that will permit the move-
ment to be executed. The troopers ride toward the leader at
an extended gallop and, in the absence of other indication,
form in rear of the leader in line. The leader promptly desig-
nates the guide (pars. 371, 373), who follows the leader. The


other troopers form, as they come up, on the right and left of
the guide extending the line. The leader may caution : COL-
UMN, as the leading troopers approach. The troopers then
form in column of fours instead of in line. The leading ele-
ment forms first : the other troopers, as they arrive, succes-
sively form fours, extending the column to the rear. The
leader designates the guide (pars. 373, 374) and cautions:
NOTE YOUR NUMBERS. The rally in column is exceptional
and is intended for use only on occasions when a narrow
road or other circumstances of the terrain prevent the rally
in line.

Should the route along which the leader is moving when
the rally is ordered be too narrow to permit the formation of
column of fours, the leader may caution: COLUMN OF TWOS
(COLUMN OF TROOPERS) as the leading troopers approach.
The movement is executed as explained for the rally in column
of fours. Fours should be counted at once. The rally in
column of twos or troopers is to be regarded as very excep-

The squad being rallied in line, though ordinarily not in
order until fours are counted (par. 470), is available at once
to charge or to execute any movement that does not involve a
knowledge of their respective numbers on the part of the indi-
vidual troopers. Unless the charge is to be executed at once,
fours should be counted without delay after rallying, so that
the squad may be in order and ready to execute any move-
ments whatever that conditions may demand.

The rally, dismounted, is always executed at a run.
(Fig. 43.)

The Mounted Attack.

417. The mounted attack is made with the pistol or saber in
accordance with the principles indicated in par. 562-565.
The typical saber charge is executed in line. Under some
circumstances, as in the attack of a dispersed enemy, etc., a
saber charge may be made by troopers deployed as foragers.
The pistol attack is usually made in foragers. In exceptional
circumstances (as in breaking out from an ambush, attacking
in a narrow road, etc.) it may be made in line or in column
of fours, twos, or troopers.


418. Cohesion in the line and vigor in the shock are essential
to the success of the saher charge. High speed is necessary
for tlie desired sliock; and in tlie saber cliarge, as executed
in combat, tlie horses are, at the culmination of the charge,
habitually " turned loose " and urged to the highest speed.
This, except with men and horses that are highly trained,
necessarily involves lo^s of control over the horse on the part
of the trooper. The saber charge, executed with poorly
trained horsemen, especially if on imperfectly trained or
excitable horses, is apt to be futile as regards the instruction
of the trooper and to result in more or less permanent loss of
control over the horses. Control of the mount by the trooper
is essential during the execution of the pistol attack (ordi-
narily made in line of foragers), and is, of course, necessary
during march and maneuver. For these reasons it is consid-
ered advisable that the first instruction of the recruit in the
actual saber charge be deferred until after platoon instruction
and that it be given then only after the troop commander is
satisfied that the recruit's progress in horsemanship and in the
use of his weapon has advanced to a point when the exercise
will be of value.

419. The work in the squad, with a view to preparing the
recruit for the mounted attack tvith the saber and pistol, will
therefore be limited to those exercises in which the horse Is
controlled. It should consist, in substance, of an extension to
collective work of the individual instruction described in par.
297, and should include occasional practice in advancing as
rapidly as can be done while maintaining a close formation
and control of the mount. The increase in speed should be
made quietly and progressively, be continued but a short dis-
tance, and invariably be 'terminated by the quiet resuming of
a sloiv gait. As the recruit gets more skill and confidence the
exercise will be conducted with sabers drawn, the troopers
taking the charging position (par. 251) when the instructor
does so and returning to the carry with him. Similar exercises
will be conducted with the pistol, with especial attention to
directing the horses through lines of silhouette targets and to
drawing, returning, and manipulating the pistol. The exer-
cises with the pistol will usually be conducted in foragers and
may be extended to include the actual execution of the pistol
attack as described in the School of the Platoon.


In campaign any small group executes the mounted attack
as explained for the platoon.

420. In combat of every kind skill on the part of the indi-
vidual trooper in the use of the weapon or weapons employed
is essential. So important is this part of the training that,
where time for the training of the troopers is limited all but
the most essential portions of close-order drill should be de-
ferred or omitted in order that the training of the trooper in
the use of his weapons may be thorough and efficient.

Movements for Passing from Mounted Action to Dis-
mounted Action.

421. A body of troops that resorts to dismounted action may
leave with the horses a sufficient number of horse holders to
permit a change of position of the horses to be made at any
time by leading. The led horses are then said to be mobile.

AVhen the horses of a body of troops that resorts to dis-
mounted action are so linked, tied, or grouped that they can
not change position without a change of formation, or the
assistance of additional horse holders, or both, the horses are
said to be immobile.

Mobility of the led horses has the advantages incident to
the possibility of quickly changing position, but it is open to
the objection that it involves withdrawing a large percentage
of the troopers from the dismounted firing line.

422. When the horses are mobile (par. 421) a trooper is
designated to take immediate charge of the horses and of the
men who remain with the horses (par. 431). Such designa-
tion, if not made in advance (par. 434), is habitually made
immediately preceding or following the commands for passing
to dismounted action. When the horses are left immobile a
trooper is similarly designated to take charge.

423. With a view to putting the squad into dismounted
action, the horses of the squad may be coupled head and tail
in pairs (par. 427) ; or grouped in a circle (par. 428) ; or the
squad may be dismounted to fight on foot and the horses of
each two or four left in charge of a mounted horse holder
(par. 4.30).

424. Whenever the horses are coupled ..or circled, or the
squad is dismounted to fight on foot, the leader dismounts


promptly and runs to^Yard the position where he desires the
dismounted men to form. The dismounted troopers run at
once toward the leader and form in rear of liim in line, or in
such formation as he may indicate, without any attention to
previous relative order in the squad. Should the leader com-
mand : 1. Skirmishers, 2. MARCH, the troopers proceed di-
rectly to places on the indicated line, taking advantage of
the available cover. Movements of the dismounted squad
are executed in accordance with the usual commands and
methods ; they should be of the simplest possible character.
Fours may be counted if necessary for any purpose.

425. The horses of a dismounted squad may be held without
linking or fastened together by twos, by fours, or in a single
group. The details of securing the horses, whether coupled,
circled, or linked together for leading, vary with the par-
ticular equipment in use. The bridoon (snaffle) reins, halter
rope (or strap), or link may each be employed to fasten
horses together. The reins of the curb bit should never be
so employed, and when the link is used it should never be
attached to the ring of the curb bit.

In coupling head and tail with the 1912 equipment (which
is provided with no link) the two horses of each pair may
be kept together by tying the bridoon reins of each horse to
the cantle of the saddle of the other. One method is to place
the horses with their right sides together and tie the bridoon
reins of each to the attaching strap of the saber carrier of
the other. When the McClellan saddle is used with equip-
ment of the type issued prior to 1912, coupling may be done
by securing each horse's head to the cantle ring on the saddle
of the other horse of the pair.

When a horse is tied or linked to another for leading (par.
431), the bridoon reins, halter rope, or link of the first horse
is secured to the halter ring of the second.

When horses are grouped in a circle, each horse may be
fastened to a small circle of rope or leather. A coiled lariat
or extra stirrup strap may be used for this purpose. The
number of horses in a full-strength section (16) is about the
maximum number that should be so grouped.

A horse that is tied or linked to another horse by any of
the methods indicated above will be more easily controlled.


if the fastening rein, rope, or link be short. When horses are
tied together, a slip knot should be used.

426. Whenever horses are fastened together by any of the
indicated methods or are held or led by horse holders, the
curb reins of each dismounted trooper and the snaffle reins,
except when used to hold or tie the horse, are placed behind
the pommel and secured by crossing a stirrup in front of the
pommel. Each trooper secures his own reins in this manner
upon dismounting to couple or circle horses or to form on foot
as in par. 436. When the squad dismounts to fight on foot
(par. 430) the horse holders must make any necessary ad-
justment of the reins and stirrups of the dismounted men.

427. The following provisions for coupling horses are based
upon the assumption that the horses are
coupled with their off {right) sides together. ^ (jK
Should the equipment used make it prefer-
able that the near (left) sides be together,
the even numbers ride forward, turning to p^^ 44 par' 427
the rig/it about instead of as described below.

Other necessary changes in the execution of the movement
when the near sides are together will be evident. The horses
of Nos. 1 and 2 of each four form one couple, the horses of
Nos. 3 and 4 forming another pair.

Being mounted, in column of fours, at the command, COITPLE
HEAD AND TAIL, all nalt, if marching, and the fours open out
as to dismount; each odd-numbered trooper rides forward
about 2 yards and turns to the left about on the forehand,
so as to face the trooper with whom he is to couple. All dis-
mount and each odd-numbered trooper leads his horsei along-
side the horse of the corresponding even-numbered trooper.
The horses are then secured as indicated in pars. 425 and
426. A noncommissioned officer or trooper out of ranks, or a
trooper of an incomplete two, fastens his horse to either horse
of the nearest couple. A trooper is usually left in charge of
the horses (pars. 422, 434).

The dismounted squad forms as indicated in par. 424.

Coupling may, with minor modifications that will be evident,
be executed by the same commands and similar methods from
line or from any other formation of the squad.
38218 °— 18 11




Fig. 45, par. 428.

A dismounted squad may couple horses at the same com-
mands and by similar methods.

The squad remounts as indicated in pars.
438, 442. (Fig. 44.)

428. It may at times prove convenient to
group the horses in a circle (par. 437) ; they
may then be linked or tied together and left
in care of a single horse holder (pars. 422,
434), Before circling the horses the squad
usually forms line.

At the command: CIRCLE HORSES, the
center of the line halts, if not already at a halt ; the flanks of
the line move forward and simultaneously close toward each
other so as to make an approximate circle. All dismount, and
the horses are then secured to the circle of rope (or other suit-
able material) at the center of the group (pars. 425, 426).

The leader and any other troopers out of ranks take position
on the flanks of the squad before the latter
meet. The horses may similarly be circled
after the squad has dismounted. The dis-
mounted squad forms as indicated inpar. 424.
The squad remounts as indicated in pars.
438-442. (Fig. 45.)

429. The squad, before dismounting to
fight on foot, is ordinarily formed in col-
umn of fours, and the movement is ex-
plained accordingly ; the movement may,
however, be executed from any formation
with such modifications of the methods ex-
plained as are indicated or as may readily
be inferred.

430. Being in column of fours, to dis-
mount to fight on foot, the horses remain-
ing mobile: TO FIGHT ON FOOT.

When the movement is signaled (par. 990)
the direction of the action is included in the
signal. When given orally the indication
ally added to the command.

At the first command all halt if marching. The leader and
Nos. 1 and 4 dismount at once. No. 1 may dismount either

/ // '4

'Ik '!

Fig, 4o, par. 430.


to the right or left. The leader on dismounting passes his
reins to the file closer, to the nearest horse holder, or to a
trooper designated in advance to take his horse.

When Nos. 1 and 4 dismount No. 2 seizes the snaffle reins of
No. 1 and No. 3 seizes the snaffle reins of No. 4, making, if
conditions permit, the adjustment required by par. 426. The
horses can then be quickly led in any desired direction should
it be necessary to move them (par. 431).

If the movement be executed from column of troopers, or
fi'om foragers, Nos. 1 and 4 dismount at once, but do not
leave their horses until the reins are taken by the respective
horse holders (Nos. 2 and 3). The horse holders move quickly
to the side of the dismounted troopers and take the reins.

If the movement be executed from line the odd numbers
dismount in place without moving forward. Should the squad
resort 'to dismounted action wiiile in foragers, without first
assemblying or rallying, the leader may direct that the horses
be assembled or coupled (par. 437).

The dismounted squad forms as indicated in par. 424. The
squad remounts as indicated in pars. 438^42. (Fig. 46.)

431. When the squad dismounts to fight on foot the leader,
if conditions permit, habitually gives the
trooper in charge of the led horses (pars. 422,
434) special instructions regarding the dispo-
sition of the men still remaining mounted and
the horses. In the absence of other instruc-
tions the trooper in charge of the led horses
immediately disposes the latter so as to facili-
tate rapid remounting and to utilize the best
cover available in the immediate vicinity of

the dismounted men. If the position in which UOUD/'"' /
the squad dismounts meets the requirements
just stated the led horses are not moved. The
horses will be taken beyond the immediate pro-
tection of the dismounted line only by direc-
tion of the leader. The horses being satisfac-
torily disposed near the dismounted line, the
trooper in charge, in the absence of other in- fig. 47, par. 431.
structions, causes the horse holders to form
column of fours, if not already in that formation, and com-
mands : 1. Nos. 2, 2. DISMOUNT. Each No. 2 on dismounting


passes the bridoon reins of his horse to No. 3, secures his curb
reins and both reins of No. I's horse (par. 426), fastens No. I's
horse to his (par. 425), moves at a run to the position of the
squad leader, falls in, in rear of the leader in line (or as di-
rected ) , and awaits orders. Should the movement be executed
under fire the Nos. 2 take cover iu the immediate vicinity of
the leader, making their presence known to the latter. The
leader places the additional men on the firing line or uses them
as he sees fit. The led horses thus remain mobile, but with a

Online LibraryUnited States. War DeptCavalry drill regulations, United States Army → online text (page 13 of 33)