[ Back to Home Page ] [ von Steuben's Drill Manual ]

Baron von Steuben's Revolutionary War Drill Manual - Chapter VII

The Exercise of a Battalion


When a battalion parades for exercise, it is to be formed, and the officers posted, agreeably to the instructions already given in the third and fourth chapters.

The battalion being formed, it is then to perform the manual exercise, and the wheeelings, marches, manoevres and firings described in this and the following chapters, or such of them as shall be ordered.

N.B. When a battalion performs the firings, the six centre files,(viz. three on each side the colours,) are not to fire, but remain as a reserve for the colours ; and the officers of the two centre platoons are to warn them accordingly.

The battalion will wheel by divisions or platoons, by word of command from the officer commanding.

By {Platoons !
Divisions !
} To the {Right,
Left,
} Wheel !
March!

When the battalion wheels, the platoons are conducted by the officers commanding them ; the supernumeraries remaining in the rear of their respective platoons.

[See Plate I. Figure 4 and 5.]

The colours take post between the fourth and fifth platoons

The wheeling finished, each officer commanding a platoon or division, commands

Halt ! Dress to the Right !

and posts himself before the centre, the serjeant who covered him taking his place on the right.

Forward,--March !

The whole step off, and follow the leading division of platoon ; the officer who conducts the column receiving his directions from the commanding officer. When the battalion wheels to the right, the left flank of the platoons must dress in a line with each other, and the contrary when they wheel to the left.

Battalion ! Halt !

By Platoons ! To the Left,--Wheel !

March !

The wheeling finished, each officer commanding a platoon or division, orders

Halt ! Dress to the Right !

dresses his platoon, and takes post in the interval, the battalion being now formed in a line.


[ Back to Home Page ] [ von Steuben's Drill Manual ]