An advance guard is a detachment of the main body which precedes and
covers it on the march.
Its duties are:
(1) To guard against surprise and furnish information by reconnoitering
to the front and flanks.
(2) To push back small parties of the enemy and prevent their observing,
firing upon, or delaying the main body.
(3) To check the enemy's advance in force long enough to permit the main
body to prepare for action.
(4) When the enemy is encountered on the defensive, to seize a good
position and locate his lines, care being taken not to bring on a
general engagement unless the advance-guard commander is empowered to do
(5) To remove obstacles, repair the road, and favor in every way
possible the steady march of the column.