In conducting the reconnaissance the patrols are, as a rule, small--from
two to six men. If additional protection is necessary, a flank guard
covers the threatened flank. The flanking patrols, whether of the
advance cavalry or advance party, are sent out to examine the country
wherever the enemy might be concealed. If the nature of the terrain
permits, these patrols march across country or along roads and trails
ling the march of the column. For cavalry patrols this is often
possible; but with infantry patrols and even with those that are
mounted, reconnaissance is generally best done by sending the patrols to
high places along the line of march to overlook the country and examine
the danger points. These patrols report or signal the results of their
observations and, unless they have other instructions, join their units
by the most practicable routes, other patrols being sent out as the
march proceeds and as the nature of the country required.
Deserters, suspicious characters, and bearers of flags of truce, the
latter blindfolded, are taken to the advance-guard commander.
Civilians are not permitted to precede the advance guard.
Communication between the fractions of an advance guard and between the
advance guard and main body is maintained by wire, messenger service, or