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Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual Advanced Training

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