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Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual

We recommend that each officer become familiar with the following


1. Avoid combats that offer no chance of victory or other valuable


2. Make every effort for the success of the general plan and avoid

spectacular plays that have no bearing on the general result.

3. Have a definite plan and carry it out vigorously. Do not


4. Do not attempt complicated manoeuvers.

5. Keep the command in hand; avoid undue extension and dispersion.

6. Study the ground and direct the advance in such a way as to

take advantage of all available cover and thereby diminish losses.

7. Never deploy until the purpose and the proper direction are


8. Deploy enough men for the immediate task in hand; hold out the

rest and avoid undue haste in committing them to the action.

9. Flanks must be protected either by reserves, fortifications, or

the terrain.

10. In a decisive action, gain and keep fire superiority.

11. Keep up reconnaissance.

12. Use the reserve, but not until needed or a very favorable

opportunity for its use presents itself. Keep some reserve as long

as practicable.

13. Do not hesitate to sacrifice the command if the result is

worth the cost.

14. Spare the command all unnecessary hardship and exertion.

--Infantry Drill Regulations.