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To Deploy As Skirmishers

Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual

Being in any formation, assembled: 1. As skirmishers, 2. MARCH.

The corporal places himself in front of the squad, if not already there.

Moving at a run, the men place themselves abreast of the corporal at

half-pace intervals. Nos. 1 and 2 on his right, Nos. 3 and 4 on his

left, rear-rank men on the right of their file leaders, extra men on the

left of No. 4; all then conform to the corporal's gait.

There is a rule of thumb that must be remembered. The rear-rank man is

always on the right of his file leader.

A common error is for beginners to execute the movement at a slow trot

which a run is required.

When the squad is acting alone, skirmish line is similarly formed on No.

2 of the front rank, who stands fast or continues the march, as the case

may be; the corporal places himself in front of the squad when advancing

and in rear when halted.

When deployed as skirmishers, the men march at ease, pieces at the trail

unless otherwise ordered.

The corporal is the guide when in the line; otherwise No. 2 front rank

is the guide. The guide is center.

The normal interval between skirmishers is one-half pace, resulting

practically in one man per yard of front. The front of a squad thus

deployed as skirmishers is about 10 paces.

The common error is to keep an interval of a very few inches when 15

inches are required.