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To Diminish The Front Of A Column Of Squads

Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual

Being in column of squads: 1. Right (left) by twos, 2. MARCH.

At the command march all files except the two right files on the leading

squad execute in Place Halt; the two left files of the leading squads

oblique to the right when disengaged and follow the right files at the

shortest practicable distance. The remaining squads follow successively

in like manner.

Being in column of squads or t

1. Right (left) by file, 2. MARCH.

At the command march, all files execute In Place Halt, except the

right file of the leading two or squad. The left file or files of the

leading two or squad oblique successively to the right when disengaged

and each follows the file on its right at the shortest practicable

distance. The remaining twos or squads follow successively in like


Being in column of files or twos, to form column of squads; or, being in

column of files, to form column of twos: 1. Squads (twos), right (left)

front into line, 2. MARCH.

At the command march, the leading file or files halt and come to order

arms. The remainder of the squad, or twos, obliques to the right and

halts on line with the leading file or files. The remaining squads or

twos close up and successively form in rear of the first in like manner.

The movement described in this paragraph will be ordered right or left,

so as to restore the files to their normal relative positions in column

of twos or in column of squads.

The movements prescribed in the three preceding paragraphs are difficult

of execution at attention and have no value as disciplinary exercises.

Marching by twos or files can not be executed without serious delay and

waste of road space. Every reasonable precaution will be taken to

obviate the necessity for these formations.

The remainder of chapter on close order drill, School of the Company,

is in general for those above the grade of private, therefore, unless we

are perfectly clear in what we have had so far, let us not go too deeply

into these special features until we have more experience.

The captain is responsible for the theoretical and practical instruction

of his officers and noncommissioned officers, not only in the duties of

their respective grades, but in those of the next higher grades.

If the left squad contains less than six men, it is either increased to

that number by transfers from other squads or is broken up and its

members assigned to other squads and posted in the line of file closers.

These squad organizations are maintained, by transfers if necessary,

until the company becomes so reduced in numbers as to necessitate a new

division into squads. No squad will contain less than six men.

The company is further divided into two, three, or four platoons, each

consisting of not less than two nor more than four squads. In garrison

or ceremonies the strength of platoons may exceed four squads.

Platoons are assigned to the lieutenants and noncom-missioned officers,

in order of rank, as follows: 1, right; 2, left; 3, center (right

center); 4, left center.

The noncommissioned officers next in rank are assigned as guides, one

to each platoon. If sergeants still remain, they are assigned to

platoons as additional guides. When the platoon is deployed, its guide,

or guides, accompany the platoon leader.

The first sergeant is never assigned as a guide. When not commanding a

platoon, he is posted as a file closer opposite the third file from the

outer flank of the first platoon; and when the company is deployed he

accompanies the captain.

Musicians, when required to play, are at the head of the column. When

the company is deployed, they accompany the captain.

Guides and enlisted men in the line of file closers execute the manual

of arms during the drill unless especially excused, when they remain at

the order. During ceremonies they execute all movements.

In taking intervals and distances, unless otherwise directed, the

right and left guides, at the first command, place themselves in the

line of file closers, and, with them, take a distance of 4 paces from

the rear rank. In taking intervals, at the command march, the file

closers face to the flank and each steps off with the file nearest him.

In assembling the guides and file closers resume their positions in


Being in line at a halt, the captain directs the first sergeant, dismiss

the company. The officers fall out; the first sergeant places himself

faced to the front, 3 paces to the front and 2 paces from the nearest

flank of the company, salutes, faces toward opposite flank of the

company, and commands: 1. Inspection, 2. ARMS, 3. Port, 4. ARMS, 3.


The alignments are executed as prescribed in the School of the Squad,

the guide being established instead of the flank file. The rear-rank man

of the flank file keeps his head and eyes to the front and covers his

file leader.

At each alignment the captain places himself in prolongation of the

line, 2 paces from and facing the flank toward which the dress is made,

verifies the alignment, and commands: FRONT.

Platoon leaders take a like position when required to verify alignments.