Infantry Drill

(return to homepage)

The following contains commands and subsequent actions related to – handling the piece, firing, movement of unit, skirmishing, and guard against cavalry.

fall in - everyone finds a place in single line, tallest next to the sergeant or on the right if there is no sergeant, -

shoulder to shoulder - be sure and know who is to your left and right - gun in order arms position

Command Action

Handling the Piece

Order, arms - gun at right side with barrel tight to shoulder, butt on ground - trigger guard out - right index finger

and thumb gripping barrel and stock between second and third band

shoulder, arms - slide gun up right arm with left hand - hook right index finger under trigger guard with thumb on

top of guard- other three fingers under hammer

right shoulder, shift - slide gun up right shoulder with left hand - give 1/2 turn so hammer is to the right - support

gun butt with right hand – bottom of butt on upper part of right breast - hammer slightly below right ear

support, arms - shift gun to left arm - cradle hammer in crook of left arm with hammer out - left hand in "pledge

of allegiance" position

in place, rest - from order arms position, leave the butt on the ground - move barrel to the left centered on body -

rest right hand on upper band of weapon and left on right wrist.

Parade, rest - from order arms position, leave the butt on the ground - move barrel to crook of left elbow

present, arms - bring the piece vertical in front of the body with the rammer to the outside and hammer to the

inside about stomach high. The right arm should rest on the body with the forearm horizontal and at a right angle

to the upper arm. Grasp the small of the stock with the right hand with the left hand half way between the sight and

lower band.

inspection, arms – With the butt on the ground and the rammer toward the body, pull the rammer and place it

down the muzzle. Return the piece to the “order arms” position. As the inspector passes, the soldier will smartly

raise his piece with his right hand, lock to front. His left hand should be at chin height gripping the piece between

the sight and lower band. After the inspection, the piece will be returned to “order arms”.

fix, bayonet – With the butt on the ground, the piece will be in front of the soldier with the sight toward him. Grab

the bayonet with the right hand and fix it and return the weapon to order arms.

Trail, arms – holding on to middle part of the piece, incline the muzzle slightly to the front with the butt about

four inches from the ground.

Stack, arms – (done in groups of 2 ranks of 2 men each) In the group of 4 the man to the left front will place the

butt of his piece a little in front of his left toe, the barrel turned towards the body. The right front man will pass his

piece to the soldier on his left. The left front man will place the butt in front of his right toe, the barrel turned to the

front and the two bayonets flat to flat. The left rear rank man will slide his bayonet, lock plate down, under the

flats of the bayonets. He will then place the butt of his piece on the ground 32 inches to the rear of and

perpendicular to the other two pieces. The left front rank man will then bring the right piece between the other two

pieces. The remaining man will then rest his piece on the stack so that the bayonets point to the four directions.

Ground, arms – Used to allow the men to break ranks yet preserve the formation without having to lug the

weapon around. Depending on the alignment the sergeant may give the “rear rank, backward, march” command.

Turn the piece with the right hand, the barrel to the left; at the same time seize the cartridge box with the left

hand, bend the body, advance the left foot, the heel opposite the lower band ; lay the piece on the ground with the

right hand.

( Second motion. ) Rise up, bring the left foot by the side of the right, quit the cartridge box with the left hand, and

drop the hands by the side.

raise, arms - Seize the cartridge box with the left hand, bend the body, advance the left foot opposite the lower

band, and seize the piece with the right hand. Raise the piece and return to the “order arms” position.

Firing

See the You-tube site for demonstration on loading and firing procedure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FK5GcG_QHJ0

Load and prime - get a cartridge, bite off the end, dump the powder down the barrel while slightly inserting the

open end of the cartridge. holding the bottom of the barrel with your left hand and cradling it with your inside

right elbow pull the hammer to half-cock. Put a cap on the nipple and carefully replace the hammer

At the ready - right hand on trigger, left hand under barrel, stock against hip

aim - bring gun to shoulder and pull hammer back

Fire by company – Everyone fires at once when the command “fire” is given. The entire group should sound like

one loud bang when done right.

recover - return to the "ready" position

fire by files - man to the farthest right fires then the man to his left etc. Resembles a machine gun when done right.

Movements

Left/right, dress – Look in the direction indicated. If you can see something other than the man to your left/or

right you need to adjust your position.

Right, face – Entire line counts off by twos. Upon the command “company, right face” “1's” simply turn to the

right. "2's" turn right and move up and over to the right of the “1's”)

If you are already in two columns, both men in the second rank move to the left those ahead to for a column of 4.

Left, face – Just the opposite of right face. After counting and being given the command, “2's” simply turn to the

left. "1's" turn left and move up and over to the left of the “2's”)

If you are already in two columns, both men in the second rank move to the left those ahead to for a column of 4.

front - go back to your original position in a single line (push in if there isn't a hole)

without doubling, front – simply turn and face front, remaining in ranks.

without doubling, left/right face - simply turn that way

about, face – turn in place and face the rear

close, ranks - shoulder to shoulder one arm length from the man in front

form a line of battle - fall in on the sergeant – at the double quick, go to “right shoulder shift” break ranks from

whatever formation you are in and form the original single line with the sergeant and the tallest man next to him.

(push in if there isn't a hole so you are again between the original 2 men). This is meant to quickly get men from

marching formation ranks to a battle line in order to confront an enemy.

fall into the line of battle, march - just like "front" except you will continue to march, guiding on the sergeant on

the far right – you will find your original spot like in the “front” command - it is meant to quickly confront an

enemy with a solid line.

by files right/left, march - follow the man in front - make a turn (usually this is to enable the column to turn while

marching in ranks)

left/right wheel, march - entire line acts like the spoke of a wheel - the outside man moves faster while the inside

(hub) man simply pivots in place - it is important to stay shoulder to shoulder, always leaning against the man

closest to the hub of the wheel. When turning, guide to the outside of the wheel so you can only see the man next

to you.

In a left wheel, the pivot/hub man is on the left. In a right wheel the man on the rigt is the pivot/hub. - It is meant

to be able to maneuver a single line of men in a different direction

By the left/right flank, march – Like a left/right face except the men will be on the march. The entire company

will come to one rank.

Without doubling, by the left/rank flank, march – the entire row will simply turn that way and continue

marching.

Countermarch, right/left face, by file left/right, march - much like a turn by files except the rank moves

around the officer so they end up marching in the opposite direction

left/ right oblique, march - take a quarter turn. Meant to quickly confront an enemy that suddenly appears to the

side

Squad backward, march – taking 14 inch steps and guiding to the right, the entire line moves backward until

“halt” is called

Charge, bayonet – Make a half right face and, with the gunstock on the right hip, point the bayonet, eye-high. A

throaty shout usually accompanies the movement. Do not move until you are given a march command.

Skirmishing Starting in One rank and after counting off.

Forming the skirmish line

First platoon, as skirmishers, on the left flank/right flank/center, take ___ intervals, march – starting from

the left, right or center, the 1s (first platoon) will advance 5 yards with the left, right or center being the guide.

They will also spread out diagonally so as to keep the ordered distance between the person on either side of them.

The remaining 2s (second platoon) remain in line and align themselves between the men in front.

positioning the skirmish line – the platoons will leapfrog each other

Second platoon, forward, march – the second platoon will advance to 5 yards in front of the first rank and dress

to the right.

First platoon, forward march – the first platoon will advance 5 yards in front of the second platoon and dress to

the right.

Etc. etc.

If the intervals need to be wider the command will be: by the left/right flank, extend internal ___, march.

Firing in and advancing the skirmish line

_____ platoon, ready, aim, fire – the front platoon will fire and immediately reload. Each man will shout “ready”

when he is reloaded.

After the volley, the back platoon will immediately advance through the front platoon, dress and wait until it is

reloaded. Once the entire back platoon is reloaded, the front platoon will fire and immediately reload.

After the volley, the back platoon will immediately advance through the front platoon, dress and wait until it is

reloaded. Once the entire back platoon is reloaded, the front platoon will fire and immediately reload.

The platoons will continue the movement until the order to “halt” is given.

Retreating in skirmish order

In retreat, march – the front platoon will do an about face and retreat 5 yards behind the second platoon, do an

about face and dress to the right. Once there each soldier will reload and shout “ready” when he is reloaded.

Once the back platoon is loaded, the front platoon will fire, do an about face and retreat 5 yards behind the back

platoon, do an about face and dress to the right. Once there each soldier will reload and shout “ready” when he is

reloaded.

This will continue until further commands are issued.

Guard against cavalry

Guard against cavalry,guard – 1s raise the piece over their head so as to protect themselves and their partner

from a saber slash. 2s kneel, fix bayonet, ground the piece with the point of the bayonet chest high so as to repel a

charging horse.