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At the word
TO POSTS, the matrosses face outwards from the piece, and unhook their bricoles those on the right with the right hand, and those on the left with the left Qand. All resume their posts. No. 1 rests his sponge against the nave of the wheel, to fix and secure his bricole. At the word
RETREAT, (Pl. IX. Fig. 8.) the gunners place themselves at the trail handspikes, which they hold with one hand, facing to the rear. The non-commissioned officer is on the left of the muzzle of the piece. Nos. 1 and 2 hook to the washer-hooks ; Nos. 3 and 4 to the retreat-hooks (those on the right hook with the right hand, those on the left with the left hand.) Nos. 5 and 6 turn the limber to the left-about, to precede the movement of the piece. Nos. 7 and 8 double on 1 and 2 ; Nos. 9 and 10 double on 3 and 4. Nos. 11 and 12 are at the supporting handspikes. At the word
TO POSTS, the men on the right face outwards, and unhook with the left hand; thos on the left unhook with the right. Nos. 5 and 6 wheel the limber to the left-about, and place the pole in the direction of the piece. At the word
FRONT, all face to the front; Nos. 1 and 2 abreast the muzzle; Nos. 3 and 4 on a line abreast the naves; the gunners abreast the cascable; Nos. 5 and 6 abreast the end of the pole, and the auxiliaries in their rear, at one pace distant from each other; the non-commissioned officer in rear of the ammunition-box. No. 1 carries the sponge horizontally in the right hand.
If the piece he on its limber, instead of the word FRONT, the word will be given, REAR-FACE.
To support the Piece in Retreat, and prevent. too rapid a Descent
down-hill. The command is given, Nos. 1 and 2, (or as many more as necesSary,)
Suppori in-RETREAT. Those designated take the bricole from the shoulder; Nos. 1 and 2 hook at the advance-hooks, and the others at the washer-hooks, holding the straps of their bricoles in their hands, to avoid the danger that might arise from the piece descending too rapidly.
The Piece being on its Limber, and the Prolonge being required, Its chief commands,
Unlimber. Fix~PROLONGE. The limber being withdrawn, the trail on the ground, and the ammunition-box placed on the limber, as before directed, the gunners uncoil the prolonge; the gunner on the left passes the pointed end downwards, through the right staple-ring of the limber, then under the guides, and upwards through the left staple-ring, drawing it so that the ring of the prolonge, twenty-four feet from the key, may be under the centre of the sweepbar, and securing it under the guides with the prolonge-knot. The gunner of the right passes the key (or T) through the lashing-ring in the trail-transom, draws it up, and secures it in the prolonge-ring under the sweep-bar. The prolonge is then double, or twelve feet long, which is the proper length for firing in retreat, or in advance. (Pl. IX. Fig. 5.) This is the
SCHOOL OF THE PIECE
.ength always implied when the prolonge is ordered to be fixed, unless for dank-firing, or passing a ditch.
Fix prolonge, for flank-firing. The key is passed through the lashing-ring, and secured in the first prolonge-ring. The prolonge is then sixteen feet long. The gunners repair to the handspikes, and Nos. 3 and 4 to the wheels, to advance the piece beyond the flank of the column, to execute the fire. The prolonge must be slack, that the gunner on the right may not be incommoded in pointing
Fix prolonge, for passing a ditch. The key is secured in the lashing-ring, and the prolonge is at its full length (twenty-four feet.) The gunners unfix the trail handspikes, and each carries one, in readiness to disengage the trail, should it become entangled in the passage.
Having passed the Ditch, to execute a flank or retreat Fire. The command is given,
Shorten prolongè, for flank-firing (or for retreat-fire.) The gunner of the right shortens the prolonge to the prescribed length.
1. Unfix and coil prolonge. 2. Advance—LIMBER. The gunner of the right disengages the key from the lashing-ring; the gunner of the left coils the prolonge round the end of the hounds; the drivers rein back the horses, the chief of the piece directing, so that the trail may be passed over the pintle, and the piece limbered, as heretofore directed.
The prolonge must always be uncoiled and fixed, before the piece ar rives in line.
THE SCHOOL OF THE PIECE Comprehends the movements of a field-piece, with horses, followed by its
caisson, and served by a detachment of artillery, horse or foot.
A Detachment of Foot-Artillery, formed as directed in the
School of the Gunner, marching by its left Flank, and arriving in Front of the Horses, Is commanded,
1. To posts. 2. MARCH. The two ranks take their posts on the right and left of the piece (as prescribed in page 13); the chief of the piece on the left of the driver of the leading horses of the gun, and the non-commissioned officer in the same position at the caisson.
In horse-artillery, the men are not stationed, on the march, at the sides of the piece, as in foot-artillery, but are formed in two ranks in rear of the piece.
Note. Two auxiliaries are always added to the squad, in horse-artillery, to hold the horses; their position is in the centre of the squad.
At ihe command given by the chief of the piece, To posts—MARCH, the squad moves up to within one pace of the muzzle of the piece; the chief of the piece takes post on the left of the driver of the leaders, and the noncommissioned officer at the caisson, as stated above.
In all movements of the piece, the order To the right, or To the left implies that side as relates to the drivers.
At the command,
Forward-MARCH, the drivers urge their horses, and the piece advances, followed by its caisson, the leading horses of which are one pace distant from the muzzle of the piece; in horse-artillery, one pace distant from the rear rank of the squad.
To prepare for Manquvring. The command is given,
Halt. (For pieces with travelling trunnion-plates, after the word Halt, the command is given, Prepare to change trunnions—Change trunnions.)
Unlimber. Fix~PROLONGE. These are executed as prescribed in the School of the Gunner, and all resume their posts. In horse-artillery, at the second command, the chief of the squad (who is the gunner of the right) commands,
DISMOUNT. At this word, all dismount, except the centre man of each rank, (Nos. 7 and 8,) who remain mounted, and take charge of the horses of their respective ranks, holding them by the snaffle-reins. (Plate IX. Fig. 5.)
The men, in dismcunting, confine the curb-reins by drawing them through the loop of the niartingale or breast-plate ; passing the end under the cloak-strap near the left knee. The gunners and matrosses, after giving their horses to Nos. 7 and 8, repair to the piece, taking post as prescribed for foot-artillery.
When the non-commissioned officer dismounts, he gives his horse to one of the drivers of the caisson, and the chief of the piece gives his horse to one of the drivers of the piece. The prolonge being fixed, the chief of the squad commands,
To change Direction to the Right or Left. A piece maneuvring with the prolonge may be wheeled either on a movable or fixed pivot. In the former case, the prolonge is stretched, and the piece is turned advancing; the wheel horses describing the segment of a circle. In the latter case, (a fixed pivot,) the prolonge is slackened by backing the wheel horses, which are then turned short, and enter the new direction, advancing to stretch the prolonge, and turning the piece on one of its wheels. The caisson cannot turn upon its own ground or on a fixed pivot, but must make a considerable sweep, describing the segment of a circle ; such is also the case with the piece on its limber. At the command,
1. Piece-2. Left wlieel—3. MARCH, the chief of the piece turns to the left; the driver of the leading horses takes the direction from him. The piece being in the new direction, its chief commands,
Forward-MARCH. The caisson having arrived at the point at which its piece wheeled, the nun-commissioned officer commands,
1. Caisson–2. Left wheel—3. MARCH, and it follows the direction of the piece.
The wheel to the right is effected on the same principle.
All wheels of the half circle are made to the left, when practicable.
1. Piece-2. Left-about wheel-3. MARCH, the leading horses are turned to the left, and immediately to the left again ; that is, to the left-about. The wheel horses back the limber, as before stated, then turn to the left, the wheel passing over the prolonge, which might otherwise get engaged in the wheel, and embarrass the manœuvre; they are then again turned to the left, and the leaders oblique in the new direction.
This movement is of the utmost importance, and the drivers must be practised to perform it with skill and rapidity ; it is always used in face of an enemy, to change from order of battle, or line, into battery. In wheel. ing to the left-about, the men of the right of the piece, (being in the position To action,) at the word wheel, face to the right, and, passing the muzzle, move round, and form in rear of the men on the left. The wheel being executed, the men on the left of the piece (who had not moved) face to the left, pass the inuzzle, and resuine their posts on the left of the piece.
Wheeling on a fixed pivot is to be preferred on all occasions, on account of its requiring less space, and being more promptly executed than on a movable one. To enable the caisson or piece on its limber to wheel to the left-about, it is wheeled to the left, then advances twelve paces, wheels again to the left, and then obliques to prolong its direction.
In Order of Battle, or in Line, The horses of the piece and of the caisson are towards the enemy; the leading horses of the caisson are forty-five paces from the muzzle of the gun.
In Battery, The muzzle of the piece is towards the enemy, and the horses' heads to
with the same distance of forty-five paces between the leading horses and the caisson.
The Piece being supposed in Line, to form in Battery. The chief of the piece commands,
1. Piece. 2. Left-about wheel. 3. MARCH. The piece is wheeled to the left-about, on a fixed pivot, and the men take their stations as in To action. In horse-artillery, at the second word, the chief of the squad commands,
DISMOUNT, and the horses are led six paces in rear of the leaders of the piece, and then face the enemy:
If, marching in column of route, it become necessary to form battery, the caisson would immediately wheel to the left-about, and move to its proper distance in rear, and then again wheel, left-about.
If the piece were on its limber, it would oblique to the right before wheeling, that it might not lose its direction.
From Battery, to advance. The chief of the piece commands,
1. Forward. 2. Piece-left-about wheel. 3. MARCH. In horse-artillery, the order is given, Trot-march; and, if the distance to advance be considerable, the chief of the squad commands,
Being in Battery, to fire to the Rear. The chief of the piece commands,
1. Fire to the rear. 2. Piece-left-about wheel. 3. MARCH. The piece is wheeled rapidly to the left-about; the caisson advances at a trot, passing four paces to the right of the piece, then obliquing to the left, and taking its prescribed position. As soon as it has passed, the piece commences firing.
In horse-artillery, the men having charge of the horses move round with them rapidly in front of the horses of the piece.
Being on a March, to fire to the Rear. The chief orders,
1. Fire to the rear. 2. Fiece-halt. 3. TO ACTION. The piece is halted, and the men take their posts as in To action. The caisson, passing four paces on the right of the piece, advances at a trot to its proper distance. In horse-artillery, before the third command, the chief of the squad orders,
Squad-forward-trot-MARCH. The squad moves six paces in front of the leaders of the piece, when the chief commands,
Halt-Dismount, and they take their posts at the gun.
On the March, to form Line to the Left. If there be sufficient ground to admit the piece advancing to its proper distance, the order is given,
Piece and Caisson left wheel-MARCH. The piece is wheeled to the left, and advances until it has gained its proper distance from the caisson, when its chief commands,
Piece-Halt. The caisson wheels to the left, and halts when in line in rear of its piece.
If there be not sufficient ground in front, or if maneuvring on the flank of a corps, whose line of formation is not to be passed, the order is given, Left into line- } Caisson-right wheel—MARC#.
Ş left At the word MARCH, the piece is wheeled to the left on a fixed pivot ; the caisson wheels to the right, moves about sixty paces in rear of the piece, then wheels to the left, moves on until on the line with the piece, and then wheels again to the left, covering the piece at forty-five paces distance.
The formation to the right is made by inverse means.
To form in battery to the left, on a march, is accomplished by a simple wheel to the right, and is called inverse order. The chief commands,
1. By inversion—to the left into battery.
3. MARCH The piece wheels to the right on a fixed pivot; the caisson obliques to the right, and moves forty-five paces in rear of the gun.
In horse-artillery, the chief of the squad commands, Squad_left half. wheel ; then, Right half-wheel; when clear of the piece, Forward