Re: Dispersal (Dismissal)
- Dismissal, or dispersal, procedures have been discussed in some detail
in The Brigade Dispatch; see "When the Exercise is Ended - The
Quitting of it", Linnea M. Bass and William W. Burke, Vol. 24 No. 2,
and "Notes", Vol. 24 No. 4 and Vol. 25 No. 2. Extracts from these
articles appear below. No mention of any shouting (what a surprize).
Don N. Hagist
Editor, The Brigade Dispatch
Extract from "When the Exercise is Ended - The Quitting of it."
William Burke, Grenadier Company, Brigade of Guards, NWTA
The Brigade Dispatch V. 24 No. 2
There seems to be a large variety of methods being employed by
recreated British units to dismiss a detachment (squad, platoon,
company, or what have you). I have found only one described in period
material - however, accomplishing it requires references to two
Thomas Simes states in his Military Medley that the commanding
"Recover your Arms.
To the right about.
And the men go to their quarters.1
1. Simes, Thomas. The Military Medley. 2nd Edition, London, 1768,
[The remainder of the article describes the recover and right about
From "Notes", The Brigade Dispatch, Vol. 24 No. 4:
I was interested in the article "When the Exercise is Done - The
Quitting of It" (Brigade Dispatch Vol. XXIV No. 2), but some of the
terms are wrong (in addition to the example given, which is part of a
Funeral exercise). The term "dismiss" is referred to in An Universal
Military Dictionary (George Smith, London, 1779; reprinted by Museum
Restoration Service, Ottawa, 1969) as a meaning of "discard." It was
used generally to denote the dismissal of an officer for when "His
Majesty had not any further occasion for his services." The term
"disperse" means "to break suddenly from any particular order, in line
or column, and to repair to some rallying point." That is, when the
unit of men is dispersed, it is always told the next assembly point.
The explanation goes on to say, "to reassemble according to the
natural line of formation." The commands, given in A Military Guide
for Young Officers (Thomas Simes, London, 1781, p. 187) are:
Take Care to disperse - March
The Officers, with the colours, march 6 paces forward.
A long Roll.
By the 2 orderly drummers, disperses the regiment.
Note that this command is designed to disperse the regiment in order
to practice forming again "with the utmost celerity." The orders
above, part of exercises to be performed at a field day, are followed
immediately by To arms, when the battalion is instantly formed again.
Some regiments have the men come to the Recover before they turn
right about, while others have the men stay at Shoulder and come to
the Order after taking their step forward. These commands can also be
found in Simes' Military Medley (London, 1768, p. 217). It is my
personal opinion that the best method is to have the soldiers come to
the Recover before they go to the Right About, and then take their one
step forward to take them out of ranks, before they walk off the field
on their own.
Vincent J-R Kehoe
From "Notes", The Brigade Dispatch, Vol. 25 No. 2:
Referring to the article "When the Exercise is Done: the Quitting of
it" (Brigade Dispatch, Vol. XXIV No. 2), another method of dismissal
can be found in A Plan of Discipline for the use of the Militia of the
County of Norfolk (William Windham, London, 1759; this work was also
sold in Boston in 1774). On page 58, it says:
He will then give the words of command to open their ranks, and order
their firelocks; and the officers will again inspect the arms and
accoutrements, to see if they are clean and in order... after which
he will command them to rest, shoulder, and club their firelocks; and
then give the word, To the right about! and dismiss them with the
ruffle of a drum.
A footnote to this passage says:
If the men are to lodge their arms in a house, church, or other place,
that they can conveniently march into, the officers may make them rest
their firelocks, and then give the word, Face to the right! and so
make each rank file off with recovered arms singly from the right, the
centre rank following as soon as the front rank has marched off, and
then the rear rank, the drum beating the troop.
So we have two different methods for dismissal, depending on whether
or not the arms are to be lodged afterwards.
--- In BrigadeAmRev@yahoogroups.com, umfspock87@c... wrote:
> 2. When dismissing the troops many reenacting units shout
> believe the British troops shouted "God Save the King" in the F & I
> ( This could be a reenactorism though). So I ask, do we have any
> that the men shouted anything when dismissed?