Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Proper Deportment for British Troops on the Battlefield

Expand Messages
  • Tom Fournier
    An interesting exchange of emails on how to act on the battlefield. What might it have been like for the men whose lives we re-enact? We can find some answers
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 29, 2005
      An interesting exchange of emails on how to act on the battlefield.
      What might it have been like for the men whose lives we re-enact? We
      can find some answers from a District General Order that was to be
      read to the British troops in the Niagara area on the night of August
      1 and the morning of August 2nd, 1814:

      ********************************************************************


      "In reviewing the operation of this Army highly honorable as they
      have been to the Troops, and as far successfull as it was possible to
      Expect, considering the very great disparity of numbers against which
      they had to contend the Lieutenant General nevertheless feels it
      necessary to offer the following cautions and directions for the
      guidance of Commanding Officers of Corps in the approaching final,
      and he confidently anticipates successful and glorious Contest --

      "Loose -- or irregular formations, disorder, or wavering in the
      Ranks -- Noise or inattention to the Word of Command, as they tend to
      produce Confusion -- also tend to reduce us to the level of our
      opponents -- and to take from us all our advantages as disciplined
      Troops --

      "Charges in Mass or rather in Mob never produce any brilliant or
      successful Effect, nor should a Charge ever be attempted on heavy
      Columns, or lines of unbroken infantry, but by Troops in the most
      Correct State of formation and Capable of reforming after being
      unavoidably thrown in some degree of disorder by their own Charge --
      it is the Lieutt General's intention to give the fairest Scope to the
      discipline of the Troops -- by allowing their fire its full Effect --

      "Whenever the Lieutenant General or Officer Commanding may deem it
      proper to order the Charge -- it is Expected that it will not only be
      Executed with perfect regularity, but also with profound Silence --
      The Lieutt General disapproves of Screams and Shouts -- British
      discipline and intrepedity do not require such paltry aid --

      "Firing without orders is the greatest proof of indiscipline Troops
      can be guilty of, -- and even when a Company or Battalion are ordered
      to give its fire -- no rear Rank man who is not close locked up to
      his file leader must presume to join in it"

      By order of Lieutenant General Drummond

      (Signed) J Harvey
      Lt. Col. D.A.G.
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.