19th Regiment Menu

THE MANUAL EXERCISE.

Percussion Arms require to be carefully handled, in order to prevent the cock being loosened, by which its direct fall on the nipple would be rendered uncertain. They are, at all times, when unloaded, to be used with the cock down on the nipple, and Sentries may be permitted to carry their arms, when loaded, in the same manner, in order to secure the cap in its place; but, to avoid accidents, they are to be carried, on all other occasions, at half-cock after being loaded.

Words of Command. Explanation.
1st. Secure Arms

1st. Bring the right hand briskly up and place it under the cock, the forefinger touching the back part of it, the thumb placed between the stock and barrel, and pointing to the muzzle, keeping the firelock steady.

2nd. Quit the butt with the left hand, and seize the firelock with it at the swell, bringing the elbow close down upon the lock, carefully avoiding to raise or lower the shoulder; the right hand kept fast in this motion, and the piece still upright.

3rd. Quit the right hand, giving the piece a cant with the forefingers, and bring it down to your right side, bringing the firelock down to the Secure, under the left arm, the elbow thrown a little to the rear, the guard just visible, the thumb on the sling, the fingers grasping the barrel, and the hand rather below the hip-bone.

N.B. In marching when the cap is on, the cock will be brought up under the arm-pit, the sling resting on the arm; but at other times the firelock may be carried with the barrel downwards, the right hand grasping the piece between the loop and the swell, and the left, the right arm just below the elbow.

2nd. Shoulder Arms.

1st. Bring the firelock up to the perpendicular line, seizing it with the right hand under the cock, as the first motion of the Secure.

2nd. Quit the left hand, and strike the butt with the palm, grasping it at the same instant.

3rd. Quit the right hand, and bring it smartly down to the right side.

3rd. Order Arms.

1st. Seize the firelock with the right hand, the little finger as high as the shoulder, the elbow close to the body.

2nd. Bring it down to the right side, the little finger to slip between the stock and barrel; place the butt quietly on the ground.

3rd. Bring the thumb of the right hand on the sling, placing the muzzle in the hollow of the shoulder, the. hand flat on the side of the stock.

4th. Fix Bayonets.

1st. At the word Fix, place the thumb of the right hand, as quick as possible, behind the barrel.

2nd. As soon as the word of command is fully given, take a gripe of the firelock, and push the muzzle a little forward, grasping the bayonet with the left hand, the elbow kept well forward, so as not to interfere with the left-hand man, and fixing it with the utmost celerity. The instant this is done, return, as quick as possible, to the Order as above described, and stand perfectly steady.

5th. Shoulder Arms.

1st. As soon as the word Shoulder is given, take a gripe of the firelock with the right hand, as in fixing bayonets.

2nd At the last word Arms, the firelock must be thrown, with the right hand, in one motion, and with as little appearance of effort as possible, into its proper position on the left shoulder. The hand crosses the body in so doing, but must instantly be withdrawn.

6th. Present Arms.

1st. Seize the firelock with the right hand, under the guard, turning the lock to the front, but without moving it from the shoulder.

2nd. Raise the firelock tip from the shoulder to the poise, by placing the left hand (smartly and with a tell) upon the sling, fingers pointing upwards; the wrist upon the guard, and the point of the left thumb of equal height with the mouth, and close to the forefinger; the piece to be kept perpendicular in this position, the left elbow close to the butt. the right elbow and butt close to the body.

3rd. Bring down the firelock with a quick motion, as low as the right hand will admit without constraint; making it tell with the left hand, which must be placed with a firm hold two inches above the bottom swivel, thumb pointing up, drawing back the right foot at the same instant, so that the hollow of it may touch the left heel. The firelock in this position, with the guard to the front, to be totally supported in the left hand, close in front of and opposite the centre of the body; the right hand lightly holding the small of the butt; the fingers pointing. rather downwards: the body to rest entirely on the left foot; both knees straight.

7th. Shoulder Arms.

1st. By a turn of the right wrist, bring the firelock to its proper position on the left shoulder, making the motion tell, the left hand grasping the, butt, and bringing tip the right foot at 'tile same instant to its original position; fingers of the right hand under the cock, thumb pointing up.

2nd. Quit the right hand briskly, and bring it down to the right side.

8th. Port Arms.

At one motion throw the firelock from the shoulder across the body, meeting it firmly with both hands at the same instant (the right at the small of the butt-the left at the swell) in a diagonal position, in which the lock is to he turned to the front, the nipple at the height of the centre of the breastplate, the muzzle slanting upwards, so that the barrel may cross opposite the point of the left shoulder, with the butt proportionably depressed. The right hand grasps the small of the butt, and the left grasps the piece at the swell, with the fingers round the barrel, the thumbs of both hands pointing, towards the muzzle, both elbows close to the body.

9th. Charge Bayonets.

Make a half-face to the right, the right toe straight off to the right, and 'the left toe full to the front, and bring down the firelock to nearly a horizontal position, with the muzzle inclining a little upwards, and the right wrist resting against the hollow of the thigh below the hip.

10th. Shoulder Arms.

1st. Throw the firelock up to its proper position on the left shoulder, the left hand falling smartly on the butt, and grasping it, and at the same instant coming to your proper front; fingers of the fight hand under the cock, thumb pointing up.

2nd. Quit. the right hand smartly, and bring it down to. the right side.

11th. Advance Arms.

1st. Seize the firelock with the right hand under the guard, turning the lock to the front, but without moving it from the shoulder.

2nd. Raise the firelock up from the shoulder to the poise, by placing the left hand upon the sling, fingers pointing upwards, the wrist upon the guard, and the point of the left thumb of equal height with the mouth, and close to the forefinger; the piece to be kept perpendicular in this position.

3rd. Bring the firelock down to the right side with the right hand as low as it will admit without constraint, at the same time striking it smartly with the left hand at the swell, the guard between the thumb and forefinger of the right hand, the three last fingers under the cock, with the guard to the front.

4th. Quit the left hand.

12th. Order Arms.

1st. At this word the left hand is brought smartly across the body, and seizes the firelock with the forefinger ill line with the point of the right shoulder.

2nd. Bring he firelock down as low as the left arm will admit, letting it slip through the fingers of the right hand, until it quietly touches the ground.

3rd. Quit the left hand.

13th. Advance Arms.

1st. At the word Advance, the thumb of the right hand is slipped quickly in rear of the barrel.

At the word Arms it is brought to the advance by a sharp cant of the right hand; the left hand is brought across the body; to steady the firelock to the shoulder.

2nd. Quit the left hand.

14th. Shoulder Arms.

1st. Bring tip the left hand, and seize the piece at the swell, raising it about one inch; at the same instant slip the thumb of the right hand under the cock, by a turn of the right wrist.

2nd. Throw it smartly to its proper position on the left shoulder, the left hand falling smartly on the butt, grasping it, the fingers of the right hand under the cock, thumb pointing up.

3rd, Quit the right hand, and bring it to the ,right side.

N.B. In these motions great care must be taken to preserve the squareness of the body, and to avoid raising or sinking the shoulder.

15th. Support Arms.

1st. Seize the small of the butt, under the lock, with the right hand, the thumb pointing upwards, the firelock to be raised one inch.

2nd. Bring the left arm under the cock. 3rd. Quit the right hand.

16th. Stand at Ease.

At this word of command the right hand is brought smartly across the body, and seizes the firelock at the small of the butt close up under the left arm, with the thumb of the right hand pointing upwards, the right foot drawn back, the left knee bent, and the firelock a little sloped.

17th. Attention.

At this word of command the right hand is dropped smartly to the right side, and the right foot brought in line with the left.

18th. Carry Arms.

1st. Seize the small of the butt under the left arm, with the right hand.

2nd. Smartly place the left hand with a tell grasping the butt, the firelock kept steady.

3rd. Quit the right hand.

At the same instant allowing the left arm to sink to the full extent.

19th. Slope Arms.

In sloping arms the upper part of the arm is not to move, the guard of the firelock is to be raised so as gently to press against the hollow of the shoulder, the hand in a line with the elbow, the toe of the butt in a line with the centre of the left thigh.

20th. Stand at Ease.

On the word Ease, bring the right, hand smartly across the body, placing it on the left hand, both thumbs on the fore part of the heel of the butt, that of the left hand uppermost, and drawing the right foot back at the same instant, the left knee bent.

21st. Attention.

At this word of command resume the attitude of attention, by bringing the right hand smartly to the right side, and the right foot in line with the left.

22nd. Carry Arms.

1st. Drop the left arm to its extent, and bring the right hand smartly across the body; the fore part of the fingers to meet the small of the butt, as in the first motion of the Secure.

2nd. Quit the right hand.

23rd. Order Arms.

As prescribed in page 24.

24th. Unfix Bayonets.

At the word Unfix, slip the thumb of the right hand in rear of the barrel; at the last sound of the word Bayonet, force the muzzle a little forward, bring the left hand smartly to the upper loop, the thumb pointing upwards. Seize the socket of the bayonet between the forefinger and thumb of the right hand, pressing the spring back with the first joint of the finger, the back of the knuckle of the second joint being at the same time placed against the bow; raise the bayonet to disengage it from the spring, and when it is as high as the turn, twist it to the left to disengage it from the muzzle; let the bow fall over the thumb, and the two forefingers on the top of the socket, with the left hand force the muzzle of the firelock back to its proper position, at the same instant bring the thumb of the left hand on the top of the scabbard, for the purpose of guiding the bayonet into it; and bring the right hand smartly to the position of Ordered Arms.

25th. Stand at Ease

As before directed.

It is to be understood that whenever a battalion in line charges with bayonets, the whole are in the first instance to advance at a firm quick step, with shouldered arms; at the word Prepare to Charge, the firelocks of the front rank will be brought to the long trail, and those of the rear rank to the slope; at the word Charge, the firelocks of the front rank will be thrown smartly to the charging position, and the pace increased to double march carefully avoiding too much hurry. The enemy being routed, it will depend on the officer commanding to give the word Halt, when both ranks will shoulder arms, and proceed as may be afterwards directed.

In marching any distance, or in standing at ease, when supported, the men are allowed to bring their right hand across the body, to the small of the butt, which latter must in that case, be thrown a little forward; the fingers of the left hand being uppermost must be placed between the body and the right elbow; the right hands are to be instantly removed when the division halts, or is ordered to dress by the right or left.

  Time.

The motions in the Manual Exercise are to be performed, leaving one pause of the slow time of march between each motion, except that of fixing bayonets, in which a longer time must be given. One -pause should also be made between the first and last parts of the words of command; for instance, shoulder (one pause) arms, both in manual and platoon.

The manual is not to be executed by one word or signal, but each separate word of command is to be given by the officer who commands the body performing it.

  Method of Piling Arms.
Pile Arms.

The company standing in close order with ordered arms and told off by threes, the word Pile is then given; the whole of the company slip the thumb of the right hand in rear of the barrel of the firelock, at the same time drawing back their right feet, in order to face to their right, with the exception of numbers two in the rear rank; they advance their right feet in the hollow of the left, in order to face to the left. The word Arms is then given, the whole of the front rank, and one and, three of the rear, face to the right; one and three files of the front rank turn the firelock on the heel of the butt with the sling towards them One and three files of the rear rank turn the firelock on the heel of the butt with the sling from them, which brings the lock outwards; having done this, they lock their ramrods together, still bearing them well up, so as to show an interval. Number two file of the front rank throws his firelock to the rear as he then stands, and brings his left hand on number one muzzle, and completes that pile; having done that, he remains perfectly steady, faced to the right; in piling. with number three, the front and ranks have already locked their ramrods. Number two of the rear rank throws his firelock-off to his own rear as he then stands, and completes number three pile by bringing his left hand on the muzzle of the firelock; having done this, he faces to the right about, and remains steady.

  Unpile Arms.
Unpile Arms.

At the word Unpile, the whole advance their right feet in the hollow of the left, and seize their firelocks at the top brass, thumbs pointing upwards; the files numbered two of the rear rank must work well round on the hips to reach their firelocks: at the word Arms, the whole snatch their firelocks smartly towards them, and front at the same time.

HistoryX hosts this site for future generations of military historians to enjoy. It is now just for reference.