Tue Apr 24 20:39:59 2001
A typical Infantry battle formation for a regiment (nominally 10 companies of about a 100 men each) would be two lines (ranks) one immediately behind the other and shoulder to shoulder. One company would be deployed in loose order across the front of the main line as skirmishers. The company commander’s (Captain’s) place in line is in the front rank at the right of his company with his first Sgt. in the rear rank directly behind him. Lieutenants (3 per co.) and other sergeants (4 per CO.)would be posted immediately behind the rear rank as "file closers". The file closer's job was to keep the rank and file in their proper place in line (and sometimes to force "shirkers" back into line or even to shoot them.)
This a classic formation which was used for both defense (on open ground) and offence. The skirmishers of course would retreat to their main line when pressed by the main line of the enemy. This formation was of course altered to fit the tactical situation, especially if defending breast works.
Regimental officers (and staff) would be posted in the center rear of their regiment but this could vary with the situation especially if attacking.
Brigade and higher officer’s positions would vary greatly with the individual officers concerned and the tactical situation. Southern officers tended to “lead from the front”.
Posting of Artillery would vary greatly with type of gun and situation, but generally the field artillery would be on a line with the infantry or slightly behind if the terrain allowed them to fire over the heads of their own troops.
Cavalry when operating with infantry was used to cover the flanks of the main line and sometimes dismounted and used as Infantry.
Re: into battle
Alan J. Pitts, Tue Apr 24 22:21
Re: Into Battle
Paul McLaughlin, Wed Apr 25 09:54
Roger Brothers, Wed Apr 25 12:04