Instructions for the Caporal-fourrier
The functions of the caporal-fourrier are for the most part administrative rather than military; he shall posses the necessary talents to full fill his duties.
These talents consist principally of knowing how to write well, to set out the different accounts of the company, to be able to calculate the various accounts of the company, to know exactly the law concerning the distributions to be made to each man, depending upon his rank, according to the prescribed regulations.
He shall be, under the control of the sergeant-major, and under the orders of the commander of the company, especially charged with the detailed account of the company; he shall for this effect, of necessity, pay the greatest attention to the details of his work.
He shall always lodge or camp with the sergeant-major.
He shall conduct the men of the company to the distributions, and receive from the distributors the various articles, which he shall divide amongst the men charged with transporting the said articles.
He shall go on in advance, whether in lodgings or in the encampment.
He shall receive from the quarter-master the accommodation tickets for his company, for both officers and men: he shall after having received the tickets, search out the accommodation of the commander of the company, and of the sergeant-major, so that the lodgings of one or the other shall be at the centre of the lodgings of the company, only after the dismissal of the battalion at its arrival at the accommodation shall he return to his company to issue each his accommodation ticket.
In the camp he is in charge of the rope* of the company. He shall place the markers for each of the soldier's tents, for the cooking fires, for the washerwomen and for the officers.
In all cases he shall act with the utmost celerity before the arrival of the battalion, so that he can conduct his company to its accommodation, whether in lodgings or in an encampment.
In another book, he shall note all the distributions in terms of receipts and expenditure, so that at an instant he can pass on his accounts to his superior .
In a third book, he shall hold the particulars of the men of the company by rank and seniority, from the sergeant-major to the last fusilier.
When the battalion is on manoeuvres the caporal- fourrier is to be found in the standards platoon: he is to be well versed in marching at a well regulated pace, and to march directly upon a given direction.
The battalion depends upon the platoon for its alignment and its pace, whether on the march or in its place.
This is the only military duty assigned to the caporal-fourrier.
In the interior running of the company, he is to aid the sergeant-major in transcribing the different orders, and in reading out the orders to the assembled company.
i.e. to make up the different controls of the company for revues, the different necessary states of the company, hospital tickets, the different types of leave, the rations, the wood and straw, so that the company receives it due of the distributions whether in lodgings, or in the camp.
*The company rope is marked at various distances to show the position of the tents, campfires etc so that these can be quickly marked on the ground when the company is to camp using tents or to construct barrack huts as used at the Camp of Boulogne or after Eylau.
Manuel Journalier des sous-officiers et soldats.
Instructions for Sergeants
The corporal having obtained the rank of sergeant within a company shall apply himself to know all the men of his company, to know by heart their names and forenames, their place and department of birth, and to have a list by seniority of the men.
He shall study their individual character, beginning with the men of his barrack-room,
and his sub-division, so that he may best understand them to be able to guide them in their studies.
The sergeant in the barrack-room
He shall maintain good order, honesty, respect for rank, and good morals; he shall demonstrate this by his good example, he shall often "test" his subordinates on their studies so that they may be accurately reminded; he shall live with them as a good comrade: that is the best means by which he shall obtain their esteem, confidence and respect which is necessary both for the good of the service and of society .
In the morning he shall ensure that each rises and dresses as prescribed, and he shall devote himself to this end.
If some are required for some service that they are prepared in good time.
If some of the men are ill, that they are taken to the medical officer, and to the hospital.
He shall often inspect the arms and sacks of the men of his section.
He shall hold an exact account of what each man holds within his sack so that he may be able at an instant to give an account to his officers of his company.
He shall oversee all payments and effects to his soldiers, attesting to both the quality and quantity of distributions, at the time when they are made to the men.
He shall give an account in the field to the sergeant major, of those men of his section
who are missing, so that he may obtain their replacement.
The Sergeant Instructor
He shall follow the same precepts set out for the corporal instructor.
These rules shall be passed onto each grade, each reaching a degree of perfection. As the sergeant has more men to instruct he shall project the commands more, his
explanations shall be more clear and concise, so that they may be better understood and that no time is lost.
He shall endeavour to establish a uniformity, a precision and co-ordination in the different times and movements in the exercise class which he instructs.
Everything depends upon these first lessons to establish the soldier under arms, and they distinguish the talents of the instructor.
The Sergeant on Manoeuvres
He is to be found as a replacement or in the "serre-file."
In the former case, his duty is to replace, in the front rank, the commander of the peloton, when that officer leaves his position to move in front of his peloton. When the unit fires, or when the ranks are opened the sergeant is to move back into the serre-file (for firing), and to open the ranks he is to mark the line of the third rank of the peloton as well as see that the rank is aligned with the battalion, under the command of the guides on the line.
In the latter case (i.e. in the serre- file ), during the firing or "battle" march he is to ensure that the rear two ranks stay well closed up upon the first, and to ensure that while firing that each man does not double load his piece and that the muskets are positioned close upto the cheek.
When he finds himself on the left-rear of the peloton or section, and that peloton or section is to fonn in column he shall move to the front rank on the left of the peloton or section, their to observe and maintain the alignment and distances for the peloton in respect to the battalion.
The Sergeant of the Guard
Following the allocation of posts, whether in quarters or in camp, the sergeant having received the required number of men to form the guard, shall form then in single rank, by height, afterwards forming into two or three ranks depending upon their numbers, to conduct them to the parade area of the battalion, and from there to their indicated post.
Having arrived at their post, he shall have detailed to him, by the guard he is to replace, the passwords to be observed, and all necessary information with which to secure his post.
He shall followed by the corporal, assign the men, in order, to their respective posts, and shall leave them there after having conducted to there positions with the corporal.
During the relief of the sentries, he shall ensure that all regulations are followed, he shall take the same precautions as those prescribed for the corporal of the guard.
He shall equally pay the same attention as that directed to the corporal of the guard for the policing of the post, for the rounds and for patrols, and for the reports which are to be made during his guard: he shall supervise the corporal and soldiers, making sure that each know their duty.
When an officer commands the post, the sergeant shall give a prompt and complete account of all that has occurred at and near the post: for which purpose he shall frequently visit the sentries, and reconnoitre well the approaches to the post.
At the prescribed hour, he shall send his corporal, or, if he does not command the post, he himself shall go to obtain the password, in the morning he shall carry the report on the post.
Depending upon the number of men he has at the post he shall call the roll call as often as he deems necessary.
The Sergeant on detachment
He shall, before leaving his battalion or his company, make a list of the men, who compose his detachment, so that he shall know their names, and the companies of which they are part.
When the detachment has assembled, he shall make an inspection, to ensure that their arms, equipment and uniform, are in a good condition, and if they are in need of repair .
If the detachment is to be of a long duration, he shall be given by the administrative council, a certificate stating from which day the troops shall be paid and receive their rations, so that they may receive them wherever they are.
When he is en route, he shall march at "pas de route" at a moderate pace, so that the troop shall always be able to assemble and form in order.
During the first two hours of the march, he shall make one or two short halts of eight to ten minutes each; to give the soldiers time to re-arrange their effects; by this means he ensures that no man has any pretext to remain behind, and may make hard marches more easily.
During times of war in the face of the enemy, he shall have two or four men as an advance guard, depending on the size of his detachment; he shall march with all care, so that he will not be surprised.
Arriving at his destination he shall look to the establishment of his troop, such that
they may be assembled in the same area, and that they are lodged close by him.
He shall establish a guard post, posting the necessary sentries, to ensure the security
of his post, and tranquility of the public.
He shall indicate the point on which the troop is to re-assemble in case of alert.
He shall, afterwards tour the surroundings of his post, and the principle routes by which the enemy might approach his post.
He shall discover and examine the roads by which he would have to retire if attacked by superior forces, unless he has orders to hold his position until the arrival of help.
In this case, he shall take all the necessary measures for defence, barricades, entrenchment's in the ground or elsewhere, wide ditches to stop cavalry, and where infantry can pass, he shall enlist the assistance of the local inhabitants, if his post is in a village or other inhabited location.
Close to the enemy he shall not allow his men to undress at night, nor to move far from the post during the day
Even when the enemy are not to be feared, all military precautions are to be taken and the men are to be billeted in "urban" areas and not spread out through the countryside, they are to live in harmony with the inhabitants, they are to respect their persons and property, and they are to be easily found at the prescribed times when the roll-calls are to be taken.
He shall have his men follow the same regime as if they were with the battalion.
He shall often visit the billets of his detachment, to discover how the men are behaving, and that their arms and effects are in good order .
He shall, especially at night, make frequent rounds, to ensure that the posts are exactly served, and that everyone has returned to their billet at the hour indicated for the "retreat".
The sergeant of the advance or rear-guard
With the advance-guard, he shall follow the same form of the march as prescribed for the corporal undertaking the same duties.
Having more men under his command than a corporal, he shall decide how many men should be deployed to the front and to the flanks.
He shall dictate the distance they are to maintain themselves from the troop, and the means by which they are to fall back on the troop in case of attack.
With the rear-guard, he shall follow the same regulations as for the corporal in the same situation, with regards both to the men on the flanks and to those falling behind.
He shall regulate the march with that of the column, always maintaining the prescribed distance from the troop.
If followed by the enemy, he shall carefully husband his fire, not uselessly firing, and on no occasion discharging all his muskets at the same time; he shall often face the enemy, raising the musket to the "cheek," without firing, imposing upon the enemy by his countenance.
He shall divide his force into two parts, so that one part shall not discharge their muskets until the second part have reloaded.
If he is followed by cavalry , he shall fire by "billebotte" or by the second rank; the first in this case shall not fire until the horses of the enemy are on their bayonets, to ensure their fire takes effect: the third rank shall only load the muskets of the men of the second rank without firing them.
In all cases he shall maintain strict silence with the troop so that the commands may be heard.
He shall march in the best possible order, with the ranks well closed up, as on exercise.
He shall maintain these dispositions with the assurance that he will be supported by
the column, following it at the prescribed distance and pace, regulated by the movements of the column.
The "Orderly" Sergeant
He has to follow the same system as the corporal carrying out the same duty , the two grades taking their duties proportionally or often the two working together.
The sergeant of the Week
He is particularly assigned to oversee the interior functioning of his company, and to receive, in the absence of the sergeant-major, the orders from the staff of the battalion, so that he may transmit them to the said company. He shall give an immediate account to the sergeant major of all those newly arrived in the company.
He shall for an assistant the corporal of the week, who shall also report all that occurs within the company.
Consequently he shall not leave the locality of his company, and shall often visit the rooms, and "areas" of the company, to ensure that the property and equipment is in good order.
He shall give a complete account to his lieutenants of all those who have arrived in the company, going to the lieutenants billet to report, beginning with the officer of the week.
Instructions for the Sergeant-Major
The sergeant major is, as they say, the heart and soul of the company: he is especially charged with the security , its instruction, and its administration, under the orders of the captain. It is to effect this that the caporal-fourrier shall always be lodged or camped with him.
The sergeant major shall know the individual character and morals of the men of his company.
It is to the sergeant-major that the sergeants and corporals shall give a direct account of all that occurs in their rooms, sections or squads, after which he makes his tour, and goes to report to and receive his orders from the captain.
He shall direct the administrative duties of the caporal-fourrier and oversee its accuracy.
He shall, during the drill, oversee the instructors, ensuring their uniformity in their orders, demonstrations and in their movements.
He shall show by his example the principles he wishes to pass on.
He shall go in the morning, at the prescribed hour, to the battalion staff, to make his company report and to write down the order of the day, which he shall take to the commander of his company, and their receive his particular orders.
Returning to his lodging; he distributes all orders to the other ncos of the company, who in turn shall transmit them to their sections and squads, ensuring that they are executed exactly by the subordinates.
At the hour of the parade; and each time that the company, or part of it, is under arms, he shall assemble the men, a little before the indicated time, so that he may make a preliminary inspection, and have the time to examine the uniform or equipment of each soldier, so that the troop shall be in the best state possible at the arrival of the officer.
All requests of his subordinates shall only be passed to the commander of the company, or the officer of the week, by the sergeant major, and he shall accompany the officer on his inspection rounds of the rooms of the company.
The sergeant major, accompanied by the corporal of the week, shall on the days "grand parades" shall go to receive the "general order", whether in a place or in a camp.
All the officers as they are encountered, are given the "order", and receive specific orders relating to their company.
He shall carry out all the roll calls of his company, and shall give a complete account of the said company to his commander, or to the officer of the week.
He shall visit, at least once per day, all the rooms of his company, to ensure that peace and order are established, and if the "chiefs" do their duty .He shall for this object, from time to time, inspect individual haversacks to ensure that the reports of the room "chiefs" are exact or not.
The caporal-fourrier shall make all the distributions of pay, uniform effects, equipment, and arms in the presence of the sergeant-major .
He shall preside at the inscription of the men on the registers of the company, and in the "livrets" of each soldier, for the accuracy of which he is responsible to the commander of the company.
He shall keep a book to register the orders, where he shall write all the general orders concerning the service, which from time to time he shall refer to.
He shall often go to the hospital, to visit the sick of the company.