Part One: Practical Instruction
Preparation of food: 2 Soup
Water is placed in a pot (marrnite) in the proportion of one litre (one Parisian pint) for each 250g (half a pound) of meat: it is put to boil on a rapid fire to remove the scum as quickly as possible; the heat is reduced after the pot has been brought to the boil, add 8g (2 gros) of salt per litre of water. Seasonal vegetable are added, one or two hours before the meat is removed. When the soup has boiled for five or six hours, and the stock is reduced to one fifth, the bread is dipped into the soup, leaving the pot on the fire until the last gamelle (squad mess tin has been filled) so that the soup does not lose its heat.
If the order to break camp comes before the soup has been made, the soldier, so that he does not lose the meat, removes it, and so that it does not go off, shall half cook it (over a direct fIre?), if there is not the time (to part cook it), to smoke it, that is to expose it to a thick smoke.
If in a besieged town, or a long journey, it may be required to extract (marrow) from bones then the procedure is as follows :
Using the bones which have been cooked with the "evening" meat, or better still bones which have not been cooked in the pot, the bones are ground in a mortar to produce a paste, the paste is then place in a type of tin casserole, pierced with holes like a skimmer, and which is called a "diaphrame" the casserole is placed into a pot containing plenty of water, and the paste is cooked as for making the soup with meat. Half a kilogramme (one pound) of ground bones, cooked in 4 litres (about 4 pints) of water, that is the amount of water which would be used for 2 kg (4 pounds) of meat, produces, after simmering for about six hours, 3.2 litres (three and a half pints) of stock, and gives one half pound of "solid" nourishment provided by the bones. The stock will be covered in a layer of fat 60g of which is used to cook the vegetables: the weight of bones is reduced by half, and the stock obtained is a quantity equal to that obtained from 4 pounds of meat.
The choice of water in which the vegetables are to be cooked is most important. It should, if at all possible, be running water, clear, odourless, and should be able to dissolve soap (that is soft water), from a river or rain water is preferable to spring or pond water, well water or water which lies on chalky ground should be avoided. When on campaign, and dried vegetables are issued, which may be badly cooked and not swell-up and remain hard, this may be attributed to the quality of the water;if it is "seleniteuse" (dissolved chalk sulphates) then it will not be possible to cook well in this sort of water. (Basically if you add salt to dried pulses, peas and beans before they are cooked the skins stay tough and require a greater cooking time Caporal Fourrier)
The Memorial of the Officer of Infantry
Decree 9th June 1809. Artillery pieces attached to the infantry .Title I, Article I. There shall be attached to each regiment of infantry, line and light, two pieces of artillery, 3 or 4 pounders, three caissons, a field forge, an ambulance caisson, and a caisson to transport the papers of the regiment. These eight waggons always march with the battalion which carries the eagle of the regiment.
2. There shall be attached to each battalion a caisson to carry the infantry cartridges, a caisson for the bread, which, for the four battalions shall make eight caissons.
Title 2, Article 3. The sixteen vehicles are serviced, harnessed, and conducted by a
company of cannoneers of the regiment.
The company of cannoneers of the regiment shall be commanded by a lieutenent, a sous-lieutenent, three sergeants and three corporals, and shall be divided into three squads.
The first squad shall be composed of a sergeant, a corporal, twenty cannoneers and two craftsmen (ouvriers). The corporal has the duty of the conductor and magazine-guard of the artillery. He shall have the keys to the caissons, and shall be especially charged with the conservation of the ammunition.
The second squad shall be made composed of a sergeant, a corporal and twenty soldiers of the train charged with harnessing the eight vehicles which march with the battalion which carries the eagle of the regiment.
The third squad shall be composed as for the second, and is charged with the movement and service
of the other eight vehicles.
The lieutenant shall be in command of the entire body, but especially the artillery; the sous-Iieutenent shall be especially charged with the train. Both of these officers shall be mounted.
Our minister of war shall determine the expenses which shall be awarded to the administration councils to put into effect (this decree), to repair and maintain the vehicles (1).
See Circular 23rd August 1809, number 175.
Have you ever felt the urge to salute an officer? If you have, and have wondered how the following extract from the "Manuel d' Infanterie" may help you.
202. Interior Honours.
There are another form of honours which are named "Interior Honours. " They consist of a "public" display of hierachical politness, and are expressed by salutations of a (specific) pre-determined form. The ordinances of 1788 do not give specific details. Our 'Reglement de Police' which is a copy of the Regulation of 1 July 1788, passes (over these) points in silence, and does nothing to correct these lack of military civilities. There are in substance the following "regulations":
If the general-officers or superior-officers of the regiment pass within the vicinity of the sergeants, corporals and soldiers, when they are seated or halted, those in the former case, rise and take up the position of shoulder arms (port d'arms), the bas-officiers (1), remove their hats, the soldiers carry the hand to the hat; those in the latter case turn towards the side of which the person to be saluted is on.
If the subordinates are on the march and they are passing their halted chjef', the bas-ofTiciers salute, removing thejr hats, the corporals and soldiers carry the hand to the plate (1).
If the subordinates are on the march, under arms but not formed “in troops”, the bas-officiers carry the musket on the right arm as per the regulation; the soldiers go to shoulder arms (portez vos armes). They go to present arms, if called upon to do so by a general-officer, by the commander of the place, by a superior-officer of the regiment, or by the commander of the company.
All corporals and soldiers on the march without arms, salute general-officers, superior officers of their regiment, and the captain of their company, they stop and face (the officer) without carrying the hand to the hat (chapeau). They salute all other grades, carrying without halting, one hand to the plate at the side of the hat on the side of the person (to be saluted).
If a general-officer, superior-officer, or other calls a bas-officier (sous-officier) or soldier (to him), the latter advances to within two or three paces of his chief, brings his hat down (1), if he is a bas-officier; carry the hand (to the hat) if he is a soldier, and remain in this position until the officer ceases talking.
The officers salute between themselves. The superior renders the exact salute to the inferior garde. The officers remove their hats to bas-officiers (sous- officiers) from whom they receive the salute, and carry the hand (to the hat) for all soldiers.
Note (1): The sous-officiers now wear shakos, as do the soldiers, both (classes) carry the hand (to the shako), the "finger-nails" upwards, the palm to the front.