21eme Regiment de Ligne
  Ecole de Peloton(2)

43. Loading in quickest time (without the four pauses of loading in quick time) being that made use of in action, it becomes of the last importance that it should be done expertly; and therefore, the practise of it is to be particularly dwelt on. When the soldiers are well grounded in the principles of it, they will be, gradually, brought to load and fire, at least, thrice, and even four times in a minute, with regularity and ease.

Article III

Firing by the platoon three deep

Feu de peloton.

44. To effect this, the instructor shall order as follows:

1. The platoon will fire.                 (Feu de peloton.)

2. Commence firing.                    (Commencez de feu.)

45. At the first word, the chief of platoon shall retire, quickly, behind the centre of his platoon, two paces in the rear of the fourth rank.

46. The covering sergeant shall fall back into the alignment of the fourth rank, opposite to the interval he stand in; and this rule will be general with respect to the covering sergeant during the firings.

47. On hearing the second word of command, the chief of platoon shall give the following words of command:

1. Platoon.             (Peloton.)

2. =Ready.             (=Armes.)

3. =Present.           (=Joue.)

4. =Fire.                 (=Feu)

5. =Load.               (=Chargez.)

48. At the word, load, (chargez), the soldiers will come down to the priming position, will load and shoulder, when the chief of platoon will, by the same words of command, cause the platoon to fire again, and so on, until a ruffle from the drum directs to cease firing.

49. The chief of platoon shall sometimes, order his platoon to fire obliquely to the right, and obliquely to the left, taking care to give the caution, oblique to the right, or, oblique to the left, (oblique a droite, or, oblique a gauche), and before the word, present, (joue), making his platoon fire thus, sometimes to the right, and sometimes to the left, without any other caution. He will also sometimes make his men recover arms (redressez=vos armes), after presenting, In order to accustom his men to steadiness and coolness, and to attention to the word of command.

Article IV

Independent file firing.

Feu de deux rangs.

50. To produce this species of firing, the instructor shall order;

1. Fire by independent files. (Feu de deux rangs.)

2. Platoon.                     (Peloton.)

3. =Ready.                     (=Armes.)

4. Commence firing.   (Commencez le feu.)

51. At the first word of command, the chief of platoon shall retire one pace in rear of the third rank, opposite to his interval in line.

52. The mode of execution in consequence of the third and fourth commands, will be regulated according to the directions laid down in number 176 and the ones following it in the Ecole de Soldat.

53. The right hand file shall commence this species of firing; the next file will present, at the instant when the first has fired and come down to the loading position; and so on to the left; but this progression shall take place only during the first fire; every man. Afterwards, loading and firing without waiting for others, and conforming to the rules laid down in numbers 180 and 181 of the Ecole de Soldat.

54. The instructor causes the fire, either of the platoon, front rank kneeling, or of independent files, to cease, by a roll, or ruffle of the drum, at the beginning of which the firing shall cease. Those who have just fired, shall load and shoulder; if in the position of ready (appretez vos armes), they shall front, half-cocking, and then shoulder, at the same time; and if presenting,(joue) they shall recover their arms, of their own accord, fronting, half-cocking, and shouldering arms. In platoon firing, the front rank will spring up from the knee to half-cock; and in firing by independent files, the men of the centre and rear ranks, after having half-cocked, and previous to shouldering, shall take back their respective firelocks, if not in possession of them, on hearing the ruffle.

55. The ruffle, shall, always be followed by a tap of the drum, and, at this signal, the chief of platoon, as also the covering sergeant, shall, quickly, resume their place in line, and rectify, if necessary, the alignment of the ranks.

56. If there is no drum, the instructor shall order the fire to cease by repeating the word, ruffle or roll, (roulement), as if directing the same to beat.

The tap of the drumstick, as a signal for the chief of platoon, and the covering sergeant, to resume their original places, shall likewise be repeated, thus, tap of the drumstick, (coup de baguette) by the instructor, when he sees arms shouldered, if there is no drum with the drill.

Article V

Firing to the rear.

Feu en arriere.

57. To accomplish this, the instructor shall order;

1. The platoon will fire to the rear.       (Feu en arriere.)

2. Platoon.                                               (Peloton.)

3. To the right about=face.                    (Demi-tour=a droite.)

58. At the word, to the right about, (demi-tour.), the chief of platoon shall place himself facing, and close against, the right hand front rank man of his platoon, or company; and the covering sergeant, followed by the officers, and non-commissioned officers of the fourth rank, shall nimbly, step through the interval, or opening, left by the chief of platoon, placing themselves facing to the rear, two paces from the front rank, and opposite to their respective places in the line.

59. At the word, face, (a droite), the chief of platoon shall occupy his interval in line, but place himself in the rear rank, now become the front; and the covering sergeant shall place himself in the proper front rank, now the rear, and covering, in that situation, the captain, or chief of platoon.

60. The platoon facing to the rear, shall, by word of command from the instructor, as explained in the preceding article, go through the platoon firing, direct and oblique, and the firing by independent files. The chief of platoon, and the covering sergeant, will act as has been laid down respecting them, in such situations.

61. In firing to the rear, the rear rank, become the front, will fire kneeling.

62. Independent file firing will commence from the left flank of the platoon (the flanks of which are now reversed) become the right .

63. To front the platoon, the instructor shall order,

1. The platoon will front.             (Face en tete.)

2. Platoon.                                     (Peloton.)

3. To the right about=face.          (Demi-tour=a droite.)

64. At the word, to the right about, (demi-tour), the chief of platoon, the covering sergeant, and the supernumerary rank, will conform to the directions given above.

65. At the word face, (a droite), the chief of platoon, and the covering sergeant, resume their places in line.

Remarks on the different species of firings.

Observations relative aux feux.

66. The instructor shall accustom the kneeling-rank to present horizontally, and the standing ranks, to lower the muzzle, a little, under level, in taking aim.

67. Th instructor will recommend to the chief of platoon, to make a very small pause between the words, present, and, fire (joue, et feu), to enable the troops to aim well.

68. The instructor must place himself in front of the right flank, so as to command a view of the three ranks, in order to observe such faults as may be committed; he shall give it in charge to the chief of platoon, and to those in the supernumerary rank, to watch in this respect, and to report to him when the platoon stands at ease; and such as are found to load awkwardly, or to fire, in the platoon firings, habitually, slow, by not pulling their triggers, smartly, with the others, shall be remanded to the department of the Ecole de Soldat, where individual instruction is given.

69. The instructor will recommend to the soldiers to observe the utmost steadiness and coolness, during the firings, consistently with a requisite vivacity and smartness of execution; and he shall omit nothing that can contribute to this effect.

70. In the firings, he will lay it down as a general principle to the troops, that the left heel is always to turn on the same individual spot, in order that the alignment of ranks, and the covering files, may be maintained; and, at the conclusion of the firing, he will ascertain this, by inspecting the alignment.

71. The instructor shall add to his remarks, all those to be found under numbers 184, 185, and 186, of the Ecole de Soldat.

72. When the platoon fires with cartridges, the instructor shall cause the files, in close order, to spring their ramrods, to ascertain whether there may not be three charges in the firelock; he will cause them to be drawn with a worm on the ramrod.

Lesson III

Lecon III

Article V

Marching in line.

Marche en bataille.

73. The platoon being drawn up correctly aligned, for the march in line, the instructor will place himself, from fifteen to twenty paces, in front of the chief of platoon, facing him, on the prolongation of the line passing between the heels of the chief of platoon, and those of the covering sergeant, behind him in the rear rank.

74. He shall, previously, assure himself that the shoulders of the chief of platoon , and of the covering sergeant, are perfectly in the line of direction of their relative ranks; and also, that the latter correctly covers the former.

75. The instructor having aligned himself, exactly, on the directing file, is to command,

The platoon will advance. (Peloton en avant)

76. At this command, a non-commissioned officer selected, previously, from the supernumerary rank, shall proceed, six paces in front of the chief of platoon, and the instructor, situated as has been described, will correctly align this non-commissioned officer, in the line of prolongation of the directing file.

77. The non-commissioned officer placed six paces in front of the chief of platoon, being the person charged with the direction of the march shall, after his own position is fixed, with his eye, mark two points on the ground, on a straight line proceeding from his own heels to, and passing between, those of the instructor.

78. This arrangement made, the instructor will command,

2. =March.                          (=Marche.)

79. At this word of command, the platoon shall step off, smartly, together; the non-commissioned officer charged with the direction of the march, shall maintain, with the greatest precision, the length and cadence of the step; shall march in the direction of the two points taken up in the line between him and the instructor, in proportion as he advances, and always before he arrives at the nearest of the two points originally fixed on, taking up two new points accurately in the prolongation of the two first, and at fifteen or twenty paces from each other; the chief of platoon will constantly march in the path traced out by the directing non-commissioned officer, keeping, always, at the distance of six paces from him; and the soldiers shall keep the head direct to the front, feeling lightly, the elbow of the man next to them, respectively, towards the side of the file of direction, and conforming to the principles laid down for the march to the front, in the system of the Ecole de Soldat.

80. The front rank man, next to the chief of platoon, shall be particularly careful never to project in line, before him, nor to push him laterally; and for this purpose, he shall, always, keep the line of his shoulders, in a very small degree, back, or towards the rear, but at the same time, in a direction parallel to those of the chief of platoon.

81. The supernumerary rank will march, two paces, in rear of the third rank.

If the soldiers lose the step, the instructor is to command,

Take up the=step. (=Au pas.)

82. At this word, the soldiers glance to the directing sergeant, take up the step, and turn the head again, immediately, to the front.

Observations on the march in line, or battle order.

Observations relatives a la marche en bataille.

83. If the platoon is undergoing a course of elementary discipline, the instructor posts the chief of platoon, and the covering sergeant, sometimes on the right, and sometimes on the left of the platoon: but when the platoon exercised, is a battalion-company, if belonging to the right wing, the officer and covering sergeant, are posted on the left, and when belonging to the left, they are posted on the right flank.

84. The non-commissioned officer who leads the march, influencing its accuracy in the highest degree, the instructor shall appoint for this important duty such only who are thoroughly disciplined and intelligent, in regard to the precision of the step, the habitude of maintaining the squareness of the shoulders, and of prolonging, without deviation, a given direction.

85. Were the directing sergeant deficient, and did not follow these principles, a floating movement of the platoon would necessarily take place; the soldiers would not contract the habit of taking equal steps in equal times, and of preserving, steadily, the squareness of the shoulders of the shoulders, the only means of attaining perfection in marching to the front.

86. In order, the better, to confirm the soldiers in the length of the step, in the cadence, and in the principles of marching in line, whenever the ground admits of it, the instructor shall cause the platoon to march three or four hundred paces, without halting; towards the conclusion of this practise, he shall cause the platoon to march to the front, in open order, the better to observe the marching of the centre and rear ranks, and in this case, he will order a non-commissioned officer from the supernumerary rank, to post himself on the flank of the centre rank, behind the chief of the platoon.

87. The instructor must bestow the most unremitting attention on the observation of the principles of marching in line; he shall frequently place himself on the directing flank, whence he may see the three ranks, and mark all the faults committed; and he will, sometimes, retire to the distance of twenty or thirty paces in rear of the directing file, stopping there to assure himself that the sergeant directing the march, does not deviate from the line perpendicular to the original front.

Article II

To halt the platoon marching in line, and to align, or dress it.

Arreter le peloton marchant en bataille, et aligner.

88. To halt the platoon, the instructor commands,

1. Platoon.                               (Peloton.)

2. =Halt.                                   (=Halte.)

89. At the word, halt, (halte),the platoon shall halt; and the directing sergeant is to remain in his situation, unless, the instructor, not seeing it necessary to continue the march, orders him to retire to his place in the line.

90. The platoon being halted, the instructor can make the three files, nearest to the directing flank, advance, and he can align the platoon on them, as a base-line, or he may confine himself to rectifying the alignment. In the last case, the instructor shall command, right, (or left), alignment; (rectifiez l'alignement); on which the chief of platoon shall dress such files as require it, as has been directed under number 240, in the Ecole de Soldat.

Article III

Oblique marching in line.

Marche oblique en bataille.

91. The platoon marching to the front in line, will oblique by the following commands:

1. To the right (or left) oblique.            (Oblique a droite (ou a gauche)

2. =March                                                 (=Marche.)

92. At this command, to be given conformable to the directions laid down in the Ecole de Soldats, numbers 36, and 37, the platoon shall oblique; the directing sergeant must give his utmost attention in maintaining the squareness of the shoulder, parallel to the original front, and to oblique with a uniform movement and step; the chief of platoon will conform to the march of the directing sergeant; the soldiers shall keep up the light touch of the elbow towards the side of the directing flank, following, studiously, the rules prescribed in the Ecole de Soldat, number 198, and the man next to the chief of platoon must be careful not to project to the front before him, nor to press him laterally.

93. To resume the march direct to the front, the command will be,

1. Forward.                                       (En avant.)

2. =March.                                         (=Marche.)

94. At the word, march, (marche) which shall be pronounced at the moment when the foot is coming to the ground, the platoon is to resume the direct march to the front; the instructor shall, quickly, spring forward to the distance of fifteen or twenty paces in front of the chief of platoon, shall face to the rear, stationing himself, correctly, on the prolongation of the line of the chief of platoon and covering sergeant, and, by a signal, will place, on that line, the directing sergeant, should he happen to be either to the right or left of it: and the directing sergeant will, immediately then, mark two points on the ground, between himself and the instructor, taking, afterwards, new points, in proportion as he advances, as has been explained under number 79.

Observations on oblique marching.

Observations relatives a la marche oblique.

95. Were the chief of platoon inattentive to the keeping of the shoulders square, he would give the platoon a false direction, which would militate against the essential object in oblque marching, that of gaining ground to the right or left, still keeping the front parallel to the origimal line, previous to obliquing.

96. Were the directing sergeant to oblique with an inequality of step, gaining, sometimes more, and sometimes less ground to a flank, and were the chief of platoon to act similarly, conforming to this inaccurate marching: opening out, and crowding on each other, would necessarily result, among the files, according to the nature of the error.

97. The utmost attention, on the part of the instructor, is required to obviate these faults: he must, immediately on perceiving, rectify them, by placing himself, during the march, in front, facing the platoon, in such a manner as to be able to regulate the march of the directing sergeant, and to watch that the principles are adhered to; he must see that the man on the flank to which the obliquing is made, gains sufficient ground, so as not to constrain the marching of the files that are towards the other flank; were he not to oblique sufficiently, the platoon would bulge out, or break; were he to oblique too much, openings would take place; it is therefore of importance to regulate the step of the chief of platoon, or of the man placed on the opposite flank, when the obliquing is in that direction.

98. Finally, the instructor, when the ground admits of it, ought to continue the oblique march for a considerable time, before the direct march is resumed, in order to render the practise easy to the soldier, a thing of the utmost importance in the movements of the line.

Article IV

To mark time, to march in quick time, and the back step.

Marquer le pas, marcher le pas accelere, et le pas en arriere.

99. To mark time, when the platoon is marching, in ordinary time, to the front, the instructor commands,

1. Mark time.                           (Marquer le pas.)

2. =March.                                (=Marche.)

100. To resume the ordinary step, the commands are,

1. Forward.                   (En avant.)

2. =March.                    (=Marche.)

101. To march in quick, from ordinary time, the instructor shall command;

1. Quick time.               (Pas accelere.)

2. =March.                     (=Marche.)

102. The word, march, (marche), shall be given at the instant, when either foot, indifferently, is just coming to the ground.

103. To resume the ordinary time, the command is,

1. Ordinary time.               (Pas ordinaire.)

2. =March.                          (=Marche.)

104. The word march, (marche), shall be given somewhat sooner than it is in passing from ordinary, to quick time, and when either foot is on the ground, in the rear.

105. The platoon being halted, the practise of the back step will arise from these words of command;

1. Step back.            (En arriere.)

2. =March.                (=Marche.)

106. The back step is executed according to the principles laid down in the Ecole de Soldat, numbers 215 and 216; but the occasion for using it being less frequent, than that of the other species of marching, the instructor shall practise the soldiers, occasionally, in marching fifteen or twenty steps backward.

Remarks on quick time.

Observations relatives au pas accelere.

107. The instructor ought not to exercise the men in marching in quick time, till they are thoroughly confirmed in the length and cadence of the step in ordinary time: and he will, then, endeavour to render familiar and easy to them to take 100 steps in a minute in quick time cadence, to keep the body upright, and to be as cool and collected, as in marching in ordinary time.

108. In the charge, and in all circumstances requiring great celerity of movement, quick time may be carried as far as 120 steps in a minute; but as troops marching at this rate, for a considerable time, could scarcely fail to break, in inculcating the elementary principles of the march, the measure of acceleration of march is not to be considered as a prescribed head of instruction, and, consequently, the troops are to be exercised in the habitual practise of 100 steps in a minute.

Article V

To march in line, with the rear rank leading.

Marcher en bataille par le troisieme rang.

109. The platoon being halted and aligned, the instructor is to order the march to the rear, with the third rank leading, as follows:

1. Platoon.                                    (Peloton)

2. To the right about=face .        (Demi-tour=a droite)

110. The platoon having faced to the right about, the instructor shall step nimbly to the front of the directing file, conforming himself to the directions laid down under number 73.

111. The instructor being correctly situated on the prolongation of the line of the directing file, commands,

3. Platoon will advance.            (Peloton en avant)

112. At this command, the leading sergeant shall conform to the directions laid down under numbers 76 and 77, with this only difference, that he posts himself at the distance of six paces from the line of the supernumerary rank.

113. The covering sergeant shall post himself in the alignment of the supernumerary rank, opposite to his interval; and the chief of platoon shall take his place in the rear rank, now become the front rank, or leading rank.

114. The disposition being made, the instructor will give the word of command,

                                =March.                (=Marche)

115. On hearing this word, all step off, the directing sergeant, the chief of platoon, and the soldiers conforming to the directions laid down, heretofore, under number 79, and the following.

116. With the exception of stepping back, (pas en arriere), the instructor, while the rear rank leads, shall cause the platoon to practise all that has bee directed in the case of marching in line to the front; and the words of command, and procedure of execution, will be the same, as if the proper front rank led.

117. When the platoon is halted, and that the instructor wishes to align, or dress it, he will put it to the right about by the words of command under number 16, and following ones in the Ecole de Soldat, and the chief of platoon, and covering sergeant, having faced about, will take their respective posts in the line.

118. The instructor may, then, order the three files nearest to the directing flank to advance to serve as a base line to dress on; or, he may confine himself to the rectification of the alignment, conforming, in either case, to the directions given, under number 90.

Lesson IV.

Lecon IV

Article I

To march to a flank.

Marcher par le flanc.

119. The platoon standing aligned, is marched to the right flank, by the following words of command:

1. The platoon will march to the right flank.   (Peloton par le flanc droit)
2. To the right=face.                                            (=A droite)
3. =March.                                                             (=Marche)

(See Plate VII Figure 1.)

120. At the second command, the platoon will face to the right, the chief of platoon will also face, moving one pace out of the rank, sideways, so as to be on the left of the covering sergeant, and near him, after he has, also, faced to the right, and moved, laterally, to occupy, before the front rank man, the place out of which the chief of platoon has just moved.

121. At the word, march, (marche), the platoon steps off, smartly together, in ordinary time; the covering sergeant placed before the man on the right of the front rank, and the chief of platoon, placed at the side of the covering sergeant, will march straight forward. The men of the centre and rear ranks will march, dressing on their file leader, and keeping the head direct to the front; and the supernumerary rank will march, keeping exactly opposite to the file they, respectively, cover in the line.

122. The instructor is to see that the rules of marching to a flank are adhered to, by placing himself, during the march, as has been directed in the Ecole du soldat, numbers 222 and 223.

123. The instructor is to cause the platoon to march to the left flank, by the words of command used above; excepting, that he substitutes the word, left, (a gauche), instead of, right, (a droite).

124. At the instant that the platoon face to the left, the fourth rank man nearest to the left flank, shall place himself before the man on the left of the front rank; the chief of platoon will go , quickly, to the left, placing himself close to, and to the right of the fourth rank man; and the covering sergeant will post himself in the front rank, occupying the place left by the chief of platoon who has moved to the left flank.

Article II

Wheeling in file.

Changer de direction par file.

(Plate VII, Fig 1.)

125. The platoon being face to a flank, and either marching in file, or halting, will wheel its head, in file, by the following words of command:

1. By files, to the right wheel (or left).      (Par file a droite (ou a gauche)

2. =March.                                                     (=Marche)

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Commanding Officer
Chris Perko
Algrave Hall
Hassock Lane North
Derbyshire DE75 7JB
The Adjutant
Chris Durkin
7 Lowcroft Crescent
Oldham OL9 9UU
Position of the Regiment
25th May
1790 Regiment Guyenne at Lyon
1792: Journal militaire:1st battalion arrived Besancon
1793 Landau, siege until 28th December.
1794 At Nice, General Kellerman formed a Polish battalion with men found in the 21eme demi-brigade, 9 companies of 3 officers and 70 men.
1796 Evening, Massena's division (21e) along left bank of the Ellero, from Mondovi to the Tanaro.
1798 Into garrison at Amiens, 2nd battalion at Nantes (formed March 1797), 3rd at Dunkirk
1799 Magnano, towards Brescia.
1800 Pas de Suse, and town of Suse.
1801 Battalion expeditionnaire formed on the Ile de Re, with 140 of the 21eme, 106 56th Line, 59 5th Light, 58 Colonial depot Ile de re, 28 legion Loire, 119 cannoniers 5th Foot artillery, on the frigate l'Africaine.
1803 Bruges Camp/Ostend, 3/4 battalions Flessigne until July 1804.
1804 3rd and 4th battalions to Cologne.
1805 Crossed the Danube at Pressberg, one battalion at Bruick, other in villages of Regelbrun, Arbestal, Collesbrunn, Willfersnauer, and Schadendorf, until 5th January 1806.
1806 Division Kreus Munster
1807 Division at the Hohenstein camp until 5th June.
1808 Juliers
1809 Division left Ebersdorf for Vienna
1810 Brunswick, until October.
1811 Stade
1812 Division Thorn
1813 Order to form 1st Corps, 1st division, 33rd Provisional demi-brigade (2/12, 2/21) forming near Erfurth, united into corps at Wittenberg.
1814 Bergen op Zoom
1815 Lille

1815 Between Quatre-Bras and Waterloo.
Waterloo 1985
Boulogne 1991 on the Video page.

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