Manual of Arms

The "Manual of Arms" was a specific set of instructions that soldiers were to learn and become proficient in. It covered things from positions of the rifle (Shoulder Arms, Order Arms, Trail Arms, etc...) to squad and larger unit maneuvers. During the Civil War Regular Army NCOs and officers used "Hardee's Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics."  So in order to meet our authenticity standards, the 3rd US Reenactors uses Hardees as the primary resource for drill and infantry tactics.

Hardee's Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics
Adobe Acrobat document [7.7 MB]
Civil War Drill Simplified
CW drill - simplified Rev. B.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [381.6 KB]
National Park Service Musket Manual
NPS 19th Century Musket Manual.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.5 MB]

The Manual of Arms: (In Order) (Should be accomplished in Open Ranks)

--Present Arms---Shoulder Arms
--Order Arms
--Ground Arms
--Raise Arms---Shoulder Arms
--Support Arms---Shoulder Arms
--Fix Bayonet---Shoulder Arms
--Charge Bayonet---Shoulder Arms
--Trail Arms---Shoulder Arms
--Unfix Bayonet---Shoulder Arms
--Secure Arms---Shoulder Arms


Load in Nine Times
1. Load
2. Handle Cartridge
3. Tear Cartridge
4. Charge Cartridge
5. Draw Rammer
6. Ram Cartridge
7. Return Rammer
8. Prime
9. Shoulder Arms
Other Arms positions:
--Right Shoulder Shift Arms
--Arms Port
--Carry Arms
--Stack Arms/ (Break Ranks, March)/ Take Arms
--Inspection Arms
--Spring Rammers

--Firings (Ready, Aim, Fire – Load/ or Recover)
[At the first command, i.e. "Fire by Company", the Capt. & 1st Sgt. will take their
positions 4 paces behind the line of file closers, SOC #49]
---Oblique firings
---By File (the most commonly used during the Civil War) [SOC # 55-57]
(1) Fire by File. (2) Company. (3) Ready. (4) Commence firing.
---By Rank [Rear Rank first] [SOC # 58-67]
(1) Fire by rank. (2) Company. (3) Ready. (4) Rear rank-Aim. (5) Fire. (6) Load. 
When the Capt. sees one or two pieces in the rear rank at the ready, he will 
command: (1) Front rank. (2) Aim. (3) Fire. (4) Load
---By Company: (1) Fire by Company. (2) Commence firing. [SOC # 48-54]
---Lying down
---Addition items:
-Recover Arms
-Elevate (Reenactorism)
--Cease Fire [at which time the Capt. and 1st Sgt will resume their positions in line.]
--Fix Bayonet
--Charge Bayonet
--Guard against Infantry, Guard
--Guard against Cavalry, Guard
--Unfix Bayonet

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