Manual of Arms

A Manual of Arms was the book of instruction given to soldiers. It covered things from positions of the rifle (Shoulder Arms, Order Arms, Trail Arms, etc...) to squad and larger unit maneuvers. There were several Manual's of Arms used during the Civil War. The two most common were Hardee's Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics and Casey's Manual of Arms. 

 

The following pdf, courtesy of the Chickamauga Battlefield Unofficial Visitor's Guide http://4catstudio.com/chickamauga/  provides a simplified version of the Manual of Arms for beginners.

 

Civil War Drill Simplified
CW drill - simplified Rev. B.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [381.6 KB]
MANUAL OF ARMS FOR THE MUSKET.Rev.A.2011[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [862.5 KB]
National Park Service Musket Manual
NPS 19th Century Musket Manual.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.5 MB]

The Manual of Arms for the Musket was a pre-war manual used for heavy infantry.

A Manual of Arms was the book of instruction given to soldiers. It covered things from positions of the rifle (Shoulder Arms, Order Arms, Trail Arms, etc...) to squad and larger unit maneuvers. There were several Manual's of Arms used during the Civil War. The two most common were Hardee's Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics and Casey's Manual of Arms.

 

 

 

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]
---Kneeling
---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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