MANUAL OF INSTRUCTION
FOR THE
VOLUNTEERS AND MILITIA
OF
The Washington Artillery
As proposed

BY MAJOR WILLIAM GILHAM,
INSTRUCTOR OF TACTICS AND COMMANDANT OF CADETS
OF THE VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE


Philadelphia, 1861

Page 2

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642.       Serving Ammunition. --- The instructor stations No. 5 five yards in rear of the left wheel, and covering it, and No. 6 in rear of the limber chest to issue ammunition. He is provided with a fuze-gouge, and prepares the shells and spherical-case shot, according to the distance or time ordered, before delivering them to No. 5. (In battle nos. 5 and 6 shall wear heavy gauntlets)

To cut the fuze. --- Place the projectile between the knees, fuze uppermost, and support it with the left hand. Holding the fuze-gouge in the right hand, place the left corner of its edge close to, and on the right of the graduated mark indicating the time desired; then cut away gradually until the composition is exposed for a length about equal to the width of the gouge. Care must be taken not to cut the fuzes more rapidly than the demand for shells or case shot requires.

At the command load, No. 5 goes to the ammunition chest, receives from No. 6 a single round, the shot in the right hand, the cartridge in his left; takes it to the piece and delivers it to No. 2; returns immediately for another round, and then halts at his post until the piece is fired. In firing shell or spherical-case, he exhibits the fuze to the gunner before delivering it to No. 2.

An ammunition pouch is worn by No. 5, hung from the left shoulder to the right side; the round is so placed in the pouch that the cartridge will be to the front. When it is brought up, No. 5 holds open the pouch, and No. 2 takes out the round with both hands. In rapid firing with round shot and canister, Nos. 5 and 6 may alternate in delivering the charges. At the command cease firing, No. 5 carries the round back to No. 6. No. 6 should keep the lid of the ammunition chest closed as much as possible and at all times when a gun is fired. At the command cease firing, he carefully replaces the ammunition in the chest, and secures the lid.

643.a.       Loading by detail. --- For the instruction of the cannoneers united for the service of the gun, the exercise is first conducted by detail, the instructor giving all the commands. His commands are: Load by detail - LOAD; TWO, THREE, FOUR: SPONGE; TWO, THREE, FOUR: RAM; TWO, THREE: READY; FIRE; CEASE FIRING.

When the men are sufficiently instructed to go through the manual, without detail, the commands of the instructor for that purpose are: load; commence firing; cease firing; or simply, commence firing, and cease firing. After the command commence firing, the action is continued as laid down for loading without detail, until the command cease firing is given, which is repeated by the gunner.

643. b.       "Cease Firing" This command shall be used for two purposes. 1. At any time a violation of safety is observed that requires that the gun not be fired, any cannoneer may shout "Cease fire" to prevent further injury. The command shall be repeated by the section commander and gunners and all positions shall immediately safely discontinue all actions until commanded by the gunner to continue. If the gun is primed No. 3 shall remove the primer.

643. c.       Cessation of action, further action is anticipated. The gunner shall command cease fire, replace equipments to end the action. The worm shall be inserted in the bore and the sponged crossed over the shaft of the worm. The corporal shall take charge of the return of all equipments and report to the gunner any equipment discrepancies so that they may be corrected prior to the next action.

Equipments shall be dispositioned as follows and placed in the left compartment of the ammunition chest:
 

No.1 and No. 2 shall return their gauntlets if used.
No. 3 shall place all his equipments into the ammunition pouch.
No.4 Shall remove the primer block and return it with the primers to the primer         container. He shall neatly coil the lanyard about the handle and place it into the         tube pouch, which shall be placed in the ammunition pouch.
No. 5 shall place his gloves on the ammunition pouch and returns unused rounds to         the ammunition chest in the proper container.

643. d.       Cessation of action, Gun to be withdrawn from the field.

If the gun is to be withdrawn from the field all actions called out in 643. c. shall be done except as follows.;

The prolonge shall be removed and placed in the ammunition chest neatly coiled. The bucket shall be emptied in the bore, the bore sponged and dumped. The bucket and sponges shall be sent out to be washed and a bucket of clean water returned and placed in the bore, sponged and dumped. Taking care to wash all areas that were affected by the dirty sponge water. The tampion and vent cover shall be replaced and the trailspike returned to the hooks. The sponges and worm shall be placed in their holders.

Moving the piece by hand. Piece unlimbered.

644.       To the front. --- The cannoneers being at their posts, the instructor commands:

1. By hand to the front. 2. MARCH. 3. HALT.

At the first command, the gunner seizes the end of the handspike, and Nos. 1,2,3, and 4, the spokes of the wheels. No. 1 with his left hand; Nos. 2,3,and 4, with both hands; No. 1 holds the sponge with his right hand, the staff resting upon his right shoulder, sponge head down. At the second command they move the piece forward, the gunner raising the trail until the command halt is given, when all resume their posts.

645. To the rear. --- The instructor commands:

1. By hand to the rear. 2. MARCH. 3. HALT

At the first command, the gunner, facing to the rear, seizes the handspike with his right hand; Nos. 1,2,3, and 4, seize the wheels as before, except that No. 1, holding the sponge in his left hand, uses his right hand at the wheel. At the command march, they move the piece to the rear, the gunner raising the trail, until the command halt is given, when all resume their posts.

Changing posts.

646.       In order to instruct the men in all the duties of the piece, the instructor causes them to change posts.

For this purpose he commands:
      1. Change posts. 2. MARCH.

At the command change posts, the men on the right of the piece face to the rear; those who have equipments lay them down; No. 1 resting the sponge head on the sponge bucket. At the command march, each man takes the place and equipments of the man in his front.

         No. 1 takes the place of No. 3.
         No. 3 " " No. 6.
         No. 6 " " No. 5.
         No. 5 " " No. 4.
         No. 4 " " No. 2.
         No. 2 " " No. 1.

The gunner changes with one of the numbers, by special direction of the instructor.

647.       Equipments. --- The corporal, who is responsible for the equipments, either distributes them from the limber chest, or they may be hung from the neck of the cascable, and distributed by him to the proper numbers, at the command, take equipments, from the instructor. He receives them again at the command, replace equipments, making such disposition of them as may be directed.

      Limbering.
648.       To the front. --- The instructor commands:
             Limber to the front.

At this command, No. 1 steps up between the muzzle and the wheel, by the oblique steps indicated for loading; turns the staff, seizing it with the left hand, at the same time shifting his right, the back of the right up, that of the left down, and passes the sponge on its hook; rammer head to the rear, to No. 3, who receives the head, secures it against the stop, and keys it up. The piece is then brought about by the cannoneers, and the limber, inclining to the right, passes to its place in front of it, being drawn, when the horses are not attached, by Nos.4, 5 and 6, who take hold of the end of the pole for the purpose.

To bring the piece about, the gunner and No. 5 pass to the right of the handspike, and, facing towards the left, seize it, the gunner near the end, and No. 5 in the middle, and on his right, raise the trail and carry it around to the left; Nos. 1 and 2 bear down upon the muzzle, and Nos. 3 and 4, each using both hands, bring the wheels around; No. 3 turning the right wheel to the rear, and No.4 the left wheel to the front. When the piece is brought about, the trail is lowered; Nos. 3 and 4 step within the wheels to avoid the limber; Nos. 1 and 2 remain at the muzzle, and the gunner and No. 5 step up between Nos. 3 and 4 and the trail, the gunner first taking out the handspike, and passing it to No. 4, by whom it is put up.

As soon as the limber is in front of the piece, the gunner commands, halt, limber up; upon which the limber halts, the gunner and No. 5 raise the trail by means of the handles, and, assisted by Nos. 3 and 4 at the wheels, and Nos. 1 and 2 at the muzzle, run the piece forward, and place the lunette upon the pintle; the gunner then puts in the key, and all take their posts; when necessary, Nos. 6 and 7 assist at the trail in bringing the piece about, and in limbering up.

649.       To the right (or left). --- The instructor commands:
              Limber to the right (or left).

The trail is turned to the right (or left), and the piece limbered up as before; the limber inclining to the right (or left), and taking its place by a right (or left) wheel.

650.       To the rear. --- The instructor commands:
              Limber to the rear.

The limber inclines to the right, and takes its place by wheeling about to the left; the piece is then limbered up as before.

Posts of the cannoneers. Piece limbered.

651.       Nos. 1 and 2 opposite the muzzle; Nos. 3 and 4 opposite the knob of the cascable, the gunner and No. 5 opposite the rear, and Nos. 6 and 7 opposite the front part of the limber wheels; No. 8 is on the left, and opposite the limber chest of the caisson. All face to the front, which is now in the direction of the pole instead of the muzzle, and cover each other in lines one yard from the wheels; the even numbers on the right, the odd on the left. The chief of the piece is on the left, and, if not mounted, opposite the end of the pole; if mounted, he is near the leading driver, and on his left.

To form the detachment.

652.       To the front. --- The instructor commands:
             Detachment --- FRONT.

The gunner commands, cannoneers, forward, march; the even numbers move directly to the front, the odd numbers closing to the right upon them when clear of the piece. The gunner files them to the left, halts the detachment in front of the piece, and faces them to the front. No. 8 moves directly forward, and takes his place in the detachment.

653.       To the rear. --- The instructor commands:
              Detachment --- REAR.

The gunners command, cannoneers, rear face --- march. At the command march, the odd numbers move directly to the rear, the even numbers closing to the right upon them after passing the piece, the detachment is filed to the left at the proper distance, halted by the gunner opposite the piece, and faced to the front, No. 8 taking his proper place in the detachment.

In forming the detachments in line, they are always, after halting, dressed to the right by the gunner.

Posts of the detachments at their pieces.

654.       In front. --- The detachment is in line facing to the front, two yards from the end of the pole or the leading horses.

             In rear. --- The centre of the detachment is two yards behind the muzzle, and facing it.
             On the right or left. --- The detachment is in line opposite the axletree of the limber, and three yards from it. In horse artillery, it is in line with, and three yards from, the leading horses. In all cases it faces to the front.

Change of posts of detachments at their pieces.

655.       From front to rear. --- The detachment being in line, in front of their pieces, to post them in rear, the instructor commands:
            Detachments --- REAR.

The gunner commands, cannoneers, rear face, march. At the command march, Nos. 1,2,3, and 4 oblique sufficiently to the left, and Nos. 5,6,7, and 8 to the right, move along the sides of their piece; reunite as soon as they have passed it, and are halted at the proper distance, faced to the front, and aligned to the right by the gunner.

                  From rear to front. --- The instructor commands:
                  Detachments --- FRONT.

The gunner repeats the command, and adds march. AT this command, the cannoneers oblique; Nos.1,2,3, and 4 to the right, Nos. 5,6,7, and 8 to the left; pass their piece, reunite in front, and are halted and aligned to the right by the gunner.

                  From rear to right (or left). --- The instructor commands:
                  Detachments --- right (or left).

The gunner commands, right (or left) oblique --- march, and afterwards, forward, and halt, in time to bring the detachment to its post on the right or left. He then aligns it to the right.

In horse artillery, to change from front to rear, the gunners command, left reverse, MARCH; FORWARD; left reverse; MARCH, HALT. The left reverse is executed on the same principle as the left about wheel in cavalry tactics.

      From rear to front. --- The gunners command, right oblique, MARCH; FORWARD. Left oblique, march; FORWARD; HALT.

      From rear to right (or left). --- The gunners command, right (or left) oblique; MARCH; FORWARD; HALT.

      From right (or left) to rear. --- The gunners command, right (or left) reverse; MARCH; FORWARD; right (or left) reverse, MARCH; HALT.

If the piece is moving when the last change of post is ordered, the gunner halts, or slackens the pace until it passes, and then commands right (or left) oblique. MARCH; FORWARD.
The commands of the instructor in all these cases are the same as in mounted artillery. The movements are executed in the same manner when the detachments are dismounted.

To post the cannoneers at the piece limbered.

656.       The detachment being formed in line in front or rear, on the right or left, the instructor commands:
CANNONEERS, TO YOUR POSTS.

      From the front. --- The gunner passes the detachment to the right, and commands, to your posts --- march. At this command, the cannoneers, Nos. 1 and 2, turning to the right, and opening out, file to their posts; halt at their proper places, and face to the front.

      From the rear, right, or left. --- At the command cannoneers to your posts, the gunner, in each case, faces the detachment to the left and marches the cannoneers by that flank to their posts.

Moving the piece by hand. Piece limbered.

657.       To the front. --- The instructor commands:
             1. FORWARD. 2. MARCH. 3. HALT.

At the first command, Nos. 6 and 7 seize the end of the pole with both hands, the gunner and No. 5, facing towards the pole, seize the splinter-bar with one hand, and the pole with the other. Nos. 3 and 4 seize the spokes of the hind wheels with both hands, and Nos. 1 and 2 apply both hands at the head of the carriage. At the second command, all acting together, urge the piece forward until the command halt is given, when all resume their posts.

            To the rear. --- the instructor commands:
            1. Backward. 2. MARCH. 3. HALT.

At the first command, all face to the rear; Nos. 6 and 7 seize the end of the pole with both hands; No. 5 and the gunner seize the spokes of the limber, and Nos. 1,2,3 and 4, those of the hind wheels. At the command march, all moving together, move the piece to the rear, Nos. 6 and 7 keeping it straight by the use of the pole. At the command halt, all resume their posts.

Unlimbering, and coming into action.

            To the front. - The instructor commands:
            Action --- FRONT.

658.       At this command, the gunner takes out the key, and assisted by No. 5, raises the trail from the pintle, and then commands drive on, upon which Nos. 6 and 7 reverse the limber, and proceed with it to the rear, again reverse to the left, and halt so that the limber shall cover the piece, with the end of the pole six yards from the end of the trail handspike. At the same time that the limber moves off, the piece is brought abut in all respects as in limbering to the front, except that the gunner and No. 5, without lowering the trail, carry it about, each by means of the handle on his own side. Nos. 6 and 7, when necessary, assist at the trail, after placing the limber in position.

As soon as the piece is brought about, and the trail lowered, No. 4 takes out the handspike and passes it to the gunner, who fixes it in the trail. No. 1 takes out the sponge, No. 3 unkeying it, and No. 4 prepares his lanyard. All then take their posts as required when the piece is unlimbered.

              Action right (or left).
659.       The piece is unlimbered in the same manner as for action front, and placed in the required direction; the limber wheels to the left (or right), and takes its place in rear, by reversing to the left (or right).

              To the rear. --- The instructor commands:
              1. Fire to the rear. 2. IN BATTERY.

660.       At the command in battery, the piece is unlimbered as before, the trail immediately lowered, and the gun prepared for action; the limber moves directly forward at the command drive on from the gunner, and takes its place by coming to the left about.

Movements with the Prolonge.

661.       The piece being in battery, to fix the prolonge to fire retiring, the instructor               commands:
              FIX PROLONGE TO FIRE RETIRING.

At this command, the limber inclines to the right, wheels to the left about, and halts four yards from the trail. No. 5 uncoils the prolonge and passes the toggle to the gunner, who fixes it in the trail by passing it upwards through the lunette, whilst he attaches the other end to the limber by passing the ring over the pintle and keying it.

At the command retire, the cannoneers face about, and all march on the left of the piece, except Nos. 1 and 3. They keep the implements in their hands, and, at the command halt, face about, resume their posts, and go on with the firing.

Should the piece be loaded at the command retire, No. 3 puts in the priming wire. At the command halt, he takes it out again, and No.1 rams home. If the command load be given when the piece is in motion, No. 5 puts in the charge, and No. 2 serves the vent, receiving from No. 3 the necessary implements for that purpose.

      The piece being in action, to fix the prolonge to fire advancing, the instructor commands:
      FIX PROLONGE TO FIRE ADVANCING.

At this command, the limber passes its piece on the right and halts when in front of it, Nos. 1 and 3 stepping within the wheels to avoid the limber. No. 5 uncoils the prolonge, carries it to the front, gives the toggle to No. 2, who puts it in the lunette of the axle strap, whilst he places the ring over the pintle and keys it.

In advancing, the men retain their implements and march at their posts. At the command halt, No. 2 takes out the toggle and commands drive on, upon which the limber takes its place in rear, and the firing is renewed.

When the piece is limbered, to fix the prolonge to fire retiring or advancing, the same commands are given. The piece is unlimbered, and the prolonge attached as before.
To fix the prolonge passing a ditch, or for any other purpose, the command is fix prolonge. The prolonge is then fixed to the trail as before.

In moving with the prolonge, the gunner attends the handspike, and in changes of direction, is careful to circulate the trail around in proper time to prevent the prolonge being cut by the wheels. No. 3 clears the prolonge from the limber wheels, and Nos. 1 and 2 from the gun wheels. In wheeling about, the limber first backs a little and then describes a small circle. In passing a ditch the gunner takes out the handspike.

In fixing the prolonge for any purpose, the caisson wheels or reverses, if necessary, so that the horses of the limber and caisson may face in the same direction.

      To detach the prolonge from the limber and coil it up, the instructor commands:
      COIL PROLONGE.

At this command, the gunner takes out the toggle, and No. 5 takes off the ring and coils the prolonge, first passing the ring over the upper prolonge hook.

To coil the prolonge and limber to the rear, the instructor commands, coil prolonge --- limber to the rear. The prolonge is detached and coiled as before, the piece is run towards the limber, which reins back on receiving the command rein back from the gunner, and is limbered up. To limber to the front, right, or left, the instructor commands, coil prolonge --- limber to the front, right, or left; which is executed as already described, the gunner commanding drive on, as soon as the prolonge is detached.

Service of the gun with diminished numbers.

662.       Disabled men are replaced as soon as possible by the highest numbers, or if men are selected to replace them, the highest numbers will be reduced to fill the vacancies thus created. During action, Nos. 1 and 2 may occasionally change places and numbers; the duties of No. 1 are very fatiguing.

      Service of the piece by two men. --- The gunner commands, points, serves the vent, and fires; No. 1 sponges, loads, and serves ammunition.

      Three men. --- The gunner commands, points, serves the vent, and fires; No. 1 sponges; No. 2 loads and serves ammunition.

      Four men. --- The gunner commands and points; No. 1 sponges; No. 2 loads and serves ammunition; No. 3 serves the vent and fires.

      Five men. --- The gunner commands and points; No. 1 sponges; No. 2 loads; No. 3 serves the vent and fires; No. 4 serves ammunition.

      Six men. --- The gunner commands and points; No. 1 sponges; No. 2 loads; No. 3 serves the vent and fires; Nos. 4 and 5 serve ammunition

      Seven men. --- The gunner commands and points; No. 1 sponges; No. 2 loads; No. 3 serves the vent and attends the trail; No. 4 fires; No. 6 is at the limber, serves ammunition to No. 5, and occasionally changes with him.

      Eight men. --- No. 7 assists No. 6; the other numbers as before.

Supply of ammunition when in action.

663.       When it can be done without inconvenience, ammunition will be served direct from the rear chest of the caisson, No. 8 performing the duties prescribed for No. 6 at the limber chest. At convenient moments, the ammunition served out by No. 6 will be replaced from the rear caisson chest. If the ammunition chest on the limber of the piece is exhausted, the limber is replaced by that of the caisson, and the empty chest exchanged for the centre one of the caisson.

As a rule, the limber chests, and especially that of the piece, will be kept full at the expense of the others, so that in case of a sudden movement on the field, there shall always be a sufficient supply of ammunition at hand.

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