Part. I. Of the order and aray of an army marching toward the enemy.
THe first care of him that meaneth to march safely in the enemies countrey, or where an enemie is neere, ought to be, that his troupes obserue good order, and aray: and the neerer that he approcheth to the enemy, the greater Page 107ought his care to be. The neglect of this point onely, hath bene the o∣uerthrow of many armies. It giueth opportunitie to the enemy to as∣saile vs, and confoundeth yong souldiers, when they are ignorant how to come in order to defend themselues. Easie it is to be obserued of men that are willing, and vnderstand reason: and sharpe effects and correction it worketh on the stubborne, and wilfull. That the Ge∣neral, or his officers may put the armie in good order of march, first they are to vnderstand what is the aray of the whole armie, considered together as one whole body. Secondly, the places of euery part, as of horsemen, footemen, and of footemen, of the diuers sortes of weapons. Thirdly, the iust distances of souldier from souldier, according to eue∣ry mans qualitie and weapon. Fourthly, the places of the Generall, and other chiefe Commanders. Fiftly, of the great Ordonance, and munition. Lastly, of the cariages and baggage, and boyes and ser∣uants that attend vpon it, and likewise of marchants, and victualers, and others that followe the army for other causes, then to fight.
The armie consisteth of three partes commonly, considered especi∣ally as it marcheth. for in fighting, the orders, and parts doe much dif∣fer. The first part that marcheth wee call vantgard; the second the battell; the third, the arier ward. Euery one of these ought to be a per∣fect body of it selfe, hauing both his smal shot, and great ordonnance, and his horsemen, and his pikes, targets, and halberds placed in good order. Oft times, I know, it is otherwise, and that either horsemen, or pikes, or targets are wanting in some part, or other. But howe much of these they want, so much they want of perfection, and due proporti∣on in a iust army. For we speake not of 6 or 7 thousand (which cannot obserue this order, but had better to march vnited) but of a ful army of 24 or 30 thousand, which number marching in this order, so that one part may succour an other, I accompt, doth march orderly, and strong∣ly. If one part goe farre before an other, it may fall out, as it happe∣ned to the Protestants in the plaines of S. Clere anno 1569, that one part shall be in route, before the other can come to succour. The Romanes marched distinguished by legions, whose numbers were di∣uers, and which seldome were complete: but in effect the aray was one; saue that the Romanes commonly made but two partes of their armie, and placed their baggage in the midst, as did Caesar marching against the Neruians. In the order of the partes, and placing of horse∣men, and footemen, and sorting of weapons, the same reasons haue Page 108place for the most part among all nations.
Before the auantgard, light horsemen by ancient prescription may challenge the first place. If they be seconded with some shot and tar∣getters lightly armed, they may be the bolder to come neere the ene∣my, and to abide his charge. These are called auantcoureurs, and serue for discouery of the enemies proceedings, and of the situation of the Countrey, and intercepting of the enemies espials, and diuers o∣ther vses. Vpon the front of the auantgard march small shot and mus∣quetiers, after them follow the armed men with the ensignes in the midst, or rather somewhat toward the first rankes. On either hand, and behind the armed men, are other companies of shot to be ranged; and without the shot somewhat auanced forward argoletiers, and then launces take their place. If the enemie make countenance, as if he would charge some part of our army with his horse; they are to be drawne toward the side where the enemie threatneth to giue the charge. but if the enemie doe flie before vs, and shunne to fight, the horsemen of the whole armie would be ioyned together, and sent to charge him on the sides or backe, and to stay his marche: as Caesar practised first against theaHeluetians, then against thebAduati∣cans, and lastly, against Petreius hisc armie in Spaine. By which meanes he ouertooke those that were farre before him. But this hath vse where we are stronger then the enemie in horse. Howe many horsemen, or shot, or pikes, or targets, and other weapons shall march in a ranke, I referre to the iudgement of a good Sergiant maior, ac∣cording to the bredth of the waies, and approches of the enemie. The more doe march in a ranke, the lesse paine he shall haue to set them in order, when he would place them in order of battell, and the stronger the aray is.d Ten thousand Switzers in Lombardy, in the warres betwixt the Spaniards and French, marched foure score in a ranke harde by the French armie, which seeing their resolution, durst not charge them.
The same course is to be taken in the aray of the battell, and arier∣ward marching, saue that these two partes following without any great distance betweene, neede not light horsemen or auantcoureurs, especially where the enemie is before. Neither haue they such vse of shot or horsemen, as the auantgard, where they are vsed for supplies, rather then to fight in front.
In the placing of horsemen & footemen, & in sorting and employ∣ing Page 109of diuers weapons, so that euery sort may doe best seruice, consi∣steth the speciall iudgement of a wise leader. For therein are infinite differences, according to the diuers strength of the enemie, and our owne forces; and likewise according to the diuersities of grounds, and times. Yet commonly in marching this order is obserued: first the light-horse seconded if need be, with shot and targetters, especial∣ly where the country is rough and wooddie, serue for auantcoureurs. Caliuers and musquetiers are not onely to march on the front, but also on the sides and backe of the armed men. Lances and men of armes are ranged, the outmost on the sides for the most part. Next to the shot march the pikes of that part of the armie; these would bee rāged rather in battaillions according to the fashion of the Romans, that the shot and other light armed men might saue themselues, and againe make head within the distances, then all in one front ioyned togither. But this is where the plainnesse of the ground will giue leaue. In euery battaillion the ensignes are to bee placed somewhat toward the first rankes, garded with good store of targetters and halberds well armed.
In placing and sorting of weapons, the Generall is to consider, that the charge of horsemen against shot and targetters is mortall, if they be not either garded with pikes, or haue the vantage of ditches, or hedges, or woods where they cannot reach them. In which case the shot gauleth the horse, if they come within the leuell of the piece. Shot and targetters against pikes worke good effects: pikes ioined close, and standing firme togither, doe breake the carriere of horse∣men: especially where they haue their musquetiers, placed neere by them. Archers, where they haue a defense before them, doe good ser∣uice in the field against horsemen. These things let the General haue so in mind, that he may rather take the aduantage of weapons in the encounter, then giue it to the enemie.
In marching, the distances of euery ranke from ranke, and of e∣uery souldier from his companion by him, are greater then whē they stand ranged in battell readie to fight. It skilleth not much what the distance be, so they may beare their weapons commodiously, & march seemelie: yet that euery man might know what distance is suffici∣ent, & what is most seemly, it were good that one rule were obserued. Shot, although in fighting they obserue rather a course then aray, and are to stirre vp and downe to espie where they may hit the ene∣mie: Page 110yet that they may with more ease and speed bee drawen to ser∣uice, are to march in distance from ranke to ranke fiue or sixe foote, from shoulder to shoulder one foote, or a foote and a halfe. Argo∣letiers or Pistoliers, in march from horse to horse on the side, are distant two foote, from ranke to ranke a yarde and a halfe, or thereabout. The Lancier without bardes rideth in the same di∣stance.
Pikemen from their fellowes side by them, are distant a foote and a halfe, or two foote, from the pikemen behind and before, by reason of the length of their pikes twelue foote. Their march to their corps de gard, when they hold their pikes vpright, which the Italian calleth inalborar, is out of this rule. Of their distances in charging, or recei∣uing the charge of horse or foote, wee shall speake when we come to the place.
Halbardiers march a foote and a halfe from shoulder to shoulder, and seuen foote from ranke to ranke. The targetter may obserue the same distance from shoulder to shoulder, but hee needeth not such di∣stance from ranke to ranke.
The Generall, as he hath the commandement, so he ought to haue the care of all, and therefore ought to be in all places. But because he cannot bee in all places at one time, therefore doeth the practise of warre require, that he assigne the guiding of his three battaillions, to three of his chiefe officers and commaunders, that are men of iudgement and experience, to see and commaund in his absence all men in their battaillion to march in order. Himselfe may march with the battell, vnlesse for some cause it shall please him to march in the vantgard, or arierward. The Romanes ouer euery legion or re∣giment of fiue or sixe thousand, placed a principall commaunder, they called him Legatum: the same was of the Generals counsell, and in his absence one of his lieutenants. Euerie seuerall troupe of horsemen are to haue their seuerall commaunders, and euery com∣paine of shot likewise. All which ought to be obedient to the Gene∣rall of the horse, or Colonell of the footemen, which know the Ge∣nerals counsell. The seuerall troupes also of armed men, are to haue their seuerall commaunders: prouided alwayes that no one compa∣nie haue more then one commaunder for auoiding of confusion, and that euery of these hearken to their superiours, which vnder the Ge∣nerall haue the chiefe gouernement of euery battaillion. The Ser∣ieant Page 111maior, and corporals of the field his officers are to acquaint e∣uery commaunder with the Generals direction, which the same is to execute.
These are therefore suffered to goe vp and downe to see things in order. For others it is not good they should leaue their a∣raie, unlesse it bee for necessarie causes, as sickenesse, the necessities of nature, and such like. The commaunders of euery troupe are to march in the head of their troupes, their lieutenants behind the same. All other colonels, captaines, lieutenants and serieants, are to keepe their ranke and araie wherein they shall be placed. For although ouer their priuate companies when they are single they commaund; yet in the armie vnited togither, they are commaunded, and onely to see those that follow them where they march to do their dueties. which consent vnlesse it be obserued, these inconueniences will ensue. By contrarie commaundements, there will fall out con∣fusion and contention: and many captaines, lieutenants, and ser∣ieants will walke out of order, and much time will be spent in set∣ting of men in their places, which euery souldier ought to doe of himselfe.
The great ordonance being parted betwixt the vantgard, bat∣tell, and rereward, sometime is drawen in head of thea pikes of eue∣rie battell: but for that it must needes trouble those that would march on to fight with the enemie, farre better it were, if all the great ordonance were drawen on the sides of the vantgard, as oft as the enemie made shew of charge, and then drawen vpon some hill, or some other place of aduauntage. In the field it doeth more trouble then seruice: the effectes of it, is but noyse and foo∣lerie, onelie that small townes should not make resistance, it is drawen along, and also for the vse that it hath in sieges, and bat∣teries.
Concerning the baggage, and those seruants and boyes that at∣tend vpon the same, and such as follow the armie, as merchants or vic∣tualers, rather to gaine then to fight: this rule is generally to be ob∣serued, that the same be placed betweene the bataillions, so that in a charge the same may best be defended, and yet not trouble the araie of the armie. The same is to be placed where there is least danger. The Greekes returning from the battell betwixt Cyrusband Artaxer∣xes, being coasted and pursued by the enemie, placed their cariages Page 112neere the riuer along which they marched, and their armed men toward the enemie. Caesar marchinga against the Neruians, after three partes of foure of his whole forces placed his baggage, be∣ing garded with the other fourth part following behind. At other times when there was lesse suspition of the enemie, euery legion marched by it selfe, and the baggage thereof after.bGermanicus after certaine chosen troupes, placed the first regiment or legi∣on, and after that hee caused the baggage to follow garded on ei∣ther side, and behind with the rest of the armie. If our bag∣gage and impediments be great, so much as may be spared is to be left in some strong towne. Or if the enemie bee behind, Thecbaggage togither with our hurt men is to bee sent before into some place of safetie, as Caesar practised in his retraite from Dyr∣rhachium.
This is the common course, which is I thinke also best, for an armie to vse in marching. But if the enemie make countenance, or rather doe begin to charge any part of the same: then that part which is neerest him, is to be made the head or vantgard, the other two parts of the armie are to be drawen, the one on the right hand, the other on the left. If the enemie come on front, then the rankes of the auantgard are to bee doubled, or multiplied according to the capacitie of the ground. The battell and rierward are to be drawen vp, the one toward the left hand, the other toward the right, or els one part is to bee drawen vp vntill the same bee equall of front with the auantgard, and the other beyng deuided into battaillions, to serue for supplie where neede is. The shot is to bee placed part in front, and the rest on the sides, and without them ought horsemen to take their standing expecting their aduauntage, and the commaunde∣ment of their leaders. But if our horsemen bee few, and not able to match the enemies cauallerie; let them not bee to farre aduaunced, vnlesse they bee seconded, with shot and halfe pikes armed àle le∣giere: but rather let them bee reserued to chase the enemie beyng foyled by the footemen, and placed betweene either ground of ad∣uauntage, or battaillions of pikes. And this if it be done of those that haue skill, ye shall neither heare noise, nor see confusion, nor time spent about it. The souldiers of Caesar beyng suddenly charged by thedNeruians, as they were newlie come to their lodging, did e∣uerie man presently set himselfe in aray to fight. And Annibal had Page 113so taught his souldiers, that euery one issuing out of his lodging, coulde fall in aray of himselfe, either being ready to fight or to marche. And why might not our souldiers also be so instructed, and exercised, that they might doe the like? but some want care, some skill, and some both.
Some percase will aske, Who gaue me auctoritie to prescribe? which are very simple not to see, that I prescribe nothing of mine owne, but onely declare the auncient practise of warre, and procee∣ding of most famous warriers. The Romanes vsed this course, and so did the Greekes and Carthaginians. First marched the light horse, then the light armed, after them the armed men. The baggage was placed in the midst of the armie. This order did Caesar oserue in his marche against theaHeluetians,bBelgians, and incSpaine a∣gainst Afranius, and Petreius. The same diddAnnibal practise in his marching all along Italy. The same course for the most part is obser∣ued of those that haue skill in our times, but that the differences of groundes, and diuers conditions of mens armies make them alter some circumstances. Metelluse marching against Iugurtha, placed first certaine choise companies of slingers and archers, and after them troupes of armed men, without impediments or baggage: there him∣selfe commaunded. C. Marius folowed with the horsemen, vpon both sides he placed horsemen, and light armed of his associats mingled among them, guided by certaine captaines of horse, the legions mar∣ched in the midst. Xenophon, for that a square battaile in straites is easily disordered, did deuide the square intof companies (which knowing their places in the square, marched few in a ranke in straits: and in open ground, came into their aray againe.) His horse and slin∣gers he cast out on the front, and sides. Corbulo sog marched in his voyage against the Parthians, as was both for the marche, and fight most safe and fit: in the right side marched the thirde Regiment, the sixth on the left, and the tenth in the midst, the carriages were placed betweene the Regiments, a thousande horse followed for garde of the Rierwarde, vpon the winges were the rest of the horse placed, and by them the archers and light armed footemen, When the blackeh Prince marched into Spaine, his armie was deuided into three partes, vpon the winges marched the horse, the archerie being then wel armed made the body of the battaillions.Page 114
The weakenesse of the armies of our time proceede of contempt of military arayes, and orders. The French among their footemen, haue fewe or none armed. Before the encountre at Rocheabeille Anno 1569,a the Protestants marched thus: the horsemen made the Auantgarde, on either side marched certaine troupes of shot, seconded by horsemen: after the vantgarde followed a battaillion of lansquenets, and in front of them were drawne eight field pie∣ces: after them followed diuers Regiments of shot representing the battell, and on the side thereof another battaillion of lansquenets with some other pieces. That which was the strength of the army, that is pikes, and halberds, and targets armed was wanting, and shot placed, where if they had bene charged, they could haue done no seruice. Oft times the Vantgarde marcheth, and lodgeth so farre from the rest of the partes of the army, that it is no hard matter for a vigilant man of warre to cut one in pieces, before the other can come to succour. Thisbwas the death of the Prince of Condè, and ouer∣throw of his auantgarde at the battell of Cognac. And the same was the ouerthrow ofcCrassus by the Parthians, for his sonne was so farre auanced before the rest of the army, that before he could be relieued, he and his troupes were defeated. And in our times some great commaunders, albeit they had but fiue or sixe thou∣sand; yet would they needes make three partes forsooth, which is the cause of the weakenesse of the whole: the Captaines, lieuetenants, and sergiants, which are a good part of the strength of the army, stand for the most part out of ranke, and will all take vpon them to be leaders: because of contrary commaundements no man can tell where to goe: while commaunders striue together, there is great contention and noyse made. And finally a great matter made of no∣thing: and nothing made of all their seruice, and matters very easie made difficult. For if the army be a body, then euery souldier ought to be taught, that he may knowe howe to stand in his place, as euery member is placed in the body. But we haue saide ynough of the aray, now therefore let vs talke of the proceeding of an army.
CHAP. VI. Part. 2. Wherein is declared by what meanes an Army may march safely in the enemies countrey, and ouercome all difficulties, whereby either in champion, or wooddie grounds, or els in the passage of riuers, or hils and straites, the same may be disordered, or hindered.
BEside the common aray of the army in marching, which we are as nere as we can to endeuour to vn∣derstand, and keepe: if we meane to marche assured, we are also to learne the estate of the enemie, the site of the countrey, where we do marche, and how the ordinary aray is to be changed, according to the diuersitie of the grounds, to the ende that wee may both in champion, and in wooddy grounds, and also ouer riuers, and hils passe safely.
Chabrias the Athenian captaine,a said he deserued not the name of a General, that vnderstood not the estate of the enemies. And ofbAnnibal Liuy giueth report, that he vnderstood what was done in the enemies campe, as well as themselues. The enemies purposes and estate we vnderstand partly by the examination of prisoners ta∣ken: partly by the report of such as flie from the enemie vnto vs: but most assuredly by our owne espials, and discouerers, which either goe disguised among the enemies, or els in warrelike sort approche his lodging, or army to see what countenance he hath. The situation of the countrey is vnderstoode, partly by cardes truely representing the hils, straits, and riuers, and partly by report of the countrey people examined seuerally, but most exactly, by men of iudgement frō some hie place viewing it.cXenophon enquired, and learned of such pri∣soners as he had taken, both the estate of the enemies, and the diuers wayes wherby he might returne into Greece: by the same also he vn∣derstood the situation of the countreys, and maners of the people, by which he was to passe with his company. Ring Edward thed thirde being in paine to passe the riuer of Some in France, by the instru∣ction giuen him by one of his prisoners vnderstood of a foord. The Romanes by the examination of diuers prisoners taken in Afrike, vn∣derstood all the proceedings of the enemies. Yet must not we giue too great credite to such: for subtil persons do often dissemble, and de∣sperat villeines wil not sticke to lead vs into trappes. Diuers of them therefore are to be examined seuerally & streitly, and not to be beleeued Page 116vnlesse they consent, and speake probably.aCurio lightly examining a prisoner concerning the force of the enemie, was greatly abused, and pursuing the enemie vpon his report, was himselfe, and his com∣panie ouerthrowne.
Many things are likewise vnderstood by relation of those that flie vnto vs from the enemie. By such kinde of men thebRomanes disco∣uered the preparatiues of the king of Macedonia against them. Anni∣bal partly by such, andcpartly by his owne diligence, searching out matters continually by his espials, vnderstood whatsoeuer the Ro∣manes did. King Edward the 3. by Robert of Artois, that vpon some displeasure was driuen out of the Court of France, vnderstood diuers secrets of that state, as also by Godefry d'Harecourt, & the erle Mom∣fort that fled to him out of Britaine. Yet may we not giue light cre∣dence to all their words. Percase they vnderstand not matters well, or els deale doubly.dSyllanus therefore in Spaine beside the report of those that fled from the enemie, sent his espials to see what the ene∣mie did. And Annibal vsed to keepe them diligently that reported any thing, that if the reports were found vntrue, they might be punished. TheeRomane Consul hauing receiued newes, that some of his company would be defeated without present succour, and not re∣teining the messenger, fell into an ambush layde for him.
The most assured way of intelligence is by espials secretly sent, or discouerers approching the enemie. Annibalfreturning out of Italy to defend his owne countrey against Scipio, sent diuers espials into his campe.gScipio in the warres of Caesar in Afrike, sent two Getu∣lians to espie Caesars campe disguised as fugitiues. But because such persons cannot long stay there without being discouered: therefore sometimes vnder colour of parley, and sometime vnder colour of buy∣ing, or selling, or other busines, souldiers disguised like marchants espie out the enemies proceeding. Scipio while the treatie of peace continued betwixt him andhSyphax, sent diuers captaines in slaues apparel, which wandering about the enemies campe discouered the accesses, and issues of it, which being reported to Scipio, gaue him the meanes to charge Syphax in the night, being quiet and safe (as he conceiued) in his lodging.iScipio, this mans father, before the bat∣tel with Annibal at Trebia, drew foorth his horsemen and light ar∣med, to view Annibals campe: Annibal for the same purpose came a∣gainst him with other horsmen. But because this maner of discouery Page 117cannot be made without force, therefore didaCaesar pursuing the Heluetians, send all his horsemen in number 4000, to see what wayes the enemies marched. Theb Admirall of France hauing re∣ceiued some losse in the plaines of S. Clere, anno 1569 for want of good espiall, sent certeine horsemen to the number of sixteene, which going nere and taking some prisoners, might vnderstand the enemies resolution. but because they were so few, they were beaten backe be∣fore they could see any thing, and returned without effect. Yet we thinke we doe much when we send foorth sixe or seuen horsemen badly mounted. for some do rashly proceed without them: but both courses are contrary to the practise of warre.
The view of the countrey well described in cards both teach a wise Generall many thinges. for there he may see the tract of riuers, the distances of places, the rising of hilles, and many such opportunities. ThecRomanes in ancient time vsed, when they consulted of any action, to view the situation of the countrey layed before them. The Counte of Purlitia, in his aduertisements to Ferdinand the Emperour, and Don Sancho de Londonno stand vpon the same as a necessary point. for by view of regions described, many thinges ap∣peare, that otherwise cannot be conceiued. But much better may the countrey be discouered, if men of iudgement go before with the horse∣men to view the same, and to follow the traces of the enemies. those that obserue this course both go, & returne safely. Marcellusdsear∣ching out the lurking holes of the enemy, and placing strong gards in places conuenient, returned safely from forraging the countrey.
They that march forward blindely without either view of the countrey, or knowledge of the enemies proceedinges, are subiect to many mishaps. The Romane armie at the straits of Caudium com∣passed in by the enemy on euery side, complaineth, that likeebrute beastes, going on without guide or espiall, they were carried head∣long, as it were, into a pit.fAppius spoiling the countrey of the Bo∣ians, without either discouery, or standes of men well placed, was drawen into an ambush, and slaine together with his army. This one point neglected, cost many of the Romanes their liues, in the warres with Annibal. Marcus Marcellus going himselfe with a small company to view the countrey, was himselfe drawne into am∣bush, and slaine.gƲocula charging the enemy without knowledge of his forces, was assoone slaine, as he went fast out of his lodging Page 118to fight with him. The Counte of Aremberge, by the brauery of the Spaniard forced to passe the*riuer, before he knew the strength of the enemy which seemed not great, was defeated with his com∣pany by the Counte Lodwike. The Admirals vantgard was bro∣ken in the plaines of S. Clere, an. 1569,bfor that the same did blunt∣ly charge the enemy, of whose forces and number the same was ignorant. The carelesse march of Mouuans and Pierregourde, that were charged before they vnderstood of the enemies approch, was cause of their ouerthrow: and hath also both vnto the enemy and to vs wrought many calamities in the Low countries, which those that escaped narrowly may remember, and can report. Dangerous therefore it is to march by night, especially in countries vnknowen, and where the enemies proceedinges are vnknowen. Asdrubalcin the night lost his guide, & his way, and wearied himselfe: and being the next day forced to fight, was ouercome by the Romanes at the ri∣uer of Metaurus. Puygalliard in these late troubles of France, mar∣ching all night, most of his troupes lost their way: the rest the day following were defeated at S. Gemme, by a very few Protestants. Those that escape by policy out of straits as Annibal did at Cales, and Asdrubal in Spaine, he driuing away the corps de gard by feare of fire, the other escaping during parley of yeelding; and likewise they that haue had good successe charging the enemy at all aduen∣tures, haue bene more happy then wise.
Those therefore that march against their enemies are to discouer the countrey and affaires of the enemy diligently, and to shun night marches. but if necessity force them thereunto, yet wisedome admo∣nisheth them to vnderstand the enemies doings perfectly, to procure sure guides, and to keepe them fast: to march close together, now and then to make alta, that those that lagge, may come vp, by sure marks to know frends frō enemies, and to giue certeine & perfect directions. Which course whiledMartius did holde in Spaine, & Scipio in Afrike, he ouercame the Carthaginians, and dislodged them twise,eScipio foiled Syphax and burnt his campe, and slew his people in the night.
The countrey, and proceeding of the enemy discouered, let vs next consider the differences of groundes. The plaine champion country is to be chosen of those that desire to fight, and are stronger then the enemy. Those that are vnwilling to fight, let them shunne such ground, so much as they can. therein there is no feare of ambushes, Page 119nor impediment to breake the aray of the army, which in this ground is no lesse to be obserued in marching, then in fighting. The cham∣pion countrey being without hedges, or ditches, is aduantageous for horsemen, whose force in that ground, without a hedge of resolute pikes, of no number of other armes can well be susteined. Two thousandatargetters, ouertaken by Caesars horsemen vpon a plaine, were all cut in pieces; neither could Afranius their Generall succor them.bCurio Caesars lieutenant in Afrike, leauing the aduantages of the hilles, and descending downe into the plaines, being com∣passed about with Iubaes caualery, was slaine together with his ar∣my. Caesar hauing great aduantage against Afranius and Petreius in his horsemen, did force them for their safegard to forsake the plaines. For how can can an armycmarch in the plaines, so long as the ene∣my with his horsemen, and light armed, chargeth the same now on the sides, and then on the backe? Caesar marching in Afrike where he was inferior to the enemy in horse, was much by their char∣ges encombred and hindred in his march. The Romanesdpercei∣uing Annibals strength in horse, yeelded to him the plaines, and kept themselues vpon the higher grounds.
If therefore we desire to keepe the plaines, we must prouide a com∣petent force of horsemen to match the enemies: if we be weake in horse, let vs keepe our places of aduantages. but if necessity force vs to march through plaine and open countries, then must wee make head against the horsemen with our pikes, and mosquets, disposing our army so, that not onely the footmen, but the horsemen also may haue succour of. the battaillions of pikes, and shotte. Caesar by this meanes repulsed the enemies horse in the plaines of Afrike, and charging them with some few horse seconded with halfe pikes, put them to the gallop. If our horsemen be not too much inferiour to the enemy: then if wee mingle some shotte and halfe pikes lightly ar∣med with doublets plated, or other light armour among them, and second them with some battaillions of pikes, wee need not greatly feare to encounter the enemies horsemen. By thisemix∣ture and aray the Romanes ouerthrew the Capuan horsemen in the siege of Capua, which before that they durst not vpon euen hand encounter. Afranius had no other meanes to breake the charge of Caesarsfhorsemen pursuing him in Spaine, but by opposing against them in the rierward certeine companies of halfe pikes Page 120lightly armed, and ready, not being laden with baggage. By this onely deuice Caesar with 2000 horse all weried and faint, put 7000 ofaPompeyes horsemen to flight. for no horsemen will endure the point of the halberd or halfe pike. The Princeb of Condey in the encounter at S. Denis, in these late troubles of France, assigning to euery company of horse a company of shot, which should dis∣charge when the enemy came to charge the Princes horse; by this deuice preuailed against the enemy, which otherwise he was not a∣ble to encounter.
Wooddy countries, and thicke bushes are not to be passed either with our horse, or pikes before we haue cleared them with our shot, and targetters, and short weapons. for as in those groundes, horse for that they cannot there fetch their carreire, and pikes by reason of their length are vnseruiceable: so they are exposed to the shot of the e∣nemy, which in such places commonly lie hidden. ThecRomanes ta∣king the Germanes with their long pikes in a certein wooddy coū∣trey, taught them that such groundes were not for them. Caesar pursuing his enemies intodthe wooddes, would not follow them, before the wayes were made, and the woods cut downe.
Hilles and straits are yet more difficult to passe then woods: for in woods short weapons and shot may do seruice. in hilles and straits possessed by the enemy, neither horsemen, nor pikes, nor any sort of weapons can do seruice, but with great disaduantage. In surmoun∣ting whereof, these cautions are to be vsed: first that we do not enter a strait, before we haue assured our selues of an issue either before, or behinde, or at least on the sides. TheeRomanes not vsing this cauti∣on, entring the strait at Caudium, were so compassed in by the ene∣my on euery side, that they could neither goe forward, nor backe∣ward, but must there compound for their liues. Cornelius thefcon∣sul had likewise bene entrapped and compassed about in a valley by the Samnites, if that Decius a valiant man with certeine troupes had not taken the hill aboue their heades, and driuen them from thence, by his owne danger, opening a passage to the rest of the army. If we be not assured to force the enemy before vs, yet let vs assure our selues of the highest groundes, both behinde and vpon the sides of the army, and keepe them vntill the passage before be ope∣ned. Which course Annibal taught vs by his example, passing the Alpes, and the Pyrenean mountaines. Beinggbrought into a strait Page 121by the mistaking of his guide, he forced the passage in the night, and deliuered his armie safe out. Cyrus perceiuing the danger of his armie in passing the straites and hils of Cilicia taken and kept by the enemie, remooued him thence by sending certaine troupes farre about another way to charge him on the backe.
In passing of mountaines garded by the enemie, we are further to take heed that our companies doe not march vp to the hill direct∣ly, before that our shot and light armed, haue either taken the higher ground (if any be) or els some euen ground either vpon the sides, or the backes of the enemie. Annibalaperceiuing that the inhabitants of the Alpes had seased the passages: in the night time marching vp with the lustiest yong men hee had, tooke the ground aboue their heads, and so draue them from the places, which otherwise by rolling downe of stones might haue hurt his men, and stopped their passage. When Philip the king of Macedonia had lodged his armie by the banke of the riuer Aous, and at the foote of certaine mightie mountains; the Romane Generall by the direction of a shepeheard, vnderstanding the site of theb ground, sent foure thou∣sand targetters about the hils, and comming vpon his backe draue him from his ground, and had vtterly defeated his armie, had not the roughnesse, and straightnesse of the ground hindered the carri∣ere of his horsmen, and the weight of their armes, the speed of the footemen. The Persians did driue Leonidas from the straites of Thermopylae by comming vpon his backe, and taking the vpper ground. which likewise was done by the Romane Generall Acilius, when Antiochus kept the same straites, to stop the proceeding of the Romane armie. In all their expeditions through the mountaines ofcThessalie, and Athamanie, the Romanes passed without any losse into Macedonie, for that they alwayes tooke the tops of the hils with their light armed, before they suffered their armie to descend in∣to the valleis. Xenophon returning into his countrey through the hils of the Carduchians, to passe them safely tooke this course.dHis companie he deuided equallie into two partes, whereof if the first were stopped, the second auancing it selfe forward another way wanne the hill, and draue the enemies from their ground: if the enemie made head against the second, then did the first compasse the hill while that part held the enemies in breath. The araie of the armie in passing of hils and straites, is diuers from the common Page 122order of marching: for here not the horsemen, but shot and light ar∣med targetters, and short weapons march first, and serue to discouer the enemie: they also gard both the sides and backe of the armie: next them march the horsemen and pikes, with the baggage and great ordonance in the midst.
Diuers are the dangers and difficulties, which an armie is sub∣iect vnto passing of great riuers where there is no bridge, nor easie foord, no lesse to be considered, then other impediments opposed a∣gainst an armie marching: for here the enemie commonly maketh head against vs: here he lieth in waite either to charge vs in front, or on the backe, our forces being diuided, and one part not able to succour the other. If we bee driuen to fight in the riuer, or as so•ne as we come on the other side, our armes and clothes being wet, doe hinder vs and tyre vs. If our armie passe by boates, it is to bee fea∣red least the enemie comming downe the riuer with greater vessels and boates then wee haue, doe diuide our companie likewise, and take away our meanes to passe: bridges are broken with great waters, yea with great barges, and pieces of timber sent downe the riuer, and falling ouerthwart them.aCaesar charging the Bel∣gians as they passed a riuer, cut a number of them in pieces. The Spaniards that forced to passe a riuer in the pursuite ofbAn∣nibal, were likewise slayne in the midst of it by his horsemen re∣turning backe vpon them, and finding them in disorder. When thecHeluetians were all passed the riuer of Soane saue a fourth part, Caesar setting vpon them that remained, and looked for no such thing, discomfited and killed the most of them.dLabienus suffe∣ring them of Treuers to passe the riuer betwixt him and them, be∣fore they were halfe passed, set vpon them, and ouerthrew them, before the rest could passe. ThoseeProtestants likewise, which for want of meanes could not passe so soone as their fellowes, were defeated at the passage of Dordonne, anno 1569. Hard it is and dangerous to passe a riuer, where there is an armie on the other side readie to debate, and denie the passage. ThefHeluetians at foordes, and by boates, often attempted to passe the riuer of Rone, but what with the height of the bankes, and trenches made, and force of men, they were repulsed. Therefore in passing of great riuers, the Generals had need to proceed discreetly: and to looke both forward and backward, that whether he passe by foords or by bridges Page 123made for the purpose, or by boates, or peeces of timber bound toge∣ther, or skinnes blowne full of winde, or howsoeuer, he loose none of his companie, nor be troubled, as men are, that are taken vnproui∣ded. King Edward the third passed the riuer of Some at a foord, not∣withstanding the resistance made by the French: but if withall he had passed ouer some thousand, or two thousand archers, which by ap∣pointment might haue come vpon the backe of the enemie, the pas∣sage of the riuer had bene more easie, and the defence of the enemie, and escape more difficult: for by that meanes Annibal defeated the Gaules in the passage of Rone. For making she we to passe by force, those companies that he had sent about an other way, came vpon their backes, and cut many of them in peeces. The Admirall of France anno 1569, when he could not force the garde at Port de Pile, by reason of the Gabions, and Barriquadals, vnder which the enemies shot lay couered: sought, and found a passage a litle aboue the place: which the enemie had no sooner espied, but he left his stand without any great intreatie. The Prince of Orenge anno 1568, breaking the force of the streame of the riuer of Mosa, by placing horses ouerthwart, founde meanes to passe his armie ouer, before the enemie knewe where he would passe. There is no riuer, but lightly higher or lower it may be foorded.aXenophon with his companie, not being able otherwise to passe the riuer of Ty∣gris, yet marching vp towards the head of it, founde a foorde.bCae∣sar by deepe trenches deriuing part of the riuer of Sycoris in Spaine, made the rest so shallowe, that the souldiers might wade ouer it. Where the enemie doeth fortifie the bankes on the other side, and deny vs passage; there some part of the armie is to be sent about some other way, to come vpon the enemies backes, and to open the passage for the rest.
Annibal, when the Gaules stopped him the passage of Rone, in the night sent Hanno away with part of his armie, which mar∣ching that night fiue and twentie miles vp the riuer, and finding no resistance, vpon boates brought with him, and timber bound together passed his men; which making a signe to Annibal, that they were passed, came vpon the backes of the enemie at such time, as Annibal was ready to passe in front.cCaesar when by force he could not passe the riuer of Allier in France, the enemie still coasting him on the other side: cunningly leauing two legions Page 124behinde a wood, and marching away with the rest of his army, when the enemy followed him, those that remained behinde, ha∣uing boates, and things ready, passed suddenly and made a bridge ouer the riuer, so that the rest of Caesars army returning, passed also at ease. Neither could the enemie remedy it, being drawne so farre from the place.aLabienus by like practise passed the riuer of Seyne, notwithstanding the enemies gard, and opposition. part of his army he led vp against the riuer of Seyne in the night with great noise: which the enemy hearing, followed, thinking that all his army had bene there. In the meane while certeine chosen companies left be∣hinde, passed the riuer in great silence in boates made of purpose, which taking the banke, gaue passage to their fellowes returning. Aemilius Paulus with a skirmish busying the mindes of the Mace∣donians, at the same time sent certeine companies about the hils to passe there the riuer of Enipeus, which comming on the enemies backes, caused them speedily to dissodge, and leaue the passage. Caesar atbanother time when he could not passe the riuer of Sycoris at a foord, made certeine boates of twigs and light timber, and couered them with leather. In those boates caried 22 miles off, in one night he passed a regiment, tooke a hill, and fortified it, and there made a bridge for the passing of the rest of the armie. In the warres of Charles the 5, against the Protestants in Germany, thecSpaniards pursuing the Duke of Saxony, passed with their horsemen at a foord, and diuers of the rest swimming ouer the Elbe with their swords in their mouthes, seased the boates that were tied on the other side, and by that meanes passed ouer their fellowes. ThedLusitanians in time past did seldome goe into the warres without girdles of skinnes, which being blowne full of wind, they easily passed any riuer. The Germanes when no way they could forcee a passage ouer the riuer of Rhein, feined as if they returned into their owne countrey: but ha∣uing marched three daies iourney, they ridde backe so farre in one night, and comming backe vpon a sudden, found the countrey peo∣ples boates tied at the riuer side, in which they passed themselues, and sent backe the boates to passe the rest of the company. Where the enemy maketh no resistance, there it is easie to passe by boate, yet the practise of warre requireth, that either for quicke dispatch a bridge be made, or els yt trenches be made vpon the riuer side both for defence of those that passe first, and for those that stay last, and also that boates Page 125may passe, and repasse safely vnder the fauour of some pieces placed on the bankes. How a bridge may be madeaCaesar hath taught vs by the example of that, which he made ouer Rhein. Take two posts long or short according to the depth of the riuer, and couple them two foote asunder, and so driue them downe with a rammer, leaning somewhat towards two other such posts so ioyned and driuen downe 30 or 40 foote aboue them in the riuer, which fastened together with other timber below, & couered with square beames are the foundation of the bridge. Vpon diuers such couples laying timber and couering the same, with planks, and hurdles, and straw the armie hath meanes to passe. I thinke there is no carpenter, but he knoweth this kinde of worke. and therefore the rest I referre to his occupation, and worke∣manship. The bridge being made, great care is to be taken that the same be not broken; as it happened to the bridge made by the Prote∣stants ouer Garonne Anno 1569, caried away by timber & wooden milles sent downe against it. Which had not happened, if either de∣fences had bene made aboue, or els a broade place left in the bridge for such things to passe. Sometimes bridges are made of boats fastened with cables, and stayed with ancres. Such a bridge was made by the Prince of Parma ouer the riuer of Scald, and also by the Protestants ouer the riuer of Garronne 1569. At the siege of Poytiers the same yere the Protestants made a bridge ouer the water vpon emptie pipes bound fast together with ropes. Mouuans to assure his passage ouer the riuer of Rone, dressed there a litle fort on the banke; where some artillery being placed, beat the fregates that would haue hindered the passage, and defended the fort against such as would haue distur∣bed them in passing, from the land. The same course was also prac∣tised by Montbrune, and diuers others.
But as the Generall is to haue care to passe toward the enemie, so he is to haue care that he may repasse againe. Therefore did Caesar passing ouer Rhine build two forts, at either ende of the bridge one, to assure himselfe a passage. The Romane Emperour Crassus passing the riuer of Euphrates; if hee had had the like care, more of his armie percase might haue returned, then did. It was likewise a great error in the Counte Aremberge, that passing the riuer, he had no regard to assure himselfe of the bridge, which being taken frō him by the ene∣mie, he was slaine with most of his company, and depriued of retrait.
The aray of an army passing of riuers, is much according to the Page 126opposition made by the enemie: if none be made, the common order is sufficient. If the enemie she we himselfe, the great ordonance is to be drawne to the banke on the sides of the army, & other shot likewise if they will reach so farre, to the entent the enemie may be forced to giue place. If the riuer be gueable, let the shot marche on the sides, the tar∣gets in front seconded with pikes: the horsemen may follow in the midst. And when the other side is assured: then are the impediments, and great ordonance to be passed, the rest of the army following after∣ward, the backe being armed, as the front. If the riuer be not to be pas∣sed at a forde, then a part of our army being sent about to winne some more easie passage, when that is ready to come on the enemies backs, certaine boates with some small pieces in the noses of them, and fur∣nished with shot, and targets are first to set forward with equall front, and after them other boates laden with piquiers, are to folow: the or∣donance and impediments must come in the midst, and the rest of the army afterward.
But in passing of plaines, woods, straites, mountaines, or riuers there is no course more effectual, then to vse expedition & celeritie. In all practises of warre the same is most auaileable. For by this meanes the danger is often passed, before the enemie be ready to withstande vs.aCaesar by his expedition had wōderful successe in al his affaires. He passed the hils of Auuergne, before the enemy had any suspition of his cōming. He passed his army in one day ouer the riuer of Soan, which the Heluetians could not do in many. By the same he preuen∣tedbal Pompeyes preparatiues, and draue his enemies out of Italy, before they had any respit giuen them to take breath.cXenophon taking the tops of the hils before the enemie looked for him, passed great dangers with great ease. Montgomery in his iourney into Bearne vsed that speede, that before the enemies were assembled to re∣sist him, he had passed all the riuers, straites, and mountaines which were in his way. No marueile therefore, if they do nothing, that make such intollerable delayes in all things. Loyterers are taken in trappe, and made often to flye, because they will not runne. The army of A∣franius in Spaine, being nere to the hils, where they might haue esca∣ped Caesars hands, and marched safely; delayed time, and suffred Cae∣sars army to come betwixt them, and their safetie; which was the ruine of that company. Yet if the heauens should be ruinated, some as it should seeme, would not mend their pace.