The character of vvarre, or The image of martiall discipline contayning many vsefull directions for musters & armes, and the very first principles in discipline, the ground postures, all the military motions now vsed ... By Edvvard Cooke.
Cooke, Edward, fl. 1626-1631.

CHAP. XVIII. Of the vse of Facing.

IN exercise we commonly prefix vnto our selues this method or order. First to face and stand: Secondly, to face and march.

When we face and stand,* it is to shew our Souldiers how they should defend themselues, if they should be set vpon, in Front, in Reare, in Flankes: by transferring their faces that way to receiue them closing, or sering themselues together at a conuenient di∣stance, and bearing out aa multitude of Pikes euery way vpon them: (as that Phalange of Antiochus the Great did) when Domi∣tius, Scipio's Lieutenant encompassed it round with horse-men and light armed. I cannot doe amisse in relating the manner of it vnto you, it being so pertinent for my purpose, and so fit for the vn∣derstanding of the motion: Therefore out of Apian I will dilate it thus.

As soone as the horse and chariots, of Antiochus, were put to flight by the Romane Horse-men, and by Eumenes his Phalange of foot being destitute of horse, first opened and receiued the light armed (that had all the while fought in the Front) into the middest of it. Then afterwards againe closed: And when Domitius, Sci∣pio's Lieutenant incompassed it about with horse and light armed, which he might easily doe, by reason it was thrust vp in a thicke*Plinthium, it was driuen to great distresse: being neither able to Page  [unnumbered] charge the enemie, nor yet to countermarch in so great a depth as it carried: It grieued them much that their long experience nothing auailed them to annoy the enemy, and that notwithstanding, they were subiect to Arrowes and Darts at all hands. Yet bearing out a multitude of Pikes on euery side of their square, they called the Ro∣mans to come to handle blowes, and still made a countenance, as though they meant to charge, keeping themselues for all that with∣in their Rankes, as being foot-men and heauy armed, and the rather because they had to doe with an Enemy on horse-backe. Besides, they were loath to breake the thicknesse of their battell; which forme they could not now alter. The Romanes also Durst not ap∣proach them, and come to sword, fearing their experience in War, and closenesse of Aray, and desperation. But running about here and there, plyed them with Arrowes and Darts, whereof none was throwne in vaine, falling amongst a troupe so closely put together, that they could neither auoid, and decline any thing throwne, nor giue a way, albeit they saw it comming. At last being weary and ir∣resolute what to doe, they retired easily, with a threatning counte∣nance notwithstanding and in good order, and not deliuering the Romanes of feare, who durst not yet come neare, but sought to an∣noy them aloofe; till the Elephants placed in the Macedonian Pha∣lange, being affrighted, and not to be ruled by their gouernours, troubled all, and gaue occasion of flight. Hitherto Appian.

Whereby you may see how suddenly they did face, maintaining a Charge (as it were) vpon a stand; and when the Romanes would not come to handy strokes with them, they angerly, yet leasurely retreated: and when they were distressed, made as though they would charge, holding out a multitude of Pikes euery way; to the amazement of the Romanes, who durst not approach them. The like may be done by ourc Battell, if it should be charged as that was. Thus much to face ane stand.

Now to face and march.

*When we face and march, it is to shew our Souldiers how we can vpon deliberation (as occasion serues) preuent the enemie from Falling on our right or left Wing, by bringing it to some Riuer, or such like place of strength for succour, wherby the enemy can haue no way to encōpasse it: which we do by bidding them first to face, then to march to the place, afterwards to face againe. And so they are reduced to the first posture, and the Front is, as it was at the first. Page  [unnumbered] This we continually vse in our Trainings at home, to make ou men fit for it in the face of the Enemie. Howsoeuer some may be ignorant in the vse of the motion, yet they cannot bee vnskilfull in the motion it selfe, by reason of the practise. No Battell can well be without this motion, especially in the field, where the enemy doth seeke aduantage. Let me therefore shew you some other ex∣cellent vses thereof, that it may bee the beter esteemed, and the oftner practised.

This motion, as it is performed marching,* is of this singular vse, not onely to giue an assault vpon the aduerse wing of the ene∣my, but to fail any way off from the enemy, and suddenly againe to turne vpon him with an euen front to his front; that is, Pikes to his Pikes, Shot to his Shot, whereby he is preuented from falling, ei∣ther on the Flankes, or on the Reare, comming on with one maine Bodie.

Manie other vses it hath, as partly this; To* shunne a dange∣rous ground on which an enemie hath strewed, Calthrops, or laid a secret trap, this was found practised by Alexand. the great, when he fought with Darius at Arbela; Arrian describes it thus* (saith he) Alexander hauing imbattelled his Army, to fight with Dari∣us, had intelligence, that Darius had strewed the ground betwixt the two Armies with Calthrops; hee commanded therefore the right Wing, which himselfe led, to turne faces to the right hand, and to follow him, to the end to goe round about, and avoid the places that were strewed with Calthropes: Darius marching a∣gainst him to the left hand, disioyned his troopes of horse, and A∣lexander taking the aduantage, and guing in quickly betwixt the spaces, put Darius to flight.

Here you see the euent of it, and what a victory Alexander gai∣ned thereby. If he had faced and stood still, what would it auailed him? Had hee marched fore-right, hee had falne vpon the Cal∣thropes, but by facing and then marching vpon it, hee effected all.

First he auoided the ground where the Calthropes lay (by fa∣cing and marching forth) then hee reduced them againe to their first posture, by facing them to the left hand. Afterwards (taking his aduantage) hee went on to the charge, and so defeated the enemie.

Why Alexander made choice (onely) of this motion, is not to be wondred at, because necessity made him to make vse of this mo∣tion Page  [unnumbered] when no other would serue.

Countermarch had bin ridiculous, so had doubling; wheeling had bin in vaine: nay, it was impossible for him to haue wheeled, the ground being so scantie, (betweene him and the Calthropes) his Phalange of so great a bredth, and the enemie so nigh. Yet say he had wheeled (hauing had ground sufficient) hee must haue beene forced (hauing wheeled) to haue faced withall, and mar∣ched further out, then wheeled againe, or else to no purpose; so haue failed of his expedition.

Thus you see how fit this motion serued Alexanders turne, and by it may learne to make like vse of it, vpon like occasion.

Another singular vse of this motion is, to get the vpper ground from the enemie.

This was found practized by Philopaemen, the Achaean Generall. When Machanidas, the Lacedemonian Tirant, had put his left wing to flight, yet he by this meanes restored the battell, and with∣all obtained the victory.

*Polibius describes the manner of it thus;

The fight being begunne betweene Machanidas, the Lacede∣monian Tirant, and Philopaemen, the Achaean Generall, it happened that Machanidas had the better, for he hauing put the left Wing of the Achaean Mercenaries to flight, followed hard the chase; Phi∣lopaemen, as long as there was any hope, endeauored to stay his men: when he saw them vtterly defeated, hee hasted to the right Wing, and perceiuing the enemy busie in the chase, and the place voide where the fight had bin, commanding the first* Merarchies to turn their faces to the right ••and, he led them on with high speed, not yet breaking the order of their imbattelling, and quickly sei∣zing vpon the forsaken ground, hee both cut betwixt them that gaue chase, and home, and withall got the aduantage of the vpper ground against the left wing of the armed, whereby hee obtained the victorie.

*If Philopaemen had in this action vsed wheeling of his Battell, which onely was the other motion which would haue serued his turne, besides the troublesomnesse of the winding about, he should haue bin forced to haue vsed two wheelings, and so failed of the celeritie, which was at time requisite, faces were turned in a trice, and he made himselfe master of the ground hee desired, before hee could haue wheeled once his Battell.

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Besides to haue Fac'd and stood still, had beene to no purpose, but Facing and Marching on was to some purpose, as you haue heard.

Thus you see what Facing is;* How it is the easiest of all Mo∣tions, but of no lesse importance or necessitie: How it may be done in a trice, though the Enemy come very suddenly vpon vs: Though he encompasse both our Wings: Though hee enuiron vs round with Foot and Horse, yet we may Face vpon him, and make him resistance: How that there is no Battell but hath need of this Motion: So that when we finde our Enemies to encom∣passe our right Wing, wee turne our Faces and Weapons that way to receiue them. To the left, when they come to charge vs on that side: If on both sides, then wee turne Faces halfe to the right, and halfe to the left hand. But being to remoue the Bat∣tell from any of the Flanks, we cause Faces to be turned to that Flanke; so we lead on vpon the Enemy, either to assault him, or to preuent him where he would assault. Which if we cannot doe, we make a stand, and so receiue him. All this I haue expressed fully both by precept and example. Now it remaines that I shew you foure other things.

First, by what words of Command it may be done.

Secondly, in what order.

Thirdly, with which Legge comming forward.

Fourthly, how to reduce all this (by way of document or obser∣uation) shall be declared in the next Chapter following.