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. XXI. Of the words of command for Wheeling.

THe words of command for Wheeling may be thus giuen.

Viz. Wheele the body to the right hand.

*Thus if the enemie appeare to the right Flanke, you bring your best men to fight against him:

Wheele the body to the left hand.

*Thus if the enemy come to charge your left Flanke, you bring your best men against him:

Wheele the body about to the right hand.

*Thus if the enemie appeare in the Reare, you bring your File-leaders, that is, your best men to fight.

Page  [unnumbered]Wheele the body about to the left hand.

Thus you are reduced to your first Posture.*

But it may be you would Face, then march; after Face againe, then wheele. If you would, it may be commanded thus:

Face to the right hand.* and march twenty paces.
Face to the left hand. and march twenty paces.

Then wheele to the left, and charge ouer-hand.

Thus you may gaine the aduantage of ground vpon the right Flanke:* you may assault your enemy on the left Wing with your File-leaders or Front, you may gaine the aduantage of Wind and Sunne, from the enemie: And presently fall vpon a charge.

It may be you would extend the length of your Battell by whee∣ling (by bringing the Wings into the midst.) Then you may com∣mand thus.

Wheele the Wings into the middest of the Battell. Face to your Com∣mander.

Thus the strength of your Battell lies in the middest;* it may be you would reduce. Then command thus:

To the right hand about.

Then begin with the Bringers vp, and say:

Wheele your Wings againe into the middest of the Battell.

Then bid them Face to their Commander: after that.

Face to the left hand about.

And so they are fully reduced as they were.

It may bee you would know the way how to performe this Wheeling, for as yet you are Ignorant. Then obserue how to do it by this Instance which will somewhat explaine it vnto you.

There be ten File-leaders in Front,* fiue of them on the right Wing wheeles forward to the left, transferring their faces to the contrary Wing, their Followers mouing with them, and standing behinde them as they did at the first, only they change their former ground, as did the File-leaders.

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The other fiue on the left Wing wheeles forward to the right, meeting them in the midst, face to face, hauing all their Followers (behind them) as the other fiue. Then the Commander bids them Face to him: And so the countenances of all the Souldiers are dire∣cted (or transferred) all one way. Thus you may performe this wheeling; but action doth better performe it than words.

This wheeling of the Wings into the midst of the Battalia, was vsed by the Ancient Grecians, to make their Diphalange Antistomus, their Diphalange Peristomus, their Hollow-wedge. The Figure of which is to be seene in Aelian, with the description of them, Chap. 36. 40. and 41.

What Victories haue beene gained by this kinde of Imbattal∣ling, I haue seen, and read in a written Copie of Captain Binghams composing, to be diuulged (shortly) for a publike good, that is now but for a priuate vse. This worthy Captaine was the man that did first shew the Gentlemen of the Artillery Garden how they should performe this kinde of wheeling, which now they doe most exactly: And he will proue the vse of it to be as profitable for Ser∣uice now, as heretofore with the Grecians, if we will but doe what he shall aduise. Thus much of this Kinde of Wheeling, and of the other Wheeling, which must not be vsed when the enemy is vpon you, but when he is aloofe off. Now of Counter-march.