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. XXII. Of Counter-marches, and the diuers kindes thereof: with the manner how they are to be made, and of their vse.

COunter-marches are two-fold: for either we Counter-march the Files or the Rankes. And these either by changing of ground, or keeping still the same ground.

If we Counter march by Files, it is to oppose the enemie appea∣ring in the Reare with our best men. If by Rankes, it is to bring one Wing into the place of the other; or all our best men into the middest of the Battell.

If we Counter-march by Files or Rankes, to change our ground, Page  [unnumbered] we do it either by the Macedonian, the Lacedemonian, o thea mo∣derne Counter-march which was inuented for that purpose, and to be performed standing.

If to maintaine ground, then we doe it by the Choraean Coun∣ter-march, which makes the File-leaders to take the ground of the Bringers vp, and the Bringers vp the same ground, in the which the File-leaders stood. The like in the Wings.

These Counter-marches, namely, the Macedonian, the Lacede∣monian, and the Choraean, are described by Aelian thus.

The Macedonian Counter-marchb by File, is said to be, when the File-leader turneth about his face, & all the rest with the Brin∣ger-vp goeth against him on the right or left hand, and passing on to the ground before the Front of the Battell; place themselues in order one after another, according as the File-leader himselfe hath turned his face.

This Counter-march you see transferreth the whole File to ano∣ther place equall to the first, by taking the ground that lyeth before the Front, in lieu of that it lost behinde. It likewise maketh Shew to the enemy appearing in the Reare of running away, but it is of excellent vse.

Say that before thy Battell lay a Riuer,* and betweene the Riuer and thee a faire plot of ground, higher than that thou standest vp∣on (the enemy appearing in the Reare, and compelling thee to fight) the only way to oppose him with the best men, and to got this ground for thy aduantage, is this Macedonian Counter-march. This Counter-march was first Inuented by Philip King of Mace∣don, Father of Alexander the Great.

The Lacedemonian Counter-march by Fyle is,* when the Brin∣ger vp turneth his face about, and all the rest turning also their fa∣ces, and proceeding forward together with their Fyle-leader, or∣der themselues proportionably in the ground which was behind the reare of the Battell.

Or else, when the Bringer-vp turneth his face about, and hee that stood next before him passiing by on the right or left hand, is placed againe next before him, and the rest following, are placed one before another in their former order, till the Fyle-leader bee first.

In this Counter-march you see, the proceeding is contrary to the former that tooke the ground before the Phalange, or Battell, Page  [unnumbered] this takes the ground after. In that the moouing was from the reare to the front; in this from the front to the reare.*Aelian preferreth the Lacedemonian Counter-march before the Macedo∣man, because in it the Soldiers seeme to fall on and charge, wherin the Macedonian they seeme to flie. There is notwithstanding, times (as Captaine Bingham notes) when it is better to vse the Macedo∣nian; As when you seeke to gaine some ground of aduantage: or in case you mean to march on and not to fight with the Enemy, vn∣lesse you be compelled, for the Macedonian continueth still the march, and staieth not: the Lacedemonian returneth vpon the Ene∣mie, and so looseth ground in marching.

There is likewise times (say I) when it is more requisite to vse this Lacedemonian Counter-march, than any other.

As in case you haue passed the ground which the enemy follow∣ing seekes to gaine, and to charge you suddenly, the onely way to possesse it againe, and to fight with him with your best men, is thus to Counter-march; the Macedonian here will doe no good.

*The Lacedemonians haue another Counter-march, which bears the name, and that is this; the Fyle-leaders begin the Counter∣march, and euery one in their Files follow them orderly. This is no other then our modern Counter-march now in vse.

The*Choraean Counter-march by Fyle, is said to be, when the Fyle-leader turning about to the right hand, precedeth the Fyle, and all the rest follow, till the Fyle-leader haue the place of the Bringer-vp, and the Bringer-vp the place of the Fyle-leader. This Counter-march (saith Aelian) is called likewise Persian & Cretan: Persian and Cetan (saith Captaine Bingham) because it was vsed among the Persians and Cretans.*Choraean also, for the similitude it had with the solelmne Grecian daunces vpon Stages, the compa∣ny that shewed themselues in such daunces being called Chorus, who in their daunces ordered themselues into syles and rankes, as Souldiers doe in battell, and moouing themselues to the brinke of the Stage, when being straightned by the place, they could passe no further, they retired one through the rankes of the other, excee∣ding not the bounds of the place, as is done in this Counter-march:

*It may be commanded thus;

Fyle-leaders, Counter-march to the place of the Bringers∣vp, and stand, and let your Files follow you, keeping your distance.

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Or thus;

Fyles, Counter-march, and maintaine ground.

The Lacedemonian may be commanded thus;

*Bringers-vp, turne your faces about to the right hand: the rest, turne your faces about, and beginning at them that are next the Bringers-vp, Counter-march, and place your selues in your distances, before the Bringers-vp, and one before another, till the Fyle-leader be first.

Or thus;

Face all to the Reare: Bringers-vp stand; the next Ranke, passe through by their right hand, and place your selues be∣fore them, keeping your distances; all the rest moue with them, placing your selues one before another till the Fyle∣leader be first.

When your men are perfects you need but say, The Lacedemoni∣an Counter-march, and it is enough.

This gaines the ground lying after the Reare, as the Macedonian the groundlying before the Front: Now the Macedonian may be thus commanded;

File-leaders, turne your faces about to the right hand;* the rest of euery Fyle passe through in order, one after another, and place your selues at your distances, after your Leaders, turning your faces about, and so stand.

Looke what these Counter-marches doe by Fyle, the very same they doe by Ranke for like aduantage.

The Macedonian Counter-march by Ranke, taketh the ground that lyeth on the side of the contrarie Wing, beginning to moue at the corner of the Wing which is nearest the enemie, seeming ther∣fore to him to runne away, because it dismarcheth from him, as that of the Fyle did before.

The words of command for it may be these;

The right hand corner File face to the left;* the rest of each File passe through to the left, and place your selues orderly behind your side-men, keeping your distance.

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*This gaineth the ground lying on the side of the right Wing, farthest of from the Enemy. The Enemy appeared to the left Wing Bhis Counter march you may set the strongest part of your Battell against the Enemy, and apply the weakest vnto some Riuer Lke, Hill, or such like place, so that the Enemy cannot come to encompsse it.

*The Lacedemonian Counter-march by Ranke, taketh the ground that lieth on the side of that Wing which is towards the Enemy, and bringeth the best Wing to be formost against the Ene∣my, comming still on vpon him, without any shew of running away; and by these words of command may be effected;

*Left hand corner File, where the Enemy appeareth, turne your faces to the left hand; the rest of each Ranke, turne your faces, and passe thorow to the left hand, and place your selues before your side-men, keeping your distances.

Thus when our forces are able to encounter the enemy, and we desire to bring our best wings to fight; then we proceed after this manner to oppose him.

*The Choraean Countermarch by ranke keepeth the same ground the battell had at first, and bringeth one Wing, into the place of the other, or else the Sections to possesse the place of the Wings, thereby to strengthen the midst of the battell. These two may be effected, as the other, by seuerall words of Com∣mand:

The first by this word of command,

*Rankes to the right hand Countermarch and maintaine ground.

The second by this word of command,

Countermarch the Wings into the midst of the battell.

The way to doe it is this,

First they are to face to the right and left hand by diuision: Then to Countermarch into the midst of the battell; After they are to face to their Commander, and so the Countermarch is effected.

*Thus we strengthen the midst of our battell with our best men; bringing them to fight with the enemie, which is the end of Coun∣termarch. Wherein notwithstanding there is a Caution to bee Page  [unnumbered] held, that if the enemie be very neare, that we cannot conuenient∣ly Countermarch, before he come vpon vs, we forbeare, lest we fall into disorder, and in disorder be easily defeated. In which case the best remedie is to turne faces and so receiue him.

As Countermarches are not to be done, vnlesse the enemie be aloofe off, so neither can they well be done but at open order.

When then your files and rankes are at six foot, which is (your first distance) Then you haue sufficient roome to Counter∣march any way.

But in Countermarch obserue this.

If the word be for the right hand, then step forth with the right legge, and bring the left legge ouer.

If to the left, then step forth with the left legge, and bring the right ouer.

But if the Word be to the right, and maintaine ground, then stand fast with the right legge, and bring the left ouer. Thus much of Countermarching.

Now of Doubling.