Military instructions for the cavallrie, or, Rules and directions for the service of horse collected out of divers forrein authours, ancient and modern, and rectified and supplied according to the present practice of the Low-Countrey warres.
Cruso, John, d. 1681.

CHAP. VII. Of the Sentinels.

SEeinga that they of the guard cannot be alwayes on horse-back, nor discover the enemy afarre off, to prevent a sudden surprise, Sentinels have been invented; which every Corps-du-guard setteth out of those souldiers which have the guard. These are usually placedb double, that while one goeth to certifie the Chief of the Corps-du-guard what he hath heard or seen, the other stay∣eth to observe new accidents which might happen.

They are placed where most high-wayes joyn, to possesse all the advenues, if they exceed not three hundred paces distance.

Nearer to the Corps du-guard there useth to be placed a single Sentinell, to observe the moti∣ons of the other double.

Between these, another single Sentinell sometime is placed (when the double are somewhat fur∣ther off to possesse some crosse way, or when for some other hinderance they are not in view of him) which may have both them and the nearest single Sentinell in view. So that every Senti∣nell must know that he is onely placed there to certifie the Corps-du-guard of all occurrences; so as (though he were provoked by any advantageous occasion) he must not stirre a foot; or else he committeth ac capitall crime. While the one is gone to relate his observation to the Corps-du-guard, if the second be forced by the enemie, he shall by little and little retreat to the said Corps-du-guard.

No Sentinell must alight from his horse, unlesse for naturall necessitie; and then but one at once.

In the day time, the Sentinells are to be placed on high places to discover the further, but not on the high-wayes, lest they be surprised by forragers or others of the enemie, pretending to be friends: he shall therefore keep a stones cast out of the high-way, suffering none to accost him.

In the night (if it may be) they shall be placed in valleys, because from thence one seeth best what cometh from the higher ground. They shall suffer no person (whosoever he be) to enter or go out of the quarter; but causing him to stand at 30 or 40 paces distance from them, the one shall go and certifie his officer; who (d having the watch-word) shall go and take notice of him, and know his businesse in that place, and at that time.

The Sentinells are to be changed (or relieved) after this manner; Thee houre being come, the Page  34 Lieutenant parteth from the Corps-du-guard with that number of horse which are to stand Senti∣nell, the one half of these he committeth to a Corporall, or old expert souldier, which goeth with him (for the Cornet must not forsake his standard) the other moitie he retaineth to himself. This division made, the Lieutenant with his troop goeth one way, the Corporall with his, the other; encompassing the whole quarter, each of them having a trumpet with them. Thus they (riding one towards another) change the Sentinells from place to place, conducting the discharged Senti∣nells with them, till they meet each other.

The Captain having gone the first round,f the rounders are to be sent out, to see whether these Sentinels be vigilant. And sometimes foure other rounders are sent out, twice as farre be∣yond the Sentinells, as they are from the quarter, (twice at least in a night) to discover round about the quarter, and to observe whether the dogs bark more then usually, &c.

If they observe any thing, one comes back to bring the news, the other three go on. In the day time, a Sentinell shall be placed on the top of the steeple of the village, where the quarter is, and a boore with him, as best knowing the passages and approches. If the Sentinell which al∣wayes walks before the Corps-du-guard cannot heare him, another Sentinell shall be placed at the foot of the steeple, so that these three may understand each other, and (without losse of time) give notice to the Corps-du-guard. Besides, there ought to be doubleg Sentinells on hors-back pla∣ced on high places without the quarter, to be able to discover the further.

The Generall hath alwayes a Sentinell at his tent, so hath the Lieutenant Generall, (taken out of their own guards) and so the Commissarie Generall. No Captain may have a Sentinell (not to overburden the souldiers) unlesse he command the quarter, or have the Cornet lodging with him: except the Captains of Harquebusiers which lodge in the advenues, that so they may the sooner have notice of an alarm.

The Commissarie Generall must shew the Captain that hath the guard, where the Sentinells for the quarter shall be placed. The one Sentinell (when they see men approching) shall with∣draw himself somewhat from the other, towards the quarter; that so (if any violence be offered to the other) he may run to the Corps-du-guard.

They are not onely to certifie of the approch of the enemie or any other; but also are to ob∣serve the fires which they see, or the barking of dogs which they heare more then usuall, or shoot∣ing with canon or small shot afarre off, and of all to inform the Corps-du-guard.

If an alarm be given whilest the Lieutenant and Corporall aforesaid are about to change the Sentinels, they must presently send word to the quarter, and instantly hasten towards the place where the alarm is, leaving the Sentinells to stand somewhat the longer.

hTo assure the quarter in an open and champain countrey and much suspected, it is good to place Sentinells 200 or 300 paces from the quarter, answering one upon another (as upon all oc∣casions they must be) as in a circle round about it. And these not to stand near the wayes or principall approches, (as the manner is) but alwayes passing to and fro, one towards another, as if they would change places: By which continuall motions none may passe undiscovered. As farre beyond these, they which went to discover have their courses, sometimes riding up even to the adverse garrisons (if they be not too farre distant) which shall be shewed at large in the next chapter.