CHAP. IX. Of forraging.
FOrraging is an action of great importance and danger. 1. Of importance, because thereon de∣pendeth the sustenance of the horses. 2. Of danger, by reason ofa the enemies endeavours to set upon the guards and convoyes of forragers, which must be sent out at least twice a week. There∣fore, that these forragers may the better be secured, there must alwayes be a good grosse of In∣fanterie and Cavallrie sent with them, under the command of a chief officer, or at least a well ex∣perienced Captain. The Provost or one of his assistants is to go with them, to punish such as are exorbitant or straggle. If the forrage be for the whole armie, the Lieutenant Generall is to leade the convoy.b The baggage nor horse-boyes must be mingled among the troops.
It is not fit to go twice together to one place to forrage, lest the enemie knowing it, watch an opportunitie. At first it is good to forrage in the most remote places, and where the enemie is like to come to encamp: but if the enemie be settled, it is not good to forrage so near him as that he might set upon the convoy with Infanterie and Cavallrie; but rather in such places, where he can hardly (without great danger to himself) endammage the forragers.c If there be one or more streets by which the enemie might come, between the quarter and the place of forrage, some con∣venient number of foot, and ten or twelve horse must be left at the advenues of each of the said streets. The horse are to place a Sentinell, and to send out two to discover the wayes a good di∣stance before them. By this means the forragers having finished their forraging, make their retreat safely; to which purpose also one or two troops of twentie five horse apiece use to march upon the flanks of the forragers. When all the forragers are marching back again towards the quarter, all the convoy marcheth in the rear; it being unlikely that the enemie will set upon them with any great forces between their convoy and their quarter.
At the place ofd forrage, the Chief shall cause a troop of Harquebusiers to advance somewhat before the rest, there to stand and to suffer none to passe beyond: he is also to send out some souldi∣ers on every side, and to visit woods and valleys, &c.
For the better securing of the said forragers, or the quarter, there use to be fiftie or more of the Infanterie (which may be fitly performed by Dragoneers) with a competent number of horse, pla∣ced in some castle or strong Church within two or three houres riding of the quarter. But to se∣cure Page 36 the quarter, there ought to be two places equidistant so guarded, which might cut off those small troops which run near the armie on either side. And if the troops be of number, these may (by their discoverers or spies) receive notice thereof, and so suddenly inform the quarter.