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. II. Of giving the charge.

TO know rightly how to charge the enemy, is a matter of great consequence. If you meet the enemie marching in the day time, and he retreat, whereupon you resolve to charge him; you are first to send a troop of Harquebusiers to charge him on the rear, as followeth. The Lieute∣nant shall first give on with 25 horse charging the enemie upon a full trot or gallop: him shall the Captain follow with the rest of that troop. These are to be seconded by a company of Cui∣rassiers, as fittest to sustain the enemy, if he resist. But if the way be narrow, the said Cuirassiers shall follow immediately after the first 25 Harquebusiers, and then the Captain with the rest of them. The other troops shall second these, keeping alwayes a hundred paces distance between every company.

If you meet a troop of the enemies horse, your self having also but one troop, both of equall number, and that it so fall out that the enemy retreat; you are to send your Lieutenant with twen∣ty horse to charge him in the rear, following him with fifty to the same effect, closed as firm as may be: the rest must follow at a good distance under a good Corporall, which shall not engage himself to fight (though the enemy turn head) unlesse he see his Captain and Lieutenant in great danger: and then he shall couragiously charge the enemy, to give time to those of his company to Page  40 reunite themselves:a there being nothing more dangerous in combat, then to engage the whole troop at once; because if they never so little disorder themselves, they cannot reassemble unlesse they have fresh men to sustain the enemy. Besides, the mere sight of a reserve gives a terrour to the enemy, which (upon occasion) may charge him on the flank. And if there be but fifty horse in a troop, yet some ten or twelve would be left for a reserve. If the troop which retreateth be of sixty horse, at least fifteen must be sent with the Lieutenant to charge the enemy, so as he be con∣strained to entertain them, to give time to the rest that follow to arrive in grosse and united: for by your sending of a smaller number, they might save themselves without losse, by leaving onely some few to make the retreat.