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. V. How to receive the charge.

IT hath been shewed how necessarie it is, that the Corporall which is sent out with the scouts or discoverers, be a very able souldier, to know what to do upon occasion of unexpected accidents. One or more troops of horse being on their march, with their discoverers before them, if they shall meet the enemie, and perceive him to be the stronger, the said Corporall shall presently send a souldier to certifie the grosse, that they may retreat: himself with his scouts also retreating, but by differing wayes. For suppose the enemie hath received tidings of his contrarie partie, it is likely that (having discovered the said scouts) he will follow them, perswading himself that they flie to their grosse: by which means the grosse shall have time to save themselves, while the enemie is pursuing the said Corporall and his fellows.

When the enemie is much stronger, and the other partie have neither time nor convenience to put themselves into good order; the Chief shall call with a loud voice, and command every man toa save himself: whereupon the souldiers disband into many parts, so as the enemie cannot charge them all: and so (especially in the night) many may escape. But this course is dangerous, and must be commanded with great judgement: howsoever, in all retreats, some of the best mounted must be left behind under a good Commander, to make the retreat.

If passing by or through some village or wood, the first discoverers descrie the enemie, not be∣ing able to discern of what number he is, one of them shall presently come and certifie the Corpo∣rall which followeth with the other scouts, whereof the Corporall instantly certifieth the Chief of the troops; who thereupon puts his men in order, causing them to put their casks on their heads, (which otherwise in march they carrie at their saddle, or hanging on their left arm) and in some convenient place he maketh Alto, and resolveth according to the more certain news which the Corporall shall send him. Which since it may be such as mayb discourage the souldiers, the Chief perceiving him coming that brings it, advanceth towards him, with one or two or his dis∣creetest souldiers, and receiveth his message in private. Having heard his relation, he must pre∣sently resolve, either to retreat or to fight. If he resolve to fight (the enemie being so strong) he must give such orders as shall be fitting, especially commanding the troops to go serried close; and if Page  43 there be divers troops, that they intermingle not, but observe good order: for it might so happen, that the enemie might charge himc so disorderly, as he might make head and endamage the ene∣mie, especially if he have not one or more troops of reserve following him, well united and in good order.