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.

The fourth Part. Of Embattelling.


OF all other military actions, thea chiefest is that of embattelling, or ordering an ar∣my for combat; which now (in the last place) I am to treat of.

The occasions of combat for the Cavallry are many and frequent, (sometime by a sole company, sometime by more troops, otherwhile by all the horse toge∣ther) of divers kinds, upon differing accidents, and those (for the most part) sudden and unexpected. Since therefore nob rules nor directions can be so full and ample as to meet with all sorts of accidents, my purpose is to aim at the chiefest; and to shew,

1. How to assail a quarter; to give the charge in fight; and to order embuscadoes, by way of offence.

2. How to do, meeting with the enemy in marching; and how to receive the charge by way of defence.

3. How to order the troops in battell; first, by single companies apart: secondly, by all the Ca∣vallry united in a grosse body.

CHAP. I. How to assail a quarter.

A Captain which is desirous to gain honour by some enterprise upon the enemy, though much his superiour in strength, hatha no better way then to assail him in his quarter. To effect this, he must have good knowledge of the village and the countrey thereabout; and if he can (by ta∣king a little compasse) charge him on the rear or on the flanks: if there be any negligence in the quarter, it is like to be on those parts.

If he cannot (by other means) get knowledge how their guards are kept, and other duties either observed or neglected; he may conjecture by theb qualities of their Chief, whether he be a good souldier or not; whether he be proud and hasty, or that he be advised and deliberate: for ignorance joyned with a naturall fury causeth a man to despise his enemy, and to think it a disparagement to him (as an argument of fear) to use such cautelous courses in assuring his quarter; especially know∣ing himself the stronger.

In the assailing of his quarter, there are two things to be observed;

1. To make your approches as near the village as possible may be.

2.c To hinder him from uniting his troops into a body.

Touching the first, the first troop shall advance (without any forerunners) as secretly as may be: and assoon as they perceive themselves to be discovered (without losing a moment of time) Page  39 shall charge the Sentinells, and enter the quarter with them, and surprise the Corps-du-guard be∣fore they be able to mount on horse-back.

For the second, there must be an exquisite observance of the orders given, and not a man to dis∣band. Suppose the enemy hath 1000. horse and you but 500, you may fitly divide your forces in∣to five troops. The first having surprised the Corps-du-guard (as before mentioned) shall from thence passe to the market-place, with resolution to sustain any resistance which they shall meet with. The second troop (perceiving the quarter invested) shall follow upon the gallop closely united, and finding no resistance, shall possesse the alarm place, and send some horse to run through the streets, to keep the souldiers in; and to hinder them from mounting on horseback.

The third shall come fairly on to the said place, and so the fourth; which (leaving the third there firm) shall hasten to the place where they heare the most noise: then shall they alight and enter the houses, putting to the sword what enemies they find. The running of these horse through the streets, hindering the souldiers to mount, will surely make them think ratherd of escaping by flight through the gardens or otherwise, then of resisting: neither can there (in such a tumult) be good orders given or observed. Therefore the fifth troop hearing the noise cease, may conjecture there is no need of their help to take the village; and so shall divide themselves into two parts, and invi∣ron the quarter on the outside, to hinder the enemies flight on foot. The horse-boyes may fire a house or two, especially where the enemy shall endeavour to fortifie; then (as the souldiers) to en∣ter the houses to pillage and take prisoners, &c.

Another way of assailing the quarter, is this: The enemies camp removing, the Chief or Ca∣ptain must labour to inform himself of the place where he purposeth to lodge that night; and where the quarter for the Cavallry shall be: which may easily be learned, because overnight it is usually published: or having good knowledge of the countrey, he may conjecture it. He must consider the number of his enemies horse, and of his own, and though he be inferiour by half (as beforesaid) yet may his enterprise take good effect, if it be well carried. He must fit the time soe justly, as that he may come to the enemies quarter in the evening, before the guards be disposed, or the orders given. And if the distance were such, as that he must march when the enemy march∣eth; he shall depart from his quarter with all secresie, andf pretend to march to some other place, taking a way contrary to that which leadeth to the place intended. And (when he thinketh fit) he shall face about, and march on the flank of the enemy as covertly as may be. But to do this, two things must be observed; 1. That your march be through your friends countrey. 2. That you have more then one spie in the enemies Cavallry, so as they be not able to stirre without your knowledge. It must be also considered, that if you go to assail your enemies quarter, he may have means to discover your purpose by his scouts or otherwise, and so be prepared for you: therefore must you have a care to be provided for it, by taking good order beforehand, and securing yourg retreat by placing a good number of Infantery or Dragoneers in the midway at some conveni∣ent place. Going about this exploit in the night (as the fittest and safest way) every souldier must have some token or signe of ah white colour on their casks, to distinguish each other by. It of∣ten falleth out, that the enemy (having got intelligence of some intention to set upon his quarter) keepeth extraordinary guards, and is very vigilant in the night; but in the day time they all go to rest and are carelesse, as fearing no danger: at which time many have been so found and defeated.

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.

CHAP. III. Of embuscadoes.

IT is an ordinary thing in warre, to study how to endamage an enemy, and to distract his forces: to which purpose all possible means must be used, especially when the camps lie near each other. The Cavallry must principally be employed to travell and molest the enemy, sometime by hin∣dering him from his victuall, sometime by endamaging his forragers, sometime by sending some troops even up to his camp to take some booty, by that meansa to draw him forth, and to make him fall upon some embuscadoe disposed beforehand in some fitting place.

To order your embuscadoes (or ambushes) as they ought, you must first know what number of Cavallry the enemy hath; if he have fewer horse then you, you may employ all yours, attempting to draw out all his, and to rout them. Or else you may employ some small number, by which you may (at severall times) make some good booty, the enemy not daring to issue out of his quarter. But if the enemy exceed you in horse, it is not convenient for you to make embuscadoes, unlesse it be with some few horse: for being a small number, you may easily retreat; but being a grosse, it might be entertained by part of the enemies Cavallry presently issuing, and those seconded by more, whereby you should be hardly able to retreat without disorder and losse.

b The good successe of an embuscadoe consisteth chiefly in their not being discovered, for which cause they are usually appointed to march in the night: or being to march a great way, to cause them to passe by those places in the night, where the enemy might most likely discover them. So proportioning the time, as that they might arrive at the place appointed for ambush before day, that so they may give time to lay their embuscadoe under favour of the night. The said troops arriving long before day, they are to be kept firm on the plain, and Sentinels are to be placed on every side. In the mean time youc must diligently search and discover about the place appointed for your embuscadoe, lest there should be any ambush of the enemies: then (being assured for that) you are to lay your embuscadoe before the dawning of the day, and to place Sentinels in places convenient, where they may be unseen: some on trees, others couched on the ground, to discover such places as they cannot descry from the trees. The embuscadoe must not be laid much before break of day, because (otherwise) they cannot discover the approch of the enemy, but at hand, and so the embuscadoe should have no time to come forth, and put themselves in order, and being so taken on the sudden,d they might be defeated in their own ambush. Besides, in that remainder of the night, many might be overcome with sleep, and not use that vigilance which is required. The troops must be placed at good distances one from another, that so they intermix not, nor hin∣der each other in time of fight. In making the embuscadoe with a grosse of Cavallry, some num∣ber of Infantery must be laid in ambush about the mid-way, to sustain the Cavallry in their re∣treat (if need were) or otherwise to assist them upon occasion.e In marching, some horse must be sent out a good way before, by the right way and the by-wayes, to discover whether there be no ambush of the enemies: And indeed, to be the better assured of the good successe of an ambush, it should be accompanied with some new and extraordinary invention.

If the Chief of a frontier garrison will attempt to endammage the enemy by an ambush, being inferiour in strength to the enemy, he must gather together so many of the troops of his neighbour garrisons, untill he be superiour. And by making embuscadoes two or three times in this manner, it will terrifie the enemy; in so much as that it may be conjectured, that though afterward he make embuscadoes with fewer horse, the enemy will not hazard to come forth, and so he may the safelier take booty. When the army marcheth, there is usually some Cavallry left behind in em∣buscadoe in some eminent place, from whence they may discover farre off, by that means to be se∣cured from the enemies Cavallry, which usually is sent to charge the rear of the marching army, to take some prisoners, or to get intelligence. But these must not go to their place of ambush by the right way, but having passed the place, they must return to it by some by way, lest the enemy fol∣lowing them, discover them by their footing.

To employ all the Cavallry (supposed to be 4000, in fourty troops) in embuscadoe, three troops must be sent before towards the enemy, under an able Commander, giving notice onely to him Page  41 and the Captains where the embuscadoe shall be; and letting none of the souldiers know that any more horse are to follow them, lest any of them (in the enemies charge) being taken prisoner, should reveal it to the enemy. Of these three troops, one hundred are to be sent to the enemies camp, viz. fifty Cuirassiers with their Captain and Lieutenant, and fifty Harquebusiers with their Lieutenant. Of these Harquebusiersf 25 shall advance before with a good Corporall, attempting to take horses, prisoners, &c. as they shall be able. In view of these Harquebusiers, at the distance of a canon shot, 25 Cuirassiers must make Alto, under command of their Lieutenant, to receive those 25 Harquebusiers when they return with booty. The Captain, with the other 25 Cuirassiers and 25 Harquebusiers shall keep behind some half league off, divided into two troops; the Har∣quebubusiers being placed nearest the enemy in convenient manner, partly to succour the said fifty horse (which likely will be charged by the horse of the enemies guards) and also to make their retreat, wherein the Cuirassiers are of principall use. These foure troops must still retreat in fit∣ting distance one from another, one of them still turning face to the enemie; unlesse the enemy so charge them as they must be forced to flie in disorder. The other 200 horse (being 150 Cuirassiers, and 50 Harquebusiers) shall enter the embuscadoe, with their Chief, about half an houres riding off from the other fifty horse; which when they see returning and charged, they shall issue out: the fifty Harquebusiers first giving a charge rank after rank, then the Cuirassiers, leaving twenty horse in the rear to make the retreat.

The grosse (which had taken another way, lest the enemie should perceive by the footing that there was a greater number, and so should stay or turn back) must be in ambush about an houres march behind the said 200 horse. And seeing them return charged (as surely they will, the ene∣mie thinking himself the stronger) shall suffer them to passe, and the enemie also, that so they may charge them on the rear when they see their time. For better assurance, it were good to lead out with them (as before was intimated) someg 500 musketiers, and 300 pikes, which must be in am∣bush about a league behind the grosse of Cavallrie, on the way by which the said 300 horse should return charged. These foot must take heed they be not discovered untill the enemie be come up to them, and then shall give them a full vollie to disorder them. Upon this, the grosse of Cavallrie (now issued out) shall charge them on the rear and flanks: and then the said 300 horse are to face about, and sustain the charge; by all which means it is not like that the enemie can escape without much losse.

According to this proportion, a greater or smaller number may be ordered, so as, if you would make an embuscadoe with 100 horse onely, 50 of them must be sent before towards the enemies camp, or village where he is quartered. Of these fiftie, fifteen are to advance before the rest, to take some prisoners or horses: the other thirtiefive shall be in ambush about half a league behind them, in some place (if it be possible) whence they may see those fifteen: but if not, then to place two horse between themselves and those fifteen, to give notice when the said fifteen shall return charged. Whereupon twentiefive (of these thirtiefive) shall advance, leaving ten of the best mounted at the place, to let the enemie see there is a greater number of horse. These ten must make good the retreat, untill the other fiftie arrive which lay in ambush two leagues behind, with Sentinells to discover afarre off towards the other thirtiefive, between which (about the mid∣way) two horse were also placed to discover the motions of the first fiftie, and thereof to inform these fiftie which were in ambush behind them. These, seeing the first fiftie return charged, shall let them passe, and then issue out against the enemie: the first fiftie (making their retreat by twelve or fifteen of their best mounted horse-men) having reunited themselves and taken breath, they must makehAlto, and assist the other, as hath been shewed. This order is to be observed when you have certain intelligence (by your discoverers) that the enemie hath no forces there∣about. But when you cannot be assured of that (left the enemie with a troop of fiftie or sixtie horse, casually meeting with some of your said small divisions, should defeat them) there might be twentie or twentiefive horse first sent out, whereof fifteen to advance to take some bootie, the other staying about half a league behind in some covert place, shewing themselves when those fifteen return charged, so to give suspicion to the enemie, or to make their retreat. The rest might be in ambush altogether, some two leagues behind them, demeaning themselves as before hath been shewed.

Ini grosse ambushes they must make their number seem as small as may be;k but in small ones, they are to make shew of a greater number then they have: for which reason, all the horse must not go out of the embuscadoe at once, but some twelve or fifteen (when their number is small) must remain at the further part of the wood, to favour the retreat of the rest, (as hath been said) and to cause the enemie to think that there is a greater number of them within the wood. To this purpose some six horse may be left some league behind the rest, a little out of the way; but so as they may discover if the rest return charged, and then shew themselves at the end of the wood (as before is shewed) to make the enemie think there is a grosse embuscadoe, leaving one horseman further within the wood then the rest, and he to give fire when the enemie may perceive or heare him, which the enemie may think was done by a mistake.

Page  42

CHAP. IV. How to do, meeting the enemie marching.

A Commander, marching with one or more troops, and chancing to meet the enemie, or other∣wise having news of him, must presently resolve either to offer combat, or to retreat, or to attend the charge of the enemie: and herein he must govern himself according to the intelligence he hath, and the convenience of thea place. To get the more certain intelligence, besides his scouts, he shall send out (a good distance before him) a Corporall with ten or twelve souldiers, who (pretending to be of the enemie, if the countrey be at the enemies devotion) shall discover and take information, &c.

If you meet the enemie near his own quarter, and farre from yours, you must resolve with a generous courage to go andb charge him, though inferiour in number; it being often seen that va∣liant resolutions are seconded with good luck. But being near to your own holds, and knowing the enemie to be much stronger then your self, it will be prudently done toc save your men by the nearest retreat: making your retreat in good order, and taking heed you spoil not your hor∣ses by too much haste, but suffer them now and then to gather breath, leaving a Lieutenant in the rear with some of the best mounted souldiers. The retreat shall be by the same way you went, so long as day continues; but night being come, you must take some other way (though the longer) to return to your garrison, or quarter. Thus you shall gain time by turning away from the ene∣mie by the benefit of the night; causing the footing of your horses to be defaced at the place where you left the way; for it is to be supposed the enemie will follow you by the direct way. To de∣face or put out the footing of the horse, if the way be dustie, two souldiers are appointed to stay behind all the rest, which draw a great bough between them along the ground, and so put out the marks of the horses footing. Or if there be a great number of horse, and the way be broad, then foure souldiers with two boughs do it. But if the way be soft, the Chief commandeth five or six souldiers to alight, and with their hands and feet to deface the footings; and in such wayes the horse are commanded to march with doubled files, and closed, for a little space when they turn out of the usuall way, that so they may trample the lesse. Besides, you may avoid the danger of being traced by the horse footings (especially in the night) by turning out of the way at some house, or through some garden, breaking the hedge on the further side, and going into the way by wayes unthought of: by all which means you gain time, whilest the enemie is constrained to spend time in discovering of your footing, and taking information of the way that you took.

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.

CHAP. VI. Of ordering the troops for combat, by single companies.

BEfore we come to shew the severall forms of battel which may be used among the Cavallrie, it will be fit to speak of their severall kinds of fighting, which they are to be practised in apart by themselves, before they be joyned with the grosse.

If a companie of Lances were to fight against foot, they were not to give their charge in an united bodie (neither upon this; nor any occasion whatsoever) because even the second rank of them hardly doth any certain execution; but they were to charge them rank after rank, wheeling off to the rear; to that end keeping large distances between rank and rank. The same order they were to observe, if they fought against horse upon the offensive. For the defensive, the companie (consisting of 64, as before, Part. 1. Chap. 19.) might order themselves in this manner. Two ranks (of eight in rank) should face to the front: two to either flank, and two to the rear; leaving an open square space in the middle, they all standing back towards back, faced every way, to receive the charge wheresoever the enemie shall give on.

The same manner might be used in greater bodies, as should seem good to the skilfull Com∣mander. If the Lances were to fight against Cuirassiers,a they were (by two ranks together) to setch their careers, and so to charge them, especially on the flanks and rear: every second rank forbearing the shock, till the first had done it, and was wheeled off.

If one companie of Cuirassiers be to fight against another, your enemie charging you in full career, you are to make ab Carracoll, that is, you divide your bodie by the half ranks, and so sud∣denly open to the right and left; so as the enemie passeth through you, and you (facing inward) charge him on the flanks, as is shewed in Figure 6. Part. 4. Or if two companies fight against two other, then they observe the same manner, but keeping each companie entire, as may be seen in the same figure.

It is also to be done by the Carracoll first, and then (the enemie being within you) to wheel to the right and left inward, and so to charge him on the rear, in full career. These forms (in Wal∣hausens opinion) are ofc speciall advantage, for the enemie (having charged you in full career while you went on upon the trot, onely on the sudden opening to the right and left) either (saith he) must run through and effect little or nothing, or (staying himself in the career)d disorder his troop, and loose the force of his charge: as by Figure 7. Part. 4. appeareth. The Harquebusiers must be exercised to give fire by ranks. The first rank, having given fire, is to wheel off to the left (unlesse the ground will not permit it, but that it must be to the right) making readie and falling into the rear; the second rank immediately gives fire upon the wheeling away of the first, and so the rest successively. Walhausen would have them also give fire by files, the outward file towards the enemie (whether right or left) advancing before the bodie, in full career, and so firing; the rest successively to do the same, and in this manner to fight against Infanterie that might charge them on the flanks. But others do utterly reject it, as too much exposed to inevitable danger. In their firing by ranks, the first rank advanceth some thirtie paces before the bodie, first on the gallop, then in career (as some direct) and so to give fire: the second doth the same, and so the rest. The Dragoniers being a kind of Infanterie, and doing their chief services on foot, (as hath been shew∣ed Part. 1. Chap. 31.) it will be needlesse here to shew how they are to be exercised for skirmish; partly in regard there is no want of books for thee practising of the foot (though I dare say they exceed rather in number then in weight) and principally, because I desire to confine my self to that which properly belongeth to the Cavallrie. How they are to dispose of their horses in fight, hath been shewed ibid. cap. 31.

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6. Cap: 6.
Par: 4. [woodcut depicting cavalry movements]
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Fig: 7.
Par: 4.
Cap: 6. [woodcut depicting cavalry movements]
[set of two woodcuts depicting cavalry movements]

Page  46

CHAP. VII. How the Cavallrie are to fight against foot.

A Commander having intelligence of some grosse of the enemies Infanterie, and resolving to set upon them, he must principally aim to encounter them in a place of advantage for the Ca∣vallrie, that is, in ana open champain. He must also use all possible diligence to charge them, be∣fore they can be ordered for battel, though they exceed him much for number.

But if the said Infanterie be put in good order at his approch, (if the ground be champain, and the number equall) yet may they be charged by the horse: First by some troops of Harquebusiers (or rather Dragons, because they do execution at a larger distance) which shall give on on their front, flanks, and rear. These were to be seconded by the Lances (in small divisions) when they were in use; but now by the Cuirassiers, who shall make their benefit of such overtures or disor∣ders as shall be caused by the said Dragons and Harquebusiers.

If the Infanterie exceed in number, and so be serried in a grosse bodie, it will be hard for the Cavallrie to rout them, as hath been found by experience by the Swisses, which still had the bet∣ter of the horse, by the reason of their grosse bodies of pikes.

If the Infanterie be ordered into severall battaillons, the horse are to charge them where they perceive them most open and naked. But if the foot have possessed themselves of some place of ad∣vantage, as some wood, trench, or covert way, then the horse are not to charge them; though equall, or somewhat superiour to them in number, in respect of such advantage.

CHAP. VIII. Of ordering the Cavallrie in battel.

THe forms of battel used among the horse (presupposing such as are made by election, in a free and spacious champain, and not such as are forced through discommoditie of place, or other respects)a are many; and do varie according to the ground and strength both of your own side and the enemies, accidents, and occasions. In all forms a principall care must be had, that the troops be drawn up from an even front, that so they may be free from disturbing each other in the retreat.

Basta reduceth these forms to foure sorts, and Melzo to three, (making the second and third to be as one and the same) which are these:

The first is, when the troops are ordered as in one file, every troop following each other in a single order: which form is utterly disallowed, because it bringeth but few hands to fight, and the disordering of the first troop must needs endanger all the rest.

The second is, when all the troops are placed as inb one rank, or one front; the one troop be∣ing placed on the flank of the other in a single order or straight line. Which form is also disap∣proved, because in it all the Cavallrie is engaged at once, the one not being able to succour the other, and having no troops ofc reserve.

The third is, when the troops are ordered checquer-wise, in squadrous, enterchangeaby placed one behind another: so as three or foure squadrons being in front, such distances are left between each, as others behind them may come up to the front, without hindering the former.d This form may well be allowed of, and is retained by the best Commanders in the present warres of Christendome: yet the forenamed authours have this exception to it, because the Harquebusiers having taken up the said distances would hinder the Lances then in use. And if they should be drawn from those intervalles, and placed on the wings, they must be exposed to the first assaults of the enemie.

The fourth kind of forms, they make the Lunarie, resembling a half moon: but in this they differ from each other in the manner. That which they call single, must needs be weak, their double form is better. But both these last forms (the Checquer, and the Lunarie form) shall be more fully represented in figure.

Walhausen maketh six sorts of battels: namely, 1. The Lunarie. 2. The checquer. 3. The Broad-fronted. 4. The Embowed. 5. The Sharp-pointed. 6. The Divided.

The Lunarie (as he makes it, and the figure, Fig. 8. Part 4. cap. 8. sheweth it) is good, and indeed better then that of Basta; but is improperly called the Lunarie form: for it is rather a Hollow, or Open-fronted wedge, like AelianseCoelembolos.

His Checquer is as the forementioned; and allowable.

His Broad-fronted is also not to be rejected.

His Embowed (which by the name should be a Convex half moon, likefAelians Cyrte) he maketh a meer wedge. The form is not the worse, though the name be not so proper.

The Sharp-pointed (in regard there is but one troop in front, and that seconded but by two troops on the rear angles; then but one troop again, seconded as the first) seemeth not to be so Page  47 good as the former, because it bringeth few hands to fight, and is very subject to beg overwinged or overfronted by the enemie, and so to be charged on the flanks.

The Divided, especially at so large a distance, I hold to be dangerous. True it is, that here the Dragons are used as foot, but whether so single and so extended an order be the best for them to be placed in, I referre to the judicious.

Now concerning these six kinds of battels, they are in deed and in effect but two: that is, the Checquer and the Lunarie, as he calleth them; and from these grounds the rest be formed.

But these forms being onely imaginarie, and withall wanting that perfection (in many respects) which is required in reall battels, I shall now (to give fuller satisfaction to such as are lovers of militarie knowledge) communicate some forms of embattelings, which never yet were published by any.

These are true delineations of divers battels really ordered and performed by the absolutest Commanders of our times, according to the exactest rules of art; and such as experience hath ap∣proved to be fittest for the modern warres.

For the better understanding whereof, I have thought fit first to put down these directions fol∣lowing.

All the forces of the whole armie (both horse and foot) are usually distinguished and divided intoh three parts; namely, the Vanguard, Battel, and Rear. (as hath been shewed Part 2. Chap. 3.) Each of which parts is governed by its particular Officer or Chief; yet so as the abso∣lute command belongeth to the Generall. These distinctions are alwayes so understood, in the order of marching, to avoid disputes about precedencie; so as they which march formost are said to have the Vanguard, they which march in the middle, the Battel, and they which come last the rear. And these divisions alter their names according to the place they march in, wherein they observe a diurnall change, as hath been shewed in the chapter above mentioned. But if we shall take the meaning of these words (according to their proprietie and usuall acceptation) in matter of fight or battel, conceiving that that part of the armie which is called the Vanguard shall give the first charge; and that which is called the Battel, shall give the second charge, and the Rearward, the last; it will prove a meer mistake. For we are to know that the first charge must be given by the first troop, or foremost orders of companies which are in front placed as in one rank, extended from the one front-angle of the whole armie, to the other: and so it were impossible for them to be commanded or directed by one Commander, or Chief of one particu∣lar squadron of the armie, by reason of the large extent thereof: for we see that the front of the armie embattelled before Dornick. Figure 14. (which was farre inferiour to that of late, employed at the siedge of the Bossch) took upi 6380 foot of ground (being in their close order prepared for fight) which is above a mile and a quarter of our measure.

Besides, if the Vanguard (as it is called) should give the first charge, the Battel (which then must second them) may chance to be of a nation not onely differing from the Vanguard, but at variance with them, or else some grudge or disgust between the Chiefs. And in that respect they might either neglect or slacken the seconding or relieving of those of the Vanguard, and not use that diligence which is required. In consideration therefore of these and other inconveniences, it is best that every squadron of the army be so ordered as each of them may have their first second, and third troops: by which means every division shall both be commanded by their own Chiefs, and shall also be seconded by those of their own squadron, or division, which will give them the more courage and assurance. The manner therefore for the ordering of an army for battel, is as followeth; That squadron which is called the Battel, is placed in the middle, the Vanguard on the right hand of it, and the Rear on the left: and all these (usually) in one front and single order; one regiment (or sometimes one company, especially among the horse, as Figure 10.) flanking the other, as in Figure 12.

From hence the first troop of every division is drawn up, and placed in an even front or straight line, from one angle of the body to the other. At a convenientk distance behind these, the second troop of every squadron is placed, in an even rank, as the former; but so as thel first troop (which are to give the first charge) being to retreat, and this second troop to advance, they disturb not each other: for which reason, convenient spaces are left in the first order or troop, for the second to come up into. The third troop is placed just behind the first, but at twice as large am distance from the second, as the second is from the first; that so the first troop retreating behind the second, they may have convenient room to make their retreat in good order. All this will appear in the figures following, among the rest in Figure 9.

If the Infantery and Cavallry be joyned together, the manner is to place half the horse on the right flank of the foot, and the other half on the left, as appeareth in Figure 12. 14, and 15. But upon occasion either of the enemy his ordering of horse within the body of foot, whereby he might annoy your Infantery; or for other respects of moment, some of the horse may be placed within the body of the army, as is shewed in Figure 16.

Page  [unnumbered]

Figu: 8
Cap: 8
Par: 4 [woodcut depicting cavalry movements] Page  [unnumbered]

Page  50

What distances be observable between Regiment and Regiment, between Squadron and Squa∣dron, between each Troop, the second from the first, and the third from the second, the figures will sufficiently shew, and especially the scales of measure in every figure. For the more easie under∣standing of them, observe that every body of pikes is single hatched, thus

[illustration] [small figure demonstrating how to chart different types of soldiers on maps]
and the muskettiers crosse-hatched, thus
[illustration] [small figure demonstrating how to chart different types of soldiers on maps]
, the horse are left white or void, as in Figure 12. by which the other forms may be easily understood.

CHAP. IX. Of certain ceremonies before fight.

HAving shewed by these former rules and examples, how the horse are to be ordered for fight, not onely by themselves, but also when they shall be joyned with foot: that whicha now re∣maineth seemeth rather to require action then words. Indeed with antiquity, when the army was embattelled and ready for combat, it was usuall for the Generall to deliver some set speech, either from some higher place of turf or stone, or at the head of the troops, and riding amongst the Mani∣ples to encourage his souldiers. And they either with an acclamation, lifting up of their hands, or clashing of their arms, used to manifest their assenting resolution. Unto which kind ofb allocuti∣ons the ancient Sages use to ascribe a marvellous efficacy, not onely amongst the Grecians or Ro∣manes, but also those whom they then accounted barbarous, as the Britons, Gauls, Germanes, &c. as the histories of those times sufficiently testifie. Next to this, they sounded the Classicum (that is) a generall charge; and this was seconded by a generall shout of the souldiers, or a concussion of their arms. Moreover, ac scarlet, red, or a carnation coloured coat or cassock was hung out upon the top of the Generalls tent: and a countersigne, or a word of distinction was given to the souldiers, as,dVictoria, palma, virtus, or the like, to know each other by. The Grecians used al∣so to sing the Poean, before the fight to Mars, and after battell to Apollo, &c.

Of all which ceremonies (which they duly observed, as found to be of very good use, and which were much graced by the solemne and stately manner of performing them) our times have retained very few. For as the actions of the modern warres consist chiefly in sieges, assaults, sallies, skirmishes, &c. and so afford but few set battels; so the practise of delivering publike speeches is almost grown out of use and esteem amongst our chief Commanders. Yet the latee Prince of O∣range at the battell of Newport before the conflict, delivered a pithy short speech to his souldiers: adding to his publick Oratory, publike Orisons, and riding up and down, gave courage to his souldiers. The Classicum is still retained (that is,) to sound a generall charge, namely amongst those troops which are to give on. And sometimes the Clamor militaris, or shout of the souldiers, which was not onely an acclamation or assent unto the Generalls speech, but also af loud and dreadfull kind of noise which they used to make when they gave the charge, thereby to encourage one another, and to strike a terrour into the enemies: as the Turks cry, Bre, Bre, Bre; the Irish, Pharro, Pharro; the French, Sa, Sa, Sa; the Dutch, Vall aen, Vall aen, &c. But as for the coun∣tersigne or word of distinction, that is seldome used now adayes, unlesse upon occasion of some Camisado, or other exploits in the night, when the souldiers may easily misse those means to know each other by, which in the day time the light, the sight of the ensigne or cornet, their skarfs (re∣quired among the Cavallry) or long acquaintance, may afford them.

But these being but ceremonies (as I called them in the title of this chapter) I willingly with∣draw my self from them. Neither should I have been desirous to have meddled with them at all, but that the example of othersg (who have writ in this kind) led me unto it; and the respect un∣to my Reader (in common civility) required it at my hands; whom I could not well leave (after the sight of so many dumbe figures) without a word or two at the parting.

There remaineth onely now, that every one (according to his office, rank, and abilitie) strive for honour and victory; propounding to himself the goodnesse of the cause, and authority of the Prince, the command of the Leaders, the vertue of the souldiers, the honour of the conquest, and the disgrace and damage of the defeat. Above all, lifting up his eyes and heart unto Almighty God, from whose hands victory, and the means to obtain it, is especially to be expected.hIt is God that girdeth me with strength of warre, and maketh my way perfect. He teacheth my hands to fight, &c.iBlessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth mine hands to warre, and my fingers to fight.kThrough thee will we overthrow our enemies, and in thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us. For I will not trust in my bow, it is not my sword that shall help me. But it is thou that savest us from our enemies, and puttest them to confusion that hate us. And to this purpose we may (not unfitly) apply that which Hezekias spake to his Ca∣ptains and souldiers (by way of encouragement) after that he had fortified himself against the power of the Assyrians,lBe strong and couragious, be not afraid nor dismaid for the King of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us then with him. With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battels. Conformable to this was that admonition of Alphonsus, King of Arragon and Sicily, given to his sonne Ferdinand, when he sent him with an army in aid of the Venetians against the Florentines,Page  51 in these words,mNunc maximè te admoneo, fili, né tantùm aut tuae, aut commilitonum audaciae tribuas, ut putes absque Dei auxilio victoriam ullam haberi posse. Victoria (mihi crede) non ho∣minum consilio & industriâ paratur; sed Dei Opt. Max. benignitate atque arbitrio. Scientia igitur rei militaris ità demum profutura est, si Deum nobis pietate atque innocentiâ pacatum propitiúm{que} habuerimus. Deum igitur inprimis cole, in eum confide, à quo tum victorias omnes & optima quaeque provenire non dubium est. Quem si quando tibi iratum suspicaberis, cave conten∣das; imo quicquid ab eo tibi accidisse videbitur, bene consule, & patientiâ atque poenitentiâ eum placa. Solet enim Deus, quos diligit, interdum malis afficere: & quos constantes in adversis vi∣det, rursus in meliorem fortunam restituere. And now for a conclusion (in stead of an Omen) I will adde that ejaculatory prayer of the Psalmist,nThe glorious majestie of the Lord our God be upon us: prosper thou the work of our hands upon us, O prosper thou our handy work.