Baron Von Steuben's Revolutionary War Drill Manual: A Facsimile Reprint of the 1794 Edition

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On February 23, 1778, Frederick William Baron von Steuben reported to General George Washington at the Continental Army's bleak winder encampment at Valley Forge. Speaking virtually no English and at an unexpected ebb in his professional fortunes, Steuben nevertheless brought a depth of military training and grasp of command techniques sorely needed by the bedraggled, ragtag army. With his lofty military reputation, forceful bearing, and colorful personality, the Prussian commander had an immediate galvanizing effect on the disorganized insurgents. He soon became one of Washington's most valued officers -- an essential figure in the success of the American War of Independence.
Commissioned to mold the troops into an efficient fighting force, Steuben formed a model drill company of one hundred men, transformed it into a precision unit copied throughout the ranks, and captured the imagination of the entire army. His record of drill instructions, written in brief installments, grew into the Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States. Commonly known as the army's blue book, this basic manual of military training and procedures remained the official U.S. military guide until 1812.
This inexpensive facsimile reproduces the extremely rare 1794 edition of Steuben's drill manual, published in Boston by I. Thomas and E. T. Andrews. It describes in detail the arms and accoutrements of officers and soldiers, formation and exercise of a company, instruction of recruits, formation and marching of columns, disposition and firing of fieldpieces, laying out of a camp, inspection, treatment of the sick, reviews of parade, and other essentials. The volume is further enhanced by reproductions of the eight copperplates from the 1794 edition and an Appendix (the United States Militia Act of 1792).
 

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Page 149 - That each company of artillery, and troop of horse, shall be formed of volunteers from the brigade, at the discretion of the...
Page 20 - ... a little, placing the thumb of that hand upon the cock, the fingers open by the plate of the lock, and as quick as...
Page 148 - ... and to each battalion, one major; to each company, one captain, one lieutenant, one ensign, four sergeants, four corporals, one drummer, and one fifer or bugler. That there shall be a regimental staff, to consist of one adjutant and one quartermaster, to rank as lieutenants; one paymaster, one surgeon, and one surgeon's mate, one sergeant,major, one drum major, and one fife major.
Page 148 - The vice president of the United States; the officers, judicial and executive, of the government of the United States...
Page 147 - ... a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges suited to the bore, of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot pouch, and powder horn, twenty balls, suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder...
Page 149 - ... shall furnish himself with all the equipments of a private in the infantry, until proper ordnance and field artillery is provided. There shall be, to each troop of...
Page 102 - The Sergeant of the guard replies — "Advance, Sergeant, with the countersign!" The Sergeant of the rounds advances alone, gives the countersign, and returns to his round. The Sergeant of the guard calls to his officer — " The countersign is right !" on which the officer of the guard calls — " Advance, rounds !" The officer of the rounds then advances alone, the guard standing at shouldered arms.
Page 149 - ... one farrier, and one trumpeter. The commissioned officers to furnish themselves with good horses of at least fourteen hands and an half high, and to be armed with a sword and pair of pistols, the holsters of which to be covered with bearskin caps.
Page 149 - ... to furnish blank forms of different returns that may be required, and to explain the principles on which they should be made; to receive from the several officers of the different corps throughout the...
Page 150 - ... that may be required, and to explain the principles on which they should be made, to receive from the several officers of the different corps throughout the State returns of the militia under their command, reporting the actual situation of their arms, accoutrements, and ammunition, their delinquencies and every other thing which relates to the general advancement of good order and discipline: All...

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