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MANUAL OF ARMS FOR THE SHARPS RIFLE, COLT REVOLVER AND SWORDS (1861)

The Volunteer's Manual No. 1

Compiled from U. S. standard authorities with important notes and a military glossary, by T. Worthington, a graduate of West Point, and late Gen. 2d B. 7th D. O. M. Assisted by Maj. Sidney Burbank and Lieut. P. T. Swaine, U.S.A. With the manual of Sharps Rifle and Carbine, and Colt's Revolver by Capt. R. W. Johnson, U. S. A. Cincinnati: Applegate & Co. No. 43 Main Street. 1861. (reproduced in part from the Volunteer's Manual No. 1)

On Foot.
Position of Carried Arms.

I--

  1. The carbine is in the right hand against the hollow of the right shoulder, the barrel perpendicular, the guard to the front; the arm slightly bent, the elbow close to the body, the thumb above the guard, the forefinger extended on the stock, the remaining fingers closed and in rear, the little finger pressing against the hammer.
  2. The squad being at "carry arms," the instructor commands:

Order--Arms.
One time and three motions.

II.--

  1. At the command "arms," detach the carbine with the right hand perpendicularly four inches from the shoulder, seizing it at the same time with the left hand above the band.
  2. Seize the carbine with the right hand half way between the left hand and muzzle.
  3. Let go of the carbine with the left hand, which is dropped by the side; extend the right arm, bringing the carbine to the ground, the toe of the butt on a line with, and two inches from, the right toe, the guard to the front, the elbow near the body, the barrel between the thumb and forefinger, the remaining fingers in rear of the barrel.

Carry--Arms
One time and three motions.

III.--

  1. At the command "arms, " raise the carbine with the right hand perpendicularly, the barrel four inches from the shoulder, and seize it with the left hand just above the band.
  2. Seize the carbine with the right hand, the thumb above the guard, the forefinger extended on the stock, the remaining fingers in rear of it.
  3. Carry the carbine against the right shoulder with the right hand, dropping the left hand smartly by the side.

Present--Arms
One time.

IV.--

  1. At the command "arms," carry the carbine with the right hand opposite to the middle of the body, the barrel perpendicular, the guard to the front, the forearm pressed against the body; seize the carbine with the left hand, the little finger just above the right thumb, the left thumb extended along the groove between the barrel and stock, the hand as high as the elbow; reverse the position of the right hand, brining the fingers to the front, the forefinger pressing against the under part of the guard, the thumb in rear of the stock.

Carry--Arms
One time.

V.--

  1. At the command "arms," shift the position of the right hand, bringing the thumb to the front and above the guard, carry the carbine to the right shoulder, dropping the left hand smartly by the side.

Support--Arms
One time and four motions.

VI.--

  1. At the command "Arms," detach the carbine perpendicularly four inches from the shoulder, seize it at the same time just above the band with the left hand.
  2. Raise the carbine with both hands, turning the barrel to the front, at the same time, changing the position of the right hand at the small of the stock, the fingers to the front, the thumb to the rear, the left hand opposite to the left shoulder, and as high as the eyes.
  3. Place the left forearm under the hammer, the hand on the right breast, the fingers closed and pointing toward the right shoulder.
  4. Drop the right hand briskly by the side.

Carry--Arms
One time and four motions.

VII.--

  1. At the command "Arms," seize the carbine at the small of the stock with the right hand.
  2. Detach the carbine four inches from the shoulder, seizing it with the left hand just above the band, the thumb extended, the forearm pressed against the stock.
  3. Bring down the carbine with both hands (changing the position of the right hand) to a position perpendicularly opposite to, and four inches from, the shoulder, the left forearm horizontal.
  4. Carry the carbine against the hollow of the right shoulder, dropping the left hand briskly by the side.

Secure--Arms
One time and two motions.

VIII.--

  1. Seize the carbine with the left hand just above the band, at the same time grasping it with the right hand just above the hammer.
  2. Lower the muzzle, bringing the butt under the arm, the guard resting on the hip, the barrel uppermost, the thumb resting on the sight, at the same time drop the left hand briskly by the side.

Carry--Arms
One time and two motions.

IX.--

  1. At the command "Arms," throw up the carbine in a vertical position, seizing it with the left hand just above the band, shift the position of the right hand.
  2. Carry the carbine to the right shoulder, and drop the left hand by the side.

Order--Arms
(As prescribed in No. II)

Sling--Carbine
One time and two motions.

X.--

  1. At the command "Carbine," raise the carbine perpendicularly with the right hand, place it in the left, which seizes it at the sight, the thumb extended along the barrel, the guard to the front; incline the muzzle to the left, that the ring may hang down, the left hand as high as, and opposite to the neck, slip the swivel to the front with the right hand, the thumb pressing on the short side to open it, insert it in the ring, and seize the carbine at the small of the stock with the right hand.
  2. Let go with the left hand, which is dropped by the side, lower the muzzle, pass the carbine behind the back, push the butt to the rear, and drop the right hand by the side.

Unsling-Carbine
Two times (second time in) two motions.

XI.-- At the command "unsling," seize the carbine with the right hand at the small of the stock.

  1. 1. At the command "Carbine," raise it, place it in the left hand, which seizes it at the sight, the guard to the front, the muzzle inclined to the left, the left hand as high as, and opposite to, the neck; free the swivel from the ring, and carry it to the rear with the right hand.
  2. Seize the carbine half way between the point of the stock and the muzzle, bring it down, turning it at the same time, and resume the position of "order arms."

Ground--Arms
One time and two motions.

XII.--

  1. At the command "Arms," turn the carbine with the right hand, bringing the swivel bar to the front, bend the body, advance the left foot eighteen inches, lay the carbine on the ground in front of the body, lock up, the toe of the butt on a line with the right toe, the right knee slightly bent, the right heel raised.
  2. Rise up, bring the left foot by the side of the right, and drop the hands by the sides.

Raise--Arms
One time and two motions.

XIII.--

  1. At the command "Arms," bend the body, advance the left foot eighteen inches, raising the right heel, seize the carbine with the thumb and first two fingers, half way between the point of the stock and the muzzle.
  2. Raise the carbine, bringing the left foot by the right, turn the carbine in the right hand, and resume the position of "Order Arms," No. II. When the saber is worn, it is seized with the left hand just above the lower ring, point to the front at the same time the first motion of Nos. XII and XIII is executed.

Arms--At Will
One time and one motion.

XIV. At the command "At Will," carry the carbine with one or both hands to either shoulder, the muzzle always up.

Carry--Arms
One time and one motion.

XV. Take the position of "Carry Arms," No. I.

Loading in Four Times.

XVI. The squad being at "Carry Arms," the instructor commands, "Load in Four Times."

1. Load
One time and two motions.

XVII.--

  1. At the command "load," make a half-face to the right, turning on the left heel, bringing the toes of the left foot directly to the front; carry the right foot to the rear, the hollow of it opposite to, and three inches from, the left heel, detach the carbine perpendicularly four inches from the shoulder, raise it, and seize it with the left hand at the sight, the left forearm horizontal.
  2. Lower the muzzle to the height of the eye, the left hand as high as, and opposite to, the right breast, the thumb extended along the barrel; move back the catch with the forefinger of the right hand, seize the lever with the thumb and first two fingers, and throw it open to its full extent, and carry the right hand to the cartridge box, and open it.

2. Charge--Cartridge
One time and two motions.

XVIII.--

  1. At the command "Cartridge," draw the cartridge, insert it (ball foremost) in the barrel, press it in with the thumb and forefinger, and seize the lever with the thumb and first two fingers.
  2. Draw back the lever, move up the catch, half-cock, remove the old cap, and carry the and to the cap-pocket, and open it.

3. Prime
One time.

XIX.--At the command "Prime," place a cap on the cone, press it down with the thumb, let down the cock and seize the carbine at the small of the stock with the right hand.

4. Carry--Arms
One time and two motions.

XX.--

  1. At the command "Arms," carry the carbine to the right shoulder, the barrel to the rear; reverse the positon of the right hand, and face to the front.
  2. Drop the left hand by the side.

Loading at Will

XXI. When the men are properly instructed in "Loading in four times," the instructor causes them to load at will by the commands:

Load at Will--Load At the command "Load," they execute the times of loading without stopping and without waiting on each other.

Firing

XXII. The instructor commands:

Ready
One time and two motions.

  1. At the command "Ready," make a half-face to the right, carrying the right foot square behind the left, the hollow of it opposite to, and three inches from, the left heel; detach the carbine vertically four inches from the shoulder; seize it with the left hand a little below the band, the thumb along the stock; raise it with both hands, the left as high as the neck; place the right thumb upon the head of the hammer, the forefinger on the guard, the second finger under it, the elbow as high as the hand.
    (At the same time the men of the rear rank step off to the right six inches with the right foot, placing the left in front, the heel opposite to, and three inches from, the hollow of the right foot, so as to be placed opposite to the interval on the right of their respective file leaders.)
  2. Cock the piece by lowering quickly the right elbow, and seize the small of the stock.

Aim
One time.

XXIII.--At the command "Aim," lower the muzzle quickly, the carbine resting between the thumb and first finger, the remaining fingers closed and under the stock, the right below at the height of the shoulder; place the face against the stock, shut the left eye, direct the sight eye along the barrel to aim, and place the forefinger of the right hand on the trigger.
(At the same time the men of the rear rank step off with the left foot six inches to the front, bending the left knee and leaning well forward, so as to throw the muzzle of their pieces beyond the faces of the men of the front rank.)

XXIV.--To recover arms before firing, the instructor commands:

Recover--Arms
One time.

At the command "Arms," take the finger from the trigger, raise the carbine quickly, and resume the position of the second motion of "Ready," No. XXII.
(At the same time the men of the rear rank bring back the left foot, the heel of it three inches from, and in front of, the hollow of the right foot, but remain opposite to the interval.)

XXV. To carry arms without firing after having made ready or recovered arms, the instructor commands:

Carry--Arms
Two times (second time in) two motions.

At the command "Carry," place the right thumb upon the hammer, the forefinger on the trigger, the others under the guard; pull back the hammer, press the forefinger on the trigger to uncock, holding te cock with the thumb; let it down until the hammer touches the cap.

  1. At the command "Arms," carry the carbine to the right shoulder, barrel to the rear; reverse the position of the right hand; at the same time face to the front, bringing the heels together.
    (At the same time the men of the rear rank place themselves in rear of their fiel leaders, by stepping six inches to the left with the left foot, bringing the right heel by the side of the left.)
  2. Drop the left hand smartly by the side.

XXVI.--Being in that position of "Aim," to fire, the instructor commands:

Fire
One time.

At the command "Fire," pull the trigger and fire without lowering or turning the head, and remain in this position.

XXVII. If, after firing, the instructor does not wish to load, he commands:

Carry--Arms
Two times (second time in) two motions.

At the command "Carry," bring down the carbine to the second position of load; seizing it at the small of the stock with the right hand.

  1. At the command "Arms," carry the carbine to the shoulder, as in No. XX.
    (The rear rank men take their place behind their file leaders. No. XXV)
  2. Drop the left hand smartly by the side.

XXVIII.--If, after firing, the instructor wishes to load, he commands:

Load
One time.

At the command "Load," bring down the carbine to the second position of load, load at will, carry arms, and face to the front.
(The men in the rear ranks place themselves behind their file leaders, after they have primed, and as their carbine is being brought to carry arms.)

Inspection of Carbine

XXIX.--The squad being at the position of order arms, the instructor commands:

Inspection--Carbine
One time and three motions.

  1. Raise the carbine smartly with the right hand, keeping the barrel toward the body, place it in the left hand which seizes it at te sight, the thumb extended along the stock, the hand opposite to the shoulder and as high as the chin, the elbow against the butt, carry the right hand to the catch, disengage it and spring open the lever to its full extent, drop the right hand by the side.
  2. Seize the lever with the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand, shut it, move up the catch, and drop the right hand by the side.
  3. Seize the carbine with the right hand half way between the point of the stock and the muzzle, let go with the left hand, which is dropped by the side, carry the carbine with the right hand to the position of order arms, No. II.
    (Each man, as the instructor passes before him, executes the first motion of "inspection carbine." The instructor takes the carbine, and, after inspecting it, returns it to the trooper, who seizes it as in the first motion of "inspection carbine," No. XXVIII.)
    (As soon as the instructor has passed by two files, the trooper who has been inspected executes the second and third motions of "inspection carbine," No. XXVIII.)

Inspection of Arms

XXX.-- The squad being at "Order Arms," the instructor commands:

Inspection--Arms
Each trooper, as the inspector passes before him executes the first motion of inspection carbine. As soon as the instructor has passed by two files, the trooper, who has been inspected, executes the second motion of inspection carbine, turns the muzzle to the left, and slings it, No. X, and draws sabre. As soon as the sabre is inspected, it is returned, hooked up, and the trooper unsligns carbine, as in No. XI.

Manual of Arms Mounted

The trooper, in conducting his horse to the ground before mounting, has the sabre hooked up, the carbine slung and thrown over the right shoulder, muzzle down; having arrived on the ground, the sabre is unhooked. After mounting, the carbine is dropped by the side. At the command, "Prepare to dismount," seize the carbine at the small of the stock with the right hand, pass it over the right shoulder, muzzle down.

XXXI.--The trooper being mounted with the carbine at the side, the instructor commands:

Advance--Carbine
Two times.

  1. At the command "Advance," seize the carbine with the right hand at the small of the stock.
  2. At the command "Carbine," elevate the muzzle, place the butt upon the thigh, the lock to the front, the muzzle at the height of the eye, and opposite the right shoulder.

To Load the Carbine

XXXII.-- The sqaud being at "Advance Carbine," the instructor commands: Load in four times.

1. Load
One time and two motions.

  1. At the command "Load," place the carbine in the left hand, which seizes it at the sight; the muzzle opposite to, and at the height of the left shoulder; with the right hand move back the catch and seize the lever with the thumb and first two fingers.
  2. Spring open the lever and carry the hand to the cartridge box and open it.

XXXIII.--

2. Charge--Cartridge
One time and two motions. (As prescribed in No. XVIII.)

XXIV.--

3. Prime (As prescribed in No. XIX.)

XXV.--

Advance--Carbine (As prescribed in No. XXXI.)

To Fire the Carbine.

XXXVI.-- The squad being at the position of "Advance Carbine," the instructor commands:

Ready
One time.

At the command "Ready," let the carbine fall into the left hand as in first motion of load, cock it and return to the position of advance carbine.

Aim
One time.

XXXVII.--

Rais the carbine with the right hand, bringing the butt against the right shoulder, support the carbine between the thumb and first finger, the remaining fingers closed on the reins, without slackening them, and aim as in No. XXXIII.

Fire
One time.

(As prescribed in No. XXVI.)

XXXVIII.-- If having fired, the instructor wishes to load, he commands:

Load
At the command "Load," bring down the carbine to the first position of load, load at will and return to advance carbine. XXXIX.--If, after firing the instructor does not wish to load, he commands:

Advance--Carbine
(As prescribed in No. XXXI.)

XL.--To drop the carbine, the instructor commands:

Drop--Carbine
One time.

At the command "Carbine," lower the muzzle and carry the butt to the rear.

Inspection of Arms

XLI.--The instructor commands:

Inspection--Carbines
Two times (second time in) two motions.

At the command "Inspection," seize the carbine with the right hand at the small of the stock.

  1. At the command "Carbine," take the position of the advance carbine.
  2. Drop the carbine, carrying the butt to the rear.

MANUAL FOR COLT'S NAVY REVOLVER

XLII.--The pistol should be worn on the left side, in front of the sabre-hook.

To Draw the Pistol

XLIII.--The instructor commands:

Draw--Pistols
One time.

At the command "Pistol," pass the right hand between the bridle-arm and the body, unbutton the pistol-case, seize the pistol at the butt, draw it, elevate it, the hammer as high as, and opposite to, the right shoulder with the muzzle up, the guard to the front, the forefinger over the guard.

To Return Pistol.

XLIV.--The instructor commands:

Return--Pistol
One time.

At the comand "Pistol," lower the right hand, between the left arm and the body, dropping the muzzle of the pistol toward the entrance to the case, insert it, push it to the bottom of the case, button the flap and drop the right hand.

To Load the Pistol.

XLV.--The instructor commands:

Load in five times.

1. Load
One time and two motions.

XLVI.--

  1. At the command "Load," pass the pistol into the left or bridle-hand, muzzle up, guard diagonally toward the right, the little finger under the butt, the forefinger over the guard, at the same time place the thumb of the right hand on the hammer, the fingers of the right hand over those of the left.
  2. Half cock the pistol and carry the right hand to the cartridge box; open it; at the same time raise the thumb of the left hand on the cylinder.

2. Handle--Cartridge
One time and one motion.

XLVII.--

At the command "Cartridge," carry the cartridge to the mouth, tear off the paper to the powder, place the cartridge near the chamber which shows itself forward the face, holding it upward between the thumb and first two fingers.

3. Charge--Cartridge
One time and two motions.

XLVIII.--

  1. At the command "Cartridge," empty the powder into the chamber, carry the hand to the mouth, tear off the paper from the ball, place the ball in the chamber, and press it down with the thumb.
  2. Turn the cylinder with the left thumb until the ball is under the lever, seize at the same time the lever at the clasp, between the thumb and first finger of the right hand, and loosen it from the catch.

4. Ram--Cartridge
One time and one motion.

XLIX.--

At the command "Cartridge," ram the ball home, leave the lever in the cylinder, and carry the right hand to the cartridge box.
(This process will be continued until all the chambers are loaded, with this exception: in the first motion of charge cartridge, when the ball has been pressed down with the thumb, seize the lever with the right hand, knuckles up, and at the word "two," elevate the lever until the back of the hand touches the barrel, and turn the cylinder until the ball is under the lever. When the last ball has been rammed home, throw up the lever and clasp it, revolve the cylinder until it clicks, and carry the hand to the cap pouch.)

5. Prime
One time and two motions.

L.--

  1. At the command "Prime," drop the muzzle of the pistol toward the ground on the right sie of the horse's neck, the wrist near the body, the back of the hand down; remove the thumb from the cylinder, carry a cap to the exposed tube, and press it on with the thumb; turn the cylinder with the right hand until it clicks, and carry the hand to the cap pouch.
    (This process will be continued until all of the tubes are capped. When the last cap has been placed on, elevate the muzzle, and take the first position of load, except that the forefinger is on the trigger.)
  2. Let down the hammer on the safety-notch, and resume the position of draw pistol, No. XLIII.

To fire the pistol

LI.-- The instructor commands:

  1. Ready
  2. Aim
  3. Fire

1. Ready
One time and in two motions.

LII.--

  1. Drop the pistol between the thumb and first finger of the left hand; guard to the front, the muzzle diagonally to the left; at the same time place the right thumb on the hammer, the remaining fingers of the right hand closed and under the guard.
  2. Cock the pistol, and resume the position of draw pistol, No. XLIII.

2. Aim
One time.

LIII.--

At the comand "Aim," drop the muzzle to the front, extend the right arm, and point the pistol at the target.

3.Fire
One time.

LIV.--At the command "Fire," pull the trigger and at once resume the position of draw pistol, No. XLIII.

LV.--The squad being in position of "Aim," should the instructor not wish to fire, he will command:

Hold!

LVI.--At this command, elevate the pistol and resume the second position of ready, No. LII

LVII.--To cease firing, the instructor will command:

Cease--Firing
One time and two motions.

LVIII.--

  1. At this command, drop the pistol into the left hand, as in first position of read, No. LII.
  2. Let down the hammer on the safety-notch, and resume the second position, ready, No. LII.

Inspection of Pistol

LIX. -- To inspect the pistol, the instructor commands:

Inspection--Pistol.
One time and five motions.

LX.--

  1. At the command "Pistol," take the first position of load pistol.
  2. Take the second position of load pistol, except that the right hand is dropped by its side.
  3. Revolve the cylinder with the fore-finger of the right hand.
  4. Place the right thumb on the hammer, the fingers of the right hand over those of the left.
  5. Let down the hammer and return pistol.
    (The arms of a Cavalry soldier are inspected by the commands: Inspection--Arms, and in the following order: 1st, Carbine; 2d, Pistol; 3d, Sabre.)

SWORD MANUAL--COLOR SALUTE
Manual of the sword or sabre, for officers.

Position of the sword or sabre, under arms. The Carry. The grip is in the right hand, which will be supported against the right hip, the back of the blade against the shoulder.

To Salute with the sword or sabre. Three times (or pauses). One. At the distance of six paces from the person to be saluted, raise the sword or sabre.



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