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TRAVELING FORGE DISCUSSION
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  Marching by Column of Detachments
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Marching by Column of Detachments
« Thread started on: Aug 22nd, 2007, 08:19am »

Ok, so I have a guilty pleasure that some people probably hate me for… when I am acting sergeant, I like to have the detachments fall-in to proper “Order in Line”, and occasionally march around in “Column of Detachments” as shown in the Field Artillery Tactics book. Not because I’m trying to be an ass, or I like the sound of my voice, I am just fascinated with how they were able to maneuver groups of people around so precisely. It takes some practice but it looks cool when done well, and I can tell it impresses the infantry.
For me the fascination started at the 140th Antietam reenactment. At this point I had already been doing artillery for 10 years but I wanted to attend Antietam with the infantry for a different perspective. Actually, 2 days as shaprshooter, and one as infantry. I was already well drilled in Hardee’s infantry tactics but never marched and fought in such large numbers such as at this mega-event. Marching was not something I had previously enjoyed, but after seeing it on this scale I became very interested. When I got home I pulled out my 1864 Field Artillery Tactics and reread the sections on marching and formations on, and off the gun.
Originally, the cannoneers may not have marched very much while not with their guns, but as reenactors we do. I think it is fun when we can do it the way the book suggests is the way it should be.

In my experience this is not too common to see with a lot of groups. I do see it much more now though, than I did a few years ago.
How does your battery form up and march? What other maneuvers do you practice? (posting on the piece; unlimbering; slinging a barrel!)

If you are thinking about having your group try a maneuver that you think they will hate, try it once on a volunteer basis. You may be surprised as I was at how many people actually enjoy it.
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Steve Talaga
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Re: Marching by Column of Detachments
« Reply #1 on: Aug 30th, 2007, 09:22am »

I would love to try a Casson ammunition box swap drill!!

Good point on the volunteer for drill. The other side of it is that the peer pressure will help the others to fall in.

Things are changing for the better with drill on the the artillery groups. We are starting to drill a little more and there are plans afoot to drill more.

I think that if the artillery marches at events more, we will gain a little more respect from the infantry.
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Tedd Ill
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