Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22

Thread: Coppe's "Evolutions of the Line"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Esperance, NY
    Posts
    1,992

    Default Coppe's "Evolutions of the Line"

    Gentlemen:

    In a recent in group discussion of various appropriate military positions one of our officers made a reference to a Coppe's "Evolutions of the Line". It is a translation of the 1851 French Chassuers a Pied Manual By Capt. Coppe, Instructor Of Tactics, USMA 1850-1862.

    Apparently there was at least one publication of it (Lippencott, PA 1862) and it was used to train cadets at the USMA.

    The officer really knows his stuff so I have no doubt as to him being correct on this issue but I can't find anything on the internet that can lead me to any information about this work.

    Does anybody any knowledge of a link to this work?

    Thanks.
    Bob Sandusky
    Co C 125th NYSVI
    Esperance, NY

    "Out beyond the ideas of wrong doing and right doing there is a field. I'll meet you there." -
    Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi

    "If you find yourself in a fair fight, someone screwed up." - A new variation of Murphy's Law based on current Military experience in Iraq:

    “In war the first principle is to disobey orders. Any fool can obey orders!” - First Sea Lord Admiral Sir “Jackie” Fisher

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    931

    Thumbs up Sources

    Bob,

    This manual is available from a host of sutlers including Milkcreek Mercantile, Blockade Runner, and Fall Creek.

    This is a great manual and it is titled "The Field Manual For Battalion Drill".

    It is written out in column form breaking down the command, what the colonel says, what happens, what the captains say, etc.

    It clairfies, for me at least, some ambiguty that the other manuals have on the specific maneuvers.

    I like it so much it goes to work with me in my "downtime" reading at least two days a week.

    I still need a little clairification on some of the maneuvers, but it was a godsend for me in my first two years of 1st Sgt. and continues to be so moving into officer rank.

    Find it, buy it, and read it.
    Jas. T. Lemon
    Captain, 50th Va. Co. D

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    off the bottom of the scale
    Posts
    862

    Default

    Bob also posted this on a/c where I provided a link. Since not everyone goes there, here's the link I provided : http://books.google.com/books?id=7kU...page&q&f=false

    I didn't have this on my links page because I had previously been unable to locate a scanned copy. A copy of Coppee's battalion manual was already on my links page. I'll add Evolutions to my links next time I update my page.
    - Silas Tackitt

    "I consider him a humbug, a man of small capacity, very obstinate, not at all chivalrous, exceedingly conceited, and totally selfish." - - Lafayette McLaws about James Longstreet.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    523

    Default

    Since this is a dual forum posting I will mention here also in the interest of correctness that EVOLUTIONS OF THE LINE
    was taken from Le Louterel’s AIDE-MEMOIRE DES OFFICERS GENERAUX ET SUPERIEURS ET DES CAPITAINES D’INFANTERIE which in turn was a tabular form of the 1831 ORDONNANCE DU ROI SUR L’EXERCICE ET LES MANOEUVRES DE L’INFANTERIE. The CHASSEURS A PIED manual was 1845 and didn’t cover brigade level maneuvers.

    John D

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Esperance, NY
    Posts
    1,992

    Default Thanks

    gents especially Silas for the link.

    As to the particular maneuver it really doesn't matter because we settled it and it is the same in the manuals we use just a different set of commands.

    Really what it relates too is that RA officers who were spread throughout the army may have learned to do something at the USMA that was different from the manual they were taking into the field and building a volunteer army out of.

    That being the case would the officer then choose to impose his USMA training and commands onto the unit or would he adapt to the "new" manual (say Casey's) that he was trying to train his volunteers over.

    The root question revolved around the re-enactorism "In Place - Rest" body and hand position.

    In Coppe's the command is "In Place - Rest" exists but does not specify any specific body or hand position. In Casey's "Rest" is the same command.

    Neither specifies a specific body or hand posture. Basically the soldiers are supposed to maintain the last body position they were in prior to the 'rest' command and keep a heel (either) on line.

    It's one of those re-enactorisms that bugs me because it is wrong and costs absolutely NOTHING to make historically correct.

    Like holding the bayonet at the wrong height when repelling cavalry, it's a no cost easy to fix mistake and most guys (Officers/NCOs) are too lazy to fix.

    And you know what I think, most guys would adjust if their officers and NCOs would just ASK to have it done right.
    Bob Sandusky
    Co C 125th NYSVI
    Esperance, NY

    "Out beyond the ideas of wrong doing and right doing there is a field. I'll meet you there." -
    Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi

    "If you find yourself in a fair fight, someone screwed up." - A new variation of Murphy's Law based on current Military experience in Iraq:

    “In war the first principle is to disobey orders. Any fool can obey orders!” - First Sea Lord Admiral Sir “Jackie” Fisher

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    523

    Default

    Mr. Sandusky

    I think your officer friend may have Coppee's manual confused with Hardee's TACTICS. EVOLUTIONS OF THE LINE concerns brigade drill and doesn't cover In Place-Rest, Hardee does cover that command and was the US manual translated from the French manual for chasseurs-a-pied.

    As a side note:
    Paragraph 73 HARDEE'S and Paragraph 80 CASEY"S (School Of The Soldier) have the exact same wording regarding "REST" & "in place--REST".

    " At the command REST, the soldier is no longer required to preserve immobility, or to remain in his place. If the instructor wishes merely to relieve the attention of the recruit, he commands, in place-REST; the soldier is then not required to preserve his immobility, but he always keeps one of his feet in its place. "

    John Duffer

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Esperance, NY
    Posts
    1,992

    Default John

    Quote Originally Posted by johnduffer View Post
    Mr. Sandusky

    I think your officer friend may have Coppee's manual confused with Hardee's TACTICS. EVOLUTIONS OF THE LINE concerns brigade drill and doesn't cover In Place-Rest, Hardee does cover that command and was the US manual translated from the French manual for chasseurs-a-pied.

    As a side note:
    Paragraph 73 HARDEE'S and Paragraph 80 CASEY"S (School Of The Soldier) have the exact same wording regarding "REST" & "in place--REST".

    " At the command REST, the soldier is no longer required to preserve immobility, or to remain in his place. If the instructor wishes merely to relieve the attention of the recruit, he commands, in place-REST; the soldier is then not required to preserve his immobility, but he always keeps one of his feet in its place. "John Duffer
    Coppee's Evolution of the Line, pp. 15 & 16

    That's the info I was given to do the research that's one of the reasons I asked for a link. If you have a copy you may want to check it.

    Also Casey's: (Can't speak to Hardees we don't use it):

    92. When the instructor shall wish the recruit to pass from the state of attention to that of ease, he will command:

    REST.

    Notice no "In place". (also 143, 157, etc etc).

    Also see para 79.

    So it appears that there are multiple different ways to approach rest. I think the distinction comes from whether or not the instructor wants the men to remain in ranks or not. However it is a little hazy that if the officer says just rest (as per para 79) are the men allowed to wander way? If not what is the purpose of "Rest" v "In place-Rest".

    However NONE of the manuals (and this was the root question) specify a specific hand and musket position which you see a number of reenactors assume (and are expected to assume by their officers and NCOs).

    Your obedient Servant:
    Bob Sandusky
    Co C 125th NYSVI
    Esperance, NY

    "Out beyond the ideas of wrong doing and right doing there is a field. I'll meet you there." -
    Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi

    "If you find yourself in a fair fight, someone screwed up." - A new variation of Murphy's Law based on current Military experience in Iraq:

    “In war the first principle is to disobey orders. Any fool can obey orders!” - First Sea Lord Admiral Sir “Jackie” Fisher

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    523

    Default

    Bob

    I do have a copy of Coppee, I haven't studied it a great deal as I do very little brigade drill. It's a direct descendent of the 1831 ORDONNANCE and hence would match SCOTT'S Volume 3 on any drill matters. It's not my first choice for School Of The Soldier questions.

    CASEY'S covers in place--REST in Paragraph 80 per the quote in my earlier posting. Note that Paragraph 79 is the first portion of the instruction and Paragraph 80 is the second portion of that same instruction. HARDEE and CASEY are the same in the earlier chapters, paragraphs are only numbered differently because CASEY contains some (later suspended) paragraphs referring to flank companies. Paragraphs 143 and 157 refer to specific situations (Support Arms & Order Arms respectively), not sure about the etc, etc. In short, REST allows the men to move about - in place--REST allows them to relax but keeps the line intact. Though somewhat tedious you have to read the whole manual (many times if you're dumb as me ), you can't just pick out bits.

    The specific hand and musket positions you mention are parade-REST, there are two types (that I know of) and Silas does an excellent job explaining them here:
    http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/...ht=parade+rest

    thanks
    John Duffer
    Last edited by johnduffer; 11-18-2010 at 05:06 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    off the bottom of the scale
    Posts
    862

    Default

    The more I look at the command of REST in context with the other manners of standing in formation, the more I believe it means the men have to remain in ranks, but without maintaining either foot or both feet on the supposed line as seen in the other forms of rest.

    For example, when at Attention, both heels are on the line. When at one of the rest positions while carrying the weapon (parade rest, in place rest, or support rest), one heel remains on the line. By implication, plain old REST means no heels on the line. If a captain intends for the men to leave formation entirely, the command is Break Ranks, March.
    - Silas Tackitt

    "I consider him a humbug, a man of small capacity, very obstinate, not at all chivalrous, exceedingly conceited, and totally selfish." - - Lafayette McLaws about James Longstreet.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    523

    Default

    I think you might be correct Silas, it says the soldier is not required to remain in his place but I don't think this indicates he's free go wandering off. Since I have CASEY'S handy, Paragraph 81 says:

    " When the instructor wishes to commence the instruction, he commands - ATTENTION; at this command the soldier takes his position, remains motionless, and fixes his attention. "

    If all the men are off sitting in the shade (or gone to the sutlers ) it seems it would take more than ATTENTION to reconstruct the line.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •