The organisation and economics of an infantry regiment of 1775 – 1777, The British, Part 3:
Position of a Soldier under arms.
To stand straight and square upon he legs; Head turned to the right: heels close; Toes turned a little out; the belly drawn in a little but without constraint; the breast a little projected; shoulders square to the front and kept back; the right hand hanging straight down the side with the palm close to the thigh; the elbow not to be turned out from the body; The firelock to be carried on the left shoulder, as low down as can be admitted without constraint; the three last fingers under the butt; the forefinger and thumb before the swell (of the butt); The flat of the butt to be supported against the hip-bone, and to be pressed so that the firelock may be felt against the left side, and that it may stand before the hollow of the shoulder,, not leaning towards the head nor from it; the barrel almost perpendicular. To be very exact in counting a second time, or one, two between each motion.
An excerpt from “The Manual Exercise as ordered by his Majesty in 1764”
Note that when the firelock was held in this position with the arm extended for a period of time the soldier would find that the arm would lock-up and any move from this position would prove to be very uncomfortable, so there are other movements and positions that can be performed.
The manual covers the exercise drill required of His Majesties Army, this manual also covers the “Fundamentals of Marching and Manoeuvering”, the knowledge and experience of said manual have been lost in time, the various groups that use reproduction copies of these manuals are limited with its context, also the manual covers firings and drill in three ranks.
Whether as a wargamer or re-enactor many seem to tend to aim for the elite units and regiments of the British Army of the time, as a group we prefer a regiment what one would count as a county regiment, we adopted the 37th Foot which was later to receive the title of the North Hampshire Regiment.
As we have seen our aim is to try and balance the regiment to given returns of the day, we believe from our information that the regiment would try and achieve the platoons firings of 16 which would then be sub-divided down into sections.
To start with we believe that we should first look on how we would form our company, at first it was thought that we would form said company into 3 sections led by a corporal, because there were 3 to a company. This would then pose a problem when sub-dividing down, looking at the firings they are equal in part down to the platoon.
Also remember the “1764” was a guide for officers and each regiment would interpret it in differing ways, when performing the drill exercise we found each unit had their spin on the “64” manual, this was quite noticeable when the word of command for each movement was given.