From the desk of Captain Brian Cox, 9th Texas Regiment of Infantry







Captain's  Corner


Drill notes I      Drill notes II    Drill notes III    Drill notes IV   Drill notes V

Drill notes V - Things every soldier, officer, non-com and enlisted man, needs to know or refresh on - position of the soldier, including facings (that is, turning movements of the soldier).

I have taken this from the text of Hardee’s 1862 (see, e.g., Hardee’s is clear on these requirements therefore there is no need for annotations by me but portions unnecessary to an understanding are deleted as shown by an ellipsis (….).



Position of the Soldier.

78. Heels on the same line, as near each other as the conformation of the man will permit;

The feet turned out equally, and forming with each other something less than a right angle;

The knees straight without stiffness

The body erect on the hips, inclining a little forward;

The shoulders square and falling equally;

The arms hanging naturally;

The elbows near the body;

The palm of the hand turned a little to the front, the little finger behind the seam of the pantaloons;

The head erect and square to the front, without constraint;

The chin near the stock, without covering it;

The eyes fixed straight to the front, and striking the ground about the distance of fifteen paces.


80. The instructor having given the recruit the position of the soldier, without arms, will now teach him the turning of the head and eyes. He will command:

1. Eyes- RIGHT 2. FRONT.

81. At the word right, the recruit will turn the head gently, so as to bring the inner corner of the left eye in a line with the buttons of the coat, the eyes fixed on the line of the eyes of the men in, or supposed to be in, the same rank.

82. At the second command the head will resume the direct or habitual position.

83. The movement of Eyes - LEFT will be executed by inverse means.

84. The instructor will take particular care that the movement of the head does not derange the squareness of the shoulders, which will happen if the movement of the former be too sudden.

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


86. To cause a resumption of the habitual position, the instructor will command:

1. Attention. 2. SQUAD.

87. At the first word, the recruit will fix his attention; at the second, he will resume the prescribed position and steadiness.



88. Facings to the right or left will be executed in one time, or pause. The instructor will command:

1. Squad. 2. Right (or left) - FACE.

89. At the second command, raise the right foot slightly, turn on the left heel raising the toes a little, and then replace the right heel by the side of the left, and on the same line.

90. The full face to the rear (or front) will be executed in two times, or pauses. The instructor will command:

1. Squad. 2. ABOUT - FACE.

91. (First time.) At the word about, the recruit will turn on left heel, bring the left toe to the front, carry the right foot to the rear, the hollow opposite to, and full three inches from, the left heel, the feet square to each other.

92. (Second time.) At the word face, the recruit will turn on both heels, raise the toes a little, extend the hams, face to the rear, bringing, at the same time, the right heel by the side of the left.

93. The instructor will take care that these motions do not derange the position of the body.


Drill notes Volume IV - Things every soldier, officer, non-com and enlisted man, needs to know or refresh on - forming up.

The 9th has always had its own way of forming up, but there is disagreement as to how this might be done. See, e.g., article at

At Cowtown 2014, we inaugurated a new way of forming up which was workable, and generally successful, and we will form up in this fashion in future events.

I have taken this more or less from

Here is how this goes:

1. Prior to forming up, each man will now, when the command is given to “Fall in,” fall in according to height, in one rank, tallest as always to the right, corporals included, First Sgt. to the far right.

2. Then, the command will be given to, “Count two’s,” and the men will then number 1, 2, 1, 2, and so on, as before. This numbering will be temporary, as will be seen shortly.

3. Then, on the command, “In two ranks, form company. Left face,” the no. 1 men will move up and to the left of the no. 2 men on their left (as on a typical left fact). At this point, we have “doubled up,” with the taller man behind the shorter man, where we need them. Of course, each man can now “forget” his number as there will be a renumbering upon the company facing to the front, immediately below.

4. Then, on the command, “In rank, Front,” each man, facing to the left, will then turn to the right and face to the front. This is not a typical “Front” in which the no. 1 men would return to their previous spot.

5. Then, to align on the file furthest to the right, the command will be given to “Dress, right,” to accomplish this.

6. At this point, the command will again be, “In each rank, count two’s,” to ensure that we have numbered properly (this effectively means that some former ones will become twos, and vice-versa).

7. In addition, on the command, “Front,” any corporals who ended up in the rear rank will trade places with the man in front of them so as take their place in the front rank, and I will make any adjustments in their position as necessary.

That’s it, and I think that this will ensure that the process of forming up is done swiftly and accurately.

Drill notes Vol. III - Things every soldier, officer, non-com, and enlisted man, needs to know or refresh on - commands.

I have taken this from the text of Hardee’s (see, e.g., with some annotations by me given the reality of reenacting practice - these are noted by asterisks (**). I have also deleted those portions of the manual which are not actively used by the 9th or the Battalion - these are noted by ellipses (...).



Title First, Article


There are three kinds.

62. The command of caution, which is attention. **

** This tells the soldier to, “get ready.” For example, “Attention, company.” This is sometimes shortened in reenacting practice to “Company, ….”

63. The preparatory command, which indicates the movement which is to be executed. **

** This tells the soldier “what is coming” and gives you a chance to get ready. Several examples (the preparatory command is that which is italicized) are the following:

“Forward, march”

“Raise, arms”

“Shoulder, arms.”

“In place, rest.”

“Right, face.”

“By company into line, march.”

“Right wheel, march.”

“Fix, bayonet.”

64. The command of execution, such as march or halt, [or face] or, in the manual of arms, the part of command which causes an execution [i.e. arms].

** This tells the soldier “what to do.” Several examples (the command of execution is that which is italicized):

“Forward, march”

“Raise, arms”

“Shoulder, arms.”

“In place, rest.”

“Right, face.”

“By company into line, march.”

“Right wheel, march.”

“Fix, bayonet.”

“Company, halt.”

One command of execution, given without a preparatory command is, “Front” - as for example, the company has done a right or left face and needs to be faced to the front again.

Crisp execution of commands by the rank and file dictates that - as is often said - the soldier not anticipate, that the soldier make no movement upon the giving of the preparatory command but that he await the soon-to-follow command of execution.

65. The tone of the command should be animated, distinct, and of a loudness proportioned to the number of men under instruction.

66. The command attention is pronounced at the top of the voice, dwelling on the last syllable. **

** Thus, “Atten-SHUN!”

67. The command of execution will be pronounced in a tone firm and brief.

Drill notes Volume II - Things every soldier,  officer, non-com and enlisted man, needs to know or refresh on - saluting.

I have taken this from the text of Kautz’s 1864 Customs of Service, see, e.g., (downloadable copy if you scroll to the bottom), in default of better direction, including from Hardee’s, for some of the flotsam and jetsam of soldiers’ life in the military.

These comments on saluting are well-stated by Kautz and require little elaboration (that in italics is emphasis added by me, and the asterisks indicate my comments):


** from an online dictionary:  “the way that a [soldier] behaves, stands, and moves especially in a formal situation”

47. One of the first things a soldier has to learn on entering the army, is a proper military deportment towards his superiors in rank: this is nothing more than the military way of performing the courtesies required from a well-bred man in civil life, and a punctual performance of them is as much to his credit as the observance of the ordinary rules of common politeness.

48. “Sergeants, with swords drawn, will salute by bringing them to a present; with muskets, by bringing the left hand across the body, so as to strike the musket near the right shoulder.  Corporals out of the ranks, and privates not sentries, will carry their muskets at a shoulder as sergeants, and salute in like manner.” (Reg. 255.)

49. “When a soldier without arms, or with side arms only, meets an officer, he is to raise his hand to the right side of the visor of his cap, palm to the front, elbow raised as high as the shoulder, looking at the same time in a respectful and soldier-like manner at the officer, who will return the compliment thus offered.” (Reg. 256.) **

**  The palm open salute is to he distinguished from the oft-used flat palm salute.

But non-coms - sergeants, corporals - are not to be saluted by enlisted men.

50. “A non-commissioned officer or soldier being seated, and without particular occupation, will rise on the approach of an officer, and make the customary salutation.  If standing, he will turn toward the officer for the same purpose.  If the parties remain in the same place or on the same ground, such compliments need not be repeated.” (Reg. 257.) **

** Hence, the oft-heard exclamation in the 9th’s camp of, “officer in camp.”

51. The foregoing regulations should be strictly observed by enlisted men; and their faithful performance will add much to the military reputation of a company or regiment.

52. The following customs are equally binding, though not provided for in Regulations:

When soldiers are marching in the ranks, they do not salute, unless ordered at the time.  If employed at any work, they are not expected to discontinue their employment to salute.

53. A soldier or non-commissioned officer, when he addresses an officer, or is spoken to by one, salutes; on receiving the answer or communication from the officer, he again salutes before turning to go away.

54. When a soldier enters an officer’s quarters armed, he simply makes the required salute, and does not take off his cap; but without arms, or with side-arms only, he takes off his cap and stands in the position of a soldier, and delivers his message or communicates what he came for in as few words as possible and to the point.

55. A slovenly attitude, frequent changes of position, or much gesticulation, is exceedingly unmilitary, and looks bad.  Say what you have to say in a prompt, courageous manner, without diffidence or hesitation; and, if always respectful, no matter what the subject, it is more likely to be considered than when delivered in a drawling hesitating, and timid manner.

56. A mounted soldier should always dismount if the officer he wishes to address is dismounted.  A mounted soldier passing an officer salutes with the hand, except when he has his sabre drawn, and then he salutes with the sabre.

57. When a soldier enters an officer’s quarters, he remains standing in the position of a soldier until invited to sit down.  When soldiers are in a room and an officer enters, they should rise and remain standing until invited to sit down.                                    

Things every soldier, non-com and enlisted man, needs to know or refresh on, as basic drill is the Formation of a Regiment in order of battle, or in line.

I have taken this from the text of Hardee’s (see, e.g., with some annotations by me given the reality of reenacting practice - these are noted by asterisks (**). I have also deleted those portions of the manual which are not actively used by the 9th or the Battalion - these are noted by ellipses (...).



Formation of a Regiment in order of battle, or in line.

1. A regiment is composed of ten companies, which will habitually be posted from right to left, in the following order: first, sixth, fourth, ninth, third, eighth, fifth, tenth, seventh, second, according to the rank of captains.**

** The 9th Texas was a regiment during the war and is so named today. We have never taken on a company designation, as have other companies in the Battalion, e.g., Company E, 4th Missouri. Typically, a Civil War regiment was 10 companies of 100 men each. The lettering was from A to I, then K, L (there was no J as it apparently looked too much like I). As the War progressed, however, the regimental strength fell to 300 to 400 effectives due to lack or replacement, disease, casualties, and the like.
“Company Aytch:  Or a Side Show of the Big Show” was written about Company H of the 1st Tennessee of Sam Watkins.

Company command was by the captain, with  the following non-coms:  1st Lt. (1); 2nd Lt. (1); Sgt. (1); 2nd Sgt. (4); Corporals (8). Clearly, due to differences in the number of men put in the field, these numbers have been adjusted for the present day 9th.


3. The companies thus posted will be designated from right to left, first company, second company, &c. This designation will be observed in the manœuvres. **

** Thus is set the line of battle at events by Col. Amend, or whoever is in command.

5. Each company will be divided into two equal parts, which will, be designated as the first and second platoon, counting from the right - and each platoon, in like manner, will be subdivided into two sections.

6. In all exercises and manœuvres, every regiment, or part of a regiment, composed of two or more companies, will be designated as a battalion.

7. The color, with a guard to be hereinafter designated, will be posted on the left of the right center-battalion company. That company, and all on its right, will be denominated the right wing of the battalion; the remaining companies the left wing.**

** Thus, the placement of Battalion Color Sgt. Bell and his guard.

8. The formation of a regiment is in two ranks; and each company will be formed into two ranks, in the following manner: the corporals will be posted in the front rank, and on the right and left of platoons, according to height; the tallest corporal and the tallest main will form the first file, the next two tallest men will form the second file, and so on to the last file, which will be company of the shortest corporal and the shortest man. **

** Hence, front rank and rear rank. Although Hardee’s is here short on detail as to how precisely to get there, this is the process of forming the company with tallest men to the right, and shortest to the left. Of course, there is disagreement concerning the proper method to do it. See, e.g., the discussion at

9. The odd and even files, numbered as one, two, in the company, from right, to left, will form groups of four men, who will be designated comrades in battle. **

** Keeping track of who your comrades in battle are is helpful to getting back into line after a rest or battle or other matter in which you have stepped away from your proper place in line.

10. The distance from one rank to another will be thirteen inches, measured from the breasts of the rear rank men to the backs or knapsacks of the front rank men.


As non-coms and the rank and file comment on this first drill lesson, I will post those annotations here, and I encourage all who care to comment to do so.



9th Texas Regiment of Infantry
This is how a proper tent should be outfitted.

I remain,

Your obedient servant,

Brian Cox
Captain, commanding
9th Texas Reg’t of Infantry
1st Mo. Battalion