Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Practical Guide for the Light Infantry Officer

Regency England was a nation at war for nearly twenty-five years--much longer than the 1811-1820 span of the actual Regency. Publications of the era sometimes reflect the emphasis on military and naval affairs. One such book is "A Practical Guide for the Light Infantry Officer", published in 1806.

Once a young man had bought his commission, he really needed to buy this book. It has all the basics: how to advance; how to retreat; how to fire; how to parade. There are details on 'securing a wood' and how to carry arms as well as:
Communication by bugle and drum was an essential part of infantry work. The Practical Guide provides details of the signals and even music scores of the notes:

The "Plates" in this guide are a disappointment. Rather than showing dashing uniforms or dramatic engagements, they are dry little charts with stick soldiers. It would require study to make sense of their use.
 But the sentiments in the Guide are all that one could desire. The young officer is told his duty, and the best way to accomplish it.
What more could one expect of such a book?

'Til next time,


A Practical Guide for the Light Infantry Officer is available for download from Google Books.