Moving 17th Century Soldiers


Colonel Barriffe calls this the 'Deep March.'  Spacing from one file to the adjacent file must be at Order and spacing from one rank to another is to be at Open Order.

Note the divisions within the column.  Musketeers are formed into two groups, one at the front and one at the back, with pike in the middle.  In this configuration, the marching column can quickly and readily be converted into a battle formation.

Study the placement of the officers, sergeants, drummers and ensign.  Although the commander leads and the lieutenant is at the rear, as in the battle formation, the sergeants and drummers are in particular places in the march based on their ranking or "Dignitie."  The number-one sergeant is in the center whereas the number-four sergeant is at the front right, near the commander.  Likewise, the number-one drummer in near the center, in front of some pikemen who precede the number-one sergeant.

The ensign is NOT at the front end with the commander.  Instead, he is about a third the way back, behind the first division of musketeers.  Musketeers and pikemen march between the ensign and the nearest drummers.  It is in battle formation the ensign comes to the side of the commander.

Aware that companies come in assorted sizes, Colonel Barriffe offers: "If the Company be but small, then it is best to make but two Divisions, one of the Muskettiers, another of the Pike... If you have but three Drums, let the Drum in the second Division of Pikes be wanting: If only two, then upon a march the first between the third and fourth Rank of the Front Disivion of Muskettiers.  The second between the third and fourth Rank of the second Division of Pikes."*

And on a final note: "...that between each Division in march there ought to be a twelve-foot distance, six foot before the Officer and six foot behind him."

A lexicon of symbols used in the above diagram:
C - captain or commander
D - drummer
E - ensign
L - lieutenant
M - musketeer
P - pikeman
S - sergeant
Sergeant Subtlelus says:
The captain is to be at the front of the column to lead it, to be the body's head.  The ensign, however, bearing the essence of the company's spirit, is within the body of the company where the spirit thrives.

*Chapt. 7, Military Discipline...