Waterloo : A military field assistant or an abstract of the eighteen movements, to which is prefixed an exact representation of a review...


<p>In 1792 regulations were issued making a set of eighteen ‘movements’, or manoeuvres, mandatory practice for British infantry regiments. They were devised by Colonel David Dundas with the aim of regularizing the Army’s drill training and expurgating doctrines established during operations against irregular forces in North America which were unsuited to combat with European regular armies. Every infantry officer was supposed to be provided with a copy of the 1792 regulations, but the movements were also elucidated in unofficial drill manuals; in this example, the words of command were printed opposite copper-plate diagrams of the movements. The flag at the foot of each plate represented a fixed point relative to which the manoeuvre was carried out, and which would have been occupied by the inspecting officer during reviews.</p> <p>The author, J. G. Max, a Lieutenant in the Loyal Nottingham Fencibles (the fencibles were units raised for home defence and not liable for service overseas), explained in the Preface that the idea of juxtaposing drawings of the movements with the words of command arose from practical experience of the ‘laborious task of disciplining <i>a new Regiment</i>‘. This copy was owned by Burgh Leighton, a Major in the 4th (Queen’s Own) Dragoons, who served in the Peninsular War but had retired by the time of Waterloo.</p>

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