Manual of Military Training - Second, Revised Edition
by James A. Moss
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It is the duty of all officers and noncommissioned officers to prevent straggling and elongation of the column.


1225. Forced marches. A forced march may be said to be a march of more than average length.

Forced marches seriously impair the fighting power of even the best troops, and should be undertaken only in cases of necessity.

Such marches are generally made by increasing the number of marching hours. For large columns of Infantry marching long distances, increase of pace is seldom of value.

1226. Night marches. While night marches are some times made in very hot weather to avoid the heat of the day, they are generally made for the purpose of surprising the enemy, escaping observation by aeroplane, or for securing a favorable position from which to attack the enemy at dawn.

Moonlight and good roads are favorable for night marches.

Precaution must be taken that the proper road is followed and that contact between units is maintained, men being stationed, if necessary, to mark changes of direction. If necessary, guides are secured and charged with the duty of following the right road. When, due to unfavorable conditions, units cannot be kept well closed, men will be placed at forks and crossings of roads, especially on very dark nights.

When in hostile territory, silence is maintained; articles of equipment are secured to prevent rattling, and smoking and talking are not permitted. Also, under certain conditions villages and farmhouses are avoided on account of warning given by dogs.

Night marches impair the efficiency of a command and are never undertaken without good reason.

1227. Compliments. As a rule, troops on the march pay no compliments; individuals salute when they address, or are addressed by, a superior officer.

1228. Protection on the march. Protection on the march is furnished by covering detachments known as advance guards, rear guards and flank guards.

1229. Fitting of shoes and care of feet. In view of the fact that the greater part of the Infantry soldier's occupation in the field consists of marching, too much stress cannot be laid upon the importance of his paying special attention to the fitting of his shoes and the care of his feet.

An Infantryman with sore feet is like a lame duck trying to keep up with the rest of the flock.

Keep your feet clean. Dirty feet invite blisters. An excellent preventative against sore feet is to wash them every night in hot (preferably salt) water and then dry them thoroughly. If this is not practicable, then mop them every evening with a wet towel and invigorate the skin with a good rubbing.

Keep the nails cut close.

Rubbing the feet with hard soap, grease, or oil of any kind, and putting ordinary talcum powder in the shoes before starting on a march, are very good to prevent sore feet.

Blisters should be pricked and the water let out, but the skin must never be removed. Adhesive plaster on top of the blister will prevent the skin from being pulled off.

In case of sore or blistered feet, considerable relief can be obtained by rubbing them with tallow from a lighted candle and a little whiskey or alcohol in some other form, and putting the socks on at once.

A little alum in warm water is excellent for tender feet.

The old soldier has learned from long experience in marching, to turn his socks inside out before putting them on thus putting the smooth side next to his skin and possible seams or lumps next to the shoe. The thickness of the sock protects the skin and helps prevent blisters.

Under no circumstances should a soldier ever start on a march with a pair of new shoes.

Each soldier should have on hand at all times two pair of serviceable shoes well broken in.

Remember that it is much better to prevent sore feet by taking the precautions outlined above, than it is to have to treat your feet after they have become sore.



1230. Principles governing selection of camp sites. The following basic principles govern in the selection of camp sites:

(a) The water supply should be sufficient, pure, and accessible.

(b) The ground should accommodate the command with as little crowding as possible, be easily drained, and have no stagnant water within 300 yards.

(c) There should be good roads to the camp and good interior communication.

(d) Camp sites should be so selected that troops of one unit need not pass through the camp grounds of another to reach their own camp.

(e) Wood, grass, forage, and supplies must be at hand or obtainable.

(f) In campaign, tactical considerations come first in the selection of camp sites, capability of defense being especially considered, and, as a result, troops may have to camp many nights on objectionable ground.

(g) However, sanitary considerations must always be given all the weight possible consistent with the tactical requirements. Through no fault of their own, troops occupying an unsanitary site may suffer greater losses than in the battles of a long campaign.

1231. Desirable camp sites. The following conditions are desirable for camp sites:

(a) Porous soil, covered with stout turf and underlaid by a sandy or gravelly subsoil.

(b) High banks of rivers, provided no marshes are near.

(c) In cold weather, a southern exposure, with woods to the north to break the cold winds.

(d) In warm weather, an exposure toward the prevailing winds, with site moderately shaded by trees.

1232. Undesirable camp sites. The following conditions are undesirable for camp sites:

(a) Clay soil, or where the ground water approaches the surface, such sites being damp and unhealthful.

(b) Alluvial, marshy ground, and ground near the base of hills, or near thick woods or dense vegetation are also damp.

(c) Ravines and depressions are likely to be unduly warm and to have insufficient or undesirable currents.

(d) Proximity to marshes or stagnant water is usually damp, and has mosquitoes, which transmit malaria, dengue fever and yellow fever.

(e) Old camp sites are dangerous, as they are often permeated by elements of disease which persist for considerable periods.

(f) Dry beds of streams are subject to sudden freshets.

(g) In the tropics troops should not camp nearer than 500 yards to native huts or villages because of danger from malarial infection.

1233. Form and dimensions of camps. The form and dimensions of camps depend upon the tactical situation and the amount and nature of ground available. However, in general, the form and dimensions of a regimental or battalion camp should conform as nearly as practicable to the diagram on the opposite page, and camps of all sizes should, as far as possible, conform to the principles, regarding arrangement, underlying the diagram given on the opposite page, which gives the general form, dimensions, and interior arrangements of a camp for a regiment of Infantry at war strength. In certain cases, particularly in one-night halts in the presence of the enemy, camps must of necessity be contracted, while in other cases, where a more extended halt is contemplated and where tactical reasons will permit, better camp sanitation may be secured, and a more comfortable arrangement made by the expansion of camp areas.

1234. Making camp. The command should be preceded by the commanding officer or a staff officer, who selects the camp site, and designates, by planting stakes, the lines of tents, the positions of the sinks, guard tent, kitchens, picket line, etc.

After the companies are marched to their proper positions and arms are stacked, the details for guard and to bring wood, water, dig sinks, pitch tents, handle rations, etc., should be made before ranks are broken.

Immediately upon reaching camp and before the men are allowed to go around, patrolling sentinels should be established to prevent men from polluting the camp site or adjoining ground before the sinks are constructed.

Sentinels should be posted over the water supply without delay.

As soon as the tents have been pitched and the sinks dug, the camp should be inspected and all unnecessary sentinels relieved.

The tents should be pitched and the sinks dug simultaneously.

Should the troops reach camp before the wagons, the companies may be divided into squads and set to work clearing the ground, gathering fire wood, collecting leaves, grass, etc., for beds, etc.

The moment a command reaches camp its officers and men usually want to go here and there under all sorts of pretexts. No one should be allowed to leave camp until all necessary instructions have been given.

Enlisted men should not be permitted to leave camp without permission of their company commanders.

Sick call should be held as soon as practicable after the tents have been pitched.


1235. Retreat. In camp retreat formation should always be under arms, an officer being present with each company and inspecting the arms.

1236. Parade ground. In front of every camp of permanent nature, there should be a parade ground for drills and ceremonies.

1237. Camping on fordable stream. In camping for the night on a fordable stream that is to be crossed, cross before going into camp, unless there is some tactical reason for not doing so; for a sudden rise, or the appearance of the enemy, might prevent the crossing the next morning.

1238. Windstorms. Whenever windstorms are expected, the tent pegs should be secured and additional guy ropes attached to the tents.

Tents may be prevented from blowing down by being made fast at the corners to posts firmly driven into the ground, or by passing ropes over the ridge poles and fastening them to pegs firmly set into the ground.

1239. Making tent poles and pegs fast in loose soil. If the soil be loose or sandy, stones or other hard material should be placed under the tent poles to prevent their working into the soil, thus leaving the tent slack and unsteady. When the soil is so loose that the pegs will not hold at all, fasten the guy ropes to brush, wood or rocks buried in the ground.

1240. Trees sometimes dangerous. While trees add very much to the comfort of a camp, care should be exercised not to pitch tents near trees whose branches or trunks might fall.



1241. Definition. By "Camp Sanitation" is meant the adoption of measures to keep the camp in a healthy condition. These measures comprise:

(a) The disposal, so as to render them harmless and prevent pollution, of all wastes, refuse and excreta from men and animals in suitable places provided therefor;

(b) The care exercised in handling, preparing and serving food;

(c) The adequacy of shelter for the men;

(d) The maintenance of proper drainage;

(e) The supply of water for bathing and washing, and the maintenance of a pure supply for drinking.

1242. Camp expedients. "Camp-expedients" is the name given the mechanical means used to put into effect some of the measures, named above, connected with camp sanitation, and usually consist of latrines, kitchen sinks, urinal tubs, rock or earth incinerators, and drainage ditches.

1243. Latrines. The latrines must be dug immediately upon reaching camp—their construction must not be delayed until the camps have been pitched and other duties performed. The exact location of the latrines should be determined by the commanding officer, or by some officer designated by him, the following considerations being observed:

1. They should be so located as not to contaminate the water supply.

2. They should not be placed where they can be flooded by rain water from higher ground, nor should they be so placed that they can pollute the camp by overflow in case of heavy rains.

3. They should be as far from the tents as is compatible with convenience—if too near, they will be a source of annoyance; if too far, some men, especially at night, and particularly if affected with diarrhoea, will defecate before reaching the latrine. Under ordinary circumstances, a distance of about 50 yards is considered sufficient.

Latrines for the men are always located on the opposite side of the camp from the kitchens, generally one for each company unit and one for the officers of a battalion or squadron. They are so placed that the drainage or overflow can not pollute the water supply or camp grounds.

When the camp is for one night only, straddle trenches suffice. In camp of longer duration, and when it is not possible to provide latrine boxes, as for permanent camps, deeper trenches should be dug. These may be used as straddle trenches or a seat improvised. When open trenches are used the excrement must be kept covered at all times with a layer of earth. In more permanent camps the trenches should be 2 feet wide, 6 feet deep, and 15 feet long, and suitably screened. Seats with lids are provided and covered to the ground to keep flies from reaching the deposits; urinal troughs discharging into trenches are provided. Each day the latrine boxes are thoroughly cleaned, outside by scrubbing and inside by applying, when necessary, a coat of oil or whitewash. The pit is burned out daily with approximately 1 gallon oil and 15 pounds straw. When filled to within 2 feet of the surface, such latrines are discarded, filled with earth, and their position marked. All latrines and kitchen pits are filled in before the march is resumed. In permanent camps and cantonments, urine tubs may be placed in the company streets at night and emptied after reveille.

All latrines must be filled before marching. The following illustration shows a very simple and excellent latrine seat which can be made and kept in the company permanently for use in camps on the march:

Urinal troughs, made of muslin and coated with oil or paint, should discharge into the trenches.

1244. Urinal tubs. When obtainable, urinal tubs or cans should be placed in the company streets at night, their location being indicated by lighted lanterns, the tubs or cans being removed at reveille.

1245. Kitchens. Camp kettles can be hung on a support consisting of a green pole lying in the crotches of two upright posts of the same character. A narrow trench for the fire, about 1 foot deep, dug under the pole, not only protects the fire from the wind but saves fuel.

A still greater economy of fuel can be effected by digging a similar trench in the direction of the wind and slightly narrower than the diameter of the kettles. The kettles are then placed on the trench and the space between the kettles filled in with stones, clay, etc., leaving the flue running beneath the kettles. The draft can be improved by building a chimney of stones, clay, etc., at the leeward end of the flue.

Four such trenches radiating from a common central chimney will give one flue for use whatever may be the direction of the wind.

A slight slope of the flue, from the chimney down, provides for drainage and improves the draft.

The lack of portable ovens can be met by ovens constructed of stone and covered with earth to better retain the heat. If no stone is available, an empty barrel, with one head out, is laid on its side, covered with wet clay to a depth of 6 or more inches and then with a layer of dry earth equally thick. A flue is constructed with the clay above the closed end of the barrel, which is then burned out with a hot fire. This leaves a baked clay covering for the oven.

A recess can be similarly constructed with boards or even brushwood, supported on a horizontal pole resting on upright posts, covered and burnt out as in the case of the barrel.

When clay banks are available, an oven may be excavated therein and used at once.

To bake in such ovens, first heat them and then close flues and ends.

Food must be protected from flies, dust, and sun. Facilities must be provided for cleaning and scalding the mess equipment of the men. Kitchens and the ground around them must be kept scrupulously clean.

Solid refuse should be promptly burned, either in the kitchen fire or in an improvised crematory.

In temporary camps, if the soil is porous, liquid refuse from the kitchens may be strained through gunny sacking into seepage pits dug near the kitchen. Flies must not have access to these pits. Boards or poles, covered with brush or grass and a layer of earth may be used for this purpose. The strainers should also be protected from flies. Pits of this kind, dug in clayey soil, will not operate successfully. All pits should be filled with earth before marching.

As a precautionary measure against setting the camp on fire, all dry grass, underbrush, etc., in the immediate vicinity of the kitchen should be cut down.

In case of a fire in camp, underbrush, spades, shovels, blankets, etc., are used to beat it out.

Gunny sacks dipped in water are the best fire fighters.

Burning away dried grass and underbrush around exterior of camp is a great protection against fire from outside.

1246. Kitchen pits. Pits of convenient size should be constructed for the liquid refuse from the kitchens. Solid refuse should be burned either in the kitchen fire or at some designated place, depending upon whether the camp is of a temporary or permanent nature. Unless the camp be of a very temporary nature, the pits should be covered with boards or other material in order to exclude the flies.

All pits should be filled in with earth before breaking camp.

1247. Incinerators. The incineration pit shown in the following diagram, affords an excellent, simple and economical way of disposing of camp waste and offal, tin cans and dish-water included:


The pit is about 4-1/2 feet long, 1-1/2 feet wide and 2 feet deep at one end and 2-1/2 at the other. It is partially filled with stones, the larger ones on the bottom and the smaller on the top. At one end of the pit the stones extend a little above the surface, and slope gradually toward the other end until the fire pit is reached ten inches below the surface of the trench. Over the fire pit, about five inches above the ground, is placed a crab or a piece of boiler iron, on which is boiled all the water for washing dishes, etc. The fire pit is only about one-half of the stone surface, as the radiated heat keeps the rest of the stones hot, causing all dish and slop water to evaporate quickly.

Any tin cans that may be thrown into the fire pit are removed after a short exposure to the heat and placed in a trench especially dug for the purpose.

The company incinerator shown below was used with great success by some of our troops at Texas City, Texas. The rocks should not be too large. The men should be instructed to drop all liquid on the sides of the incinerator and throw all solid matter on the fire—the liquids will thus be evaporated and the solids burned. Until the men learn how to use the incinerator properly, a noncommissioned officer should be detailed to supervise its use.

1248. Drainage. When camp is established for an indefinite period, drainage should be attended to at once. Each tent should have a shallow trench dug around it and the company and other streets ditched on both sides, all the trenches and ditches connecting with a ditch that carries the water from the camp. All surface drainage from higher ground should be intercepted and turned aside.

1249. Avoiding old camp sites. The occupation of old camp sites is dangerous, since these are often permeated by elements of disease which persist for considerable periods.

1250. Changing camp sites. Camp sites must be changed promptly when there is evidence of soil pollution or when epidemic disease threatens. Also, a change of camp site is often desirable in order to secure a change of surroundings and to abandon areas that have become dusty and cut up.

1251. Bunks. Place a number of small poles about seven feet long close together, the upper ends resting on a cross pole about six inches in diameter and the lower ends resting on the ground; or, the poles may be raised entirely off the ground by being placed on cross poles supported by forked stakes at the corners; on the poles place grass, leaves, etc.

1252. Wood. The firewood should be collected, cut and piled near the kitchen. Dry wood is usually found under logs or roots of trees.

If wagons are not heavily loaded it is sometimes a good plan to bring a few sticks of dry wood from the preceding camp, or to pick up good wood en route.

1253. Water. Precautionary measures should always be taken to prevent the contamination of the water, and a guard from the first troops reaching camp should at once be placed over the water supply.

If the water is obtained from a stream, places should be designated as follows for getting water:

(1) For drinking and cooking; (2) For watering animals; (3) For bathing and for washing clothing.

The first designated place should be farthest up the stream; the others, in the order named, downstream.

Where two bodies of troops are to camp on the same stream one must not pollute the water to be used by the other. This can be arranged by the commanders agreeing upon a point where both commands will obtain their drinking water, upon a second point where animals will be watered, etc.

If the stream be small, the water supply may be increased by building a dam.

Small springs may be dug out and each lined with a gabion, or a barrel or box with both ends removed, or with stones, the space between the lining and the earth being filled with puddled clay. A rim of clay should be built to keep out surface drainage. The same method may be used near swamps, streams, or lakes to increase or clarify the water supply.

Water that is not known to be pure should be boiled 20 minutes; it should then be cooled and aerated by being poured repeatedly from one clean container to another, or it may be purified by apparatus supplied for the purpose.

Arrangements should be made for men to draw water from the authorized receptacles by means of a spigot or other similar arrangement. The dipping of water from the receptacles, or the use of a common drinking cup, should be prohibited.

In the field it is sometimes necessary to sterilize or filter water. The easiest and surest way of sterilizing water is by boiling. Boiled water should be aerated by being poured from one receptacle to another or by being filtered through charcoal or clean gravel. Unless boiled water be thus aerated it is very unpalatable and it is with difficulty that troops can be made to drink it.

Filtration merely clarifies—it does not purify. The following are simple methods of filtration:

1. Dig a hole near the source of supply so that the water may percolate through the soil before being used.

2. Sink a barrel or box into the ground, the water entering therein through a wooden trough packed with clean sand, gravel or charcoal.

3. Place a box or barrel in another box or barrel of larger size, filling the space between with clean sand, gravel, moss or charcoal, and piercing holes near the bottom of the outer barrel and near the top of the inner. The filter thus constructed is partly submerged in the water to be filtered.

4. Bore a small hole in the bottom of a barrel or other suitable receptacle, which is partly filled with layers of sand, gravel, and, if available, charcoal and moss. The water is poured in at the top and is collected as it emerges from the aperture below.

The amount of water used by troops is usually computed at the rate of five gallons for each man and ten gallons for each animal per day.

1254. Rules of sanitation. The following rules of sanitation are to be observed:

Men should not lie on damp ground. In temporary camps and in bivouac they raise their beds if suitable material, such as straw, leaves, or boughs can be obtained, or use their ponchos or slickers. In cold weather and when fuel is plentiful the ground may be warmed by fires, the men making their beds after raking away the ashes.

When troops are to remain in camp for some time all underbrush is cleared away and the camp made as comfortable as possible. Watering troughs, shelter in cold weather, and shade in hot, are provided for the animals, if practicable.

The camp is policed daily after breakfast and all refuse matter burned.

Tent walls are raised and the bedding and clothing aired daily, weather permitting.

Tents must be kept clean and in order.

The company street and the ground around the tents must be kept clean.

Food, slop water, rags, paper, empty tin cans, and other trash and refuse must not be thrown on the ground, but should be put in the box, can or other receptacle provided for the purpose or thrown into the incinerator.

The food must be protected from flies, dust and sun.

Under no circumstances must the company street or any other part of the camp grounds be defiled by urinating or deficating thereon. The urinal tub and the latrine must invariably be used.

When an open trench is used as a sink, each individual must always cover his excrement with dirt.

If the sink is inclosed by a box with stool-covers, the covers must always be put down as soon as one is through using them so as to keep out the flies. However it is found in practice that men will not do this therefore it is a good plan to construct the covers so that they will close automatically when a man rises from the seat.

Kitchen garbage must be burned in a pit or incinerator, or put into covered cans and hauled away. The covers must be kept on the cans at all times, so as to keep out the flies.

Horses are not to be ridden through camp except on the roadways.

As soon as a tent is pitched it should be ditched.

When it rains the guy ropes must be loosened to prevent the tent pegs from pulling out and the tent falling down.

The body and the clothes should be cleaned daily as thoroughly as the means at hand will permit.

In the morning wash the face and neck and don't fail to use your tooth brush afterward.

In the continued absence of opportunity for bathing it is well to take an air bath and a moist or dry rub before getting into fresh underclothes.

If the lack of opportunity to wash clothes continues for any length of time, soiled clothes and bedding must be frequently exposed to the sun and air. Sunshine is a good germ killer.

If there are mosquitoes in camp, mosquito bars must be used by men when asleep, and headnets by men on guard and other duty. Also, if in a malarial country, about five grains of quinine should be taken daily, preferably just before supper. In localities where a pernicious form of malaria prevails, daily doses of ten grains of quinine should be given.

In the tropics troops are require to camp at least 500 yards away from all native huts or villages as a preventative measure against malaria. Men are also prohibited from visiting these places at night for the same reason.

Clean your mess kit thoroughly after every meal, if practicable, washing same with soap and boiling water.

The company cooks must keep everything in the kitchen and mess tent clean with hot water and soap. Boil the utensils and dish rags, and be sure to throw all slops and garbage into the kitchen incinerator.

Rest and sleep are most important to preserve the health, so, keep the body rested by plenty of sleep. Do not join idle parties going to walk the streets of the nearest town at nights, nor sit up late playing cards.

Observe in camp even with greater care than when in barracks the rules of health and personal hygiene. (See pars. 1451-1477.)

1255. Your camp, your home. A soldier should always look upon his camp as his home, which it is for the time being. Your tent is your bedroom; the company street, your sitting-room; the latrine, your toilet; the mess tent, your dining-room; the camp kitchen, your kitchen; the bathing facilities, your bathroom. And as you are careful about keeping your bedroom and the other rooms of your home in a clean and orderly condition, so should you do your share to keep your tent and the other parts of camp in a clean, sanitary condition.



1256. Importance of individual cooking. It often happens in campaign that it is impossible to have the field ranges and cooking utensils accompany the troops, and in such case each man must cook his own food in his mess kit. Also, it frequently happens that detachments operating away from their companies must do individual cooking.

All food we eat should be properly cooked, if not, stomach or intestinal trouble will result. Hence, the importance of every soldier learning how to cook in his mess kit the main components of the ration.

1257. Fire. Remember that the best fire for cooking is a small, clear one, or better yet, a few brisk coals. Dig a hole in the ground with your bayonet and make your fire in it with dry wood, starting it with paper, shavings, dry leaves or dry grass.

If preferred the fire may be made between two small flat stones or bricks, care being taken to so place the stones that the draft will pass between them. The mess pan can be placed on the stones, across the fire, and the cup for boiling the coffee at the end away from the draft where it will get the most heat.

This method will, as a rule, be necessary on rocky or stony ground.

1258. Recipes. The following recipes, which are based on the War Department publication, "Manual for Army Cooks," require the use of only the soldier's mess kit,—knife, fork, spoon, cup, and mess pan:


1259. Bacon. Cut side of bacon in half lengthwise. Then cut slices about five to the inch, three of which should generally be sufficient for one man for one meal. Place in a mesa pan with about one-half inch of cold water. Let come to a boil and then pour the water off. Fry over a brisk fire, turning the bacon once and quickly browning it. Remove the bacon to lid of mess pan, leaving the grease for frying potatoes, onions, rice flapjacks, etc., according to recipe.

1260. Fresh meat. To fry.—To fry, a small amount of grease (1 to 2 spoonfuls) is necessary. Put grease in mess pan and let come to a smoking temperature, then drop in the steak and, if about one-half inch thick, let fry for about one minute before turning—depending upon whether it is desired it shall be rare, medium, or well done. Then turn and fry briskly as before. Salt and pepper to taste.

Applies to beef, veal, pork, mutton, venison, etc.

1261. Fresh meat. To broil.—Cut in slices about 1 inch thick, from half as large as the hand to four times that size. Sharpen a stick or branch of convenient length, say from 2 to 4 feet long, and weave the point of the stick through the steak several times so that it may be readily turned over a few brisk coals or on the windward side of a small fire. Allow to brown nicely, turning frequently. Salt and pepper to taste. Meat with considerable fat is preferred, though any meat may be broiled in this manner.

1262. Fresh meat. To stew.—Cut into chunks from one-half inch to 1 inch cubes. Fill cup about one-third full of meat and cover with about 1 inch of water. Let boil or simmer about one hour or until tender. Add such fibrous vegetables as carrots, turnips, or cabbage, cut into small chunks, soon after the meat is put on to boil, and potatoes, onions, or other tender vegetables when the meat is about half done. Amount of vegetables to be added, about the same as meat, depending upon supply and taste. Salt and pepper to taste. Applies to all fresh meats and fowls. The proportion of meat and vegetables used varies with their abundance and fixed quantities can not be adhered to. Fresh fish can be handled as above, except that it is cooked much quicker, and potatoes, onions, and canned corn are the only vegetables generally used with it, thus making a chowder. A slice of bacon would greatly improve the flavor. May be conveniently cooked in mess pan or tin cup.

Fresh Vegetables

1263. Potatoes, fried. Take two medium-sized potatoes or one large one (about one-half pound), peel and cut into slices about one-fourth inch thick and scatter well in the mess pan in which the grease remains after frying the bacon. Add sufficient water to half cover the potatoes, cover with the lid to keep the moisture in, and let come to a boil from fifteen to twenty minutes. Remove the cover and dry as desired. Salt and pepper to taste. During the cooking the bacon already prepared may be kept on the cover, which is most conveniently placed bottom side up over the cooking vegetables.

1264. Onions, fried. Same as potatoes.

1265. Potatoes, boiled. Peel two medium-sized potatoes or one large one (about one-half pound), and cut in coarse chunks of about the same size—say 1-1/2-inch cubes. Place in mess pan and three-fourths fill with water. Cover with lid and let boil or simmer for fifteen or twenty minutes. They are done when easily penetrated with a sharp stick. Pour off the water and let dry out for one or two minutes over hot ashes or light coals.

1266. Potatoes, baked. Take two medium-sized potatoes or one large one cut in half (about one-half pound.) Lay in a bed of light coals, cover with same and smother with ashes. Do not disturb for thirty or forty minutes, when they should be done.

1267. Rice. Take two-thirds of a cup of water and bring to a boil. Add 4 spoonfuls of rice and boil until soft, that is, until it can be mashed by the fingers with but little resistance. This will require about 15 minutes. Add 2 pinches of salt and, after stirring, pour off the water and empty the rice out on the lid of the mess pan.

1268. Canned Tomatoes. One 2-pound can is generally sufficient for five men.

Stew. Pour into the mess pan one man's allowance of tomatoes, add about two large hardtacks broken into small pieces, and let come to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, or add a pinch of salt and one-fourth spoonful of sugar.

Or, having fried bacon, pour the tomatoes into the mess pan, the grease remaining, and add, if desired, two broken hardtacks. Set over a brisk fire and let come to a boil.

Or, heat the tomatoes just as they come from the can, adding two pinches of salt and one-half spoonful of sugar if desired.

Or, especially in hot weather, eaten cold with hard bread they are very palatable.

Hot Breads

1269. Flapjack. Take 6 spoonfuls of flour and one-third spoonful of baking powder and mix thoroughly (or dry mix in a large pan before issue, at the rate of 25 pounds of flour and three half-pound cans of baking powder for 100 men). Add sufficient cold water to make a batter that will drip freely from the spoon, adding a pinch of salt. Pour into the mess pan, which should contain the grease from fried bacon, or a spoonful of butter or fat, and place over medium hot coals sufficient to bake so that in from five to seven minutes the flapjack may be turned over by a quick toss of the pan. Fry from five to seven minutes longer or until, by examination, it is found to be done.

1270. Hoecake. Hoecake is made exactly the same as a flapjack by substituting corn meal for flour.


1271. Coffee. Fill cup about two-thirds full of water and when it boils add, 1 heaping spoonful of coffee, and let boil 5 minutes. Stir grains well when adding. Add 1 spoonful of sugar, if desired. Let simmer ten minutes after boiling. Settle with a dash of cold water or let stand for a few minutes.

1272. Tea. Fill cup about two-thirds full of water and when it boils add 1/2 spoonful of tea, and let boil 5 minutes. Add 1 spoonful of sugar, if desired. Let stand or "draw" 8 minutes. If allowed to stand longer, the tea will get bitter, unless separated from the grounds.

1273. Cocoa. Fill cup about two-thirds full of water and when it boils add 1 heaping spoonful of cocoa and let boil 5 minutes. Stir when adding until dissolved. Add 1-1/2 spoonful of sugar, if desired. Let cool. (If available, milk should be used instead of water, and should be kept somewhat below the boiling point. A 1-pound can of evaporated milk with 3-1/2 quarts of water will make 1 gallon of milk of the proper consistency for making cocoa or chocolate.)

1274. Chocolate. Same as cocoa, using 1 cubic inch of chocolate.

Emergency Ration

1275. Emergency Rations. Detailed instructions as to the manner of preparing the emergency ration are found on the label with each can. Remember that even a very limited amount of bacon or hard bread, or both, taken with the emergency ration makes it far more palatable, and greatly extends the period during which it can be consumed with relish. For this reason it would be better to husband the supply of hard bread and bacon to use with the emergency ration when it becomes evident that the latter must be consumed, rather than to retain the emergency ration to the last extremity to be used exclusively for a longer period than two or three days.



1276. General. A soldier's clothing and equipment are issued to him by his government for certain purposes, and he has, therefore, no right to be in any way careless or neglectful of them.

The importance that the Government attaches to the proper care and preservation of the soldier's clothing and equipment, is shown by the fact that the matter is made the subject of one of the Articles of War, the 84th, which prescribes that any soldier who, through neglect, loses or spoils his arms, clothing or accouterments shall suffer such punishment as a court-martial may direct.


1277. Every article of clothing in your hands should receive as much care and attention as you give your person.

Not only will your clothes last longer if properly cared for, but you will look neater and better dressed, which will add much to your military appearance.

Every soldier should have an A-1 whisk broom and no article of clothing should ever be worn without first being thoroughly brushed.

1278. Pressing. Occasional pressing helps to preserve and freshen clothes,—it puts new life into the cloth.

Blue clothing and woolen olive drab when worn regularly should be pressed about once a week.

In a company where there is an iron for general use there is no reason why every soldier should not press his own clothes.

1279. Chevrons and stripes can be cleaned by moistening a clean woolen rag with gasoline and rubbing the parts and then pressing with a hot iron.

1280. Leggins. When soiled, leggins must be washed. If the leggins are allowed to dry without being rung out, they will look better.

1281. Service hat and the caps require nothing but brushing.

Shirts, underwear, socks, etc., should be carefully folded and put away neatly.

1282. A special suit of clothing for inspections, parades, etc. Set aside your best suit of clothes for inspections, parades and other ceremonies. The uniform worn at these formations should not be worn around in the barracks,—every man has sufficient "second best" garments for barrack use.

1283. Putting away. Uniforms should be dried thoroughly, brushed and properly folded before being put away. The number of folds should be reduced to a minimum.

Before uniforms are put away they should be carefully examined and any missing buttons, tears or stains should be attended to at once.

Lockers and other places in which clothing is kept must be free from dust. They should be wiped off occasionally with a cloth wrung out of soap suds.

1284. Stains. Tailors usually remove stains with a rubber made by rolling tightly a piece of woolen cloth of some kind, about 2 inches wide, until the roll is about an inch in diameter.

Rings in removing stains may be avoided by rubbing until very nearly dry.

1285. Grease spots. Ordinarily benzine is a good stain remover in case of grease spots, but its use is more or less dangerous. It should be used in an open room or out of doors and never near a fire or lights.

"Carbona," which can be purchased in almost any drug store, is excellent for removing stains and it is perfectly safe.

Carbon tetrachloride (Merck's) is much cheaper than "Carbona" and about equally as good. It retails at 45c a pint at nearly all drug stores.

Grease spots can also be removed by placing a piece of brown paper, newspaper, blotting paper or other absorbent paper over the stain, and pressing with a hot iron.

1286. Rust or ink stains can be removed with a solution of oxalic acid. Apply rapidly and rinse at once with plenty of fresh water; this is most important—otherwise it will probably discolor the material.

1287. Sweat stains can not be removed. However, the color can be partially restored and the material cleaned with a solution of ammonia and water—1/3 liquid ammonia, 2/3 water.

1288. The shine that is sometimes left from pressing is caused by leaving the iron on too long or using an iron that is too hot.

This shine, if the cloth is not scorched, can be removed by "sponging," i. e., by placing a piece of damp muslin cloth on the material and then applying the iron only long enough to steam the surface of the garment.

1289. Grease and oil stains on white trouser stripes can be removed with benzine, naptha or gasoline, applied with a stiff nail brush. Stains of rust and ink can be removed by means of oxalic acid (2 ounces of oxalic acid to 1 pint of water—dissolves quickest in warm water) applied with cloth or brush, then rinsed thoroughly with plain water and sponge. After the stripes have dried, apply English pipe-clay, rubbing with the cake itself; then rub in uniformly with woolen cloth rubber—rub vigorously—then brush off surplus pipe-clay.

1290. Paint spots. Turpentine will take out paint spots.

1291. Gilt ornaments and gilt buttons should be polished as often as necessary in order to keep them fresh and bright. Use a button stick in cleaning buttons, so as not to soil the cloth.


(Instructions issued by the Quartermaster General's Office, June 16, 1899.)

1292. General care. Shoes should at all times be kept polished. By being so kept they are made more pliable and wear longer.

Shoes must withstand harder service than any other article worn, and more shoes are ruined through neglect than by wear in actual service.

Proper care should be taken in selecting shoes to secure a proper fit, and by giving shoes occasional attention much discomfort and complaint will be avoided.

1293. Selection. A shoe should always have ample length, as the foot will always work forward fully a half a size in the shoe when walking, and sufficient allowance for this should be made. More feet are crippled and distorted by shoes that are too short than for any other reason. A shoe should fit snug yet be comfortable over ball and instep, and when first worn should not lace close together over the instep. Leather always stretches and loosens at instep and can be taken up by lacing. The foot should always be held firmly, but not too tightly in proper position. If shoes are too loose, they allow the foot to slip around, causing the foot to chafe; corns, bunions, and enlarged joints are the result.

1294. Repairs. At the first sign of break, shoes should be repaired, if possible. Always keep the heels in good condition. If the heel is allowed to run down at the side, it is bad for the shoe and worse for the foot; it also weakens the ankle and subjects the shoe to an uneven strain, which makes it more liable to give out. Shoes, if kept in repair, will give double the service and comfort.

1295. Shoe dressing. The leather must not be permitted to become hard and stiff. If it is impossible to procure a good shoe dressing[15], neat's-foot oil or tallow are the best substitutes; either will soften the leather and preserve its pliability. Leather requires oil to preserve its pliability, and if not supplied will become brittle, crack, and break easily under strain. Inferior dressings are always harmful, and no dressing should be used which contains acid or varnish. Acid burns the leather as it would the skin, and polish containing varnish forms a false skin which soon peels off, spoiling the appearance of the shoe and causing the leather to crack. Paste polish containing turpentine should also be avoided.

1296. Perspiration. Shoe becoming damp from perspiration should be dried naturally by evaporation. It is dangerous to dry leather by artificial heat. Perspiration contains acid which is harmful to leather, and shoes should be dried out as frequently as possible.

1297. Wet shoes. Wet or damp shoes should be dried with great care. When leather is subjected to heat, a chemical change takes place, although no change in appearance may be noted at the time. Leather when burnt becomes dry and parched and will soon crack through like pasteboard when strained. This applies to leather both in soles and uppers. When dried the leather should always be treated with dressing to restore its pliability. Many shoes are burned while on the feet without the knowledge of the wearer by being placed while wet on the rail of a stove or near a steam pipe. Care should be taken while shoes are being worn never to place the foot where there is danger of their being burned.

(Note. To dry wet shoes, the last thing at night take a few handfuls of dry clean pebbles, heat them in meat can, kettle or campfire until very hot; place them in the shoes,—they will dry them out thoroughly in a few hours,—shake once in awhile. Oats or corn may also be used, but they are not available always and pebbles usually are. Now is an excellent time to grease or oil the shoes.—Author.)

1298. Keep shoes clean. An occasional application of soap and water will remove the accumulation of old dressings and allow fresh dressing to accomplish its purpose.

1299. Directions for polishing. Russet leather should be treated with great care. Neither acid, lemon juice, nor banana peel should be used for cleaning purposes. Only the best liquid dressing should be used and shoes should not be rubbed while wet.

1300. Liquid dressing. Care should be taken in using liquid dressing. Apply only a light coat and allow this to dry into the leather before rubbing with a cloth. Too much dressing is wasteful.


(Instructions issued by the Ordnance Department in Pamphlet No. 1965, July 12, 1915.)

Cloth Equipment

1301. General. All cloth equipment should be brushed frequently with a stiff bristle brush. A dry scrub brush may be used.

It should be washed only under the direction and supervision of an officer.

During ordinary garrison duty it should rarely be necessary to wash the equipment.

When the equipment becomes soiled a light local washing will frequently be sufficient, but when dirty it should unhesitatingly be given a good thorough washing,—otherwise it may be expected that it will become unsanitary and rot.

During field service it is to be expected that the equipment will become soiled much more rapidly. Always on return to garrison from field service and as opportunity offers in the field, equipment should be thoroughly washed.

1302. Instructions for washing cloth equipment.

(a) Preparation of soap solution. Dissolve in nine cups of hot water one cake of H. & H. soap or a substitute which is issued by the Ordnance Department.

One cup of this solution is sufficient to clean the entire cloth and web equipment of one man. One cake per squad is a liberal allowance.

The H. & H. soap issued by the Ordnance Department is made especially for washing cloth fabrics liable to fade. If for any reason this soap is not obtainable, a good laundry soap (Ivory or equal) may be used, but in no case should the yellow soap issued by the Quartermaster Corps be used.

(b) Brushing. Brush the equipment thoroughly to remove all dust and mud before washing.

(c) Washing. Spread the belt, haversack, etc., on a clean board or rock and apply the soap solution with a scrub brush. When a good lather appears, wash off with clear water.

In the case of a bad grease spot the direct application of soap to the brush will ordinarily be sufficient to remove it.

(d) Drying. Always dry washed equipment in the shade. The sun will bleach the fabric.

On return from a march in the rain, dry the equipment in the shade, if practicable.

1303. Shelter tent. The shelter tent is cleaned and cared for as prescribed above for the cloth equipment.

When practicable always dry your shelter tent before folding and packing it. (Author.)

Mess Outfit

1304. Knife. The knife blade is made of tempered steel, and when put away for a long period should be covered with a light coating of oil to prevent rust.

Keep your knife clean by washing in soap and water after every meal.

Do not use the blade as a pry.

If the point is broken, grind the blade down to a new point.

1305. Fork. Keep your fork clean by washing with hot water and soap after every meal.

Never use the prongs of your fork for prying open tops of cans, extracting corks, etc.

Don't permit your knife, fork or spoon to remain in vinegar or other foodstuffs for a long period, as verdigris will form. This corrodes the metal and is poisonous.

1306. Spoon. Keep your spoon clean by washing with soap and water after every meal.

1307. Meat can. Do not carry meat of any kind or other greasy substance in the meat can for a long period, as it will corrode the aluminum.

If the rivets securing the hinge to the meat can become loose, a few blows with a hammer or hand ax on the outside ends of the rivets, the heads of the rivets being backed up on a piece of metal, will tighten them.

If the hinge pin becomes loose, a nail can be used to replace it, the nail being cut with a service wire cutter and the ends of the nail headed over slightly with a few blows of a hammer.

1308 Bacon can. The interior of the bacon can should always be kept clean and free from hardened grease or dirt by frequent washings with soar and water.

If the cover becomes loose on the body of the can, the upper half of the body may be bent out until the cover is again tight.

If the cover is too tight, a slight amount of flattening with a hammer on the edge of the cover, resting on a wooden block, will usually extend the cover sufficiently.

1309. Condiment can. When not in use, always remove the contents. Many cans have been ruined by neglecting to do this.

See that the threaded ends do not become rusty.

The can should be disassembled at all inspections, so that the inspecting officer may see that no rust is present.

1310. Cup. The cup is made of aluminum and excessive heat damages aluminum.

In using the cup for cooking never allow the contents to evaporate entirely. In other words, never hold an empty cup over a fire.

Keep your cup clean with hot water and soap,—preferably H & H soap.

1311. Canteen. Although as a rule, only soap and water should be used in cleaning aluminum, a little sand can be used to advantage in cleaning the canteen.

Particular attention must be taken to see that canteens are properly cleaned after they have been filled with coffee, milk or any other fluid containing organic matter.

Being made of aluminum the canteen is easily dented, and care must be taken to prevent this.

When not actually in use the canteen should habitually be emptied and the cup left off to dry.

Intrenching Tools

1312. Pick mattock. If the blade of the mattock is deformed, it should be straightened in a vise.

In the field, cracked handles of pick mattocks, shovels, and hand axes should be wrapped with cord.

1313. Shovel. Do not use the side edges of the shovel blade as a mattock, for this will deform the blade.

If the blade becomes bent, straighten it with a hammer on a block of wood.

Keep your intrenching tool free from rust, being especially careful that no rust gets into the sockets.

Leather Equipment

1314. General. Because of the value of leather equipment and its rapid deterioration if neglected, the proper care of leather is most important.

1315. Materials. Two agents are necessary to the proper cleaning of leather,—a cleaning agent and an oiling agent.

The cleaning agent issued by the Ordnance Department is castile soap; the oiling agents are neat's-foot oil and harness soap.[16]

The soap cleans the surface of the leather, and removes from the surface pores of the leather, dirt, sweat, and other foreign matter, so that the oil can more readily penetrate the pores and saturate the fibers, thus making the leather pliable and elastic.

1316. Cleaning. Daily, or as often as used, leather equipment should be wiped off with a cloth slightly dampened in water, merely to remove mud, dust or other foreign substances.

This daily care will do much to maintain the appearance of the equipment, but it is, however, insufficient of itself to properly preserve it.

Leather should never be cleaned by immersing in water or holding under a hydrant.

At intervals of from one to four weeks, depending upon the circumstances, it is essential that the equipment be thoroughly cleaned in accordance with the following instructions:

(a) Separate all parts, unbuckle straps, remove all buckles, loops, etc., where possible.

(b) Wipe off all surface dust and mud with a damp (not wet) sponge. After rinsing out the sponge, a lather is made by moistening the sponge in clear water, squeezing it out until nearly dry, and rubbing it vigorously upon castile soap. When a thick, creamy lather is obtained, thoroughly clean each piece of the equipment without neglecting any portion. Each strap should be drawn its entire length through the lathered sponge so as to actually remove the salt, sweat, and dirt from each leather piece.

(c) After again rinsing the sponge make a thick lather as described above with the saddle soap. Go over each separate piece, thoroughly working the lather well into every part of the equipment, remembering that its action is that of a dressing.

(d) After the leather has been allowed to become partially dry, it should be rubbed vigorously with a soft cloth to give it the neat, healthy appearance that is desired.

1317. Oiling. If the foregoing instructions have been carefully followed, the appearance should now be perfect, and if the leather is soft and pliable nothing further is required. It will be found, however, that it will be necessary from time to time to apply a little oil. It is not practicable, owing to different conditions of climate and service, to prescribe definitely the frequency of oiling. It has been found that during the first few months of use a set of new equipment should be given at least two applications of oil per month. Thereafter it is entirely a matter of judgment, as indicated by the appearance and pliability of the leather. Frequent, light applications are of more value than infrequent heavy applications.

1318. New equipment. Before using, perfectly new equipment should in all cases be given a light application of neat's-foot oil; soap is unnecessary because the leather is clean. The application of oil is important because leather equipment frequently remains a considerable time in an arsenal or depot and in spite of periodical inspections and dubbing it is probably too dry for severe service.

1319. How to apply oil. The quantity of oil to be used can not be definitely prescribed. If not enough oil is used, the leather will be stiff and brittle; if too much is used, it will soil the clothing and accumulate dirt. The leather should, therefore, be saturated with sufficient oil to be soft and pliable without excess sufficient to cause it to exude.

In applying the oil the following general instructions should govern:

(a) The oil should be applied to the flesh side of the equipment where practicable when the leather is clean and still damp after washing (about half dry), because it penetrates more uniformly when applied from the flesh side, and when the leather is damp. If the leather is dry it will absorb the oil like blotting paper, preventing proper distribution.

(b) The oil should be applied with an oiled rag or cotton waste by long, light, quick strokes—light strokes, so that the pressure applied may not squeeze out an excess of oil; quick strokes, so that the leather may not absorb an undue amount of oil. The endeavor should be to obtain a light, even distribution.

(c) After applying the oil the leather equipment should be allowed to stand for 24 hours, if practicable, in a warm dry place. It should then be rubbed with a dry cloth to remove any unabsorbed oil.

Points to Be Remembered

1320. Therefore, from what has been said, the following points must be remembered:

(a) Keep leather clean.

(b) Keep leather pliable by frequent applications of oil.

(c) Use only materials furnished by the Ordnance Department. Shoe polishes, etc., are almost invariably injurious.

(d) Dry all leather wet from whatever cause, in the shade; never in the sun or close to a steam radiator, furnace, or boiler.

(e) Leather should habitually be stored in a cool, dry place, without artificial heat.


[15] "Viscol" is the best oil for softening all kinds of leather that the author knows of. It is made by The Viscol Co, East Cambridge, Mass., and can be obtained from the post exchange.

[16] Propert's Harness Soap is excellent. However, since the European War its issue has been discontinued by the Ordnance Department. "Viscol," obtainable from the post exchange, is the best oil for softening all kinds of leather that the author knows of.




1321. Importance. The care of his rifle should be the soldier's first thought; for, if he would have it take care of him in time of danger, he must take care of it at all times.

It is a generally recognized fact that more rifles become inaccurate and unserviceable by the lack of care than by firing.

The instructions for taking care of the rifle are few and simple. Learn them well and apply them constantly—it only requires a little care and patience. You will be well repaid for it. It may some day save your life.

1322. Care of bore requires work. The bore of the rifle is manufactured with the greatest care in order that a high degree of accuracy may be obtained, and it should, therefore, be properly cared for.

The proper care of the bore requires conscientious, careful work, but it pays well in reduced labor of cleaning and in prolonged accuracy life of the rifle, and better results in target practice.

1323. How to clean the bore. With the cleaning rod the bore must always be cleaned from the breech—never from the muzzle. Cleaning from the muzzle is liable to wear and otherwise injure the mouth of the barrel, which is easily injured and thus the piece rendered inaccurate.

First, remove the bolt from the rifle, place the muzzle on the floor, a board, or piece of canvas, and do not remove it therefrom while the cleaning rod is in the bore. Never place the muzzle on the bare ground, lest dirt should get into it. (Note. Of course, if a rack is provided for cleaning rifles, it should be used instead of placing the muzzle on the floor.)

To clean the bore use patches of rag, preferably canton flannel, cutting them into squares of such size that they may easily run through the barrel.

1324. What care of the bore consists of. Briefly stated, the care of the bore consists of removing the fouling resulting from firing to obtain a chemically clean surface, and then coating this surface with a film of oil to prevent rusting.

1325. Kinds of fouling. The fouling which results from firing is of two kinds—the powder fouling, from the burning of the powder; and the metal fouling, from the nickel scraped off the bullet as it passes through the bore.

The powder fouling is highly corrosive, that is, it causes rust and eats into the metal, and it must, therefore, be removed as soon as possible.

The metal fouling itself will not cause rust, but it may cover the powder fouling and thus prevent the cleaning material from getting at the powder fouling, which, as stated before, will eat into the metal. When metal fouling accumulates in noticeable quantities it reduces the accuracy of the rifle.

1326. How to remove powder fouling. Powder fouling may be readily removed by scrubbing the bore with the soda solution (hot) furnished by the Ordnance Department, but this solution has no effect on the metal fouling.

It is, therefore, necessary to remove all metal fouling before we are sure that all powder fouling has been removed and that the bore may be safely oiled.

Ordinarily, after firing a barrel in good condition, the metal fouling is so slight as to be hardly perceptible, and is easily removed by solvents.

However, due to the accumulation of metal fouling, pitting (little hollows in the metal) or the presence of dust, or other abrasives (substances that cause the metal to wear away by rubbing), the fouling may occur in clearly visible flakes or patches and be much more difficult to remove.

1327. How to remove metal fouling. After scrubbing out the bore with the soda solution, plug it from the breech with a cork at the front end of the chamber or where the rifling begins.

Slip one of the 2-inch sections of rubber hose over the muzzle down to the sight and fill with the standard Ordnance Department solution to at least one-half inch above the muzzle of the barrel.

Let it stand for 30 minutes, then pour out the solution, remove the hose and breech plug, and swab out thoroughly with soda solution to neutralize and remove all trace of ammonia and powder fouling.

Wipe the barrel clean, dry, and oil.

With few exceptions, one application is sufficient, but if all fouling is not removed, repeat the operation.

Hoppe's Nitro Solvent No. 9 will accomplish the same result even better and quicker and with much less labor.

1328. How to proceed in cleaning the bore.

To clean the bore after firing, proceed as follows:

Swab out the bore with soda solution to remove powder fouling. A convenient way to do this is to insert the muzzle of the rifle into the can containing the solution and with the cleaning rod inserted from the breech, pump the barrel full a few times.

Remove and dry with a couple of patches of cloth. Examine to see whether any patches of metal fouling are in evidence, and if so, then remove same as explained above. If no metal fouling is in evidence, then swab out with the swabbing solution. The amount of swabbing required with the swabbing solution can be determined only by experience assisted by the color of the patches of cloth. Ordinarily a couple of minutes' work is sufficient. Dry thoroughly, and oil with 3-in-One.

As a measure of safety a patch should always be run through the bore on the next day and the bore examined to insure that cleaning has been properly done. The bore should then be oiled again with 3-in-One.

1329. Necessity for preventing formation of pits. It is a fact recognized by all that a highly polished steel surface rusts much less easily than one which is roughened; also that a barrel which is pitted fouls much more rapidly than one which is smooth. Every effort, therefore, should be made to prevent the formation of pits, which are merely enlarged rust spots, and which not only affect the accuracy of the piece but also increase the labor of cleaning.

If swabbing solution or standard metal fouling solution is not available, the barrel should be scrubbed as already described, with the soda solution, dried, and oiled with a light oil. At the end of 24 hours it should again be cleaned, when it will usually be found to have "sweated." Usually a second cleaning is sufficient, but to insure safety it should be again examined at the end of a few days, before final oiling.

Of course, the swabbing solution should always be used, if available, for it must be remembered that each "puff" when the bore "sweats" is an incipient rust pit.

What has just been said contemplates the use of the solutions furnished by the Ordnance Department. However, the same result will be obtained with less labor by using Hoppe's Nitro Powder Solvent No. 9, which is sold by all post and camp exchanges, and which the Author, as the result of experience, highly recommends.

1330. How to oil a barrel. The proper method of oiling a barrel is as follows:

Wipe the cleaning rod dry; select a clean patch of cloth and smear it well with sperm or warmed cosmic oil, being sure that the cosmic has soaked into the patch well; scrub the bore with patch, finally drawing the patch smoothly from the muzzle to the breech, allowing the cleaning rod to turn with the rifling. The bore will be found now to be smooth and bright so that any subsequent rust or "sweating" can be easily detected by inspection. (By "sweating" is meant, rust having formed under the coating of metal fouling where powder fouling was present, the surface is puffed up.)

1331. Care of the chamber. The chamber of the rifle is often neglected because it is not readily inspected. Care should be taken to see that it is cleaned as thoroughly as the bore. A roughened chamber delays greatly the rapidity of fire, and not infrequently causes shells to stick.

1332. The bolt. To clean the bolt, remove; clean all parts thoroughly with an oily rag; dry, and before assembling lightly oil the firing pin, the barrel of the sleeve, the striker, the well of the bolt, and all cams.

1333. The sights. Both the front and rear sights should be cared for just as you would care for the works of your watch. If the sights are injured, the rifle will not shoot as aimed.

The front sight cover issued by the Ordnance Department protects the front sight.

1334. The magazine. The magazine should be kept clean and covered with a thin coat of oil.

1335. The stock. The stock should receive a light coat of raw linseed oil once a month, or after any wetting from rain, dew, etc. The oil should be thoroughly rubbed in with the hand.

1336. Care of the mechanism. When the rifle has been wet or exposed to unfavorable climatic conditions, the bolt should be withdrawn and all working parts carefully wiped with a dry cloth, and then gone over with an oily rag.

The same thing should be done after firing.

All working parts should habitually be lightly oiled with a thin-bodied oil, such as "3-in-One."

1337. The care of all metal parts. All metal parts of the rifle should be kept clean and free from rust.

1338. Cams and bearings. All cams and bearings must be kept constantly oiled.

1339. How to apply oil. Do not pour or squirt oil on the rifle.

Put a few drops on a piece of clean cloth, preferably cotton, and rub with the cloth, thereby avoiding the use of an unnecessary amount.

Cams and bearings can be oiled this way. However, if the oiler is used instead because of greater ease in reaching them, oil them lightly. To soak with oil accomplishes no more than to cover with a light coating—it merely results in excessive, undesirable smearing and a waste of oil.


1340. 1. It is easier to prevent than to remove rust.

2. To remove rust, apply oil with a rag, and let it stand for a while so as to soften the rust; then wipe with a dry rag.

3. Emery paper or a burnisher must never be used in removing rust, for it also removes the bluing.

However, an ordinary rubber eraser will be found very serviceable for removing rust.

4. To prevent rust and dirt in the bore, run a rag through at least once each day.

5. Never, under any circumstances, put away a rifle that has been fired or exposed to bad weather, without first cleaning it.

6. Never lay your rifle flat on the ground. Not only is there danger of dirt or other foreign matter getting into the bore, but a vehicle may run over it, or some one may step on the sight. Always rest it up securely against something. On the target range it is well for every soldier to have a short wood or metal fork, on which to rest his rifle.

7. In coming to the order from any position, always bring the rifle to the ground gently.

Army Regulations Regarding the Rifle

1341. Are enlisted men allowed to take their arms apart?

No; not unless they have the permission of a commissioned officer, and even then only under proper supervision and in the manner prescribed in the descriptive pamphlet issued by the Ordnance Department. (A. R. 292.)

(Except when repairs are needed, the following named parts should never be dismounted by the soldier, and whenever they are taken apart they should be removed only by the company mechanic, or someone else familiar with the handling of tools and delicate mechanism: Bolt stop, cut off, safety lock, sleeve lock, front sight, front sight movable stud, lower band, upper band, and stacking swivel screws.)

(Unless the screw driver is handled carefully and with some skill the screws are sure to be injured either at the head or thread. The soldier may dismount the bolt and magazine mechanism for the purpose of cleaning them, but he is not permitted to do any further dismounting without the authority of a commissioned officer.)

Is the polishing of blued and browned parts permitted?

No, and rebluing, rebrowning, putting any portion of an arm in fire, removing a receiver from a barrel, mutilating any part by fire or otherwise, and attempting to beautify or change the finish, are prohibited. However, the prohibition of attempts to beautify or change the finish of arms is not construed as forbidding the application of raw linseed oil to the wood parts of arms. This oil is considered necessary for the preservation of the wood, and it may be used for such polishing as can be given when rubbing in one or more coats when necessary. The use of raw linseed oil only is allowed for redressing and the application for such purpose of any kind of wax or varnish, including heelball, is strictly prohibited. (Army Regulations 292.)

Is the use of tompions[17] in small arms permitted?

No, it is prohibited by regulations. (Army Regulations 292.)

Should pieces be unloaded before being taken to quarters or tents?

Yes, unless it is otherwise ordered. They should also be unloaded as soon as the men using them are relieved from duty. (Army Regulations 292.)

Should a loaded or unloaded rifle or revolver ever be pointed at anyone in play?

No, under no circumstances whatsoever. A soldier should never point a rifle or revolver at a person unless he intends to shoot him.


1342. Nomenclature of the rifle. The illustrations on this page and those on the two following pages give the nomenclature of the rifles, with which every soldier should be familiar.

The bolt (Fig. 2) consists of the handle, A; sleeve, B; safety lock, C; Cocking piece, D; safety lug, E; extractor, F; extractor collar, G; locking lugs, H; extractor tongue groove, I; and gas escape hole, J.

1343. Rear-sight leaf; drift slide; wind gauge. The illustration on the opposite page shows the rear sight leaf (raised), the drift slide (E), and the wind gauge (F, L.). It is most important that the soldier be thoroughly familiar with the use of these parts, for otherwise it is impossible for him to sight correctly and use his rifle properly.

The leaf is graduated from 100 to 2850 yards. The lines that extend the whole way across the two branches of the leaf, mark 100 yard divisions; those that extend about half way across, mark 50 yard divisions, and the shorter lines mark 25 yard divisions.

The even numbers (4, 6, 8, etc.) on the left branch of the leaf, indicate 400, 600, 800, etc, yards.

The odd numbered hundreds of yards (300, 500, 700, etc.) are on the right branch of the leaf.

The numbers rest on top of the lines to which they refer.

So, if you want to fire at a target 800 yards away, set the rear sight at 8; 1,000 yards, at 10; 1,200 yards, at 12, etc.

With the fly leaf up, ranges from 100 to 2350 yards can be obtained through the peep hole, K; from 100 to 2450 through the lower peep notch, J; and from 1400 to 2750 yards through the upper peep notch, G.

There is a horizontal line on the drift slide, across the peep hole, K. If the peep hole sight is used the sight is set by this horizontal line, which is set opposite the proper graduation (line across branch of leaf).

If the peep notch, J, is used, the sight is set by the short horizontal line—that is, on a line with the top of the notch.

If the peep notch, G, is used, the sight is set by the top of the slide, C, which is set on the proper graduation.

Care must be taken not to use one of the peep notches when the sight has been set for the peep hole, or not to do the reverse, without first changing the sight.

The sighting notch, A, used when the range is 2850 yards, is hardly ever used, because the rifle is very, very seldom, if ever, fired at that range.

By battle sight we mean the position of the rear sight with the leaf down, and it corresponds to a sight setting of 530 yards. The notch, H, that is used when the leaf is down is called the battle sight notch. The battle sight is the only one used in rapid fire. In unexpected, close encounters the side that first opens a rapid and accurate fire has a great advantage over the other.


[17] Wooden stoppers or plugs that are put into the muzzles of rifles and other arms to keep out dirt and water.



(Based on Small-Arms Firing Manual)

1344. Object of system of instruction. The object of the system of rifle training and instruction employed in our Army is two-fold:

1. To make of INDIVIDUALS, shots who in battle will make hits instead of misses.

2. To make of ORGANIZATIONS, pliable, manageable MACHINES, capable of delivering in battle a volume of EFFECTIVE fire.

1345. To make of INDIVIDUALS shots who in battle will make hits instead of misses. This is accomplished by INDIVIDUAL training and instruction whereby the skill of the soldier as a rifleman is so developed as to be up to the capabilities of his rifle, which is probably the best and most accurate rifle in the world,—that is to say—

Effort is made to so develop the shooting skill of the soldier that he will be able to make his rifle do the things that it is capable of doing.

To accomplish this end the soldier is put through a course of individual instruction that divides itself into three main phases or stages, viz:—

1. Preliminary drills. By means of preliminary drills in the form of sighting drills; position and aiming drills; and deflection and correction elevation drills, he is taught the theoretical, fundamental principles of shooting.

2. Gallery practice. Having been taught the theoretical, fundamental principles of shooting by means of the preliminary drills mentioned in the proceeding paragraph, the soldier is then shown how to apply them in a simple, elementary way by being put through a course of gallery practice with the .22 Cal. Gallery Practice Rifle, using reduced charges. This practice may be called the transitory phase or period of individual instruction, during which The soldier passes from his acquisition of the theoretical, fundamental principles of shooting to their application to actual firing, on the target range, with the regulation Army rifle.

3. Range practice. Having gone through the course in gallery practice, the soldier then fires on the target range, applying and putting into practice, with the regulation Army rifle; the theoretical principles of shooting taught him during the preliminary drills, and in the application and practice of which he was also instructed during the gallery practice.

1346. Other Instruction. While the above phases embody the principal subjects in which a soldier is trained and instructed in developing his skill in shooting, he is also instructed in other matters that are necessary to round out and complete his skill in marksmanship,—for example, the care of the rifle, estimating distances, the effect of light, wind, and temperature, etc.

1347. To make of ORGANIZATIONS pliable, manageable MACHINES, capable of delivering in battle a volume of EFFECTIVE fire. This is accomplished by collective training and instruction, in which a number of soldiers (for example, a squad, platoon, or company), under command of a leader, fire, under assumed tactical situations, at targets which simulate the appearance of an enemy under conditions approaching those found in war. This kind of training and instruction is called, "Combat practice."

In combat practice the individual is trained in firing as part of a tactical unit,—that is to say, in cooeperation with others,—and the commanders of the tactical units are taught how to direct and control the fire of their units,[18] obtaining the maximum efficiency of fire by cooerdination of the skill and efforts of all the individuals of the unit.


1348. The following outline of the program of instruction gives a sort of bird's-eye view of the system:


{ (a) Theory of sighting. (The trajectory; { The line of sight; Sighting or aiming.) 1. Sights and Sighting. { (b) Kinds of sights. (Open; Peep; Battle.) { (c) Kinds of sight. (That is, amount of { front sight taken.) (Normal; Fine; Full.)

{ (a) Sighting drills. (Importance and purpose; { Point of aim; Triangle of sighting.) { (Verifying the triangle; causes of errors.) { (b) Position and aiming drills. (Objects 2. Preliminary drills. { [3]; Position exercise; Aiming exercise; { Trigger-squeeze exercise; Rapid-fire exercise; { Kneeling, sitting down, and prone.) { (c) Deflection and elevation correction { drills.

3. Gallery practice. (Object and importance.)

4. Range practice. (Instruction practice; Range practice.)

5. Other Instruction. (Use of sling; Designation of winds; Zero of rifle; Estimating distances [with the eye, by trial shots, and by trial volleys]; Wind; Temperature; Light; Mirage; Care of rifle, etc.)


Sights and Sighting

Theory of Sighting

1349. The trajectory. As the bullet passes through the air it makes a curved line something like this:

This curved line is called the trajectory.

The resistance of the air and the force of gravity (the force that pulls all bodies toward the earth) are the two things that make the path of the bullet a curved line, just the same as they make the path of the baseball thrown by the player a curved line.

The resistance of the air holds the bullet back and the force of gravity pulls it down, so that the two acting together make the bullet's path curved.

The longer the range the more will the path of the bullet (the trajectory) be curved, as shown by the following drawing:

1350. Sighting or aiming. Now, on the rifle there are two "sights,"—the front sight and the rear sight,—which enable the rifleman to regulate the path of the bullet, as the ball player regulates the path of the ball.

If the ball player wants distance, he throws the ball high (raises the path, the trajectory), using his eye and guesswork, and likewise if the rifleman wants to shoot at a distant target, he, too, shoots the bullet high (that is, he raises the muzzle of his rifle), but he doesn't have to depend upon guesswork. It is all worked out for him by experts and all he need do is to set the rear sight for the proper range,—that is, for the distance the object is from him.

Aiming or sighting a rifle consists in bringing into line three objects: The target, A, the front sight, B, and the rear sight, C.

The rifle is so made and the sights placed on it in such a way that when the piece is held in such a position that the target, the front sight and the rear sight are in line, and the trigger is pulled (squeezed) the bullet will strike the target.

You raise the muzzle of the piece by raising the rear sight,—that is, raising the rear sight has the effect of raising the muzzle, for the higher you raise the rear sight the higher must you raise the muzzle in order to see the front sight and get it in line with the object aimed at and the rear sight.

This is shown in the following illustrations:

The rear sight, C, the front sight, B, and the bull's eye, A, are all on a line with the eye, D, the rear sight being set for 200 yards.

Suppose we wanted to shoot at 2000 instead of 200 yards. We would raise the slide up to 20 (2000 yards) on the sight leaf.

In order to see the bull's eye through the notch sight at 2000, we must raise the eye to the position, D. We now have the rear sight, the bull's eye and the eye in line, but we must bring the front sight in line with them, which is done by raising the muzzle of the piece, giving the result shown in Fig. 4a.

1351. Line of sight. With the open sight the line of sight is determined by a point on the middle line of the notch of the rear sight and the top of the front sight.

With the peep sight, the line of sight is determined by the center of the peep and the top of the front sight.

Kinds of sights

1352. (See Fig. 3, par. 1343, giving rear sight leaf in detail.)

The different kinds of sights are as follows:

(a) Open sight. By open sight is meant the use of any one of the sighting notches.

To use the open sight:

1. Look through the sighting notch at the target. (Fig. 5.)

2. Bring the top of the front sight on a line with the top and in the center of the sight notch, the top of the front sight being just under the bull's eye.

Because of its wide field of view and its readiness in getting a quick aim with it, the open sight is the one that is generally used in the later stages of battle, or when fire is to start immediately.

(b) Peep Sight. By peep sight is meant the use of the peep hole in the drift slide.

To use the peep sight:

1. Look through the peep hole at the target. (Fig. 7.)

2. Bring the top of the front sight to the center of the peep hole, the top of the front sight being just under the bull's eye. (Fig. 8)

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