21. COMMANDS TO FIRE
READY (from the position of Prime)
Place the thumb of the right hand on the hammer (the fingers remaining under and against the guard), cock the musket, and grasp the small of the stock.
READY (from the position of Shoulder-Arms)
With the left hand turn the musket. Lock-plate forward and with the right hand grasp the small of the stock. At the same time face half right on the left heel. Turn the left foot forward and place the instep of the right foot against the left heel. Bring the musket vertically to the centre of the body with the right hand. Place the left hand just above the lock, thumb extended, and at chin level. The rammer is facing half left. Place the right thumb on the hammer and the right forefinger under the trigger guard, the right elbow at the same level as the right hand. Lock the hammer and then move the right hand to the small of the stock. Keeping the left hand at shoulder level, lower the musket with the right hand until the lower band is at the left hand.
The front rank raises muskets to shoulder and leaning forward, aims at target. The rear rank raises musket and leaning forward carries the right foot eight inches towards the left heel of the man next on his right, aims over right shoulder of the man directly in front, with the front man's head between the middle and lower band.
Apply the fore-finger to the trigger without hesitation, and remain in that position.
After firing, hold the AIM position until given another command, such as LOAD, SHOULDER - ARMS, FIRE-AT-WILL, or CEASE - FIRING.
LOAD (after Firing)
Bring the musket to the vertical position by lowering the butt with the right arm. Then bring the musket opposite to the left shoulder, barrel to the front. Keep the left hand as high as the chin and the left forearm touching the stock. At the same time face to the front and place the heel of the right foot against the instep of the left foot. Drop the right hand to the side and let the musket slide through the left hand gently to the ground. Lower the left hand a little, assuming the position of Load.
SHOULDER - ARMS (after Firing)
Bring the musket to the vertical position as above and face to the front. Bring the musket to the left shoulder and place the left palm under the butt. Drop the right hand to the side
RECOVER - ARMS (from the position of Aim)
On ARMS, withdraw the finger from the trigger, throw up the muzzle smartly, and retake
the position of Ready.
This command is issued from the position of Aim, when the command to Fire has not been given.
SHOULDER - ARMS
On SHOULDER, face to the front and bring the musket to the vertical position in front of the body. The left thumb is at chin level. Half cock and then grasp the small of the stock with the right hand.
On ARMS, bring the musket to the right shoulder in the position of Shoulder-Arms