MANUAL OF ARMS
This Manual of Arms is based on Gilham (or Hardee's Heavy Infantry) Musket Drill. Civil War drills are quite different from modern 20th century drills. Although some of the commands are the same, most of the positions are different. You must return to SHOULDER - ARMS before going to another position in most of the command orders. The Manual of Arms is done in separate motions, and each motion is done in a set time.
1. ATTENTION - COMPANY
The body is in the position of attention. The right arm is at the side, the right hand gripping the musket, fingers forward. The musket butt is beside the right foot, barrel vertical and along the hollow of the right shoulder.
2. POSITION OF SHOULDER - ARMS
The musket is held in the palm of the left hand, the left elbow slightly bent, the heel of the butt between the forefinger and middle finger, the thumb on the front screw of the butt-plate. The butt is held back so that the barrel is almost vertical. The barrel is to the front with the stock against the hollow of the left shoulder.
3. SUPPORT - ARMS
With the right hand seize the small of the stock and slightly raise the musket. Place the left palm on the chest. Support of the musket by resting the hammer on the crook of the arm and pressing the musket to the shoulder. Drop the right hand to the side.
CARRY - ARMS
Grasp the musket with the right hand at the small of the stock. Place the left hand under the butt as before. Lower the musket slightly and drop the right hand to the side.
The command CARRY - ARMS is always given to return from SUPPORT - ARMS to SHOULDER - ARMS. In all other instances the command is SHOULDER - ARMS. However, in re-enactments, the command SHOULDER - ARMS is often used.