Some Military Terminology
An entrenchment of felled trees, with their branches sharpened so as to present a wall of pointed stakes to the enemy.
A staff officer who transmits orders, details and mounts guards. The Adjutant-General is the principal staff officer of the Army; he supervises the camp, and is the organ of the general commanding.
Attendant of a general officer who receives and bears orders.
Place of assembly in case of alarm.
Placing in line.
Trenches by which besiegers approach a fortified place; they are opposed by counter-approaches.
The piece of leather or sheet lead which covers the vent of a cannon.
Signal to form by company.
An elevation of earth within a fort, three or four feet wide, and less than five feet from the top of the parapet, which even short men can fire over.
Guns standing on raised platforms, where they can fire over the parapet, which gives them a free range.
To block or obstruct.
A work at one of the angles of a fortification, consisting of two faces and two flanks.
A narrow space between parapet and ditch.
An honorary title awarded for brave or commendable action in war.
To camp round fires without the shelter of tents.
Uniform time and step in marching.
The ammunition wagon accompanying a cannon.
Diameter of the bore of a piece.
Soldiers' quarters in towns and villages.
To surrender on conditions.
Agreement for an exchange of prisoners.
The knob at the breech of a gun.
Bomb-proof chambers in fortifications from which guns are fired through windows, called embrasures.
To dismiss ignominiously.
A work in the interior of a bastion; also, a Royalist soldier, usually a cavalryman, of the English Civil War.
Chase of a gun
Its length from trunnions to muzzle.
The timber side of a gun-carriage.
Square beams, six to nine feet long, from which pointed stakes project at right angles; used to stop breaches.
Circumvallation, line of
A low parapet and trench of earthwork encircling a besieged place.
A detached guard to accompany supplies; or, a number of ships, wagons, lorries, etc moving together for safety.
A body of troops under one commander; usually, two or more divisions
Outer wall or slope of the ditch of a fort.
Heavy cavalry with breastplates or cuirasses.
The line of flat wall between two bastions.
To maneuver troops from column into line of battle.
Cavalry who sometimes serve on foot.
An arrangement of troops, by which front and flanks are alike protected.
An opening in a wall or defense through which to fire guns.
To rake the whole length of a work or line.
A small mortar for testing gunpowder.
An assault with scaling ladders.
A strategic feint.
Bound bundles of long twigs used for fortifications.
An attack aimed at one place merely as a distraction from the location of the real attack.
Colonel, Lieutenant-Colonel, and Major.
A line of men, one behind the other.
A position from which one can strike at the enemys sides, can be used offensively or defensively.
A line of gabions, behind which men approach a defense protected from missiles.
Oats, hay, and straw for horses.
A party selected to begin and attack, or slow down an enemy attack.
The means by which a shell is exploded.
A bottomless cylindrical basket, used in building entrenchments.
All above the rank of colonel.
Parapet of the covered way of fortifications.
Large shot packed in bags by nines, and fired by cannon, typically at medium range.
A shell thrown from the hand.
Small cavalry and light artillery flags.
Composed of 76 parts saltpeter, 14 parts charcoal, and 10 parts sulfur.
A cotton or linen bag for a soldier's rations.
Pistol cases on cavalry saddles.
Chambered short-barrelled cannon for lobbing shells into fortifications: could also fire canister and, hollow shot.
Distance between platoons, companies, regiments.
To encircle and shut up the enemy within a town or camp.
Foot soldier's traveling bag, strapped on his back, and containing clothing and necessaries.
Infantry armed primarily with missiles and scattered as skirmishers.
Thongs of leather to enchain cavalry horses.
Store for arms, ammunition, provisions: on a firearm, holds additional ammunition.
A passage dug under military works and stocked with powder to blow them up.
A short-chambered gun with large bore for throwing shell.
Parade of troops for inspection.
A soldier attendant upon an officer.
A corps of officers in charge of arms and ammunition.
A body of troops posted beyond the regular lines.
Works outside the regular fortifications.
A large howitzer.
The lines or trenches by which besiegers approach a fort.
A barrier of earth to intercept the fire of an enemy.
A number of cannon in close order.
Word of honor given by an officer prisoner to his captor.
Small guard under a non-commissioned officer, whose duty it is to preserve order in the encampment.
A small out-post guard.
Small boats to aid in the formation of bridges.
A match for firing cannon.
Army sheriff in charge of military police.
Officer providing quarters and clothing.
A line of men side-by-side. Rank and file include privates and non-commissioned officer.
Daily allowance of food.
To survey or examine.
A small fortification.
One-third of a guard. Each third is on duty two hours and off four.
Select body of troops retained in the rear.
Beat of the drum at daybreak.
Rebounding of shot from the ground at a very obtuse angle.
Any fire-arm with a curved groove in the barrel.
List of officers and men by which to regulate their duties.
Ammunition sufficient for one shot
Visiting or personal inspection of the guards and sentries.
An advanced angle; a piece of friendly ground protruding into enemy territory.
Chief entrance to a fort.
An excavation by which to approach a fort or between trenches.
Hollow balls filled with explosive material, exploded by a fuse.
A loose, desultory kind of engagement between small detachments.
The temporary exiting of a fortification in order to gain food or water or to disrupt a nearby enemy. Done by a a Sally party.
Thin shells, loaded with musket-balls, for a howitzer.
Two troops of cavalry.
Officers attached to headquarters.
The disposition of troops over and above the tactical scale.
Any commissioned officer below a captain.
The ordering, disposition, and formation of troops on the battlefield or at any rate on a local scale.
Drum beat at 9:30 p.m., for retiring; or a military parade with bands.
Parapets of earth thrown up as a protection against ricochet shots.
Company of cavalry.
Videttes or vedettes
Out-post sentries on horseback.
The passage of a gun or cannon that connects with the charges, and through which the spark passes to discharge it.
Difference between the diameter of the shot and bore.
Right and left divisions of an Army.
Light infantry, originally Arabs and Moors.