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•  Instructions for Guards and Pickets

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Parade, Inspection and Basic Evolutions of the Infantry Battalion

Like turning on the lights in a dark room.

Thank you, Sir, for ... PIE. After struggling thru Hardees' and Casey's, it's like turning on the lights in a dark room.

W.Summers, Missouri


Perhaps the best tool for the reenactor is the brilliant Parade, Inspection and Basic Evolutions of the Infatnry Battalion, by Dominic Dal Bello, now it its fourth eidtion. This well researched modern volume is easy to read and understand, and well illustrated. Every officer and first sergeant should own a copy.

- L. Jones, Capt., Co. H, 1st Maryland.

I recommend that all company officers obtain a copy of Parade, Inspection and Basic Evolutions of the Infantry Battalion.

-Bill Christen, Editor/Publisher, The Watchdog, former Colonel, the Western Brigade


For this section, I am deeply indebted to Dominic J. Dal Bello, , perhaps the greatest living expert in 1860s infantry evolutions and author of the indispensable Parade, Inspection, and Basic Evolutions of the Infantry Battalion , which cross-references the major systems of tactics and several ancillary works.

- M. Murley, in the appendix of a Tactics Workbook for U.S. Army Staff Rides

I bought both PIE and Guard this summer and was just blown away by the work you did! Thanks for giving this to us in the hobby.

- Will Eichler, Michigan

A Great Service ... Corporals and privates will benefit...

… Dal Bello has done our avocation a great service by preparing this summary of the tactics manuals used by Civil War soldiers and their modern-day emulators. The things reenactor officers really need to know in order to command battalions or to serve as officers in battalions are presented here with clarity and authority. Non-commissioned officers, color bearers, guides, musicians, and even corporals and privates will benefit from the study of this volume.

The illustrations … contribute to the success of Dal Bello’s compendium. They are simple and comprehendible even to this writer, a sometime officer – sometimes confused by the charts of the original manuals. ...

If you wear shoulder straps, chicken guts, or stripes, or just want to get to the basics of Civil War battalion drill in a hurry, getting a copy of Parade, Inspection and Basic Evolutions of the Infantry Battalion is no mistake.

- Nicky Hughes, The Watchdog

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The result of considerable experience in the School of the Battalion... belongs in the knapsack of all officers and sergeants...

Over the past twenty years, there have been many attempts to summarize (and even rewrite) the period manuals to make them more understandable to reenactors. This book is one of the most useful of those efforts to date … a concise guide to forming, inspecting, moving, and fighting a battalion size unit.

The most useful aspect of this book is its combination of instructions drawn not only from Hardee’s and Casey’s Schools of the Battalion, but necessary movements from the U.S. Army Regulations, with additions and clarifications from various sources on guides, field music, etc. While this book does not attempt to describe every single movement an infantry battalion could perform, it covers all movements most commonly used on parade and in the field.

All items are cross-referenced to the original sources (there is a handy table in the back of the book that accomplishes this), and the figures are clear and well-drawn to illustrate the movements discussed. This book is obviously the result of considerable experience in the School of the Battalion (Mr. Dal Bello commands the Army of the Pacific), as well as in-depth study of numerous reference works. It belongs in the knapsack of every field grade infantry officer, as well as company grade officers and guide sergeants.

- Geoff Walden, Camp Chase Gazette

A Masterful Job...

... Dal Bello has placed under one wrap a number of useful tactical maneuvers for Civil War reenactors.

In particular, this volume is intended for the company commander and the two company guides (sergeants). It includes information on the basic formation of a regiment, dress parade, inspection, and a number of maneuvers, such as deploying into line, firing, and opening and closing a column.

Complementing the text are 57 figures which illustrated the maneuvers described in the text. Footnotes provide references to the original military manuals consulted. As an added bonus, for those readers seeking more detailed information from the 1860s manual, Dal Bello has included paragraph cross references to the eight most important manuals he consulted. An insert in the book contains a discussion about the "Charge-Bayonet" command; the text analyses the confusion over how the soldiers were to carry their weapons during a bayonet "charge."

There are 181 paragraphs in this 5-˝ x 8-˝ manual, which is styled after the Civil War tactical books, only larger in size. This work is solely the author’s, compiled after much deliberation and field practice over the years.

It is sure to infuriate those reenactors who are set in their ways. After all, the 1860s manuals were somewhat incomplete, often with contradictory statements. Author Dal Bello has done a masterful job of interpreting these inconsistencies and has successfully attempted to bring a sense of order to what the Civil War soldier did on the parade ground and battlefield.

- Richard A. Sauers, The Civil War News

Officers, NCOs and interested enlisted men are urge to study Dominic J. Dal Bello's Parade, Inspection and Basic Evolutions of the Infantry Battalion as a reliable modern day guide to period tactics.

Instructions for Guards and Pickets

Required reading for every Civil War reenactor:

Dal Bello ... has compiled a highly useful volume for the benefit of reenactors wishing to accurately post guards. This softbound, 5˝ x 8˝ book is closely modeled in style (302 numbered paragraphs), size, and type of printing and illustrations, after an 1860s period military manual. ...

Accompanying the manual are 71 footnotes that provide citations for each topic covered. For those interested in looking up more of the original sources, the author has provided an eight-page cross reference for all 302 paragraphs; each citation includes paragraph or page numbers for easy reference.

This thoughtful and insightful compilation is required reading for every reenactor, whether officer or enlisted man. ... I heartily recommend this volume!

- Richard Sauers, The Civil War News

Everyone should own a copy of Kautz and know it. Everyone should ALSO own a copy of Dom Dal Bello's Instructions for Guards and Pickets and be familiar with it.

- Kevin O'Beirne

Should be in your bookshelf or knapsack:

Dal Bello’s done it again! Instructions for Guards and Pickets ... is a concise how-to for the basic duties and procedures of the guard. …

For those looking to have more of a military experience at an event, this book will take the mystery out of posting guards, inspections and the like. …

Dal Bello’s first book, "PIE," was welcomed by serious reenactors and this effort, Instructions for Guards and Pickets, is a perfect companion … it should be in your bookshelf or knapsack.

Keep ‘em coming, AoP Press.

- Rick Keating, Reenactors' Journal

We think anyone who is serois about learning drill AND guard duty, needs both of these manuals.
-33rd Wisconsin Website

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© 2007 by Dominic J. Dal Bello