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Skirmishing in II army corps under command of count Reille in 1815.

Since May 1815, the French II army corps under the command of lieutenant-général count Reille was composed of the following regiments of infantry:

1er, 2e, 4e, 11e & 12e régiment d'infanterie légère
1er, 2e, 3e, 4e, 61e, 72e, 82e, 92e, 93e, 100e & 108e régiment d'infanterie de ligne

These regiments sometimes consisted of 2, sometimes of 3 battalions in the field, each battalion had between 400 and 600 men under arms. This gives a strength of between 60 and 100 men per company, and between 30 and 50 men per section.

For the companies of voltigeurs in the army corps under his command, in 1815 count Reille issued the following Order of the Day. Unfortunately, the exact date of this Order of the Day is not known.

Forming the chain [cordon de tirailleurs] from the centre.

The company which is ordered to form the chain of skirmishers, will leave the column (if the battalion is in this marching order) towards the side to which it shall move.
A few paces from the column, the capitaine will order the first or second section to advance, and give order to the lieutenant to form it in two ranks as quick as possible. This being accomplished, he will command:
Form the chain!
[Formez la ligne des tirailleurs!]
On this command the officer commanding the advancing section will give the order to the file in the center of this section to stop, and announce to the files on the right to turn right and to the files on the left to turn left, and command:
1. To the right and to the left – face!
2. To the right and to the left take your distances at 10 or 15 paces
[6,5 or 9,75 m]!
3. March!

[1. Par le flanc droit et le flanc gauche – à droite et à gauche!
2. Par la droite et par la gauche, prenez vos distances par dix ou quinze pas!
3. Marche!
On this command the files on the wings will advance in quick pace. When the first files will have advanced by 15 paces [9,75 m] the next files will follow, having counted the paces of the file in front of them in order to step on just with the fifteenth pace. The chef de section seeing the two files next to the center file in move, and at a distance of nearly 20 paces [13 m] of each other, he will command:
1. Skirmishers,
2. Halt!
3. Front!

[1. Tirailleurs,
2. Halte!
3. Front!
The chain or line of skirmishers will thus be established with distances of 15 paces [9,75 m]. During this movement, the capitaine will send 10 men of the section which has not been dissolved behind the right wing as support, and 10 men behind the left wing. These reserves, commanded by lieutenants, will form up thirty to fourty paces [19,5 to 26 m] behind the center of each wing of the chain. From here, by the means of signals and of sous-officiers sent with orders, he will direct the movements necessitated by those of the enemy, or by the march of the column or line he covers.
The capitaine will stay with the main reserve fourty paces [26 m] behind the center of the two supporting troops. From here, he will enforce the skirmishers on the parts threatened by the enemy, and, if nescessary, will go there himself with all his men.

The procedure is illustrated by the following drawing:

(Fig. 1.)
A. The company, formed in three ranks, which is orderd to form the chain of skirmishers.
B. The section which is orderd to skirmish, formed in two ranks.
C. The reserves of ten men each, behind the left and right wing of the chain of skirmishers.
D. The section which is orderd to skirmish, formed into the chain of skirmishers.
E. The chain or line of skirmishers, after they have advanced.
F. The capitaine with sous-officiers and musicians. Behind him, the main reserve has to be supposed.
G. The two lieutenants with sous-officiers.
Figur 1.

The German original of the text above is found on pp. 2-4 of "Unterricht für Schützen und Plänkler der Infanterie. Aus dem Französischen übersetzt und mit Anmerkungen vorzüglich in Bezug auf die bei der Königl. Wirt. Infanterie bestehenden Schützeneinrichtung, herausgegeben von einem Königl. Wirtemb. Schützenofficier" (Instruction for sharpshooters and skirmishers. Translated from French and annotated mainly with respect to the skirmishing institutions in the Royal Wurttemberg infantry, by a Royal Wurttemberg officer of sharpshooters), which was published in 1823 in Ulm. The French original had been published in 1822 in Paris with the title "Instruction pour les Voltigeurs de l'infanterie légère et de ligne. Par l'auteur du guide des Sous-officiers d'infanterie en campagne." Its author was Eugène Alexandre Husson (1786-1868).

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