Autumn of 1798 - Moore's genius & Light Infantry beginni

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Autumn of 1798 - Moore's genius & Light Infantry beginni

Post by pud » Sun Apr 15, 2007 4:34 pm

Source: MOORE of CORUNNA. Roger Parkinson. Granada Publishing Limited, 1976. pp. 87-88.

"Sitting in his damp Athlone Garrison rooms, he turned his thoughts to a subject which had always been of immense interest to him: the training and organization of infantry, based on his experiences in America, Corsica, and the West Indies and especially the methods used by him in training the light infantry of the Irish militia. He began with the declaration that light infantry should start with sound training in the drill and movements used by ordinary foot battalions. He then examined the drill required for all the multiple manoeuvres and tasks which these specialists might be called upon to perform, giving each section a separate heading: file movements, extending and enclosing, firing at close order, firing at extended order, firing advancing in extended order, firing retreating, file firing in battalion order with files touching… All these complicated movements were described in Moore's clear style - though the descriptions were written in his usual illegible sloping scrawl, which always gave the impression that his thoughts were running too fast for his hand to keep pace. Moore's work during this sodden winter of 1798-9 would provide a solid foundation for training methods he would later see put into practice. First however would come more action, and more desperate battles.

In early June 1799, Moore applied to Cornwallis for two months’ leave, and began to pack. He never had a chance to enjoy the break. A message reached him from Dublin Castle: General John Moore must go at once to the south of England. He re-opened his journal: ‘ It was the intention of His Majesty's Ministers to employ me upon a secret expedition…’ "

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