Militarie Instructions, or the Souldier tried, for the Ʋse, of the Dragon, Being A part of Cavalrie, for fierings, on Horsback, as the Harquebusier, & on foote, as Infaritry, very necessary for such as desier to be studious, in the waye of the Art militarie, never before published, by any, and now set forth by Captaine Nathaniell Burt


For the marching postures of the Dragoone, they are like the 23. and 24. Figures in the Booke of Cavalrie; I could wish they might have Snap-hances on their Mus­kets; then the postures men­tioned at the end of the 30. Chapter would serve them on horse-backe, to make ready. I hope there is no Musketier that is any part a posture man, but will finde way to make use of it, on horse-backe, although to fire on horse-backe is not so fully knowne. HAving upon some occasions viewed and looked upon some part of the Booke of Military Instructions for the Cavalry, &c. and finding it to speake so disrespectively of the Books of Infantrie, without excepti­ons, and for that he saith, the Dragoone, or Musquetier, must exercise himselfe to give fire on hotse-back, as the Harquebusier, &c. as you may read in his 31. Cap. pag. 44. and yet leaveth him to be directed therein, by the Infantry, I shall here take occasion to speake somewhat for the complete and perfect method of the Young Artillerie Man, set forth by my honoured fellow-souldier and acquaintance, Lievt. Colonell Barriffe, which for its sufficiency, and plainnnesse, to speak truly, I think as yet unparalleld in any language, which being perfectly apprehended and understood, will furnish the Partie that shall understand it, in the Rudi­ments (God giving him courage to performe and act it sufficiently) in most things. But I would intreat all souldiers to make use of, and store up experimentall (a) I am perswaded there be many that have beene abroad have growne little in experi­ence or valour, onely in pride and covetousnesse, to de­fraud: and I dare boldly say, such will never be souldiers, &c. knowledge: for as this war differeth much from other warres, so doth the severall skirmishings, and occasions (therein:) and resolution goeth very farre in it, so it be grounded upon judgment, and produceth many faire effects, through Gods blessing.

For the exercise of the Dragoone, firing on horse-back, I will recite somewhat, I have seen, though in a more confused manner and way, and give some directions to performe the same.

Suppose the enemy retreating, and their horse facing while they draw off their great guns, and baggage, marching away with their Infantry, they losing ground, retreat entire, together, with their Cornets on the head of their Troups, they being on a hill, having a deep and dangerous dale, to friend, fit to lay Ambuscadoes in, besides the night approaching to help them, &c.

Here Dragoones may do better service, firing on horse-back, then the Curasier, the way being dubitable, &c. by advancing slowly after them, following them about musket shot, the Curasier being withing such distance as is needfull, to relieve them, if that the enemy should seeme to charge, or attempt it: for the better performance thereof, they are to fire by (b) First, firing of the Mus­ketier on horse-backe by in­troduction, which I am of opinion is not overbalanced with danger, but the proper­est, one of them upon such an occasion: but I leave it to the judgement of others, accord­ing to my request at the end, &c. The second firing of the Musketier on horse-backe. 3. The Dragoone to fire on foot, if that he shall see occa­sion, and after fire given, to mount, &c. 4. The Dragoone service in a siege, and how he is to be­have himselfe, and to fire, &c. introduction, on horse-back; which is a passing through, or be­tween the Files, the files being at open Order: the first rank having given fire, by the Commanders direction, let the bringer-up passe through the Files, which is commonly to the left, placing themselves before their Leaders, in the Front, and then giving fire, the rest of the Ranks acting the same successively, till such time as they shall receive Order to the contrary, or to close their Files. I am loath to forme their place of march upon such occasions, but the Van, or Flanks, is most advantagious, and necessary for them, because from thence they can command, and send far­thest, and make the best use, to line the hedges, or to beat up their Ambuscadoes, if need require: but not knowing the scituation of the place, or the forme of the enemy, which they may pursue, I leave it to the wisdome of the Commander, &c.

Secondly, a party of Dragoones may fire retreating, on horse-back, and do good execution, they riding such a pace, as their occasion requi­reth, or the ground will permit, the last rank somtimes facing about, and firing upon the enemie, then wheeling off to the right, or left, as the ground best affords. I would advise them (herein) to keep their Files close, and place themselves before their Leaders in the Front, till they re­ceive order to the contrary. The Dragoons having been sent forth for the taking some bridge, or stopping some passage, the enemy having pos­sessed himselfe of it before them, and advancing towards their Quarters, whether in field or garrison, and being too strong for them to encounter with, having retreated as before to their Quarters, or some place of advantage, where they may secure their horses in the way, they being ac­quainted therwith before, and what Scouts the enemy hath out, may give the enemy an unexpected volley of shot from some secret and unexpe­cted place, which may offer it selfe to their view, which having performed, to mount suddenly againe, for better and sooner expedition, &c.

For service to be performed by the Dragoone in a Siege, it is commonly on Foot, wherefore I leave the direction thereof in firings to the se­verall and speciall occasions, as they shall arise, and their Commanders give directions, further certifying, that by the skilfull, and truly valiant, it is sooner formed in field, then described by the pen, onely finding the Cavalrie Booke so full of good language and learning, and the Dragoon, being made a part thereof, and left to anothers direction, I could do no lesse then vindicate my deceased fellow-souldiers book, ut supra. And as a testimony of my love to the School of War I was bred in, and my reall and hearty affections to my Countrey, offer this my mite into the Trea­surie, with my humble prayers to the Almighty, to convert us all unto him in his good time, and to send peace in this distracted Kingdome, &c.


Gentle Reader, accept of these lines in love, and correct them in love, so shall I be ingaged hereafter, further to publish such things as I shall find occasion, for thy benefit, onely for the present, I have commended to the Cutters, or Ingravers of Copper, and so to the Presse, for the secon­ding of the young Artillerie-mans request, the Motions of the Posture for the Musket and Pike in their severall Garbes and Portraitures, as also the Postures of the halfe Pike joyned with the Musket, being at this time required either for Musketier or Dragoone: but the present necessity calling upon this (as I conceive) hath caused me to set this forth alone: wherefore expect the other as soon as it can be finished. Vale.

Your Friend, Nathanael Burt.

Published according to Order.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.