Mahan’s Outpost

AN
ELEMENTARY TREATISE
ON
ADVANCED-GUARD, OUT-POST,
AND
DETACHMENT SERVICE OF TROOPS,
AND THE MANNER OF
POSTING AND HANDLING THEM
IN PRESENCE OF AN ENEMY.
WITH A HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE RISE
AND PROGRESS OF TACTICS, &c. &c.
INTENDED AS A
SUPPLEMENT TO THE SYSTEM OF TACTICS
ADOPTED FOR THE MILITARY SERVICE OF THE UNITED
STATES, AND ESPECIALLY FOR THE USE OF
OFFICERS OF MILITIA AND VOLUNTEERS
_____________________
BY D. H. MAHAN,
Professor of Military and Civil Engineering, and of the Science of War,
in the United States Military Academy

NEW EDITION.
__________________

NEW YORK:
JOHN WILEY, 56 WALKER STREET.

1861.

________________________________________________________
ENTERED according to Act of Congress in the year 1847, by

D. H. MAHAN,

In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the Southern
District of New York.
________________________________________________________

P R E F A C E

THE suggestion of this little compilation originated in a professional intercourse, some months back, with a few intelligent officers of the Volunteer Corps of the city of New York.

The want of a work of this kind has long been felt among our officers of Militia generally, as English military literature is quite barren in systematic works on most branches of the military art, especially so on the one known among the military writers of the Continent as La Petite Guerre, or the manner of conducting the operations of small independent bodies of troops; and but few of these officers are able to devote that time to military studies, which their pursuit in a foreign language necessarily demands.

In making this compilation, the works in most repute have been carefully consulted, and a selection made from them of what was deemed to be most useful to the class of readers for which it is intended. The object of the writer has been to give a concise but clear view of the essential points in each of the subjects introduced into the work; if he has succeeded in this, he trusts that the very obvious defects of the work will be overlooked.

An acknowledgment is here due from the writer to Major-General Sandford, commanding the First Division of the New York State Militia, and to H. K. Oliver, Esq., Adjutant-General of the State of Massachusetts, as well as to the officers generally of the First Division N. Y. S. M., for their kind aid in bringing forward the work.

U. S. MILITARY ACADEMY,
October 19th, 1847.

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE MOST REMARKABLE
EPOCHS IN THE MILITARY ART FROM THE TIME
OF THE GREEKS TO THE PRESENT

CHAPTER I
TACTICS

CHAPTER II
MANNER OF PLACING AND HANDLING TROOPS

CHAPTER III
POSITIONS

CHAPTER IV
ADVANCED-GUARDS AND ADVANCED-POST

CHAPTER V
RECONNAISSANCES

CHAPTER VI
DETACHMENTS

CHAPTER VII
CONVOYS

CHAPTER VIII
SURPRISES AND AMBUSCADES

Counter-March
Hardee’s Skirmish
Illustrated Hardee’s
Resources
Skirmish Primer
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