There are a few things that need to be remembered about the Gilham's Manual of Arms. Although some of the commands are the same as the modern military drill, most of the positions are different. Another is that you must return the musket to Shoulder-Arms before going to other positions, except for a few occasions. In Gilham's, the Manual of Arms is done in separate motions. For simplicity this is dispensed with. In practise, the Manual of Arms is done without pausing between each motion.
The body is in the position of attention. The right arm is at the side, the hand low, with the barrel betwenn the thumb and the forefinger. The muzzle is about two inches in front of the right shoulder, rammer in front, the bottom of the butt even with and against the toe of the right boot.
Raise the musket smoothly with the right hand, bringing it opposite the left shoulder with the barrel to the front. At the same time, place the left hand under the butt. Let the right hand fall to the side.
1. Principles of Shoulder Arms
The musket is held in the left hand, with the thumb on the front of the butt. The arm is slightly bent, keeping the elbow against the side of the body, so the bottom barrel band is resting in the hollow of the shoulder. All effort is made to keep the musket vertical, to avoid hitting other soldiers while shifting positions.
C. Right Shoulder Shift-ARMS
Turn the piece with the left hand, lockplate to the front, and at the same time grasp it with the right hand just below the trigger-guard. Carry the piece to the right side with both hands, bringing the right hand to shoulder height while keeping the lock-plate to the front. Move the left hand to grasp the piece between the hammer and sight, then drop the right hand to the butt. The piece is cradled with the thumb and first two fingers along the top of the stock and the other two fingers on the butt-plate. Drop the left hand to the side.
Drop the musket by extending the right arm, while grasping the barrel with the left hand just above the sight. Move the right hand up to seize the stock just below the trigger-guard. Carry the piece to the left side, turning the barrel to the front. Place the left hand under the butt, adjusting to the position od Shoulder-Arms, and drop the right hand to the side.
2. Principles of Right Shoulder Shift Arms
When marching at the double quick-step or run the soldier moves his piece to this position automatically. Care must be takento keep the lock plate on top of the shoulder. The butt must also be held against the body, keeping the piece nearly vertical, so the barrel does not hit other soldiers.
With the right hand grasp the stock about four inches below the trigger-guard, just where the stock starts to swell. Take the left hand from the butt, extending the left fore-arm across the body, and under the hammer, the left hand flat on the body just below the right shoulder. Drop the right hand to the side. The musket is carried by the hammer in the crook of your arm.
Return the right hand to the small of the stock under the left elbow.
Drop the right hand to the side.
Move the right hand quickly to the small of the stock. Place the left hand under the butt, as in the position of Shoulder Arms. Drop the right hand to the side, and at the same time, adjust the musket to the position of Shoulder Arms.
Turn the piece lock-plate out with the left hand, while at the same time taking hold of the stock with the right hand below the trigger-guard. Rotate the musket inwards so as to bring it erect in front of the body with the rammer to the front. As you turn the piece, the right hand remains under the trigger-guard and you move the left hand to take the piece above the sight, the thumb extended along the side of the stock to the first band. The left arm forms a right angle at the elbow, resting lightly along the body, with the middle band about eye level.
Turn the musket with the right handto bring the barrel to the front, while raising it to the left shoulder. Drop the left hand under the butt, adjust the piece to the position of Shoulder Arms. Drop the right hand to the side.
Take the piece with the right hand, the thumb on the lock-plate screws, the forefinger under the hammer. Move the piece a little off the shoulder and grasp the piece with the left hand at the bottom band, the thumb along the rammer. Let the barrel fall forward slowly until the buttstock rests under the armpit, keeping the left hand in position on the barrel, lowering it to the hip. Drop the right hand to the side.
Raise and rotate the musket to the shoulder with the left hand. Bring the right hand up to grasp the piece below the trigger-guard, and drop the left hand to the butt. Let the right hand fall to the side while adjusting the musket to the position of Shoulder Arms.
CAUTION: You must take great care while doing this maneuver not to hit anyone in ranks with the musket barrel, especially if the bayonet is affixed. This position is used in foul weather to keep the bore dry or whenmarching in cemetaries.
G. Arms at-WILL
The musket may be carried in any comfortableposition. In Gilham's the muzzle is to remain upright, but this is not always so in practise. You may also sling the musket.
Return the musket quickly to the position of Shoulder Arms.
Move the right hand to grasp the stock under the trigger-guard while turning the musket acroos the body, lockplate to the front. At the same time, raise the left hand to catch the stock at the bottom band, taking care that both thumbs extend along the barrel. The musket is held just off the body, slanted diagonally across it. The right hand will be above the stock, held near the right hip. The left hand is under the stock, and held near the left shoulder, while keeping both elbows close to the body.
Move the piece to the left shoulder while dropping the left hand under the butt. Drop the right hand to the side.
Drop the musket by extending the left arm, taking it at the same time with the right hand just above the bottom band. Let go with the left hand, dropping it to the side, and move the piece to the right side lowering the right hand to the hip, turning the rammer to the front. Let the musket slip gently to the ground taking the position described in Section A.
From Order Arms, bend the right elbow so as to raise the musket about three inches off the ground. Tilt the muzzle slightly to the front.
Striaghten the arm, lowering
the musket to the correct position of Order Arms.