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Of the sound of the drum



It is very necessary that soldiers should be instructed to know the sounds and beatings of the drum before they are dismissed from the drill; as, whether it be the general, assembly, march, reveille, troop, retreat, taptoo, to arms, parley, or chamade, &c. As they are thereby taught to march and perform their exercise, manoeuvres, &c. it is also very proper to teach them every other sound and signal.

To beat the general, is an order for the whole to make ready to march; the assembly to repair to their colours; and the march commands them to move: the reveille, at day-break, warns the soldiers to rise, and the centries to cease challenging; the troop assembles them together, to call over the roll and inspect the men for duty: the retreat is beat at sunset, for calling over the roll again to warn the men for duty, and read the orders of the day: the taptoo beats at ten o'clock every night in summer, and at nine in winter; the soldiers must then repair to their quarters or barracks, when the Non-commissioned Officers of each squad call over their rolls, and every man must remain there till reveille beating next morning. A beat to arms, is to advertise them to stand to their arms, or to repair to their alarm-posts; and a parley, or chamade, is to desire a conference with the enemy.

The Military Medley by Thomas Simes 1768


Turn or face to the right

One single stroke and flam


Turn or face to the left

Two single strokes and flam


To the right about

Three single strokes and flam


To the left about

Four single strokes and flam


To wheel to the right

Roll, one single stroke and flam


To wheel to the left

Roll, two single strokes and flam


To wheel to the right about

Roll, three single strokes and flam


To wheel to the left about

Roll, four single strokes and flam


To front

Strong double flam


To make ready



To cease firing



To march


Quick pace

Quick march


To charge bayonets

Point of war


To form battalion

To arms


To ease your arms



To secure your arms

First part of the taptoo


To shoulder your arms

Last part of the taptoo


To call the Adjutant

First part of the troop


To call a Sjt & Cpl of each Company

Two rolls, six flams


To call all the Sjts & Cpls

Three rolls, nine flams


To assemble the Pioneers

Pioneer's march


To assemble the Drummers

Drummers' call

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