Union camp

Here's a scenario:

Union brigade in camp during campaign. Confederate forces reportedly located nearby. Need to get troops moving to what will become a "battle".

After officers call. What calls would be utilized up to the point troops march out toward the field of battle?


1. Chief bugler for the Unit (Brigade or division) sounds Assembly of the Buglers at HQ as the Officer's are returning from the Officer's Call. May need to do this for EACH branch of Service.

2. Bugler for each lower unit (Battalion) sounds Assembly of the Buglers.

3. Have your Principal Drummer beat Drummer's Call.

The Officer's have now returned to camp. and they know what's up. Your Musician's are assembled at HQ. Everyone is wondering what's up. Adjutant should let the Chief bugler/Principal Musician what's happening if they didn't learn it through the Officer's Call.

Maybe an Officer's Call at the lower unit is now appropriate, or a First Sergeant's Call (NCO's get the Army moving!).

We use ATTENTION, followed by ASSEMBLY, followed by TO THE COLORS to form for Battle. The field music plays all of their appropriate pieces PLUS entertains the troops with a variety of top 10 tunes. This takes 15 to 30 minutes from Assembly of the Buglers. Dom Dal Bello has the Company movements all listed down in PIE for this. He also has Butterfield's method for forming Parade (Battle Line). In re-enacting we need to do weapons Inspections so this would follow the Battalion Formation. 5 to 10 minutes for Weapon's inspection, including firing twice while primed. I usually play all the bugle calls for this also (Fix/Unfix Bayonets, To the Rear March, Attention Battalion, even Commence Firing, and don't forget some Martial Music to entertain the troops during inspection, called 'Inspection Pieces'). Technically if you are breaking camp, the General would be sounded one hour before scheduled Step Off/Departure.

Chief Bugler (mounted) with the Brigadier can now sound By the Right/Left Flank. This is a 3 part call. 1st Part means Brigade, By the Flank. Second Part means Right/Left Face (1's or 2's step up, form column of 4's in the direction of the column march). 3rd part means MARCH, step off on your left foot. In re-enacting reality you simply give the voice commands to form column of 4's and then the bugler sounds FORWARD and off you go. I've never seen By the Left/Right Flank used properly from a Parade Formation.

However, if this is a danger imminent situation: simply have your drummer's beat the LONG ROLL. Within 5 minutes (now THAT is a LONG roll) ALL men should have knocked down the camp, gotten all of the gear on, and formed in column of 4's ON THE ROAD for road march. Can't tell you how many times this happened in the Civil War. Standard Campaign procedure for getting on the road again.

Infantry: A Typical Morning In Camp Routine by the Bugle: (times are relative)

5:45 Assembly of the buglers troops hurl vindictive comments, cups, and shoes at the bugler

5:58 Assembly men fall into company ranks

6:00 Reveille begin the morning roll call count

all buglers should play this together in concert!

6:30 Fatigue Call for water, fire wood, policing camp, cooking

Sunrise: Flag Raising Ceremony (To The Colors)

7:00 Breakfast call marks formal Breakfast time

7:30 First Sergeants Call turn in roll call reports to adjutant,

7:31 Officer's Call (PLAN)


8:15 Attention leathers, 15 minute warning, infantry first call

8:28 Assembly men fall into company ranks

8:35 Drill Call companies march to battalion/brigade drill grounds, the call should be played by the bugler from the parade ground itself

If this call is "To the Colors" then you are forming on the Color Line for BATTLE.

10:00 Recall dismissal from drill or fatigue

End of Reenactment Battle: (non-historical....)

Cease Fire (stop fighting)

Church Call (Parley/Truce Call)

Officer's to take their place in line after firing (form up)

Assembly of the buglers (bring the soloists into a group)

Taps (homage to the valiant)

Church Call (Parley/Truce to return the 'hits' to ranks)

Unit Call + Assembly to gather the 'detached' troops back with their respective battalion

Or Unit Call + To the Colors.. .rally on the unit flag in battle line to return to camp