LADDERS, scaling, in the military art, are used in scaling when a place is to be taken by surprise. They are made several ways; sometimes of flat staves, so as to move about their pins and shut like a parallel ruler, for conveniently carrying thein : the French make them of several pieces, so as to be joined together, and to be capable of any necessary length: some times they are made of single ropes knot ted at proper distances, with iron hooks at each end, one to fasten them upon the wall above, and the other in the ground; and sometimes they are made with two ropes, and staves between them to keep the ropes at a proper distance, and to tread upon. When they are used in the action of scaling walls, they ought to be rather too long than too short, and to be given in charge only to the stoutest of the detachment.
The soldiers should carry these ladders with the left arm passed through the se cond step, taking care to hold them upright close to their sides, and very short below, to prevent any accident in leaping into the ditch. The first rank of each division, provided with ladders, should set out with the rest at the signal, marching re solutely with their firelocks slung, to jump into the ditch ; when they are ar rived, they should apply their ladders against the parapet, observing to place them towards the saliant angle rather than the middle of the curtain, because the enemy has less force there. Care must
be taken to place the ladders within a foot of each other, and not to give them too much nor too little slope, so that they may not be over-turned, or broken with the weight of the soldiers mounting upon them. The ladders being applied, they who have carried them, and they who come after, should mount up and rush upon the enemy sword in hand ; if he who goes first happens to be overturned, the next should take care not to be thrown down by his comrade ; but on the con trary, immediately mount himself, so as not to give the enemy time to load his piece. The success of an attack by scaling is infallible, if they mount the four sides at once, and take care to shower a number of grenades among the enemy, especially when supported by some gre nadiers and picquets, who divide the at tention and share the fire of the enemy.