If the attack is successful and the enemy retires either before the demoralizing influence of the last steady advance, or broken by actual assault, the position he occupied is quickly as sumed by the artillery and a heavy fire brought to bear on the retreatinq troops. The reserve cavalry, which by this time has been brought up from the rear, and probably posted on the weaker flank is now launched in pursuit ac companied by horse-artillery, the superior mo bility of both rendering their use peculiarly well suited to this service. The commander of the troops would move fonvard from his station, and take his post upon, the position lately occupied by the enemy, for further direc tion of the movements. The infantry meantime would recover from its first confusion, reform its ranks broken by the assault, and then fur nish front its freshest troops, in all probability the reserves, a force to aid in the pursuit. The field-batteries will also pugh forward and harass the enemy with their fire, when he gets out of range of the position or becomes masked in /us retreat by the interposing troops in pursuit.
If, on the other hand, the final assault of the position has been unsuccessful, the attacking force must retire, covered, in open ground by the cavalry. and artillery, in close ground by the Ledst disorganized portion of the infantry supported by the artillery. The latter arm now plays an important part. It must run every risk to enable the retreat to be safely effected, until a rearguard can be organized to protect the movement. With this view, the first posi ticrn where a stand can be made close to the field of action must be taken up by the fresh est of the infantry, and the guns must be posted in such manner as not only to support the in fadtry, but further to cover all the necessary dispositions for conducting the retreat in good order.
Should a commander of a force of the three arms decide to stand on the defensive, he should take up the position most suitable for his purpose without delay, as the superiority to be attained by this course of action must result in great measure from the advantages attend ant upon choice of ground. A good position should be such, from a tactical point of view, that the different arms could be disposed for defense in the manner most suitable to their action and that there should be facilities for concealing their strength, composition and posts from the view of the enemy, and ofpreserving them more or less from his direct fire during the attack. It is also of the highest import ance that the front of any position selected for defense should be clear for view and fire, as should also be the flanks, unless they rest on impassable obstacles.
The first stage of the defense which was commenced with the reconnaissance of the enemy would thus comprise the selection and occupation of the position by, the defenders, as well as the advanced action, if any, of the ar tillery, already alluded to. Upon the selection of the ground most suitable for the artillery of the main position, will in great measure de pend the exact trace of the fighting line for the infantry, the positions for the guns so much depending upon the circumstances of each case, and more especially upon the configuration of the ground. The guns of the position should, however, if possible, be so placed as to bring the enemy's columns under fire at long range, and hence they ought to command every distant approach. They should also be able to pour a concentrated fire upon the probable positions which will be assumed by the attacking artil lery, and be stationed so as to sweep the ground in front of the position from the earliest to the latest moment of attack. The defense of the flanks in the case of large forces must be ape daily provided for.
It would, therefore, appear that, unless the ground is peculiarly favorable for posting guns in flanking positions, where without being ex posed to enfilade they can bring a cross fire to bear upon the main attack, and a flanking one to protect the immediate front, the required conditions can only be fulfilled by the guns being placed in the front line and preferably at the salients, should an irregular contour mark the front of the position. The general distribution of the infantry would probably be in three lines; the first or fighting line of de fense, the special supports, and the reserves. If time for hasty fortification is permitted some sort of entrenchment should be always prepared for the batteries, as even a low para pet of earth gives protection to the gunners. Great care should, however, be taken that the newly broken earth is concealed or covered in such a manner from the enemy's view, that it shall not serve as a mark for their artillery more distinct than would otherwise be presented by their guns alone. Shelter-trenches may also be prepared for the infantry in the fighting and supporting lines. Neither the places pre pared for the batteries nor the shelter-trenches should be occupied by the guns or troops till the proper moment for action arrives.