Introduction of us
Different standards
Rules of Engagement for Mounted Troops
The Challenge

Standing Orders

3rd Texas Cavalry
By Denny G. Hair, Commanding

Continued...Part 2

For thousands of years, professional soldiers have entered into competitive competition in order to further their own prowess. They have done so with the military bearing that is associated with the proficiencies necessary to wield the weapons of combat. We do so as mounted equestrians for the sheer pleasure of exercising ourselves mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Furthermore, mounted combat, even in reenactment, takes a commitment very similar to the commitment required to scale the mountain. We must prepare beforehand to ensure that the tack in good order, the horse is trained and the combatant is mentally and physically ready. Most importantly, the safety of the participants must be considered in both planning and execution. Objectives must be clear, orders understood and the combatants prepared. Even, when possible, maneuvers imperative to be executed for the day should have previously been thought through, planned out and rehearsed.

During the Civil War, drill was a part of everyday life. If it wasn't being practiced on the drill field, as a whole, it was being taught to those who would have to teach others. The professional soldiers had to train the conscripts and volunteers in many phases of combat with little time to do so. However, drill as a training tool has no purpose unless it has direction. Drill for the sake of drill has little purpose other than that of a performance for others as one might do in a parade or exhibition. It must have both a goal and a purpose. In war that purpose is clear as drills are used simply as a means to teach the whole to engage the enemy and inflict as many casualties on him before the enemy can inflict them on you.


For the professional soldier or we as mounted historians, drill is used as a means to sharpen skills critical to maneuver on a field of battle and accomplish objectives. The military bearing achieved by drill used for these purposes becomes a proper tool to become skillful with. The proficiencies we acquire from repetitions of drill prepare us to deal with conflict and adversity whether we are reenacting or living our everyday lives.

Our hobby affords us both a personal and collective challenge, ones taken right out of the pages of history. In Reenacting, these challenges have little to do with being better than another or group but much more to do with an inward accomplishment that a mountain climber gets when he has reach the top. It matters little whether someone else has arrived there before you as that is not the point. It doesn't even matter if someone else had gotten there more quickly. It only matters that the climber reach the top and accomplished his goal. Thus achieving the proficiency of the individual coincides with the goals of the group as he works for the betterment of the whole. Simply stated, each much master the skills required as the whole cannot function without the individual. A single cavalryman cannot take nor hold an objective by himself.

In conclusion, much has been said of competition and to sum it up I will quote from a professional soldier and accomplished cavalryman who believed in challenge of achievement and obtaining the military bearing for the purpose of self betterment. He wrote, "Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base."

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Denny G. Hair

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