"Standing Orders, Rogers' Rangers"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 11 14:18:02 UTC 2014

These 20 folksy principles of whippin' the foe have become a familiar text
in the US Army. (Read them at Wikipedia, sv "Robert Rogers' 28 'Rules of
Ranging.' ")

But the whole thing reads like a comic book paraphrase. (Compare it with
specimens of Rogers' authentic - though presumably edited - prose from the
French & Indian War, in the same article.)

By 1967, according to   http://www.rjsmith.com/rogers.html    a version of
the entire list (starting with "Don't forget nothing.") was being supplied
as good advice to US troops arriving in Vietnam. (Please, no cracks.)

The earliest ref. I find to one of the "Standing Orders" is in _Military
Review_ (April, 1964), p. 80 (attributed to General Earle Wheeler, who
credits Rogers): "Have your musket clean as a whistle, hatchet scoured,
sixty rounds of powder and ball, and be ready to march at a moment's

Though that remark may have originated in Kenneth Roberts's best-selling
_Northwest Passage_ (1937) (haven't looked, but note technical use of
"scoured"), surely the whole document did not.

Another project for Garson or Fred.

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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