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easily acquired, and should be frequently compared with an accurate standard in the Adjutant's or Serjeant Major's possession. The length of the plummet is to be measured from the point of suspension to the centre of the ball." Revised Edition of the Field Exercise, by the late Sir Henry Torrens.

POINT BLANK. A piece of ordnance is said to be laid point blank for an object, when the axis of the gun, and the object, are in the same plane, which may be either parallel, or inclined, to the Horizon. Hence, the point blank range of a piece of Ordnance, or its range at no elevation, is the distance from the muzzle of the gun to the first graze measured upon a plane passing under the wheels, and parallel to the axis of the bore. British Gun

ner.

POLYGON. Plane geometrical figures are called Polygons when they have more than four sides, and they receive specific names, according to the number of their sides and angles. Thus, a Pentagon is a Polygon of five sides, a Hexagon of six, a Heptagon of seven, an Octagon of eight, a Nonagon of nine, a Decagon of ten, an Undecagon of eleven, and a Dodecagon of twelve sides. All Fortifications are built upon a Polygon, either regular or irregular.

PONIARD. sharp edge.

A small pointed dagger, with a very

PONTOON. The Pontoons now in use, invented by Colonel Pasley, R.E., are a species of canoe, formed of wood, covered with copper, usually twenty feet long, two feet broad, and twenty inches deep.

Each Pontoon is formed of two demicanoes, each of which is divided across by a sheet of copper, so that if one part is damaged by a shot or other accident, the whole canoe will not be filled, and only one-fourth of its buoyancy will be lost.

The pontoons are decked with wood or copper; each elementary portion consists of a raft formed of two canoes placed about ten feet apart, carrying the superstructure for the adjoining bay, and two anchors, which are cast head and stern.

In constructing a Bridge of Pontoons, the rafts are rowed down the stream in subdivisions of four rafts, six

men and a Non-Commissioned Officer being placed in the management of each raft, the leading rafts of each Subdivision keeping in line, and at such a distance as to allow room for the remainder of the subdivision to form on their right and left.

Each raft casts one anchor before it arrives at the intended position of the bridge, dropping down the stream and casting the other anchor when in the proper situation; the rafts are then connected by dividers, the baulks or cross beams laid across, and the chesses or flooring being placed on the pontoons, the Bridge is completed.

With expert assistants and a well arranged train of pontoons, this operation will generally occupy about fifteen minutes.

PORTFIRE. A composition of saltpetre, sulphur, and mealed powder, which being thoroughly incorporated by rubbing between the hands, and passing through a fine hair sieve, is driven into a case of strong paper, to serve as a match for firing Guns.

POST. Any spot of ground occupied by Troops.

POSTERN. Is a passage constructed under the rampart, serving as a communication from the town into the ditch.

POUCH. The Pouch is a case of strong black leather supplied to every Infantry Soldier by the Colonel of the Regiment, for the purpose of carrying his ammunition. It is lined with tin, and being covered by a flap, effectually preserves the cartridges from the effects of weather.

PRACTICABLE. A term used to express the possible accomplishment of an object. Hence, a practicable breach, &c.

PRESIDENT. The President of a General Court Martial should not be under the Rank of a Field Officer, unless where such an Officer is not to be obtained; but in no case can the President be under the rank of a Captain.

The President of a Garrison, District, or Regimental Court Martial, must not be under the rank of a Captain; he is directed by the War Office Circular, No. 658. to take the place of an Officiating Deputy Judge Advocate, and it is his duty to take care, before the Court is sworn, that the Prisoner has had notice of the intention to bring forward previous convictions against him on his trial.

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PRISONERS OF WAR.

PRICES OF COMMISSIONS.

The following are

the established Prices of Commissions-published by Authority.

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PRIME. To put powder in the pan of a firelock, or vent of a piece of ordnance.

PRISM. A geometrical figure or solid, bounded by several planes, whose bases are polygons, equal, parallel, and alike situated.

PRISONERS OF WAR. Are the Prisoners who are captured during a siege, or after an engagement; they are deprived of their liberty until regularly exchanged, or dismissed on their parole.

PRIVATE. The term applied to the rank of a common Soldier in the British Army. He receives a daily pay of one shilling, and on Home Service, an allowance of One penny per diem in lieu of beer.

After a service of fourteen years in the Infantry, the Soldier's pay is increased two-pence per diem.

PROJECTILES. Are bodies, which being put in motion by any force, are propelled forward from the spot where they received their impetus; such are shot or shells discharged from Artillery, a stone hurled from a sling, an arrow from a bow, &c.

PROMOTION. Implies the elevation of an individual to a higher rank than the station he previously occupied.

No Officer can be promoted to the rank of a Captain unless he has been two years an effective Subaltern, nor to the rank of Major until he has been six years in the Service.

All applications regarding Regimental Appointments and Promotions are to be transmitted to the Military Secretary at the Horse Guards, through the Commanding Officer; or if the Regiment is abroad, through the General Officer Commanding at the Station.

PROOF. Proof of Powder, is a trial of its strength and quality.

Proof of Ordnance. All species of Ordnance undergo several kinds of proof before they are received into His Majesty's Service.

They are gauged to their several dimensions, internal and external, viz. :—the coincidence of the axes of the bore and metal, and the position of the chamber, vent, trunnions, &c.

They are fired with a regulated charge of powder and shot, and afterwards searched to discover if any irregularities, or holes, are produced by the firing.

An endeavour is made, by means of engines, to force water through them; and they are examined internally by means of light reflected from a mirror. British Gunner.

PROVINCIAL OFFICERS. All Colonels commissioned by His Majesty, or by the General Commandingin-Chief in North America, when employed on any duty in conjunction with General Officers or Colonels serving by Commissions from any of the Civil Authorities in that

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Country, have precedence of such others, although the Commissions be of elder date. And all Officers below the rank of Colonel, being commissioned by His Majesty, have precedence of such Provincial Officers of equal rank, though their commissions be of elder date.

PROVOST MARSHAL. An Officer appointed in every Army, to secure prisoners confined on charges of a general nature, to preserve good order and discipline, to use every possible means of preventing crime, by frequently visiting those places at which breaches of order and discipline are likely to be committed. He takes cognizance of all Followers and Retainers of the Camp, as well as of the Soldiers of the Army.

The Provost Marshal is entrusted with authority to inflict summary punishment on any Soldier or Individual connected with the Army, whom he may detect in the actual commission of any Offence against order and discipline; but a recourse to the exercise of this part of his authority must be limited to the necessity of the case, when the prevalence and frequent commission of any particular offence may call for an immediate example. Whatever may be the crime, the Provost Marshal must see the Offender commit the act for which summary punishment may be inflicted; or, if the Provost Marshal or his Assistants should not see the Offender actually commit the crime, but that sufficient proof of his guilt can be established, a report must be made to the General Officer Commanding.

Officers who impede the Provost Marshal, or any other Officer legally exercising Authority, or refuse to assist him, when requiring their aid in the execution of his duty, are liable to be cashiered. A Soldier guilty of this offence is liable to punishment by the sentence of a General Court Martial.

By the Articles of War, no Provost Marshal or Officer Commanding a Guard can refuse to receive and detain any Prisoner committed to his charge by any Officer or Non-Commissioned Officer belonging to His Majesty's Forces, who must however at the same time deliver a written charge against the Prisoner, signed by himself. PULLEY. Vide Mechanics.

PUNISHMENT. A District or Garrison Court Martial in awarding Corporal Punishment against an Offender,

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