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General Slade

I agree that the fact that individual companies were detached does suggest that they could be used as tactical units.  However, say you have got an eight company battalion and you detach the light company, how do you form a square with the seven remaining companies?  My guess would be that you have to re-form the seven remaining companies into eight sub-units of roughly equal strength.

For that matter, if your battalion is in line and you detach one of the flank companies you presumably have to do some shuffling about to keep the colour party in the centre of the line.