Prince Kraft writes: "No battle field is a tabula rasa, for in the most exposed country there are depressions. If strong skirmishing lines of infantry can advance directly over a country devoid of cover, cavalry can undoubtedly do the like, if by making use of the lie of the ground they can gain the enemy's flank. A skilled cavalry leader will thus undoubtedly find an opportunity to get close to the enemy." Having arrived at this more advanced position, say from 500 to 1,000 yards, according to the formation of the ground, the nearer the better, the most favorable moment to assail the flanks of the attacking infantry would probably be immediately before the last belt of the fighting line, and before the main body had re-enforced them, as they are preparing for their last united rush, and as their supports are doubling up to join them.

At this moment the men would be to some extent out of breath, their attention would be fixed on the point about to be attacked, and their flanks would be neglected. Cavalry should then descend upon them at the utmost speed that can be extracted from the horses, with a good interval from knee to knee. If there is only one squadron, one troop should take the flank or fighting line, while the other throws itself upon the support. As the distance to be covered in the open will probably be not more than from 200 to 400 yards, they will be exposed to fire, supposing none of the ground is undulating, for fifteen to thirty seconds when at full speed. As they close on the infantry neither the supports nor those in rear of them or their artillery will dare to fire, on account of their own men. If the infantry run to get into small squares, as is most likely, the cavalry must endeavor to catch them before they assemble. If they get together it may be too late for the cavalry to stop. They must then throw themselves upon them and trust to the supporting squadron to complete the attack.

Although it is rare that a battle field is on such ground that there are no undulations to afford shelter for cavalry in an advanced position, this may be the case, and if so the enemy's infantry attack must be allowed to take place, but even then, by cavalry showing itself on the flanks for a moment, infantry would get together and afford a better mark for fire, and the progress of the attack would be delayed. The very appearance of cavalry frequently frightens infantry into masses. If the ground was too much exposed for the charge, men might be dismounted, with their carbines, at a safe distance to assist the infantry. If mounted infantry were at hand, they would be utilized in the same way, and the machine guns of the cavalry would also pour in their volleys. If the enemy's attack is successful, cavalry must then advance on their flanks and take its chance, and if necessary sacrifice itself to give its own infantry time to rally. If it is unsuccessful, the cavalry must be ready to take every favorable opportunity of molesting its broken ranks.

Speaking of Mars-la-Tour, Prince Kraft says: "During the battle a German infantry brigade was forced to retire with heavy loss, and ran some danger of being annihilated by the pursuing enemy. But the First Dragoons of the Guards threw themselves on the pursuers. The enemy's infantry massed round the eagles and ceased to press on, while the thin ranks of our infantry were able to rally, and our guns were saved and brought into position. The losses were heavy; half a regiment of cavalry (250 horses) were sacrificed in order to save the brigade." At Waterloo a French division of infantry fled before three regiments of dragoons (the Union Brigade). The Royal Dragoons and the Inniskillings in first line, the Scots Greys on their left rear, the whole under Sir William Ponsonby, acting in support of the Highland Infantry Brigade, were awaiting the attack of the whole of the 1st French Division under Gen. Alix. The three Scotch regiments threw into them a concentrated fire, and as they were staggered by the shock Ponsonby gave the order to advance. Passing through the Highlanders, the Greys having come up into line, the three regiments charged the leading portion of the French column, which yielded, and those in rear were hurled back.

The dragoons having the advantage of the descent of the hill appeared to mow down the mass, the Greys on the left pressed on through the supporting brigade of the French, while the Royals drove back the right, giving no time for fire. Many threw down their arms, while hundreds of prisoners were hurried off to the rear of the line. At the same time the Inniskillings forced their way through the center, when the remainder of the French division broke and fled.

It may be said that this took place before the introduction of the rifle, and is therefore no example, but it took place within the range of the weapon then in use, and at that distance it was equally effective. The celebrated charge of Bredow's brigade at Vieuville (Mars-la-Tour) also shows what an energetic attack may do. It had become necessary to demand a sacrifice from the cavalry for the good of the army, to enable Prince Frederick Charles, with only 24,000 infantry, to hold in check Bazaine's army of 180,000 until his own main body came up. Bredow's cavalry brigade consisted of six squadrons of the 7th Cuirassiers and the 16th Uhlans. They were ordered to make a breach in the front of the 16th French Army Corps.

The six squadrons advanced in column, the cuirassiers leading, when they received the word to change direction to the right, then to form line, which was done under heavy fire. The cuirassiers getting into line first, charged at once, the 16th following in echelon. In a moment the batteries, vomiting flames, were reached with a loud hurrah, and the gunners cut down at their guns, when the whole brigade, which had now got into one line, charged the long lines of infantry in rear, who received them with a heavy fire from their chassepots. These lines, too, were broken through, and the main object of the charge was attained, but, carried away by the ardor of the combat, they charged and took the mitrailleuses, when the French cuirassiers, with a dragoon brigade in support, come down upon them, and compelled them to fall back. This they did, having to force their way back through the enemy's masses of infantry with enormous loss. The object, however, was gained, and the attack of the French corps checked and never resumed. The cavalry division covers the advance of the whole army, and is a day or two in front of it. It conceals and guards the army, while finding out the movements of the enemy.