Meaning of phrase 'obliqued to square'

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southwindows

Cadet
Joined
Apr 12, 2018
My great-uncle wrote a poem, based on a conversation he heard between his father and some other veterans of the 77th NY Infantry, about the battle of Spotsylvania. It describes how the regiment was sent to capture some Confederate earthworks and contains these lines:

Debouched from the wood and deployed in the field
And obliqued to square with the rifle pit

Dictionaries say that ‘obliqued’ as a military term means moving on a diagonal. So I think ‘obliqued to square’ means that they were not attacking the trenches head-on but instead moving forward at an angle to the trenches. Is that right? I had not heard this phrase before and want to make sure I understand correctly.
 

Mrs. V

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 5, 2017
My great-uncle wrote a poem, based on a conversation he heard between his father and some other veterans of the 77th NY Infantry, about the battle of Spotsylvania. It describes how the regiment was sent to capture some Confederate earthworks and contains these lines:

Debouched from the wood and deployed in the field
And obliqued to square with the rifle pit

Dictionaries say that ‘obliqued’ as a military term means moving on a diagonal. So I think ‘obliqued to square’ means that they were not attacking the trenches head-on but instead moving forward at an angle to the trenches. Is that right? I had not heard this phrase before and want to make sure I understand correctly.
My son says it’s a sweeping motion, with the troops moving on the diagonal until square to the trench..
 
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southwindows

Cadet
Joined
Apr 12, 2018
The dictionaries I consulted say that in military language it’s pronounced 'ob-LIKE', as distinct from 'ob-LEEK' in general use. Then I noticed that in the movie they said 'ob-LEEK.' The dictionaries may be making things a little too neat.
 

AndyHall

Colonel
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
The dictionaries I consulted say that in military language it’s pronounced 'ob-LIKE', as distinct from 'ob-LEEK' in general use. Then I noticed that in the movie they said 'ob-LEEK.' The dictionaries may be making things a little too neat.
I learned the "ob-LIKE" version in its military context. Those things carry over for generations, so I'm inclined to think the film got the pronunciation wrong (i.e., used the more common, general usage).
 
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