The "Reverse Arms" and "Rest on Arms" commands are not specified in Hardee's drill manual, 'Rifle and Infantry Tactics, Revised and Improved'. These commands are however detailed in 'Infantry Tactics, Double and Single Rank', by Bvt. Major-General Emory Upton (U.S. Army).

1. Reverse, 2. Arms.

ReverseArms89. Raise the piece vertically with the right hand, advancing it slightly; grasp it with the left hand at the lower band, the forearm horizontal; at the same time grasp the small of the stock with the right hand. (Two.) Reverse the piece, the muzzle dropping to the front, the butt passing between the breast and right forearm; the right hand grasping the small of the stock at the height of the shoulder, the barrel to the front and vertical; the fingers of the left hand extended, and joined in front of the barrel, the little finger at the lower band. (Three.) Press the muzzle to the rear with the left hand, the piece inclined at an angle of forty-five degrees; steady it in this position by pressure of the right elbow against the body; carry the left hand behind the back and grasp the piece between the bands.RestOnArms

1. Rest on, 2. Arms.

91. Raise the piece vertically with the right hand, advancing it slightly, grasp it with the left hand at the lower band, the forearm horizontal; reverse it with both hands, the muzzle dropping to the front, the butt passing between the breast and the right forearm; place the muzzle upon the left toe, the barrel to the right, the left hand slipping up the stock, the back to the left. (Two.) Carry the right foot three inches to the rear; at the same time place the hands upon the butt, the right hand uppermost, the left knee slightly bent. (Three.) Incline the head toward the hands.

The use of "Reverse Arms" is specified in 'Funeral Honors', paragraphs 262-289 of the 'Regulations for the Army of the Confederate States' (1864).

Note, current reenactors tend to be better fed than our ancestors that we portray. The additional girth can make it difficult for soldiers to properly execute the "Reverse Arms" command. This should be taken into account when a detail is expected to perform this arms command.

Two additional references to "Reverse Arms" exist in the 'Manual of Instruction for the Volunteers and Militia of the Confederate States, by William Gilham' and in the 'Regulations for the Army of the Confederate States'. Both of these references are related to 'Funeral Honors' and do not provide the same level of detail regarding the movements. It is important to note that in both of these cases the arms are positioned under the left arm, while Upton's specifies the right.

Regulations for the Army of the Confederate States
ARTICLE XXIX
HONORS TO BE PAID BY THE TROOPS

278. On the appearance of the corpse, the officer commanding the escort will command,

Present-ARMS!

when the honors due to the deceased will be paid by the drums and trumpets. The music will then play an appropriate air, and the coffin will then be taken to the right, where it will be halted. The commander will next order,

1. Shoulder-ARMs! 2. BY company (or platoon), left wheel. 3. MARCH! 4. Reverse-ARMs! 5. Column, forward. 6. Guide right. 7. MARCH!

The arms will be reversed at the order by bringing the firelock under the left arm, butt to the front, barrel downward, left hand sustaining the lock, the right steadying the firelock behind the back; swords are reversed in a similar manner under the right arm.

279. The column will be marched in slow time to solemn music, and, on reaching the grave, will take a direction so as that the guides shall be next to the grave. When the centre of the column is opposite the grave, the commander will order,

Manual of Instruction for the Volunteers and Militia of the Confederate States, by William Gilham
ARTICLE XII
HONORS PAID BY THE TROOPS-INSPECTIONS-REVIEWS, ETC.

Funeral Honors (paragraph 734, pages 436-438)

On the appearance of the corpse, the officer commanding the escort will command,

Present-ARMS!

 

when the honors due to the deceased will be paid by the drums and trumpets. The music will then play an appropriate air, and the coffin will then be taken to the right, where it will be halted. The commander will next order,

 

1. Shoulder-ARMs! 2. BY company (or platoon), left wheel. 3. MARCH! 4. Reverse-ARMs! 5. Column, forward. 6. Guide right. 7. MARCH!

 

The arms will be reversed at the order by bringing the firelock under the left arm, butt to the front, barrel downward, left hand sustaining the lock, the right steadying the firelock behind the back; swords are reversed in a similar manner under the right arm.

 

The column will be marched in slow time to solemn music, and, on reaching the grave, will take a direction so as that the guides shall be next to the grave. When the centre of the column is opposite the grave, the commander will order,