Duke William Issues Battle Orders
William sat on his war-horse, and called out Rogier, whom they call De Montgomeri and said:
"I rely much on you,' said he; 'lead your men thitherward and attack them from that side.William, the son of Osbern the seneschal, a right good vassal, shall go with you and help in the attack, and you shall have the men of Boilogne and Poix and all my soldiers. Alain Fergert and Ameri shall attack on the other side; they shall lead the Poitevins and the Bretons and all the barons of Maine; and I, with my own great men, my friends and kindred, will fight in the middle throng, where the battle shall be the hottest."
The barons and knights and men-at-arms were all now armed; the foot-soldiers were well equipped, each bearing bow and sword; on their heads were caps, and to their feet were bound buskins (a foot and leg covering reaching halfway to the knee, resembling a laced half boot). Some had good hides which they had bound round their bodies; and many were clad in frocks, and had quivers and bows hung to their girdles.
The knights had hauberks and swords, boots of steel, and shining helmets; shields at their necks, and in their hands lances.
And all had their cognizances (a crest or badge worn to distinguish the bearer) so that each might know his fellow, and Norman might not strike Norman, nor Frenchman kill his countryman by mistake. Those on foot led the way, with serried ranks, bearing their bows. The knights rode next, supporting the archers from behind. Thus both horse and foot kept their course and order of march as they began, in close ranks at a gentle pace, that the one might not pass or separate from the other. All went firmly and compactly, bearing themselves gallantly.