mmmm, you're right, but column isnt exclusively french, everyone marches in column for travel, lines for battle. It is a useful formation if you're in peril of a cavalry attack, there's whole maneuvers for how to turn a column into a battalion or divisional square; its amazing really!
bullets? pish posh! nothing stops the guard! *bang* urkk
seriously they did fight like that - well the french did - the british usually fought in extended line (two rows - very long) like the 93rd highlanders at the charge of the light brigade!!!!
but yeah it was a bad idea - but it was easier to defend against cavalry in this formation - and generally - enemy gunnery and guns werent that accurate...