Contention is the natural state of politics and of war. Yet, now is the season when talk of peace and goodwill begins to spread across the political landscape like snow blankets much of the United States. How do we diffuse the passion of battle to harmonize contention and goodwill?
In frays past, chilled ammunition gave lighthearted respite to some Southern troopers.
When late January of 1863 dropped 2 feet of snow on the army, Texan rose against Texan, who rose against Arkansan who rose against Georgian until (supposedly) 9,000 soldiers engaged in combat by snow in the Rappahannock Valley. General James Longstreet (supposedly) reacted by banning such fights in the Army of Northern Virginia.
The next winter, early in 1864, in the vicinity of Dalton, Georgia, the Army of Tennessee practiced its arms in snowball campaigning. Even commanders mounted their steeds to lead the troops into battle. According to one account, Colonel Rutherford (Kershaw’s Brigade) “was a great lover of the sport.”
While it may be hard to picture today’s legislative leaders determining win, lose or draw on the snowball battlefield, the very idea does elicit a chuckle … and a hankering for hot chocolate and snowballs of another kind.