Hiking the Battlefields in the Cold

There is something about hiking in the cold–the real cold, bone-snapping cold–that brings on emotions unlike those that simmer in spring or summer.

Fall offers its own glorious cups of colors and perceptions, but when the wind chill feels like zero or less (Fahrenheit, for most Americans) and the elements demand layers and long coats and doubled-up gloves, something primal, Jack-Londonesque emerges.

I trekked Stuart’s Hill this morning, and though the Battle of Second Manassas took place in August, I was reminded again of troops elsewhere tramping through snow, men without scarves or hats,  boys with no socks or shoes.

What I did for entertainment and exercise, they did for survival.