Texas` legislation could become a rearguard action in a battle already lost for the hearts and minds of a new generation. Rearguard action by a determined minority can stop the course of history for a while. A rearguard is a part of a military force that protects it from attacks from behind, whether during an advance or a retreat. The term can also be used to describe the forces that protect the lines, such as lines of communication, behind an army.  More generally, a rearguard action may idiomatically refer to an attempt to prevent something, even though it is probably too late to be prevented; This idiomatic meaning can be applied either in a military context or in a non-military, perhaps figurative context.  A broader definition of the rearguard emerged during large-scale nation-state battles during World War I and World War II. In this regard, a rearguard is a small unit of regular or irregular forces that protects the withdrawal of more personnel (military or civilian) during a retreat by blocking, defending, delaying or disrupting the advance of enemy forces in order to gain time for rest, regrouping and reorganization. Rearguard battles can be fought in different ways, either in defense, such as defending tactically important bases or terrain, or by preemptively attacking the enemy while preparing his own offensive operations with a wasted attack.  An example of contemporary rearguard action is that of small units of the Serbian army to protect the Serbian army, its royal family and Serbian refugees from the advance of the forces of the Central Powers during their retreat through Albania and Montenegro in 1915-1916.    The type of combat in rearguard battles, which involve fighting between armies of nation-states, is usually desperate and vicious, and rearguard forces may be asked to suffer heavy casualties or even sacrifice all their combat power and personnel to the retreating forces.
  The generally accepted definition of a rearguard in military tactics was largely established in the battles of the late 19th century. Prior to the mechanization of troops, most rearguard tactics originally envisaged the use of cavalry troops.  This definition was later extended to highly mobile infantry and mechanized or armoured forces. As the rearguard of Lee`s army withdrew to Lynchburg, the rest of his army withdrew from Petersburg. The term rearguard (also rewarded, backwards) comes from the medieval custom of dividing an army into three battles or stations; Van, main (or middle) and rear.  The rear station usually followed the other stations on the march and, during a battle, usually formed the rear of the three when used in the column, or the left detachment when used in line. At Deep Creek, the rearguard turned against us and a heavy battle ensued. Once or twice, I was within reach of a pair of old cops who seemed to act as a rearguard. Combat or rearguard action is sometimes also an idiomatic term, outside of any military context.
This phrase refers to trying very hard to prevent something, even if it`s probably too late.  An example of a famous rearguard action outside the military context is the attempt of the Roman emperor Julian around 362 AD to restore paganism instead of Christianity as the state religion.  Sports journalists also use this expression.   Narrowly defined, a rearguard is a covering detachment that protects the main element of the retreating land force (main corps) or column and is responsible for performing defensive or rear movements between the main body and the enemy to prevent the latter from attacking or disrupting the movement of the main body.   No sooner had he drawn my attention to the movement than the whole body of the rearguard advanced fully and rapidly. These would be setbacks, but they would also be rearguard battles that would not last long. A rearguard is the part of a military force that protects it from attacks from behind, whether during an advance or a retreat. The term can also be used to describe the forces that protect the lines of communication behind an army.  An example from the World War I era is the rearguard action of small units of the Serbian army to protect retreating Serbian troops, the royal family and Serbian refugees from the advancing forces of the Central Powers during their retreat through Albania and Montenegro in 1915-1916.    The type of combat in rearguard battles, which involve fighting between armies of nation-states, is generally desperate and vicious, and rearguard forces may be asked to suffer heavy casualties or even sacrifice all their combat power and personnel for the benefit of retreating forces.   But the Conservatives are carrying out a classic rearguard action.