Coldest temp?

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

lelliott19

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Mar 15, 2013
Messages
6,475
Hello @VeronicaLake12 and welcome to Civil War Talk - the best place on the internet for Civil War discussion.

Sit tight and someone will be along with an answer regarding the coldest temperature for an actual battle. In the meantime, you might enjoy reading about some snowball fights that occurred during the American Civil War. If you search for "snowball" you will find tons more of these stories on the forum.

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/one-of-the-biggest-snow-ball-fights-in-history.153779/
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-late-march-dalton-snowball-fight.132963/
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/civil-war-pastimes-and-the-great-snowball-battle-of-rappahannock-academy.127711/
 

Ole Miss

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Messages
3,467
Location
North Mississippi
Welcome from the Shiloh/Pittsburg Landing Forum and North Mississippi! I have a little quote from a Rebel who had 4 years experience with the weather, hope it helps you.
Regards
David

"We bivouac on the cold and hard-frozen ground, and when we walk about, the echo of our footsteps sound like the echo of a tombstone. The earth is crusted with snow, and the wind from the northwest is piercing our bones. We can see our ragged soldiers, with the sunken cheeks and famine-glistened eyes."
- Sam Watkins, Co. H., First Tennessee Regiment, December, 1864
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

luinrina

Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
2,287
Location
Germany
Greetings from Germany and welcome aboard from The Traveler's Companion and Other Notable Biographies forum! :smile:

The Battle of Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862 is said to have been quite cold. Here's an article about weather during the Civil War, and it says that
Weather records from the war were collected by the Smithsonian Institute and Army Signal Service until the creation of the Weather Bureau in 1891.
Haven't found these weather records online but maybe someone else will. :smile:
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Patrick H

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Messages
10,468
Welcome from Missouri. Honestly, I am not sure that temps could be reliably measured during the CW. I think we'd do better with anecdotal evidence about the thickness of ice on rivers and ponds, and things of that nature.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
17
Just curious if any Civil War soldiers faced the cold of what was faced at Valley Forge or Stalingrad?
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Polloco

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Messages
2,571
Location
South Texas
They say it was the snow and very cold weather that kept my Dad alive when he was wounded in Germany during WW2. It was like being packed in ice.
. Otherwise he'd have bled to death. Frostbite would cost him later though.
I'm sure soldiers from many wars faced such ordeals.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

major bill

Colonel
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Messages
16,589
Just curious if any Civil War soldiers faced the cold of what was faced at Valley Forge or Stalingrad?
The soldiers trained at Valley Forge but did not fight a battle there. If we include soldiers in winter camps, then yes, some soldiers were in winter camps during cold periods. Both the guards and prisoners of war at Camp Douglas in Chicago suffered through a particularly cold winter.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
17
The soldiers trained at Valley Forge but did not fight a battle there. If we include soldiers in winter camps, then yes, some soldiers were in winter camps during cold periods. Both the guards and prisoners of war at Camp Douglas in Chicago suffered through a particularly cold winter.
Thanks! I will research possible accounts of life at Camp Douglas.
 

archieclement

Captain
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Messages
5,188
Location
mo
Prairie Grove was fought in Dec and it was near freezing at night, wounded would crawl into haystacks for warmth

And if going by prisons, Rock Island had a hard winter also
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

zburkett

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 21, 2015
Messages
1,815
Location
Orange County, Virginia
Somewhere I have read about a picket who was found frozen to death while still standing. Here a few miles from the Wilderness/Chancellorsville battlefield we will have subzero every few years and single digit almost every year (5 day before yesterday). From reading local first hand accounts is seems that it was a little colder during the war. Unfortunately, I can't find any records with actual temperatures.
 

Polloco

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Messages
2,571
Location
South Texas
Thanks for the reply, VeronicaLake. Also my Dad had just gone through weeks of Jungle trainning. His regiment was destined for the tropic Pacific but the "brains" sent them to frozen Germany instead. I'm sure they had mixups like that back then too.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top