Weather During the War


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

jackt62

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Messages
3,255
Location
New York City
#4
Maybe it's not "extreme" weather, but federal forces en route to Fort Donelson in relatively mild weather, were suddenly caught up in a snowstorm on the eve of the battle. Many of the troops had discarded their overcoats and blankets along the march and were therefore unprepared for the change in weather and temperature.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
1,070
#5
On Jan. 20-23, 1863 - the Burnside Mud March - was it a nor’easter? Some say yes. It was reported that 3.2” of rain fell in that storm in Washington DC.

There are some interesting and informative threads here:

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/tornadoes-during-the-civil-war.121825/
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/notable-civil-war-weather-events.82667/
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/“expedition-hurricane”-of-1861.138436/

Of course I suppose many times they were not aware of the weather event until it was upon them.

One other weather interest - the ice storm that nearly cost General George Henry Thomas his command at Nashville.
 

Cavalry Charger

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
5,967
#6
On Jan. 20-23, 1863 - the Burnside Mud March - was it a nor’easter? Some say yes. It was reported that 3.2” of rain fell in that storm in Washington DC.

There are some interesting and informative threads here:

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/tornadoes-during-the-civil-war.121825/
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/notable-civil-war-weather-events.82667/
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/“expedition-hurricane”-of-1861.138436/

Of course I suppose many times they were not aware of the weather event until it was upon them.

One other weather interest - the ice storm that nearly cost General George Henry Thomas his command at Nashville.
I've bookmarked your post as weather has always been something that has fascinated me.

Of course, they did not have the state of technology that we have now in order to predict the weather, and even that is questionable at times still in this day and age :confused:

I think weather balloons were one way of predicting the weather back then. How useful they were I don't know :unsure:
 
Last edited:

ebg12

Corporal
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
444
#9
https://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Weather_During_the_Civil_War

It says weather at the time was in the period of the end of a little ice age, where extreme flux between hot and cold and wet and dry was happening in the country.

here is some of what it says about the effect of these fluxuation:
Weather could not only hinder battles, but could also grant success to risky maneuvers. Stonewall Jackson's famous flanking attack at the Battle of Chancellorsville (1863) was a prime example of weather working in an army's favor. As historian Robert K. Krick has pointed out, the element of surprise, which contributed to Jackson's success, could not have been achieved without the preceding two days of spring showers. The rain had wet the road and prevented a column of dust from giving away the men as they marched on their unsuspecting foes.

My own thoughts:

Lets not forget the delay Hooker had with the engineers building across the river during the campaign because of the weather.
 
Last edited:

Lubliner

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
1,121
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
#10
A twister coming down and striking an encampment or record of some violent hurricane descending on the coastline, swallowing up land and cities, such as Charleston or Wilmington. I had an interest as well on weather patterns and began a thread asking that a project should be begun on such a gathering of information. This thread by @Robtweb1 is an excellent point for beginning such a project. The enquiring minds he speaks of hopefully could be the National Hurricane Center. I would appreciate someone who had the abilities involved with uploading data into a central bank from all points of the compass for weather observations reported stations, such as Coastal Survey, etc. Light Houses, so on... I cannot do it!
I have never read any journal from the time period, nor by reports of major hurricane conditions in cities, or the destructive touchdown of a twister.
Lubliner.
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Messages
775
Location
Blue Ridge Mountains, Jefferson County WV
#13
https://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Weather_During_the_Civil_War

It says weather at the time was in the period of the end of a little ice age, where extreme flux between hot and cold and wet and dry was happening in the country.

here is some of what it says about the effect of these fluxuation:
Weather could not only hinder battles, but could also grant success to risky maneuvers. Stonewall Jackson's famous flanking attack at the Battle of Chancellorsville (1863) was a prime example of weather working in an army's favor. As historian Robert K. Krick has pointed out, the element of surprise, which contributed to Jackson's success, could not have been achieved without the preceding two days of spring showers. The rain had wet the road and prevented a column of dust from giving away the men as they marched on their unsuspecting foes.

My own thoughts:

Lets not forget the delay Hooker had with the engineers building across the river during the campaign because of the weather.
Good points, a bigger reason may have been that Hooker had sent most of his cavalry off.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
1,070
#14
I knew I’d find the answer to my feet/frostbite question - - -

“To these, perhaps, should be added exposure to cold, as the six reported cases occurred during months when frostbite from exposure on active field service was not uncommon, although unknown amid the comparative comforts of camp and hospital life. A degree of coldness of the feet resulting from displaced blankets, which, under ordinary conditions, would have been immediately succeeded by healthy reaction, may in these devitalized cases have sufficed to determine the development of gangrenous phenomena.(+)”

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/frostbite-during-campaigning.10269/

Lots of good information here posted in 2008.
 



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