Saturday, February 06, 2010

Ghost of Winter Past

I thought since so many of us (myself included) are snowed in, I would post a few snow-related stories from the war. I hope you enjoy.

“We have plenty of snow here and the soldiers appear to enjoy themselves finely snowballing each other. Penders Brigade & Greggs had a powerful time yesterday. Both parties held their ground. It imitates a battle as much as anything I ever saw.” Lt. Burwell T. Cotton, 34th North Carolina Troops, Feb. 25, 1863, Fredericksburg, VA.

“It is mighty cold Weather here for the last 3 or 4 days there has been a very good deal of snow here the last week the mountain is white with it now the Wind blows cold from it the mountains looks so pretty and White” Benjamin and W. H. Freeman, 44th North Carolina Troops, Feb. 19, 1864, Camp on the “Rapid Ann”

“I am sorry that I haven’t any thing new or interestin to write. I will write a bout the weather. It is very rough and has been for sore time and it seems like it will continue so, for it is raining and sleating and snow occasionally and the mud is from shoo top to knee deep.” Harrison H. Hanes, 4th North Carolina State Troops, Feb. 1, 1862, Manassas, Virginia.

“This morning at 4 o’clock we were waked up by the pleasant sound of the long roll. We were ordered to get ready to march. It is very cold, snow nine inches deep.” Louis Leon, 53rd North Carolina Troops, Feb. 4, 1863, Goldsboro, NC

“times is hard here and the winter is very cold here and clothing scearse. We have no clothing, only what we have on. Our houses is the forest of the woods. Our bead is the cold damp earth. Thre of us sleeps to gether.” Thomas L. Morrison, 6th North Carolina State Troops, Jan. 7, 1863, “near Frederick va”.

“I can inform you that we left the Gap Saturday the 25th at 1 o’clock and march 10 miles west and camp in Powell Valley and just before day it commenced snowing. The ground was gray at daylight. We marched at 8 o’clock and by 10 there was a good tracking of snow. At 12 the large snow commenced flying fast and the wind blew in every direction. It was bad traveling meeting the wind. I gave 50 cents to git my gun and napsachall (carried) and it saved me for I should of gave out. Some of the boys did not reach camp that nite. Wyatt and Jim Slagle like to of gave out. We camped at 4 o’clock and bilt fires. I had a good fire when the boys got there and by dark the snow was ankle deep but I can inform you I slept good and warm. I have got that pillow yet and was a great beautiful morning on Sunday. “ Green B. Woody, 58th North Carolina Troops, Oct. 29, 1862, east Tennessee.

“"Last Sunday has not been equaled for snow and wind since the furious ‘wind and snow Sunday' of 1856: our tents and huts were all wet with it. It lay on the ground about 12 inches…" John B. Alexander, 37th North Carolina Troops, Feb. 25, 1863, near Fredericksburg, Virginia.

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