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Becky Morgan
09-20-2007, 09:46 AM
Probably most of interest to those of you researching USN?Confederate Navy subjects...

http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/at1863.asp

Other years are available--just click "Hurricane Archive" when you get there. I was struck by the number of storms that recorved and completely missed the US coasts, although the outer rain bands surely affected combat areas in a couple of cases. It's hard to imagine what would have become of our troops had a Hugo or Agnes gone up the East Coast, let alone an Ivan going up the inland waterways.

redleggeddevil
09-20-2007, 12:15 PM
It is interesting to speculate as to what would have happened if a major hurricane had struck the armies during the ACW. The only comparable event I can think of is the "Battle of the Clouds" during the Philadelphia campaign of the American Revolution.

There, what some believe to have been remnants of a tropical storm or hurricane drenched both armies to such an extent that one German officer said his soldiers sank in the mud almost up to their knees.

Both armies had to break contact, their cartridges almost completely ruined. Ironically, the weather-- bad as it was-- was a blessing for the American cause, as it almost certainly spared Washington another defeat in his ill-fated campaign.

Hank Trent
09-20-2007, 12:53 PM
An example of another unexpected effect of heavy rain, though not hurricane-force by any means, was something I just read yesterday about the aftermath of Gettysburg. One hospital was located near Rock Creek, where 2,000 wounded men were lying wounded, and of course the vicinity of the creek was an advantage when getting them water. However, when it started to rain...

One wounded man wrote later:


Of course no one foresaw that the little stream which ran around us would soon overflow its banks, or doubtless more men [to attend the wounded] would have been left, at least for this emergency. As it was, the stream, swollen to an unusual height, did soon overflow its banks, and sweeping through our dismal ranks, drowned many helpless fellows before the few attendants there could get them out of the way... The overflow was probably not over two feet in depth, but to men who could not raise their heads, this, like Mercutio's wound, was enough--it sufficed. The few attendants there worked like Trojans, but it was impossible to save all, and quite a number of the more helpless ones were drowned within the range of my limited vision.

What a way to die--survive the battle of Gettysburg, be transported to safety and medical care at a hospital, and then drown because you were too weak to sit up.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

redleggeddevil
09-20-2007, 03:22 PM
What a way to die--survive the battle of Gettysburg, be transported to safety and medical care at a hospital, and then drown because you were too weak to sit up.

Hank,

I had never heard this particular report, but it doesn't surprise me too much. Gettysburg has some of the most extreme weather I have ever seen. I lived there for 5 years, and in that time saw more flash flooding than ever before or since, even here in Florida. And the streams there come up over their banks like nobody's business. Scary to be trapped in nowadays as a casual stroller, unimaginable to see the same thing as a wounded soldier.

Hank Trent
09-20-2007, 04:18 PM
Just realized I forgot to include the citation in my previous post. The quote is from "Personal Recollections of Two Visits to Gettysburg," by A. H. Nickerson, Scribner's July 1893. He was in the 8th Ohio, 2nd Corps, so I'm guessing he's talking about the 2nd corps field hospital on the Jacob Schwartz farm.

http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/moa/pageviewer?root=%2Fmoa%2Fscri%2Fscri0014%2F&tif=00030.TIF&cite=http%3A%2F%2Fcdl.library.cornell.edu%2Fcgi-bin%2Fmoa%2Fmoa-cgi%3Fnotisid%3DAFR7379-0014-4&coll=moa&frames=1&view=50

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net