Morgan's Christmas Raid

On 23 December 1862, Confederate Brigadier General Morgan began his Christmas raid. He destroyed the railroad bridge north of Munfordville in Hart County and burned the two large railroad trestles on Muldraugh's Hill in Hardin County about four miles north of Elizabethtown on December 28th. They then withdrew to Tennessee. The railroad was closed for five weeks.

Springdale Kentucky Weather
23- 28 December 1862
During the
Morgan's Christmas Raid

In mid-December, the rains returned and finally filled the ponds again. On the 20th and 21st of December 1862, Eliza Lawrence of Springdale in Jefferson County reported that it had been "spitting snow" with morning temperature at 22°F and 26°F. By the time the Confederate cavalry began their raid into Kentucky on 23 December 1862, the wind was blowing from the southwest and the dry bulb temperature was 50°F and the wet bulb was 47°F producing a relative humidity of about 80% at 7 a.m. The overcast sky persisted during the day holding the 2 p.m. temperature to only 61°F and the 9 p.m. temperature to 54°F. The next day, Christmas Eve, the overcast sky prevailed again and the temperature range was held from 52°F to 57°F. The winds were calm in the morning but during the afternoon a fresh breeze from the south-southwest began. About 4 a.m. on Christmas morning, rain began and the showers continued the rest of the day. As a result the temperature of 54°F at 7 a.m. rose only to 60°F by 2 p.m. The rain showers also kept the relative humidity at 89%, typically high humidity of a rainy day. The rain total for the day was 0.47 inch. The overcast, high humidity, and the fresh breeze from the southwest continued into the 26th of December with a low temperature of 55°F at 7 a.m. The rain showers ended about 11 a.m. after another 1.52 inches had fallen. That morning the Confederate cavalry had attacked the Upton depot and burned a bridge between Munfordville in Hart County and Upton in Hardin County. As they moved northward up the railroad tracks burning cross ties and telegraph poles, the temperature warmed only to 59°F by 2 p.m. with the relative humidity still at 89%. Those conditions remained essentially unchanged at 9 p.m. During the night a cold front passed and by morning (27 December) the temperature had dropped to 35°F with calm winds and relative humidity at 91%. A very light breeze blew from the north-northeast and the temperature was 52°F during the cavalry's attack on Elizabethtown in Hardin County. By 9 p.m., it was 45°F and cooling rapidly as the sky began to clear. The next morning (28 December 1862), 30°F was the recorded low under a clear sky with calm winds. The Confederates burned the trestles north of Elizabethtown that Sunday. At 2 p.m., the temperature was 53°F and the relative humidity was 67% with a gentle breeze from the south-southwest. That night the cavalry camped on the banks of the Rolling Fork River that was indeed rolling from the runoff of the earlier rains. By the morning of the 29th of December, the temperature was at 41°F under a sky that was still clear as the cavalry began its egress from Kentucky.