Morgan's First Raid

In July 1862, Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan brought his cavalry into Kentucky to disrupt, to get horses, and to recruit new soldiers. He covered more than a thousand miles in about three and a half weeks, briefly captured seventeen towns, and returned to Tennessee with about 300 more men than when he started.

Nicholasville Kentucky Weather
July 1862
During the
Morgan's First Raid

On Friday July 4th 1862, Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan's cavalry began a rather dry and dusty soireĆ© through Tompkinsville in Monroe County, Glasgow in Barren County, Lebanon in Marion County, Harrodsburg in Mercer County, Cynthiana in Harrison County, Winchester in Clark County, Richmond in Madison County, and Somerset in Pulaski County. He left Kentucky on 28 July. The weather was very cooperative with conditions for the cavalry to operate. There were seven rain days: the 10th, 15th, 16th, 17th (the day Cynthiana fell), 19th (the day Winchester fell), 23rd, and 26th. Within that twenty-four day period there were 2.54 inches of rain. However, only three of those rain days had more than a half an inch. At the Jessamine Female Institute in Nicholasville in Jessamine County, President Joseph McDowell Mathews recorded 7 a.m. July temperatures that ranged from 65°F to 77°F, 2 p.m. temperatures that ranged from a cool 76°F on the 17th to 90°F on the 9th. The winds were from the southwest on most afternoons. There were only two afternoons with an overcast sky (the 16th and 17th) and only one other afternoon with more than half the sky covered (the 18th). The only time relative humidity reached 100% was during the evening of the 17th and the morning of the 18th when fog would have been expected. The afternoon relative humidity rose above 70% on only 4 other days and reached a low of 38% on the afternoon of the 11th. The lowest pressure was 28.88 inches at 9 p.m. on the 12th and the highest was 29.36 inches on the 4th. Altogether, July was not an extremely hot and humid month. It was a mostly good month for cavalry operations.