The Battle of Cynthiana

During June 1964, Brigadier General Morgans Confederate cavalry invaded from Virginia for what would be his last raid into central Kentucky. He captured Mount Sterling in Montgomery County and Lexington in Fayette County. On 11 June, he surrounded Cynthiana in Harrison County, set fire to the town, and captured over 1,300 U.S. prisoners. The Confederate force was attacked about dawn on 12 June by Brigadier General Burbridges U.S. forces and the Confederates withdrew back to Virginia.

Pine Grove Kentucky Weather
11-12 June 1864
During the
Battle of Cynthiana

By April 1864, livestock were in poor condition and farmers were turning them onto the new grass — causing the shortage of grass forage to continue into May. By June, crops were really suffering from the drought and gardens were drying up. Samuel D. Martin, M.D., wrote in his weather journal that the "rebels" had entered Winchester in Clark County on 8 June 1864. It rained and by morning (Thursday the 9th) 0.34 inch had fallen. The morning temperature was 70°F and the barometer was 28.96 inches and falling. By evening, the sky had cleared and the temperature reached 82°F and the barometer was at 28.82 inches. On morning of the 10th, the sky was cloudy with a low of 66°F with a rising barometer at 28.92 inches and wind from the north. By afternoon, the sky cleared and the temperature rose to 78°F. The barometer continued to rise to 28.98 inches and the wind shifted to the west. Dr. Martin noted that the Rebs were in Lexington in Jefferson County.

As the Confederates attacked Cynthiana in Harrison County on 11 June 1864, Dr. Martin at his farm about thirty miles to the south, entered the morning temperature as 56°F, winds from the north, and a barometer reading 29.04 inches. By afternoon, it had warmed to a cool 70°F with winds still from the north and the barometer at 29.08 inches. Before daybreak on Sunday, 12 June 1864, the U.S. forces counterattacked. The weather continued to be fair with temperature at 48°F about sunrise, the winds were still from the north and the pressure was still rising at 29.20 inches. The Confederates began their withdrawal to Virginia under clear skies.