The Battle of Ivy Mountain

A Confederate force under Colonel Williams had been on a recruiting trip to southeastern Kentucky. The U.S. force under Colonel Still moved south from Louisa in Lawrence County and flanked them to stop them. They engaged between Ivy Mountain and Ivy Creek in Floyd County northeast of Pikeville. The Confederates felled trees across the road and burned bridges to slow the U.S. advance. The rain that began during the night of 8 November further delayed the U.S. advance that didn't reach Pikeville until the next day. The Confederates withdrew to Virginia.

Danville Kentucky Weather
8-9 November 1861
During the
Battle of Ivy Mountain

The previous five days of relatively warm and dry weather ended on 8 November 1861. Professor Ormond Beatty at Centre College wrote that the day was clear with a fresh breeze from the southwest that allowed the temperature to reach 72°F at 2 p.m. The atmospheric pressure dropped steadily from the previous morning and by 9 p.m. on the 8th was 28.81 inches. During the night, stratus clouds produced overcast conditions, the fresh breeze from the southwest brought in moisture, and it began to rain. By 7 a.m. on 9 November, 0.548 inch of rain had fallen. The temperature had dropped to 50°F. Another 0.149 inch fell before the rain ended about 10:00 a.m. By 2 p.m., the temperature had risen only to 55°F, as the sky remained overcast. The wind had shifted and a gentle breeze blew from the northeast. The pressure was rising and had reached 28.92 inches. This apparent cold front passage produced clear skies by 9:00 p.m. and the temperature fell to 45°F. Assuming frontal movement of 15 miles per hour, this front would have brought similar weather and rain to Ivy Mountain in Floyd County during the night of 8 November and would have ended after noon on 9 November. It is no wonder that this wet, cold, and miserable night after the Battle of Ivy Mountain delayed the advance of the U.S. troops to Pikeville in Pike County.