During his first sortie of the Civil War, Confederate Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest was raiding western Kentucky hoping to obtain horses, supplies, and recruits. On 27 December 1861, a young female Southern sympathizer informed him that Major Murray's U.S. cavalry regiment was occupying Sacramento in McLean county. Forrest attacked at a full gallop and quickly routed them. Forrest pursued them in a running battle that covered over five miles.
The previous day had an overcast sky that accompanied the 0.21 inch rain and produced an afternoon high of 63°F. An apparent cold front had passed because the sky was clear as E.N. Woodruff, a Druggist in Louisville in Jefferson county, made his 7 a.m. observations this Friday (27 December). The temperature had fallen during the night to 21°F with a gentle breeze from the west. The barometric pressure was 30.084 inches and rising and the relative humidity was 80%. By 2 p.m., the temperature reached only 31°F under a clear sky, the gentle winds continued from the west, relative humidity had fallen to 52%, and the barometer was 30.086 inches. To the west at Sacramento, the sunshine must have flashed from the cavalry's sabres during the battle.