Fact Sheet - Kentucky's Climate During the Civil War
Glen Conner
State Climatologist Emeritus for Kentucky
 
The many hardships, privations, and disruptions endured by Kentuckians during the Civil War were exacerbated by the extremely wet and dry spells of Kentucky's climate. These weather conditions are known because the Smithsonian Institution was collecting climate data during the war years. The Smithsonian's climate network was created in 1847. Seven years later, it had observers reporting from Kentucky and each of the other thirty states. By 1860, the�Smithsonian Institution�had supplanted the Army's network as the primary climatic data collection agency for the United States. During the Civil War,�ten stationsreported from Kentucky. Springdale, the Army Post at Newport, and Pine Grove reported for the entire period. The other seven stations reported for shorter periods. These records present a description of the daily weather in central Kentucky and information about the hardships that it imposed.

The weather in Kentucky on the dates of the major battles has been summarized. Those battles are listed below. Click on the battle to view its weather summary.

1861 - The First Year� 19 September :�Battle of Barbourville
21 October :�Battle of Camp Wildcat
8-9 November :�Battle of Ivy Mountain
17 December :�Battle of Rowlett's Station
27 December :�Battle of Sacramento

1862 - The Second Year
10 January :�Battle of Middle Creek
19 January :�Battle of Mill Springs
July :�Morgan's First Raid
29-30 August :�Battle of Richmond
14-17 September :�Battle of Munfordville
8-9 October :�Battle of Perryville
21 October :�Goose Creek Salt Works Destruction
23-28 December :�Morgan's Christmas Raid

1863 - The Third Year�
July :�Morgan's Indiana-Ohio Raid

1864 - The Fourth Year�
25 March :�Battle of Paducah
11-12 June :�Battle of Cynthiana

1865 - The Last Four Months�