Monday, April 5, 2010

The North-Easter

April 4 and 5, 1864 saw what we like to call a Nor-Easter. Heavy rain, wind and if the season is right, snow. Well the soldiers of the Army of the Potomac got a little bit of it all.

From Lt. Col. Theodore Lyman, of Meade's staff (From "Meade's Army", edited by David W. Lowe)
"Rain all night and today worse than ever, a perfect type of a north-easter; cold & windy & wet. Took a ride, when it let up a little, and saw the Blue Ridge covered with snow. Muddy Run was running full with red water, and the Hazel River had swept away it's bridge, though the pontoons at Welfords [ford] held fast."

Austin Fenn, of the 10Th Vermont wrote to his wife, "Today is Tuesday and I will write a few lines to you it has been raining and snowing ever since yesterday noon. It is the worst time I ever see out here to get around."

Others complained about the rain and mud and wind. But the real complaints would begin in a day or two. The Hazel River bridge was not the only one to get swept away. A number of bridges on the Orange and Alexandria Rail road were lost. And while there was plenty of food in the camps, what was lost for a number of days was just as important to the soldiers, their mail.

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