New Years Day 1864 brought an intense day of suffering from the Mid-West into the Tennessee Valley, especially for Union and Confederate soldiers who were camped in tents and other structures not made for permanent living and therefore ill prepared against the cold. Times where especially tough on confederate prisoners of war, who were not used to the extreme cold. The New Year’s Day cold in Midwest was the worst in decades as a snowstorm and gale force winds struck; Minneapolis had a high of the -25 degrees; Chicago’s high was -16 degrees, with a morning low -25 degrees. The south was not spared the bitter cold, temperatures dropped from 47 degrees to -19 degrees in 21 hours at Louisville, KY. Newspaper reports from the day reported Intense suffering for Civil War soldiers and prisoners.
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