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The Revolutionary War transformed by the piles of snow, armies buried

Wednesday, December 23rd 2020, 6:00 am - The Patriots disbanded the Tories relatively easily, just prior to a 30-hour snowstorm. On Christmas Day 1775, soldiers struggled to fight in snow 15 inches (38.1 cm) deep.

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The Snow Campaign was one of the first major military operations of the American Revolutionary War in the southern colonies. In December of 1775, the Patriot army attempted to surprise the enemy by attacking Tory camps, despite the presence of chilly, snowy weather.

Beginning on Dec. 23, 1775, and continuing for a week, the Revolutionary War Snow Campaign in the Carolinas and Georgia was marked by a 24-inch snowfall (60.96 cm) at the American camp at Reedy River, N.C. The name of the campaign came about after the Patriots were impeded by a very heavy snowfall.

An army of up to 3,000 Patriot militia under Col. Richard Richardson marched against Loyalist recruiting centres in South Carolina, flushing them out and frustrating attempts by the opposition to organize.

They disbanded the Tories relatively easily, just prior to a 30-hour snowstorm. Richardson reported on Christmas Day 1775 his men struggled in snow 15 inches (38.1 cm) deep.

After marching through this for eight days, a thaw set in, along with sleet and rain, melting the snow and creating chilling floods in nearby creeks. Many in the expedition suffered frostbite before this so-called Snow Campaign ended.

On today's podcast, Chris Mei discusses the conditions that led to the Snow Campaign, the snow that occurred during and how it changed the outcome of some the key battles during this timeline of the American Revolutionary War.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.

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