I'm going to post this before Tim prods me to throw a new topic out.
I'm sitting here at home and it is raining, which it has been doing for, oh, about two weeks now (no, I do not live in Seattle). And it made me wonder:
How are the weather and the CW related? Are there any instances when the weather affected a battle in any way? Maybe the strategy for a battle, or the outcome of a battle? Anything weather-related you can relate?
I know, of course, about not fighting once winter set in because the roads became a mess, all those stories about mules sinking into the Virginia mud up to their ears. Mud March, and all.
I also always thought it interesting how often after a battle, especially after a heavy cannonade like at Gettysburg, it rained or thunderstormed. I've never heard whether the two were connected or not--anybody know?
And I don't know if acoustic shadows are related to the weather at all, but that's kind of interesting.
I know how the weather and the Civil War are related for me: because of the unending wet weather here, I've been reading Ole's Comfort Food thread, and thinking about food, far too often lately!
According to the Acoustical Society of America the 3 most important causes of the abnormal situation ( acoustic shadow) are sound absorption, wind shear, and temperature gradients, so yes, it would seem that the weather does play a part.
What Fedreb said. Yes, the weather has a role in an acoustic shadow, but it's not the only factor. The terrain also has a major role. There have been a number of recorded times that one can be sitting down to dinner about a mile away and not hear the sound of cannon.
Aside from that, weather played a very important role in every battle. When it was sunny and dry, everything went along smoothly. When it rained, the wagons and artillery got bogged down and nothing went as intended. Perhaps the most famous is Burnside's mud march, but that wasn't the only time when rain made a FUBAR of a plan.
When the roads turned to mud, the infantry was more involved in rassling wagons out of the mud than it was in marching. And, while marching, at least one soldier commented that his boots carried about a peck of mud.
EDIT: And I'm reminded of a comment made by a man born and raised in the south: If you are northern born and raised, you can have no idea what real mud is. Mud in Georgia is a whole 'nother animal than mud in Illinois or Iowa or Wisconsin. We're talking serious mud.
Another great example is the ice storm that delayed Thomas at Nashville; when the byways were so coated that a horse couldn't keep its footing. Oh yes, there are many examples of the weather fouling up pretty much everything.