During the American Civil War, several divisions of the confederate army had a large snowball fight. It started when a couple of hundred men from Texas plotted a friendly fight with men from Arkansas, which spiralled into a brawl involving 9,000 soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Snowball fight

During the American Civil War, on January 29, 1863, the largest military snow exchange occurred in the Rappahannock Valley in Northern Virginia. What began as a few hundred men from Texas plotting a friendly fight against their Arkansas camp mates soon escalated into a brawl that involved 9,000 soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia.

In his memoir of the American Civil War, Samuel H. Sprott describes a snowball battle that occurred early in 1864 involving the Army of Tennessee. Sprott states that the fight started when Strahl’s Brigade was attacked by a brigade of Breckenridge’s Division, but soon other brigades became involved, and ultimately five or six thousand men were engaged.

On January 29, 2005, a crowd of 3,027 peopl… Continue Reading (3 minute read)

13 thoughts on “During the American Civil War, several divisions of the confederate army had a large snowball fight. It started when a couple of hundred men from Texas plotted a friendly fight with men from Arkansas, which spiralled into a brawl involving 9,000 soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia.”

  1. Acchilles

    Sounds like that fight really… snowballed

  2. youknowitinc

    >the largest military snow exchange

    Something about that wording is hilarious

  3. Russian_Bagel

    More info:

    >Throughout the day and night of January 28, a heavy snow fell in the Rappahannock Valley and settled into drifts up to several feet deep. At mid-morning of January 29, a large group of First and Fourth Texans pelted the huts of their neighbors, the Fifth Texas with ice balls made from tightly packed wet snow. The outnumbered Fifth Texas managed to drive their assailants back into their camps. There the unified Texans planned a snowball attack on the unsuspecting Third Arkansas. The Arkansans were caught unaware and quickly surrendered their entire encampment to the Texans. Inspired by their success, the Arkansans joined the Texans and plotted to attack the camp of Gen. “Tige” Anderson’s Georgia Brigade, situated on a hill three-quarters of a mile away across the Massaponax stream. With haversacks full of snowballs, officers in front, battleflags unfurled, and drums and bugles sounding, the 1500-man Texas Brigade moved against the Georgians.

    >The Georgians, forewarned of the impending attack, were ready for the fray. The battle up and down the hillside raged for over an hour. Groans were heard as rocks disguised as snowballs hit their marks. Finally, the Georgians, with both superior numbers and position, drove back the Texans and Arkansans. The Texas Brigade, boosted by reinforcements, rallied and drove the Georgians into their camps, where they gallantly surrendered their forces. The two brigades then combined forces to march against Gen. Lafayette McLaws’ Division. Soon 9000 veterans of the Army of Northern Virginia were engaged in a snowball battle royal. Thousands of snowballs were tossed back and forth. At the close of the prolonged struggle, Hood’s Division emerged victorious. Thus ended the “Great Snowball Fight of 1863.”

    >The Confederate high command was not pleased with the outing. Although only two men were severely injured during the fracas (no doubt the victims of rock-centered snowballs), many soldiers were temporarily laid up with “black eyes, bloody noses, ragged ears and sadly disfigured physiognomies”. More important, the noise and mass movement during the fight had caused quite a commotion in the Federal camps across the Rappahannock. Union cavalry, fearing an attack, had become active along the river. Shortly after the fight, Gen. Longstreet issued an order “prohibiting general snowballing” in his corps.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20120414130517/http://www.pha.jhu.edu/~dag/4thtex/history/history.html#jan63

  4. AE_WILLIAMS

    “Everything had been progressing with a general Spirit of genial camaraderie until of the corporals was the target of the deadly yellow snowball. At that point, the seriousness of the situation was made evident. Further action was convened following the subsequent rehydration of the troops.”

    — From “You’re a nation? We’re a nation! A Concise Bathroom Compendium of Apocrypha”

  5. Ybpoo12283

    That’s the start of a movie about a cursed puzzle.

  6. ugajeremy

    Geez.. That situation really.. escalated.

  7. Fiddler-Diddler

    See these slavers were just trying to have a good time

  8. neil_striker

    Pics or it didn’t happen

  9. nuclearnerfbat

    Cool.

    They were still traitors.

  10. jetonthemoon

    sure they hated black people and loved slavery but that doesnt mean they didnt enjoy a good ol’ fashioned snowball fight

  11. Entropy306010201

    Dogtown and Z-boys. Doc by Stacy Peralta. Fascinating and excellent, even if you have no interest in skateboarding.

  12. rememberthecant1983

    Something something the south was the true snowflake all along.

  13. Straelbora

    A good time was had by all. Then, buoyed by their winter frolic, they went back to murdering their countrymen in order to preserve the right for people to be able to buy and sell other people.

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