We get it. If it’s snowing outside, we’d probably all prefer to huddle inside. But…it doesn’t snow all the time where many of the Civil War battlefields are located. In fact, at some of the battlefields, it doesn’t snow at all!
Winter’s non-snowy days can be one of the best times to get out and explore hallowed ground. Why? Let’s list a few reasons:
- No (or less) foliage on the trees offers clearer views in the woods
- Earthworks are often easier to see and other land features
- No snakes! (most likely)
- Fewer bugs (most likely)
- It’s not blazing hot (most likely)
Now, of course, there are some drawback to winter exploring too:
- Mud (potentially)
- Ice (particularly early in the mornings; be careful)
- The cold requires heavier jackets and other proper gear if you’re walking
- Seeing the battlefield in a way most Civil War soldiers probably did not (unless you’re at an area where there was actually winter fighting. Stone’s River? Fredericksburg?)
Hey, we always encourage “safety first” but if you’re prepared and able to get out to a battlefield this winter, you’ll see it in a new way. In fact, some of the ECW team was just discussing this: “I never knew there were earthworks back there.” It’s amazing what you might see while nature’s stripped away the green leaves.
Do you go battlefielding during the winter? If so, do you have a favorite location or a place that you’ll see things in winter that are hard to see or understand in the summer?
P.S. A word from the ECW photographer team… You’ll get prettier pictures in the other three seasons…unless it’s actually snowing. Then it’s debatable. 😉