|Continental Army in the Snow|
As we brace for cold temperatures across much of the Midwest, I would like to remember another winter, which occurred during the Kabinettskriege era. While most of American readers probably jump to the winter at Valley Forge, which was very cold, I am actually talking about the, "Great Frost," of 1709.
|A frozen lagoon in Venice during the 1708-1709 winter|
|Swedish Karoliner attack during the winter|
“It was a great sorrow to behold the poor men, who were frozen by means of the slow march. Indeed, many a cavalrymen and dragoon sat frozen to death still on their horses. The day after, which was the 24th of December, the companies were surveyed, and each had 25 or 26 men found frozen, and regrettably, this forced the amputation of hands, legs and feet. There was more sorrow and sadness than one could believe. Frozen birds fell to the earth, smaller livestock, such as chickens and geese, likewise lay dead in their outbuildings from the cold. We also could not protect our horses from the cold, and many fell.This shows the extreme cold that the Karoliner experienced, as well as the deep religious devotion which drove them to carry on. The Swedish army was weakened by the cold, and this contributed to their decisive defeat at the Battle of Poltava during the following summer. Cold was difficult for many armies in the Kabinettskriege era, but usually the Russians and the Swedish were able to carry out difficult winter operations. However, the Great Frost of 1709 proved to difficult for the Swedish army.
Blessed be the Lord my God, who has brought me warmly through so many dangers. Blessed be my God, in both good and bad times, in all times. Indeed, Eternal glory , thanks, and praise to my God, full of grace, goodness and mercy. To me, the proof is now evident that the day of my death is swift approaching. So, I ask you, my God, with a humble heart, full of grace, send your peace and blessing to me, remain with me, and allow me to abide with you forever. Oh my Lord God, hear and grant me this, for the sake of Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Amen, Amen."
Stay warm- and thanks for reading,