Friday, October 22, 2010

Civil War Maps and Charts featured in Charting A More Perfect Union archive

For all of you map and chart fans, a dream come true has been provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, the NOAA has launched an online archive of maps and charts entitled "Charting a More Perfect Union: 1861 - 1865".

Alexander Dallas Bache (1806 - 1867), American...Image via Wikipedia
Alexander Dallas Bache (1806 - 1867), American scientist,
U.S. Coast Guard official.
"In 1807, President Thomas Jefferson established the Survey of the Coast to produce the nautical charts necessary for maritime safety, defense, and the establishment of national boundaries. Within years, the United States Coast Survey was the government’s leading scientific agency, charting coastlines and determining land elevations for the nation. In 1861, the agency adjusted quickly to meet the needs of a country at war…" - NOAA  
 In 1861, U.S. Coast Survey supervisor Alexander Dallas Bache published Notes on the Coast of the United States. Thereafter, reports were published each year from 1861 to 1865.  Initially used by the Union army,  the maps, charts, and geographic information were the target of Southern sympathizers as well who sought to give their own army an edge in the military campaigns that raged during this period.

Stained Glass of a Confederate Soldier of the ...Image by mharrsch via Flickr
Stained Glass of a Confederate
Soldier of the American Civil War
at Bardstown Kentucky
This rich collection contains over 20,000 images from the late 1700s to present day.  I found a fascinating sketch   of the Country Occupied by the Federal and Confederate Armies on the 18th and 21st July 1861 marked with little crosses noting "Colonel Thomas Fell", "Mrs. Henry Fell" and "General Bee Fell."  I just put in the search criteria State: Virginia and Year: 1861.

Like the maps of the Lewis and Clark expedition, these priceless documents are another great legacy left to us by our third president, Thomas Jefferson.  If you want to explore some of the Lewis and Clark maps, check out Lewis and Clark: The Maps of Exploration 1507 - 1814, and excellent website compiled by the University of Virgina Library.

Great Maps of the Civil War: Pivotal Battles and Campaigns Featuring 32 Removable Maps (Museum in a Book)   Take Command 2nd Manassas   Revolutionary War Era Maps (2 CD Set)

American Maps and Map Makers of the Revolution (Revolutionary War Bicentennial)
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