It’s not exactly the map that will lead you to the National Treasure in that Hollywood movie. But these maps may tell where some of the famous battles are fought before the Declaration of Independence was signed.
American Civil War buffs are getting access to a treasure trove of information – thousands of original maps and diagrams of battles and campaigns between 1861 and 1865, all posted on the Internet.
The Library of Congress is posting 2,240 maps and charts and 76 atlases and sketchbooks, while The Virginia Historical Society and the Library of Virginia are adding about 600 items. Much of the collection is online now; the rest will be in by spring.
The items depict troop positions and movements, as well as fortifications. There are also reconnaissance maps, sketches and coastal charts and theatre-of-war maps.
One plan of the Mississippi port of Vicksburg was done in 1863, the year Union General Ulysses S Grant forced its surrender on Jul 4 in one of the war’s most decisive operations. The map includes fortifications, railways, levees, drainage, vegetation and even the names of a few residents.
The contribution of the Virginia Historical Society includes maps of Virginia locations created by Confederate officers.
They detail roads, bridges, waterways and buildings, including farms and plantations with the owners’ names.
The Library of Virginia has maps that went with reports to the governor and field maps of the south-western part of the state, found in books that belonged to Confederate Gen William W Loring. – AP