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A Soldier’s Map
Virginia/ Maryland/ Washington, DC/ Civil War.
W. H. & O. H. MORRISON [Washington, D. C. , 1864]
Map of Eastern Virginia Compiled from the best authorities…1864.
24 x 18 ¾ inches.
Folding map with original boards, here separate; signed inside front cover by Sargent W. U. Dougherty; color lithograph overprinted with rail lines & concentric distance scales around Washington, DC and Richmond; minor fold wear, else excellent.
Although very scarce on the market now, this very informative and clearly printed work was, as is explained below, a cartographic bestseller of the Civil War among Union soldiers; the present example was signed—“Sergt. W. U. Dougherty Batty “F” 5th U. S. Arty.” The separately published, folding map focused on the Virginia-Washington area, the primary theatre of the war’s early years. Overprinted in red on the map are named rail lines throughout the area as well as concentric circles surrounding Richmond indicating distances at 10-mile intervals. Similar circles in blue surround Washington, giving both cities the appearance of being targets, which in fact they were.
The making and considerable success of this map was recounted by W. L. Nicholson, the map’s compiler and Superintendent of the Coast Survey, as quoted in Stephenson:
“In addition to the printing of our charts proper, a map representing the seat of war in Virginia was, at the suggestion of the Superintendent, compiled by myself during the past year, and printed in colors, partly as an experiment in that class of work, and partly to meet the popular demand from information on the movements of our armies. This map has met with unexpected success, and has been much called for, the copies quite freely distributed;…”
The map was first published in 1862, and while Stephenson noted there were seven issues of it, none of the 11 copies he listed have the 1864 date as on ours.
Stephenson, Civil War Maps, 465.26-465.6; Wooldridge, Mapping of Virginia, no. 267.