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Finely Detailed Mississippi River Map of the Civil War Period

Mississippi River/ New Orleans/ Civil War. MAGNUS, Charles [New York, 1863]
Panorama Of The Mississippi Valley And Its Fortifications. 23 ¼ x 25 inches
Lithograph with original hand color; some mended edge splits, some staining at extremities, overall very good condition.


This scarce, separately published work divides the Mississippi River from St. Louis to the delta into four strip maps that are enhanced with views of the cities of New Orleans, Vicksburg, Memphis and St. Louis. Magnus was perhaps the most prolific publisher of maps, views, and other graphic materials relating to the Civil War, and the present work is notable for the inclusion of the great number of forts and other locations relating to the war. Its remarkable range of detail includes towns both small and large, plantations, country markets and trading posts, schools and colleges, churches, industrial sites, landmarks, roads and railroads.
By the time this map was published in 1863, the Mississippi was under Union control except for Vicksburg and Port Hudson. Magnus, through various political connections, became one of the few illustrators with unrestricted access to Union military camps, which also accounts in large part for his dominance of the market in Civil War graphic materials. Therefore, it’s likely that the fine-grained detail of this work resulted from his access to information gathered by Union personnel. After the war, Magnus continued a prosperous business in both the creation and selling of panoramic city views, song sheets, and patriotic envelopes. With over 1000 known works to his credit, Magnus was one of the most prolific American printers of broadsides and other lithographs.

Holland, R.H. The Mississippi River in Maps and Views, pp. 154, 160-161; Rumsey 2397.000. Stephenson, Civil War maps: an annotated list of maps and atlases in the Library of Congress, 42.5.

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