Broadside Battle Map with Manuscript Additions from the Conclusion of the Civil War.
Important lithographed broadside map covering the area around Richmond, Virginia, and south to Petersburg, with manuscript annotations in ink and pencil dating to the time of the Siege of Petersburg.
The annotations were added between September 1864 and November 1864, tracking the movements of the map's owner during the Siege.
The Campaign War Map
Rare broadside map of the regions around Richomond and Petersburg, extending east to Upper Brandon, Cabinet Point and White House.
This is one of the most detailed privately issued broadside maps of the Civil War, showing numerous encampments, positions, fortifications and a host of other details. The map was likely updated several times, the present example being a later edition, with a second note added in the bottom right corner and a grid added to the map.
Earlier editions of the map included a note at the bottom advertising "Agents wanted in all the camps and throughout the loyal states to sell this map, pictures & photographs of every description." (Fight by day, sell by night! ).
The latest printed date on the map notes a Battle fought on August 14, 1864, southwest of N. Market, which would be the Second Battle of Deep Bottom, also known as Fussell's Mill, New Market Road, Bailey's Creek, Charles City Road, or White's Tavern, fought August 14-20, 1864, at Deep Bottom in Henrico County, Virginia.
The new note explained that the grid pattern on the map, laid out in 1 mile squares, would allow "those in the army . . . to inform their friends of the movements of their companies and their location and will also serve as a journal to each soldier."
Annotationed By A Participant in the Siege of Petersburg
The map was most likely owned by a member of the 211th Pennsylvania Infantry, as several annotations referencing "211" and "211th P.I." match that group's movements throughout the siege.
The map includes two sets of annotating hands. The earlier manuscript additions are executed in ink and include the following details:
- "Grant's R.R." - the improvised track used to transport materiel along the front lines of the siege and to move railroad mortar back and forth.
- "3 Div. Hospital" is labeled behind the main Union lines.
- "Yellow Tavern"
- "Pegram House"
- "Peebles House"
- "Poplar Grove Church"
- Bridge noted across Hatchers Run
The positions of the Infantry on various dates are also given in manuscript from September to November 30th.
Later additions in pencil highlight the Boydton Plank Road, among other things. That note is given with a question mark, suggesting either imperfect contemporaneous knowledge or an attempt to fill in the map after the fact.
The Siege of Petersburg
The siege of Petersburg consisted of nine months of trench warfare in which Union forces commanded by Ulysses S. Grant assaulted Petersburg unsuccessfully and then constructed trench lines that eventually extended over 30 miles from the eastern outskirts of Richmond, Virginia, to around the eastern and southern outskirts of Petersburg.
Petersburg was crucial to the supply of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's army and the Confederate capital of Richmond. Numerous raids were conducted and battles fought in attempts to cut off the railroad supply lines through Petersburg to Richmond, and many of these caused the lengthening of the trench lines, overloading dwindling Confederate resources.
Lee finally gave in to the pressure and abandoned both cities in April 1865, leading to his retreat and surrender at Appomattox Court House. The Siege of Petersburg foreshadowed the trench warfare that was common in World War I, earning it a prominent position in military history.
The general thrust of the offensive was to the southwest, as Grant attempted to fully encircle the city. The Confederate general, A. P. Hill, pushed out away from the city, attempting to hold Union forces at bay. The present map follows this track, with manuscript updates in that general direction.
The siege was reinforced with makeshift small-gauge railroads, which carried siege mortar along the lines.
The main group of manuscript in the southwest hints at action that would have occurred but appears to drop off around October-November of 1865. It is possible that the ink author did not live beyond that point.
211th Pennsylvania Infantry
Dyer's/Sifakis' Compendium Info for the 211th Pennsylvania Infantry at the Siege of Petersburg Battles:
Moved to Bermuda Hundred, Va., September 1864.
Siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond, Va., September, 1864, to April, 1865.
Duty in the Defenses of Bermuda Hundred, Va., until November, 1864.
Joined Army of the Potomac before Petersburg November 28.
Movement in support of Weldon Railroad Expedition December 7-11.
Dabney's Mills, Hatcher's Run, February 5-7, 1865.
Fort Stedman March 25.
Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9.
Assault on and fall of Petersburg April 2.
Pursuit of Lee April 3-9.
At Nottaway C. H. until April 20.
The map is scarce on the market, especially with annotations from the battle.
We have previously handled another similar broadside by Bufford, Grant's Campaign War Map. Supplement. 25 Miles Around Richmond, as well as another example of Genl. Grant's Campaign War Map Richmond Petersburg And Vicinity, without any manuscript additions.