I just finished reading Simon Garfield's ode to maps, On the Map: A Mind Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks (2013) that covers everything maps, ranging Babylonian clay tablets dating from 600 B.C. to the latest innovations from Google. As I read, I started reminscing about personal memories of all maps I have that stuck in my mind. As Simon writes, “when we gaze a map--any map, in any format from any era -- we still find nothing so much as history and ourselves.”
For next few postings I will share some of my favorites and why:
The Battle of Nashville Map
This map of the Battle of Nashville came from the attic of my grandmother who was on the board of her local library. Apparently, the library was going to pitch some of these old Civil War battlefield maps and she rescued a couple dozen of them. Later because of my ( never ending ) interest in the Civil War she gave me the maps, but only one survived the years in our garage. I finally had this map properly framed with museum glass and everything. (Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division)
More Civil War Maps
While the United States War Department's Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies was originally published in 1880) is the defining book of Civil War maps, you can learn more about mapmaking in the Civil War by looking at the gorgeously printed Maps and Mapmakers of the Civil War (1999) written by Earl B. McElfresh, which includes many maps not included in the Atlas. I picked up my copy at an antique outlet for about $15.