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Jedediah Hotchkiss: Civil War Mapmaking on Horseback
Jedediah Hotchkiss served as the official map maker and topographical engineer of the Valley District, Department of Virginia, under the command of General T. J. "Stonewall" Jackson from March 1862 to the conclusion of the Civil War. Hotchkiss produced highly detailed maps of the region, including a large map showing all points of offense and defense in the Shenandoah Valley from the Potomac River to Lexington, Virginia. His field sketchbook provides first-draft detailed maps—usually prepared while on horseback—of various sections of the Shenandoah Valley and the area around Chancellorsville. The two items are part of the Hotchkiss map collection in the Geography and Map Division.
Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress
A Spiteful Souvenir: War of 1812 Accounts Book Stolen
During the War of 1812, the British army, under Admiral Cockburn, captured Washington, DC. They then set about destroying all public buildings in the fledgling capital city (including the White House and the Treasury) as retaliation for the massive destruction during the Battle of York in 1813, in which American forces looted and burned York (now Toronto).
Just before setting fire to the Capitol Building, Admiral Cockburn searched the president's ceremonial office for a memento that would match the official mace stolen from the Parliament Building by the American forces the previous year. He chose the only item labeled as "President of the U. States," a modest printed summary of the federal government's expenses.
Cockburn eventually gave the volume to his eldest brother, the governor of Bermuda, inscribing it as: "Taken in President's room in the Capitol, at the destruction of that building by the British, on the Capture of Washington 24th. August 1814." The book later was discovered and acquired by the famed antiquarian dealer Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach and finally returned to the Library of Congress. Rosenbach completed the inscription begun by Cockburn: "And now, this sixth day of January, 1940, after 126 years, restored to the Library of Congress by A.S.W. Rosenbach."
More from the Library of Congress:
How to Get Into Princeton: George Washington's War Map
This hand-drawn map was delivered to Generals John Cadwalader and George Washington on the eve of a surprise attack by the American Revolutionary forces on a British army at Princeton, New Jersey. Delivered by a spy to the Americans in late December 1776, the map includes vital information about the British headquarters and positions, the roads not protected by the British, the directions of mounted cannons, and other revealing details. It was essential to the success of attack on Princeton.
The Union Sends a Message: Civil War Newspaper
During the Civil War, everyday items like paper became luxury goods. And, like several other Southern newspapers, the Vicksburg Daily Citizen eventually exhausted its stock of newsprint. J.M. Swords, publisher and editor, vowed to keep the paper alive. His solution? Print the Citizen on the back of wallpaper—floral wallpaper.
When Vicksburg surrendered to the Union on July 4, 1863, Swords fled, leaving the most recent issue of the Citizen typeset in his printing press. Union forces found the abandoned newspaper, decided to print it, with one vital change: Union soldiers replaced part of the last column with a newly typeset satirical announcement of their arrival in Vicksburg, and then printed and distributed the last edition of the Vicksburg Daily Citizen.
More from the Library of Congress:
The daily citizen. J. M. Swords, proprietor. Vicksburg, Miss. Thursday, July 2, 1863.
The Fall of Vicksburg
Grant at Vicksburg
Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room
A Key to Victory: D-Day Relief Map
In preparation for the Normandy Invasion of early June 1944, the U.S. and British military prepared detailed maps of the coastline site in France. One was a three-dimensional model made of rubber depicting relief and showing tide lines, the slope of the beach, buildings, and locations of anti-landing craft systems, known as hedgehogs. The map was given to the Library of Congress by a participant in the invasion, Charles Lee Burwell, who as a naval intelligence officer during the conflict responsible for briefing Allied high command and troops.
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