The Hotchkiss Map Collection

About This Collection

In 1948, an outstanding collection of American Civil War maps was purchased by the Library of Congress from Mrs. R. E. Christian, granddaughter of Major Jedediah Hotchkiss (1828-1899), a topographic engineer in the Confederate Army. Hotchkiss worked principally in the West Virginia and Virginia areas that he had toured during his earlier geological studies and made detailed battle maps. As annotations demonstrate, these maps were used by Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson in planning their campaigns. Many of these maps were used to compile the War Department's definitive Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (2 vols.; Washington: Government Printing Office, 1891-95). One such map, Hotchkiss' masterpiece, [Map of the Shenandoah Valley], prepared at the request of Stonewall Jackson and presented to the Library by Mrs. Christian in 1964, shows the offensive and defensive points of the Shenandoah Valley from the Potomac River to Lexington, Virginia. Hotchkiss also filled several notebooks with topographic and strategic drawings. The collection includes maps drawn or used by Hotchkiss during his postwar career as a consulting engineer in Staunton, Virginia. The 341 sketchbooks, manuscripts, and annotated printed maps are described in the Hotchkiss catalog compiled by Clara Egli LeGear, which appears in the second edition of Civil War Maps: An Annotated List of Maps and Atlases in the Library of Congress prepared by Richard W. Stephenson.

This online presentation includes all the materials in the Hotchkiss Map Collection, some of which also appear in the American Memory collection: Civil War Maps, 1861-1865.